THE BIG INTERVIEW: The bright young hope for politics

Swindon Advertiser: Ellie James is determined to make a big difference in her new role as Swindon member of the Youth Parliament Ellie James is determined to make a big difference in her new role as Swindon member of the Youth Parliament

 

ELLIE James, 16, is the newly-elected Swindon member of the Youth Parliament, a national body representing the views of young people. She attends Lydiard Park Academy and lives in Grange Park

ONE of the GCSEs Ellie James studies for is in textiles – the legacy of a previous ambition.

“I always wanted to go into fashion,” she said. “That was always generally my aim, which has changed now. I’m not going to take textiles further. I was always going to do it at A Level.

“I’ve always enjoyed fashion and I still do, but I had a bit of a calling, I suppose. I want to do something maybe a bit more... noteworthy, perhaps.

“Fashion is a very materialistic world and I don’t know if I want to be a part of that.”

Ellie was born in Salisbury, and the family moved to Swindon when she was two. Her mother manages the Sexual Assault Referral Centre for Swindon and Wiltshire, and her father is in IT risk management. Ellie has two stepbrothers, a stepsister and two half-sisters.

She first heard about the Youth Parliament when fellow Lydiard Park Academy pupil Carney Bonner was elected to it.

“That’s about four years ago now,” she said. “I always thought, ‘Oh, that would be cool’. Two years later I saw the forms again and thought, ‘Should I do it?’ but I was 14 at the time and wasn’t really 100 per cent sure of it.

“Then, this time round, I got the notice that they were looking for people to apply again, and I thought, ‘You know what, I’m going to do it’.”

Ellie plans to use her two-year term to promote education, including urging young people to choose education over early parenthood. This part of her campaign was inspired by a half sister who, while delighted with motherhood, regrets not taking her education further.

Ellie’s stance goes beyond straightforward sex education: “There’s a lot on the more clinical, scientific side of things, but its more the cultural changes. I think young people – young girls and young males – need to embrace education more.

“Enrich the mind, take opportunities. Then if you have those aspirations for a further career you are less likely, I think, to have a child young.

“It’s quite difficult for young women to get where they want to be if they have a child young.”

Ellie readily acknowledges that many young people regard politics as dull and irrelevant, but her message is that politics and its ramifications are with us all the time.

“When you’re discussing in the classroom different things such as, perhaps, abortion or other topics, it’s all politics. I don’t think they realise – I think they probably see the middle-aged, middle class men in suits and that’s what they think politics is.

“But it’s not really. There’s a lot more to it. I do think it’s a shame that a lot more young people don’t engage.”

And politicians?

“Maybe I’m a bit of a naive 16-year-old but I have a bit of faith and I think they’re not all bad people. They’re trying to do something for our country, so I respect that.”

“I think there has to be a bit of active involvement. You can’t rely on the Government to do everything. If people want to be involved they should get themselves involved and do something about it.”

Ellie points out that there is less of a ‘political class’ these days, and welcomes the growing diversity among elected representatives.

“There are more women,” she said, “there are more people of ethnic minorites and there are more people of different classes. Things are changing.”

The Youth Parliament is avowedly apolitical, and Ellie herself has no particular affiliation – although she has strong views about political systems.

“I think the idea of the system we have is really good. I completely agree with capitalism and the ability to be able to make your own money, and that there be a ladder of success.

“I think it’s great that we’ve got a democracy, that we’re able to voice our opinions. It’s just whether that’s easy enough – I think there definitely needs to be more engagement.”

Ellie’s future? She plans a degree in a social or political science, although she hasn’t yet decided on a career path.

If she goes into politics, it will only be after experience outside that world. In the immediate future, her goal is simple: “I intend to make a difference.”

Comments (4)

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11:25am Mon 24 Feb 14

The Real Librarian says...

I sympathise.

When I was younger I was interested in Politics too.

I knew who the Tory Cabinet was at 16, and most of the Labour Mob too.

I knew about White Papers, Second Readings, Early Day Motions and the Cheltenham Hundreds.

I was interested, mainly because I thought Politics actually mattered.

Yeah, I was a naive 16-year-old too.

Well I’m 44 now and I am not even going to vote at the next General election. I am going to vote UKIP at the Euro’s, but only for the nuisance value. Aside of that, I am not playing.

So what’s changed? Nothing, apart from me.

QUOTE
“Maybe I’m a bit of a naive 16-year-old but I have a bit of faith and I think they’re not all bad people. They’re trying to do something for our country, so I respect that.”UNQUOTE
They aren’t bad people. You are correct.

Mostly.

Most of them are a bit dull, some are worthy, a few are fanatics but only a very few should be in prison, and would be if they weren’t “connected.”

What they are, is useless; in the fullest sense of the word. The system makes them that way.

Firstly, to get to be on an MP shortlist these days, you have to work your way up. Pressure group, Union or MP’s researcher,’ are the usual options. All mostly unpaid, all a way to get your face known and meet the right people. All three current party leaders have done this.

If you work it, that will get you on a shortlist for a nice safe seat somewhere. And now you owe them.

Maybe you get elected. Actually, you probably will, because most seats are safe seats – getting to be a candidate is the hard part. So you get elected, and now you owe them big time, because everything you could possibly want is provided as a favour.

Need an office – favour!

Want staff – favour!

Need to understand your expense – favour!

Want to be on a select committee – favour!

You will spend about a year running back and forth trying just to keep up with the demands, but hey you are “trying to do something for our country” right.

Wrong.

You don’t get to choose your views. In your first week, the Whip assigned to you gives you a list of votes for the coming week. There will be either one, two or three lines underneath.

One line means, “who cares!”

Two lines means “turn up and vote please, or else.”

Three lines means, “if you don’t turn up and vote, you had better be dead, because if you aren’t – you will be.”

Of course you could vote against your party, but you want to make a career of this, and that means getting promoted, and that means not voting against your party.

So who runs the country? The person who draws those lines under the vote, that’s who. How do they decide which way to vote? Usually money. Bribes from big business, either paid directly or indirectly as a favour, to support a third party cause.

Basically politicians are bought and sold. You seem like a bright girl. Go into business and make some money, and then you could buy some politicians of your own. Don’t waste your time being one.
I sympathise. When I was younger I was interested in Politics too. I knew who the Tory Cabinet was at 16, and most of the Labour Mob too. I knew about White Papers, Second Readings, Early Day Motions and the Cheltenham Hundreds. I was interested, mainly because I thought Politics actually mattered. Yeah, I was a naive 16-year-old too. Well I’m 44 now and I am not even going to vote at the next General election. I am going to vote UKIP at the Euro’s, but only for the nuisance value. Aside of that, I am not playing. So what’s changed? Nothing, apart from me. QUOTE “Maybe I’m a bit of a naive 16-year-old but I have a bit of faith and I think they’re not all bad people. They’re trying to do something for our country, so I respect that.”UNQUOTE They aren’t bad people. You are correct. Mostly. Most of them are a bit dull, some are worthy, a few are fanatics but only a very few should be in prison, and would be if they weren’t “connected.” What they are, is useless; in the fullest sense of the word. The system makes them that way. Firstly, to get to be on an MP shortlist these days, you have to work your way up. Pressure group, Union or MP’s researcher,’ are the usual options. All mostly unpaid, all a way to get your face known and meet the right people. All three current party leaders have done this. If you work it, that will get you on a shortlist for a nice safe seat somewhere. And now you owe them. Maybe you get elected. Actually, you probably will, because most seats are safe seats – getting to be a candidate is the hard part. So you get elected, and now you owe them big time, because everything you could possibly want is provided as a favour. Need an office – favour! Want staff – favour! Need to understand your expense – favour! Want to be on a select committee – favour! You will spend about a year running back and forth trying just to keep up with the demands, but hey you are “trying to do something for our country” right. Wrong. You don’t get to choose your views. In your first week, the Whip assigned to you gives you a list of votes for the coming week. There will be either one, two or three lines underneath. One line means, “who cares!” Two lines means “turn up and vote please, or else.” Three lines means, “if you don’t turn up and vote, you had better be dead, because if you aren’t – you will be.” Of course you could vote against your party, but you want to make a career of this, and that means getting promoted, and that means not voting against your party. So who runs the country? The person who draws those lines under the vote, that’s who. How do they decide which way to vote? Usually money. Bribes from big business, either paid directly or indirectly as a favour, to support a third party cause. Basically politicians are bought and sold. You seem like a bright girl. Go into business and make some money, and then you could buy some politicians of your own. Don’t waste your time being one. The Real Librarian

1:46pm Mon 24 Feb 14

house on the hill says...

The Real Librarian wrote:
I sympathise.

When I was younger I was interested in Politics too.

I knew who the Tory Cabinet was at 16, and most of the Labour Mob too.

I knew about White Papers, Second Readings, Early Day Motions and the Cheltenham Hundreds.

I was interested, mainly because I thought Politics actually mattered.

Yeah, I was a naive 16-year-old too.

Well I’m 44 now and I am not even going to vote at the next General election. I am going to vote UKIP at the Euro’s, but only for the nuisance value. Aside of that, I am not playing.

So what’s changed? Nothing, apart from me.

QUOTE
“Maybe I’m a bit of a naive 16-year-old but I have a bit of faith and I think they’re not all bad people. They’re trying to do something for our country, so I respect that.”UNQUOTE
They aren’t bad people. You are correct.

Mostly.

Most of them are a bit dull, some are worthy, a few are fanatics but only a very few should be in prison, and would be if they weren’t “connected.”

What they are, is useless; in the fullest sense of the word. The system makes them that way.

Firstly, to get to be on an MP shortlist these days, you have to work your way up. Pressure group, Union or MP’s researcher,’ are the usual options. All mostly unpaid, all a way to get your face known and meet the right people. All three current party leaders have done this.

If you work it, that will get you on a shortlist for a nice safe seat somewhere. And now you owe them.

Maybe you get elected. Actually, you probably will, because most seats are safe seats – getting to be a candidate is the hard part. So you get elected, and now you owe them big time, because everything you could possibly want is provided as a favour.

Need an office – favour!

Want staff – favour!

Need to understand your expense – favour!

Want to be on a select committee – favour!

You will spend about a year running back and forth trying just to keep up with the demands, but hey you are “trying to do something for our country” right.

Wrong.

You don’t get to choose your views. In your first week, the Whip assigned to you gives you a list of votes for the coming week. There will be either one, two or three lines underneath.

One line means, “who cares!”

Two lines means “turn up and vote please, or else.”

Three lines means, “if you don’t turn up and vote, you had better be dead, because if you aren’t – you will be.”

Of course you could vote against your party, but you want to make a career of this, and that means getting promoted, and that means not voting against your party.

So who runs the country? The person who draws those lines under the vote, that’s who. How do they decide which way to vote? Usually money. Bribes from big business, either paid directly or indirectly as a favour, to support a third party cause.

Basically politicians are bought and sold. You seem like a bright girl. Go into business and make some money, and then you could buy some politicians of your own. Don’t waste your time being one.
Thanks for that, it brightened my lunch hour. I do hope you use your clear writing talents again, the site definitely needs them!
[quote][p][bold]The Real Librarian[/bold] wrote: I sympathise. When I was younger I was interested in Politics too. I knew who the Tory Cabinet was at 16, and most of the Labour Mob too. I knew about White Papers, Second Readings, Early Day Motions and the Cheltenham Hundreds. I was interested, mainly because I thought Politics actually mattered. Yeah, I was a naive 16-year-old too. Well I’m 44 now and I am not even going to vote at the next General election. I am going to vote UKIP at the Euro’s, but only for the nuisance value. Aside of that, I am not playing. So what’s changed? Nothing, apart from me. QUOTE “Maybe I’m a bit of a naive 16-year-old but I have a bit of faith and I think they’re not all bad people. They’re trying to do something for our country, so I respect that.”UNQUOTE They aren’t bad people. You are correct. Mostly. Most of them are a bit dull, some are worthy, a few are fanatics but only a very few should be in prison, and would be if they weren’t “connected.” What they are, is useless; in the fullest sense of the word. The system makes them that way. Firstly, to get to be on an MP shortlist these days, you have to work your way up. Pressure group, Union or MP’s researcher,’ are the usual options. All mostly unpaid, all a way to get your face known and meet the right people. All three current party leaders have done this. If you work it, that will get you on a shortlist for a nice safe seat somewhere. And now you owe them. Maybe you get elected. Actually, you probably will, because most seats are safe seats – getting to be a candidate is the hard part. So you get elected, and now you owe them big time, because everything you could possibly want is provided as a favour. Need an office – favour! Want staff – favour! Need to understand your expense – favour! Want to be on a select committee – favour! You will spend about a year running back and forth trying just to keep up with the demands, but hey you are “trying to do something for our country” right. Wrong. You don’t get to choose your views. In your first week, the Whip assigned to you gives you a list of votes for the coming week. There will be either one, two or three lines underneath. One line means, “who cares!” Two lines means “turn up and vote please, or else.” Three lines means, “if you don’t turn up and vote, you had better be dead, because if you aren’t – you will be.” Of course you could vote against your party, but you want to make a career of this, and that means getting promoted, and that means not voting against your party. So who runs the country? The person who draws those lines under the vote, that’s who. How do they decide which way to vote? Usually money. Bribes from big business, either paid directly or indirectly as a favour, to support a third party cause. Basically politicians are bought and sold. You seem like a bright girl. Go into business and make some money, and then you could buy some politicians of your own. Don’t waste your time being one.[/p][/quote]Thanks for that, it brightened my lunch hour. I do hope you use your clear writing talents again, the site definitely needs them! house on the hill

2:50pm Mon 24 Feb 14

The Real Librarian says...

house on the hill wrote:
The Real Librarian wrote: I sympathise. When I was younger I was interested in Politics too. I knew who the Tory Cabinet was at 16, and most of the Labour Mob too. I knew about White Papers, Second Readings, Early Day Motions and the Cheltenham Hundreds. I was interested, mainly because I thought Politics actually mattered. Yeah, I was a naive 16-year-old too. Well I’m 44 now and I am not even going to vote at the next General election. I am going to vote UKIP at the Euro’s, but only for the nuisance value. Aside of that, I am not playing. So what’s changed? Nothing, apart from me. QUOTE “Maybe I’m a bit of a naive 16-year-old but I have a bit of faith and I think they’re not all bad people. They’re trying to do something for our country, so I respect that.”UNQUOTE They aren’t bad people. You are correct. Mostly. Most of them are a bit dull, some are worthy, a few are fanatics but only a very few should be in prison, and would be if they weren’t “connected.” What they are, is useless; in the fullest sense of the word. The system makes them that way. Firstly, to get to be on an MP shortlist these days, you have to work your way up. Pressure group, Union or MP’s researcher,’ are the usual options. All mostly unpaid, all a way to get your face known and meet the right people. All three current party leaders have done this. If you work it, that will get you on a shortlist for a nice safe seat somewhere. And now you owe them. Maybe you get elected. Actually, you probably will, because most seats are safe seats – getting to be a candidate is the hard part. So you get elected, and now you owe them big time, because everything you could possibly want is provided as a favour. Need an office – favour! Want staff – favour! Need to understand your expense – favour! Want to be on a select committee – favour! You will spend about a year running back and forth trying just to keep up with the demands, but hey you are “trying to do something for our country” right. Wrong. You don’t get to choose your views. In your first week, the Whip assigned to you gives you a list of votes for the coming week. There will be either one, two or three lines underneath. One line means, “who cares!” Two lines means “turn up and vote please, or else.” Three lines means, “if you don’t turn up and vote, you had better be dead, because if you aren’t – you will be.” Of course you could vote against your party, but you want to make a career of this, and that means getting promoted, and that means not voting against your party. So who runs the country? The person who draws those lines under the vote, that’s who. How do they decide which way to vote? Usually money. Bribes from big business, either paid directly or indirectly as a favour, to support a third party cause. Basically politicians are bought and sold. You seem like a bright girl. Go into business and make some money, and then you could buy some politicians of your own. Don’t waste your time being one.
Thanks for that, it brightened my lunch hour. I do hope you use your clear writing talents again, the site definitely needs them!
Thanks.

Unfortunately this cr*p writes itself in our moribund and mediocre system.

I never mentioned the EU, which originates 60-80% of our laws anyway, according to the House of Common's library

It just makes me sad to see someone who is clearly bright and clearly well-intentioned, getting sidetracked by the idea of politics when there are so many other things she could be doing.

Politics has been called "Rock and Roll for Ugly People," and Ellie is far from ugly!

Like I said, there are a million things that she could do to make the world a better place.

Be a doctor, nurse or teacher and make people's lives better by helping them get somewhere they couldn't get on their own.

Be an artist, musician, writer or film-maker and give people something beautiful they couldn't achieve on their own.

Just be a good person and support your family and friends and help them cope when they can't cope on their own.

But don't go into politics. It's a sausage machine that chews up good people and turns them into something else. Something shallow and false and calculating and selfish and stupid.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Real Librarian[/bold] wrote: I sympathise. When I was younger I was interested in Politics too. I knew who the Tory Cabinet was at 16, and most of the Labour Mob too. I knew about White Papers, Second Readings, Early Day Motions and the Cheltenham Hundreds. I was interested, mainly because I thought Politics actually mattered. Yeah, I was a naive 16-year-old too. Well I’m 44 now and I am not even going to vote at the next General election. I am going to vote UKIP at the Euro’s, but only for the nuisance value. Aside of that, I am not playing. So what’s changed? Nothing, apart from me. QUOTE “Maybe I’m a bit of a naive 16-year-old but I have a bit of faith and I think they’re not all bad people. They’re trying to do something for our country, so I respect that.”UNQUOTE They aren’t bad people. You are correct. Mostly. Most of them are a bit dull, some are worthy, a few are fanatics but only a very few should be in prison, and would be if they weren’t “connected.” What they are, is useless; in the fullest sense of the word. The system makes them that way. Firstly, to get to be on an MP shortlist these days, you have to work your way up. Pressure group, Union or MP’s researcher,’ are the usual options. All mostly unpaid, all a way to get your face known and meet the right people. All three current party leaders have done this. If you work it, that will get you on a shortlist for a nice safe seat somewhere. And now you owe them. Maybe you get elected. Actually, you probably will, because most seats are safe seats – getting to be a candidate is the hard part. So you get elected, and now you owe them big time, because everything you could possibly want is provided as a favour. Need an office – favour! Want staff – favour! Need to understand your expense – favour! Want to be on a select committee – favour! You will spend about a year running back and forth trying just to keep up with the demands, but hey you are “trying to do something for our country” right. Wrong. You don’t get to choose your views. In your first week, the Whip assigned to you gives you a list of votes for the coming week. There will be either one, two or three lines underneath. One line means, “who cares!” Two lines means “turn up and vote please, or else.” Three lines means, “if you don’t turn up and vote, you had better be dead, because if you aren’t – you will be.” Of course you could vote against your party, but you want to make a career of this, and that means getting promoted, and that means not voting against your party. So who runs the country? The person who draws those lines under the vote, that’s who. How do they decide which way to vote? Usually money. Bribes from big business, either paid directly or indirectly as a favour, to support a third party cause. Basically politicians are bought and sold. You seem like a bright girl. Go into business and make some money, and then you could buy some politicians of your own. Don’t waste your time being one.[/p][/quote]Thanks for that, it brightened my lunch hour. I do hope you use your clear writing talents again, the site definitely needs them![/p][/quote]Thanks. Unfortunately this cr*p writes itself in our moribund and mediocre system. I never mentioned the EU, which originates 60-80% of our laws anyway, according to the House of Common's library It just makes me sad to see someone who is clearly bright and clearly well-intentioned, getting sidetracked by the idea of politics when there are so many other things she could be doing. Politics has been called "Rock and Roll for Ugly People," and Ellie is far from ugly! Like I said, there are a million things that she could do to make the world a better place. Be a doctor, nurse or teacher and make people's lives better by helping them get somewhere they couldn't get on their own. Be an artist, musician, writer or film-maker and give people something beautiful they couldn't achieve on their own. Just be a good person and support your family and friends and help them cope when they can't cope on their own. But don't go into politics. It's a sausage machine that chews up good people and turns them into something else. Something shallow and false and calculating and selfish and stupid. The Real Librarian

10:10pm Mon 24 Feb 14

stratton man says...

Great posts librarian.Agree completely.
Great posts librarian.Agree completely. stratton man

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