Local Democracy Week: Meet Youth Champion Reece Moore

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Since a very young age, Reece Moore has been politically active and has served his local community through a variety of different roles. He believes that political social action is “doing something good that helps to shape your community for the better.”

Reece’s first taste of politics was when he was elected to his School Council in year one, which he claims was “minutely political”. He tells me that his “first step into an actual political atmosphere” was when he organised a meeting with the Mayor and local MP about issues that he had about the primary school system in year three when he just was 7 years old.

When I ask whether his family are politically engaged, he replies; “no chance whatsoever”, although admits that his grandfather would speak about politics in a conversation, and that his step-father donates to charities such as the Red Cross.

Reece tells me that his political motivation developed “purely because [he is] never satisfied with how the world works”, and enjoys being a person that people can come to when they have issues to be addressed. He says that he feels as though he is a confident representative.

In the past, Reece has served as a councillor on his local Youth Council, and has been a member of a political party. He has also held a portfolio for education within his local ‘Model United Nations’ youth programme, and has also campaigned in the last general election. He has also engaged with international affairs, health, transport, and infrastructure in a political capacity, but told me that his real passion lies in political engagement, when he explained to 5,000 people at a rally the importance of voting.

Reece believes that politics is a “two-way thing” and comes from a realisation that “change is always a possibility” – that things don’t have to stay the way that they are, and that people can go beyond their positions in life to make a real difference.

Reece believes that “in doing political action, you educate yourself and things become clear.” He tells me that people who engage with politics will have the opportunity to speak with people that they would never otherwise have spoken with, and to gain insights into processes that they never would have known. He tells me that social action is ultimately “all about building your character.”

Speaking about how political actions can sometimes become part of an individual’s habits, he argues that it is a thing that should be “avoided” and compares it to being trapped in an “echo-chamber.” He does, however, maintain that habits tend to break somewhere in someone’s life, and can lead to new possibilities. When I asked whether this could be reflected in the case of examples such as Jeremy Corbyn, Reece argues that “it is habitual until materialisation or realisation,” and argues that assessing an ideology as either invalid or valid sometimes overlooks the intricate aspects of an individual or group’s thought-processes.

We discuss the causes of political motivation. Although Reece himself identifies as an atheist, he says that “social action for a lot of centuries has been based on faith”, and that it’s social benefit should be celebrated and championed. Addressing whether political action is caused by the structure of society or by individuals themselves, Reece claims that “society is the collection of individuals, and that an individual lives within society – they are both together.”

When Reece is asked about his position for championing political action, he claims that “there is an equal standing for every person to make change” and that MPs are just an “embodiment of all the equality that we have” within a democratic process where each vote matters the same.

Speaking about how political action takes play today, Reece says that “activism plays much more of a role than voting does” and that this will “remain the focus of our generation.” He does not however, think that this represents a radical departure from what has been going on for some decades, pointing to the examples of the campaign against nuclear weapons. When I ask whether this surge in political activism reflects a fragmentation in the political system, Reece argues that society has developed a sense of pluralism rather than fragmentation where “different things can be achieved through different causes”, but that one method does not necessarily exclude another.

When asked about the global picture, Reece argues that countries collaborate within institutions such as the UN because “it benefits them and it benefits everybody else too.” He believes that the voluntary nature of the UN will also mean that it will live to see its 200th birthday, but that it is likely to outdate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or see it made into fixed law. Although he admits that the UN is not a perfect system, he claims that it is still “an evolving body”, and is “relatively young for its age.” In comparing the EU with the UN, Reece argues that it is really the UN’s absence of “any legalistic framework” as opposed to the EU’s that has sustained it, and has the potential to sustain it into the future. Reece believes that an extension to the philosophy of voluntarism within practical politics would carry with it the potential to move away from the “rigidness” of the EU and towards a “compromise” on how global society ought to be run.

Looking towards the future of political participation, Reece tells me that he is feeling “optimistic that younger people will get involved more” in direct democracy and campaigns on political causes, but that this will take place “out of complete disillusionment” with the way in which government is currently being conducted within Britain, rather than having a strong preference for the political status quo.

When I ask Reece what one thing has sustained him in his political and social action journey, he replies that it is “a lack of satisfaction with how things currently happen, with a sense of determination and positivity to make things better, and an enjoyment of doing it.”

He tells me that his proudest achievement in life so far is seeing that his mum has seen him get beyond a lot of things that would have affected other people and doing so well at everything that he puts himself to do. Ultimately, he says that his pride is “knowing the pride that I have given to my mum who has seen me turn into who I have turned into.”

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Craig Bateman is an undergraduate philosophy and politics student, at St. Chad's College, Durham where he sits on the Governing Body. Craig works in local government, and volunteers in civil society, primarily as a member of the Management Committee at Kidderminster and District Youth Trust.

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