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Inequality the "defining issue" of the next generation of politics - Alastair Campbell

Speaking to the UCD Literary and Historical Society at University College Dublin, Alastair Campbell said he’s more worried about the world today than he has ever been.

With global terrorism, climate change, and the possibility of another global financial crisis, Campbell believes the scale of world’s problems are growing.

He said inequality is becoming the “defining issue” of the next generation of politics.

He spoke of the sense that the financial crash happened and that the people who “caused” it have not paid any price, while “millions and millions and millions of people around the world have paid the price in terms of loss of jobs, loss of homes and cuts to public services”.

Campbell told the students that their generation will have to find the answers to these problems, because his generation isn’t necessarily “going to be able to adapt to all these changes the way we might all want them to, and like them to.”

He also highlighted how “people don’t believe newspapers like they used to” nor do they “believe politicians in the same way”.

So, who do people believe? Campbell asked the student audience.

According to Campbell, this is the question that shapes modern campaigning. The answer as to why Facebook is such a big thing.

“The genius of Facebook is actually a really, really, really simple concept,” he said. “It’s the concept of the friend.”

“Who do we believe? We believe each other. We believe our friends, we believe our family.”

So, recognising social media as a powerful person-to-person communication and acknowledging that there is a massive bloc of currently undecided voters on the Brexit referendum, Campbell asked the students (who don’t have a vote in the referendum but will be impacted by its outcome), to ask their friends and people they know, who have a vote, to vote for Britain to stay in the EU.

Campbell is best known as the spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy, for former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

He remains active in politics and campaigns in Britain and overseas. He divides his time between writing, speaking, charities and consultancy.

He has written eleven books in the past eight years, including six volumes of diaries, three novels, a personal memoir on depression and the pursuit of happiness, and most recently Winners and How They Succeed, a Number 1 best-selling analysis of what it takes to win in politics, business and sport.

By: Dominic Martella, UCD University Relations