By Jamie-Max Caldwell

The rise in hope among young people must be maintained as we await another general election and the opportunity to finally get rid of the Tories.

Many young people used their vote for change — and they will feel angry and frustrated that the Tories are clinging on to power while austerity and inequality continues to grow unabated.

We cannot let their hope turn into hopelessness.

It is our job as activists to reach out and get young people involved and educated in our movement.

What happened in May, with the upsurge in support for the socialist agenda presented by Jeremy Corbyn, was no stroke of luck.

Credit is due to all the thousands of people who came out to campaign and used their skills to create engaging social media videos and memes, helping to spread the word by utilising modern communication techniques to promote a manifesto that excited, inspired and resonated with people.

We have to keep up this momentum and continue to involve young voters and their ability to spread the word faster and more effectively.

There was some debate after the European referendum as to what was more effective: the actual official “on the ground” campaigns or social media campaigns showing their support for both Leave or Remain.

Whatever your view may be of this, it should be acknowledged that people are more likely to trust and engage with people they know and with whom they are friends.

Also, the promotion of the “for the many not the few” message via group chat and social messaging was particularly effective in the general election campaign.

That being said, this was only one of many factors that led to Labour’s success at the election.

We need to welcome and involve the new activists, harnessing and applying their energy in wider public campaigning while continuing to apply their social media skills and interests.

In Scotland, while we now have Labour MPs in seven seats, we came so close to winning many more. What was thought of as a return that would take decades for Labour to achieve — following the disaster of the 2015 election — is now within our grasp.

In my last article for the Morning Star, I argued that organising cultural and musical events to present young people in particular with an alternative to traditional political interaction has an important role to play and several events during the general election campaign and Corbyn’s subsequent speeches at major concerts and festivals demonstrates its effectiveness.

We need to continue with this — igniting the sparks that can lead to more young people supporting and becoming active in our movement.

We cannot be complacent. We need to continue to grow and get more people involved and this will only come about by being active locally, supporting other activist to become involved and organising events which are attractive, enjoyable and empowering.

In Unite Community we will continue to do this, welcoming new activist and running local cultural events which combine music, film and theatre to educate, engage and inspire and promote the case for change and a better future.

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