This evening I was delighted to complete my first interview for the blog through a phone call with Vince Cable, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats. Unfortunately the phone line was a bit faulty so the transcript may not be what Mr Cable said word-for-word.
How important is it that young people take an interest in politics?
“It is important to young people because if they don’t get involved then older people who have a different agenda will one day not have the same interests as the young. For example, older people have interests in things like pensions and forms of other expenditure that are not of benefit to younger people who themselves have an interest in things like education. They also have an interest in house prices- young people are desperate to get homes. So their interests are different. If young people don’t get involved then they will lose out. That’s the main idea of why young people should get involved. But as far as the country as a whole comes from, they need to become involved in different groups; like different parties and so on- otherwise we don’t have an influenced democracy.”
I also asked Mr Cable what he thinks the Lib Dems can learn from the recent election. The sound quality on this question, however, was not too great so I cannot quote him word-for-word, but he mentioned being surprised at some of their losses, particularly to the Scottish Nationals. Mr Cable felt they didn’t have the right balance against the Conservatives, who worked alongside each other in a coalition where Mr Cable felt they “set out to do the right thing in the right way.” Mr Cable also expressed his hope that the Liberal Democrats could do better in the future.