Perhaps in a city with as many students as Sheffield, it shouldn’t be a surprise when one is a General Election candidate. Yet when candidates were announced earlier this month, a 21-year-old student running for the Green Party in Sheffield Hallam may have raised an eyebrow or two.
Step forward Logan Robin, a German and Politics student at the University of Sheffield. Despite his young age for a prospective politician, he tells South Yorkshire Briefing it’s not an issue. “If you say you’re not from the right background, you’re too young, you’re just excluding people. You need a diversity of people in Parliament.
“Just because I’ve not got the life experience of the elderly, or vulnerable people doesn’t mean I can’t empathise and represent those people. I’ve got grandparents, some of my friends are older people, but you don’t have to be a genius to look at the bad things that are happening with the problems of older people now.”
If he were to win at such a young age for a Parliamentarian, he would be following in a path trodden by the SNP’s Mhari Black, and the SDP/Liberal Democrat politician Charles Kennedy before him. However, Robin shuns the claim that he would be one of the much lamented, career politicians. “I don’t think that’s fair. I’m doing a full time degree which is quite difficult, and I’ve been looking at work for after University as a translator.
“If you start labelling young people who are interested and participating in democracy, then that’s not helpful and it could discourage people from being involved.”
He disagrees that as a student, he was cynically picked by his local party to make headway into the sizable student vote that Labour’s Oliver Coppard and Nick Clegg benefitted from in the last election. He’s a regular in the constituency at Ranmoor (his girlfriend lives there), and says that if elected an MP he would campaign on the “absurd inequalities” affecting young people.
Running against Clegg doesn’t betray the ‘Progressive Alliance’
He insists that running against Clegg doesn’t betray the ‘Progressive Alliance’ the Green Party were keen to implement, as the Conservatives aren’t likely to win in Hallam. He hopes to hold the former Deputy PM’s feet to the fire over Brexit, as he worries the Liberal Democrat’s record with tuition fees gives cause to worry about pro-Remain backsliding, and hopes that if a big pro-EU party is close to them, it’ll be an implicit electoral threat.
Born in Sheffield, (unlike Clegg, as Robin points out) he was home-schooled until he went to Sixth Form where he was studied politics, building on his interest that piqued before the 2015 General Election. He switched away late-on from Ed Miliband’s Labour offering, to vote for the Green Party.
“I was going to vote for Labour…”
“I was going to vote for Labour up until 2015, but then I was thinking about some of the austerity arguments and thought, you know what? I’m going to vote Jillian Creasy, I really buy into that and I became a member.”
Robin stuck around in the Green Party when others left for the Labour Party after Jeremy Corbyn’s victory, and its shift leftwards. He describes himself as previously pro-Corbyn, but the former chair of Sheffield Stronger in Europe has since become disappointed in the Labour leader, and local MPs who voted in favour of triggering Article 50.
With the two staunchly pro-remain parties, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats sliding in the polls, you may forgive the Greens if they decided to change their stance on the EU. However, the Green Party’s Hallam candidate thinks their stance is the right one. “The main issue is that we stand for what we believe in.
“It’s the right thing to do, and it’s working in Sheffield. It’s not only a principle thing, it’s about having a message that speaks to people who have been left behind by other parties.” He says.
His wholehearted supportive of Sheffield Central candidate Natalie Bennett is unsurprising, but obviously genuine. He denies that the former Green Party leader was parachuted in, and is keen to emphasise how much he and the local Green Party like her.
Robin’s chances? The Green Party came fifth in 2015, a far cry from Jillian Creasy’s performance over the boundary in Sheffield Central. He would need a swing of over 18% to take the seat from Nick Clegg. However, he’s not thinking that far ahead. “I enjoy my degree, and I’d like to finish it, but we’ll have to see. There’s a long way to go”