I’m a big believer that youth wings of political parties should from time to time disagree with their parties. They are not doing their job if they do not. Their role isn’t just to sell their party to young people, but to represent the views of young people to their party. Sycophancy does neither side a favour.
So I was pleased to see the Young Nationals come out this week with this release:
The Young Nats oppose the Government’s assault on freedom and responsibility as it moves to introduce plain packaging.
“This is just plain populism and nanny state interference all over again. We can’t see how this will actually reduce the harm of smoking” says Young Nats Policy Officer, Megan Hands.
The Young Nats champion individual freedom and personal responsibility.
“All companies should have the right to package their goods as they choose. Buyers should also have the right to exercise their power of consumer choice and absorb the responsibilities that come with such choices” says Hands.
Plain packaging sends a message that it’s acceptable for the Government to interfere wherever and whenever they like.
The Young Nats urge the Government in the strongest terms to consider the values of our party before blindly supporting nanny state antics.
Again, this is a good thing – not a bad thing. Of course, you don’t want your youth wing disagreeing with the parliamentary party constantly – that then becomes destabilising and marginalises you. But sycophancy is just as unhelpful.
So well done Young Nats on speaking up. I don’t agree with everything that have said, but it is good to see them prepared to criticise the Government when they think it has made a wrong decision.