New Baby of the House Mhairi Black has made her maiden speech, and it’s bloody impressive. At a mere twenty years old, her mix of sincerity and intelligence shine, as does her progressive, socially conscious attitude towards politics. Not only this, but she has the confidence and presence of a much older woman. Black’s speech has resonated with young voters, who have been inspired by her articulacy and quick wit. She has shown a new politicised generation that young people can have a significant voice within the mainstream discussion of social and political issues.
In her speech, the new Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP showed a firm commitment to poverty alleviation. She covered issues such as food bank use and the housing situation, joking cheekily about her status as being “the only twenty year old that the Chancellor is willing to help with housing”. She also made no qualms about her dislike of the current government which she described as being the most uncaring government since the days of Margaret Thatcher. She has also expressed her disappointment about the movement towards central ground by the Labour Party Her memorable speech, now trending on Youtube, has won widespread admiration amongst numerous well established MPs
So who is the idealistic and charismatic Mhairi Black? On a personal level, she is a mad football fan, Glasgow University Graduate and longtime OXFAM Campaigner with a tendency for outspoken tweets. She is perhaps most famously the youngest British MP since the seventeenth century. However, she represents so much more than just the precocious nature of her age and could perhaps represent a new age in British politics. She has broken away from the idea of Labour and the SNP being fundamentally opposed and looks towards an alliance between the opposition parties with the assertion that left wing parties would be stronger when working together.
However, in practise, would an alliance between the SNP and Labour be mutually beneficial, and if so then would this make left wing politics stronger against the Conservatives? Many see the SNP as Labours natural opponent, and indeed as the reason that the Labour party lost the last election. However, could Black’s new collaborative attitude be the new way forward in twenty first century politics?