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How does one get a political career?

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    Basically, I was thinking of maybe trying to get into party politics after university? How does one get started? Do you need to have been a member of a party association at university? Many thanks

    Edit: don't really see why this post deserved a neg :confused:
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    (Original post by bunnyonthehill)
    Basically, I was thinking of maybe trying to get into party politics after university? How does one get started? Do you need to have been a member of a party association at university? Many thanks
    It helps. Get involved, network and talk to people.


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    (Original post by LexiswasmyNexis)
    It helps. Get involved, network and talk to people.


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    Worried it might be too late though- I'm a third year
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    It's never too late, you should start by joining one of the parties at uni and then at home you can join your local party. But what sort of job are you hoping to get? It's quite difficult to walk into a job in a party.
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    (Original post by Little Jules)
    It's never too late, you should start by joining one of the parties at uni and then at home you can join your local party. But what sort of job are you hoping to get? It's quite difficult to walk into a job in a party.
    I shall do that Well, I'm quite into economics, so I would have liked something to do with that. I'd quite like to be an MP but I think that would be very tricky to get
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    (Original post by bunnyonthehill)
    I shall do that Well, I'm quite into economics, so I would have liked something to do with that. I'd quite like to be an MP but I think that would be very tricky to get
    It is quite tough, but of course it is doable if you are very committed. Which party, if you don't mind me asking? If you get involved with a party, you could look for jobs in their research teams etc, but they can be pretty tough to get. Or you can look at working in other areas of politics/economics that are not affiliated to a party, such as think tank work. That can be an alternative way in. Although worth noting that you don't need to spend your whole life in politics to be an MP. You can be involved in your local party and volunteering while doing something else, and try to become an MP later on in life.
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    (Original post by Little Jules)
    It is quite tough, but of course it is doable if you are very committed. Which party, if you don't mind me asking? If you get involved with a party, you could look for jobs in their research teams etc, but they can be pretty tough to get. Or you can look at working in other areas of politics/economics that are not affiliated to a party, such as think tank work. That can be an alternative way in. Although worth noting that you don't need to spend your whole life in politics to be an MP. You can be involved in your local party and volunteering while doing something else, and try to become an MP later on in life.
    Oddly appropriate for today, but it would be the Conservatives. I've been a member (when I remember to renew!) since I was 18, but I've always been to wussy to go to AGMs. I like you latter suggestion of working for no particular party. So, does one have to become a councillor first, before one can be an MP?
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    (Original post by bunnyonthehill)
    Oddly appropriate for today, but it would be the Conservatives. I've been a member (when I remember to renew!) since I was 18, but I've always been to wussy to go to AGMs. I like you latter suggestion of working for no particular party. So, does one have to become a councillor first, before one can be an MP?
    Nope, you don't have to be, but sometimes it helps to get your name out there. I think you basically have to apply to central office for the candidate list, get accepted, and then take part in local selection meetings until you get picked for a seat. That can be a pretty tough process, and take a long time - and of course you may end up in a seat that's safe Labour, which isn't much help at all! So it's not easy. But Conservative Future has a lot going on at the moment, so it's worth getting involved - which uni are you at?
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    (Original post by Little Jules)
    Nope, you don't have to be, but sometimes it helps to get your name out there. I think you basically have to apply to central office for the candidate list, get accepted, and then take part in local selection meetings until you get picked for a seat. That can be a pretty tough process, and take a long time - and of course you may end up in a seat that's safe Labour, which isn't much help at all! So it's not easy. But Conservative Future has a lot going on at the moment, so it's worth getting involved - which uni are you at?
    Wow, thanks for all your help I feel encouraged I'm at Lancaster at the moment, but Oxford next year I'm a little scared of OUCA though...
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    (Original post by bunnyonthehill)
    Wow, thanks for all your help I feel encouraged I'm at Lancaster at the moment, but Oxford next year I'm a little scared of OUCA though...
    Hhmm yes, I was/am a bit scared of OUCA too! Good luck with it all!
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    (Original post by bunnyonthehill)
    Oddly appropriate for today, but it would be the Conservatives. I've been a member (when I remember to renew!) since I was 18, but I've always been to wussy to go to AGMs. I like you latter suggestion of working for no particular party. So, does one have to become a councillor first, before one can be an MP?
    The mood coming out of Whitehall and Westminster is that 'professional politicians' are not particularly popular - especially when so many come from a PPE Oxford background.

    The general advice at the moment is to specialise in something that is not explicitly party political - something related to a specific problem or issue that you would like to help tackle as a future politician. This could be something like housing, transport, the natural environment, teaching - the list is huge. What are the career and life experiences that you could draw upon that, as a politician would help you represent future constituents.

    Remember that you don't walk straight into government. On the political route you have to spend time campaigning to get elected to a role (either on a council, an assembly or Parliament) where you are holding an institution to account. This requires a different set of skills to getting into public office where you have a budget to deliver something - such as an executive councillor, an executive mayor or a minister.

    Think too of what the weaknesses of the party that you wish to represent are, and how you might go about compensating for them. For example Labour traditionally have few members with experience of running their own businesses. The Conservatives traditionally have fewer people who work in front line public services or people who are from traditional working class trade union backgrounds, or people who grew up in poverty. What future work and voluntary work experiences could you undertake that could give you insights into parts of society that your party might be blindsided to?
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    (Original post by Little Jules)
    Hhmm yes, I was/am a bit scared of OUCA too! Good luck with it all!
    Ah are you Oxonian?
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    (Original post by Prince Rhyus)
    The mood coming out of Whitehall and Westminster is that 'professional politicians' are not particularly popular - especially when so many come from a PPE Oxford background.

    The general advice at the moment is to specialise in something that is not explicitly party political - something related to a specific problem or issue that you would like to help tackle as a future politician. This could be something like housing, transport, the natural environment, teaching - the list is huge. What are the career and life experiences that you could draw upon that, as a politician would help you represent future constituents.

    Remember that you don't walk straight into government. On the political route you have to spend time campaigning to get elected to a role (either on a council, an assembly or Parliament) where you are holding an institution to account. This requires a different set of skills to getting into public office where you have a budget to deliver something - such as an executive councillor, an executive mayor or a minister.

    Think too of what the weaknesses of the party that you wish to represent are, and how you might go about compensating for them. For example Labour traditionally have few members with experience of running their own businesses. The Conservatives traditionally have fewer people who work in front line public services or people who are from traditional working class trade union backgrounds, or people who grew up in poverty. What future work and voluntary work experiences could you undertake that could give you insights into parts of society that your party might be blindsided to?
    That's all very helpful- thank you so much for taking the time to write so much useful advice

    I think, then, my next step is to get more involved at university level, and see about joining at a local level when I've finished my education
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    In the near future it will probably be through some sort of X-factor style selection process.
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    (Original post by bunnyonthehill)
    Ah are you Oxonian?
    I did my masters there, after a degree at Leeds.
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    (Original post by Little Jules)
    I did my masters there, after a degree at Leeds.
    Awesome Which college?
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    (Original post by bunnyonthehill)
    Awesome Which college?
    T'was great - I loved Oxford. Hard work though! I was at Queen's. Small and beautiful which are you?
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    (Original post by Little Jules)
    T'was great - I loved Oxford. Hard work though! I was at Queen's. Small and beautiful which are you?
    Yes, I am rather frightened for what next year might bring! I don't know yet, but I applied to Oriel

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