This 17-year-old girl could seriously change the British election
In major national events like elections, it’s easy to feel as though you can’t make a difference. One vote seems like such a small influence. But 17-year-old Abby has showed that even in a major election, you can make waves even before you’re a legal adult yet.
Abby may not have graduated from high school, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t be a major player in British politics. Abby is the leader of the #milifandom movement, which aims to challenge the way the media portrays Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party, pictured below. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “conservative outlets have been relentless in their pursuit of the 45-year-old Oxford graduate, variously labelling [Miliband] ‘Red Ed’, ‘Numpty-dumpty’ and ‘Calamity Ed’. Last year he was even pilloried for failing to eat a bacon sandwich elegantly.”
This could be because of “media mogul” Rupert Murdoch, who is often “touted as the kingmaker in British politics,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald. But Abby and her movement is determined to change that. “We just want to change opinions so people don’t just see the media’s usual distorted portrayal of [Miliband]–and actually see him for who he is,” Abby told Buzzfeed News earlier last month. “Ed is just a great guy and how many other politicians have a fandom? 0.”
Abby’s Twitter account, which is almost entirely dedicated to promoting the #milifandom movement and unofficial campaigning for Miliband, now has over 26,000 followers and counting.
Thousands of young Miliband fans have been tweeting their support, combining the #miliband trend with their fave fandoms (pretty brilliant, IMHO):
Now, if this just seems like a typical fandom of teens, think again. Last Wednesday, journalists at The Sun, a tabloid newspaper published by a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, came to both her parents’ home and her grandmother’s within a 24-hour period, despite the fact that Abby had not disclosed her location or even her surname.
One journalist from The Sun tweeted at Abby saying that they got her address from the electoral register, but since Abby is only 17, she wouldn’t be on it. “[I was] just confused about how they got my address so quick when I had posted no information and clearly said I wasn’t giving interviews and am technically still a child,” she told Buzzfeed News on Sunday.
So pretty much, it seems as though the big wig Murdoch has become so threatened by this 17-year-old girl that he’s sending journalists to her door. And it’s pretty much risen her to heroine status.
The controversy with The Sun has proved as an excellent way to gain #milifandom awareness. The movement has skyrocketed, to the point where Miliband himself has called Abby up to thank her for her support (to her great pleasure):
No matter where your political allegiances lie, there’s no denying that Abby is an amazing powerhouse and an inspiration for teen girls everywhere. She’s making waves where normally only white, older men have a voice (unfortunately), and she’s taking British politics by storm. You go, Abby!
If you want to learn more about the #milifandom movement, check out “Miliband: The Movie,” a four-and-a-half minute clip explaining what the movement’s all about (set to a pretty sweet soundtrack):
Images via Twitter