If you’re like me, then politics already matters. If not, then you’re probably like all those who find it deeply dull, overly confusing or simply not worth the time.
Which is understandable. I get it. But a great many also wish they could engage more and be better informed about the political picture nationally and internationally.
Handily, Canterbury Christ Church University can help.
- How my student days included fighting the racist National Front
- Sorry, Rosie, but what do you expect from the party of Corbyn?
It runs Making Politics Matter, a fortnightly event held throughout the academic on the university campus.
Invited speakers deliver public lectures on an array of subjects in a quest to inform, educate and challenge.
Attendees also have the opportunity to challenge the speaker, as all the lectures are followed with a Q&A.
Therefore, if you don’t understand something or simply disagree with a point raised you can provoke a healthy discussion.
And don’t worry: with a mixture of students involved in the choosing of speakers the line-ups aren’t all stereotypically “uni-fied” left-wing.
Previously, the university played host to speakers such as Commons Speaker John Bercow, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage and Canterbury’s first Labour MP Rosie Duffield.
It’s not just MPs who have taken part in Making Politics Matter. The visits of Mark Hammond, CEO, of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, and Barry Faulkner, the Unite union’s national political education coordinator, demonstrate that these occasions seek a wide range of beliefs, views and opinions.
I love politics and I appreciate that many of the things we read about or see in the news often fail to give us anything remarkable describable as confidence in politicians or organisations.
And when another scandal hits the headline, I, too, have often thought: “Is this the best that we have to offer?”
But we need to stop switching off when we hear something we don’t like the sound of and do the opposite. We should in fact become more engaged and these lectures are just one of many different ways we can ensure greater accountability and knowledge, before we make a decision, vote or express an opinion.
So, come along to a Making Politics Matter event and see if your opinion changes on something you felt certain about or learn something that you did not know before. I’m sure at least one of our speakers will have an impact on you this year.
Be sure to catch the first Making Politics Matter event today, Tuesday, September 18, from 4.30pm to 5.30pm at the Powell Lecture Theatre.
The speaker will be Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt who will deliver a talk titled From Revolution to Representation.
Gordon-Nesbitt is also Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for South Thanet and a researcher at Kings College London.