Inspired by Humans of New York. Photography by Joe Newman. You can follow Young London on Tumblr and Facebook.
24, Public Affairs Manager
What is your philosophy in life?
“It is an Islamic teaching from Imam Abi Talib. ‘Man is either your brother in faith or your equal in humanity’. For me that very much reflects the way I live and govern my life. So anything I want for myself is what I should want for anybody else on Earth. I think if you can follow that code hopefully you can change for the better, but also make sure you’re imparting the values of justice, mercy, equality and friendship.”
24, Political Activist
Do you think the government does enough to address young people’s issues?
“No I don’t think there are any parties or politicians who can really claim to represent the working class and young working class people. The Conservative party got elected by pretending to be more left wing than the Labour party and the Labour party are trying to get re-elected by claiming to be more right wing than the conservative party, saying they will be tougher on benefits and tougher on immigration. This is why our newspaper is called fight racism, fight imperialism. Racism is the way the ruling elite divides the working class in this country and internationally. It used to be that they would blame people from the West Indies and South Asia, now they blame people from Bulgaria, Romania and Poland.”
How do you think the government can connect with younger people?
“Only by addressing the issues that are most important to young people but it’s not in the interest of these politicians to create more employment. Unemployment is hugely beneficial to the capitalist system, it means people will work 0 hour contracts, will do work fair, will compete against each other and that’s when you get the mobilisation of Fascists. However I would say the issues affecting young people are the issues affecting most people.”
What makes you angry about UK society?
“No second chances for people who have made mistakes in their lives. You’re pretty much left to rot.”
Do you have any advice for young people leaving school?
“Don’t get tempted with making money quickly. At that age guys get interested in girls and getting nice clothes. What they need to do is stay in education, go to uni.”
26, Works in Southbank
Do you feel more connected to London or England?
“I am a Londoner first. I was born in Elephant & Castle and I feel there is much more acceptance and diversity there than anywhere else in England.”
Is there anywhere in particular in England you felt unwelcome?
“Well I went to Salisbury once. I didn’t feel welcome there at all, they would just stare and ask me where I was from. When I answered ‘England’ they would reply ‘Yeah but where are you really from?”
20, YCL Member
Does the government do enough to address young people’s issues?
“It’s hard for young people because the political system is designed to be unresponsive.”
Do you think young people should be better educated about politics at school?
“No because schools would just teach the ideologies of the parties that are in power. What we need is free universities, and then alternative political education can be more accessible for everyone.”