THE political decisions we have faced in recent years have had a disproportionate affect on Scotland’s young people – from indyref and Brexit, to council, Westminster, and Holyrood elections.

The young often have the highest stake in the collective decisions of the many and it should come as no surprise that they demand to be heard when such decisions arise.

During the 2014 independence referendum, young people were politically galvanised in their thousands in a way never seen before in Scotland. This political enthusiasm was quickly catapulted into multiple election campaigns and referenda.

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Centred around a tale of two governments with two very different offerings, much like 2014, they have continued to participate in extraordinary numbers.

Although welcome in more progressive pockets of the political and current affairs spectrum, youth input is often scoffed at and their views underrepresented in mainstream media.

What coverage they do get is dominated by patronising narratives orchestrated by those who, perhaps, do not benefit from their enthusiasm. In other words, those who remain fiercely committed to the status-quo.

The National:

We see from recent data that younger generations are far more likely to support independence, with almost four in five expected to vote Yes in a future referendum. They are also more inclined to vote for progressive policies like meaningful climate action and GRA reform. We tend to find higher numbers of youth-activists in left-leaning circles.

Yet in the media, views seemingly opposite to those of the youth masses dominate the conversation.

Recently, I was invited onto a national, UK-wide radio programme to discuss the Scottish Parliament election results and what they would mean for the future of Scotland’s political landscape.

Twenty-five minutes of thoughtful discussion on policy, independence and youth-participation was subsequently edited down to one out-of-context quote used by the reporter to describe me as “evangelical” and compared my political activism to a “religious conversion”.

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We’ve seen similar discourse recently around GRA reform, where those opposed frequently refer to “the adults in the room” – both are examples of common and transparent discreditation tactics. These are used to portray young people as being brainwashed and incapable of independent, critical thought.

There is also a suppression aspect at play. Creating a hostile environment for the young and political, a space where they will be talked over and their views invalidated in public, could potentially discourage participation and ergo protect the status quo.

If the narrative that young people are incapable of making important decisions or having nuanced discussions is continually perpetuated, the invalidation of their political views might seem almost reasonable and justified to those that would be receptive to such an assertion.

What is perhaps more interesting though than the attempt to shut them out, is that young people have remained fiercely determined and their voices are not going unheard.

Just a few days ago the Scottish electorate voted in record numbers to return an independence-supporting majority to the Scottish Parliament. This came despite Unionists, armed with sympathetic media outlets, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at their campaign.

Furthermore, despite months of hateful transphobic dialogue online, those attempting to derail GRA reform were rejected at the polls. There can be no other conclusion, the weekend’s election results were very convincingly reflective of progressive youth beliefs.

In an arena that has long belonged to the older, white man – the younger generation stand ready to make waves for progression and inclusion, with ever-evolving passion.

To those committed to ignoring their political will, this generation has no intentions of maintaining the status quo and will not be going anywhere quietly.