Youth policy

George Lucas's argument that British teenagers have very little interest in politics is correct ("Kids just say no to party politics", 13 September). However, to talk of the lack of interest being due to a dearth of "Bevans, Disraelis, Thatchers and Churchills" is incorrect in the extreme.

Being 18 myself, I have noticed that there is a lack of interest in politics, not only as a career but also as a matter for discussion. Even people who choose to study politics as a degree course show a lack of interest in everyday issues, and the people I have met who claim to have an ideological slant have been few and far between.

The fact is that politicians do not care about our interests. Issues of importance to young people, such as reform of the drugs and licensing laws, never come up in parliament. The only time we are taken notice of is when our so-called "role models" are invited to 10 Downing Street for champagne. The utter disregard that has been shown for us has been seen in the introduction of tuition fees, by a Labour government, no less - the same government that allows 18 year olds to be paid less than £3.60 an hour. They should try getting by on that amount.

If politicians want young people to take an interest in politics, then they should act in our interests for once.

Daniel Futter
London W9

This article first appeared in the 20 September 1999 issue of the New Statesman, Men vanish from the universities