Politics is essentially about trying to influence the world and attempting to make a difference to how things work. There are many ways to get involved in politics, whether you are interested in campaigning on single issues, affiliating yourself with a particular political party or involving yourself in the local community.
A natural route into politics for many is to join a political party. If you would like to volunteer to assist the local Conservative Association please call our office on 01708 443 321, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.hornchurchandupminsterconservatives.com
In joining a party you align yourself with people of similar values and can get more opportunities to debate, campaign, influence the political agenda and mix with people in the political world. You can also explore whether or not you might like to stand for election yourself as party branches are critical in selecting candidates for local council and parliament.
You can find local branches of the main political parties in most areas, and getting in touch with people at your local branch can be a good way to enter the political scene. There are also party branches at most universities as well as youth wings such as Conservative Future.
Naturally many people prefer not to join political parties but still have an avid interest in politics. The last decade or so has witnessed the emergence of a whole host of single issue groups on everything from the environment to the rights of car owners. The best way of finding a group that shares your views is to look on the internet. Many groups regularly run campaigns and often contact MPs in an attempt to influence government policy in their favour.
You may simply wish to make a practical difference at a local level, for instance by helping out at your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). CAB is one of the UK’s largest volunteer organisations and helps people with a whole range of issues such as benefits, debt management and immigration. You can find a variety of other local volunteering opportunities by visiting Havering Volunteer Centre where voluntary positions can be found in anything from environmental and cultural schemes to youth work. http://www.haveringvc.org.uk/
Not everybody wants to join organisations or attend meetings, but there are still options open to those who wish to get involved. You can attend local political lectures and seminars. The London School of Economics, for instance, is one of a number of universities to have a public lecture programme where you can listen to major figures speak about the issues of the day.
The internet is also providing a new arena for political debate, and you may wish to start your own blog, post articles on political websites or sign online petitions. And, of course, you can always write directly to your MP with your thoughts!