With the extinction of EMA money, the ever increasing education fees and rumours of our ex-prime minister apparently fucking a dead pig, it’s no wonder that many kids these days have little to no interest in involving themselves with modern day politics. In one study published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation around the topic of political interest and engagement amongst 14-24 year olds, one boy named Michael particularly detests the topic. According to the report “as soon as Michael hears the word ‘politics’ his mind ‘shuts down’ because it’s so ‘boring’ and has so little relevance for him”.
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Politicians will do just about anything these days to grasp the attention of the wandering millennial. With the the majority of the older generations staying true to their usual parties, new crowds must be drawn in to ensure those extra votes. This year we saw the US presidential candidates desperately clawing for the youth’s attention, not only did Hilary Clinton have Demi Lovato perform at one of her rallies but she has her own Trump Yourself app that transforms your Facebook profile picture into a Donald Trump quote and has even embarrassingly dropped Pokémon in a speech. And don’t even get me started on Trump.
Whilst it’s cute to see Jeremy Corbyn baking cupcakes or hanging out with Rudimental on his Snapchat story, it doesn’t strike me as a distinctly desperate plea to reel in the youngsters. In my mind the leader of the opposition doesn’t need to fish for younger voters as the majority of my politically minded peers already have him on their radar, the problem itself is that only 34% of 18-34 year olds registered to vote did so. I’m in firm belief that the people already passive towards the political system will not be lured in by a gimmick alone and that there is a fine line between a funny or relevant stunt and something totally cringe that’s purely going to put people off, even long time supporters.
But I feel that’s exactly what’s just happened. Following in the unlikely footsteps of Kim Kardashian and Pornhub, Jeremy Corbyn is now the latest media face with his own line of personalised emoji. Perhaps the Labour leader felt a bit ancient after not recognising a photo of Ant & Dec, despite having prior contact to the Corbynista presenters, and considered to do something drastic to make up for it. Corbyn’s illustrated sad face peering up at me from an MMS is something I thought I’d never see this lifetime, but here we are.
Like always, Twitter was there to cause brew up a shitstorm. Although to be honest, not everyone was this critical.
Corbyn emoji is a thing? pic.twitter.com/iAIlHjAA4L
— Ollie Wannell (@Wannello) 18 August 2016
I’ve just seen the words ‘limited edition Corbynemojis!’ used without an ounce of irony. Stop the world I want to get off.
— Dave Raybould (@DaveRaybould) 18 August 2016
Just got a sponsored FB post offering me Corbyn emojis. What fresh hell is this?
— Dan Kelly (@ObiDanKelnobi) 18 August 2016
Hey fellow kids! After all the excitement of getting your A-Level results; don’t forget to collect your Corbynemojis from the Internets!
— Dave Jones (@WelshGasDoc) 18 August 2016
The intern who suggested Corbynemojis should be sacked immediately pic.twitter.com/We8UxamJaB
— JL (@Joshlsn) 17 August 2016
Oh well, at least it’s managed to make it onto phones which is more than can be said for Durex’s condom emoji failure. Ugh.