"we have to engage with politics" – novelist delivers a powerful manifesto on people power

Taken from new magazine PUSH, Novelist delivers a short essay on how you can't opt out of the system.

by i-D Staff
22 May 2017, 11:45am

With less than 12 hours left to register to vote, it's all hands on deck to get the votes that particularly count - those of young people. Leading the charge today is Lewisham's Novelist, who has penned a short essay on the power of engaging politically.

Featured on the cover of PUSH, a new bi-monthly created by grime photographer Vicky Grout and journalist Grant Brydon, Nov delivers his own manifesto; a call for people to stand up and be counted.

Read Novelist's call to arms below, and if you haven't already, make sure you register to vote before 12am tonight.

Read: Lewisham's Novelist is the future of grime, taken from i-D's Music Issue, 2015

"First things first. You can't avoid the system. No one can avoid the system. You're not avoiding the system if you choose not to vote, you're still a part of it whether you like it or not. Because you know what? The people who get up and vote, they have the power to control the system.

I don't look at politics like a separate part of life. I look at it in the same way I view going to the shops. It's something that we all have to be involved in. You've got to go to the shops if you want to eat, or what are you going to do? Go to the forest and start hunting? That's not our normal lifestyle and it's the same with politics. You can't avoid politics by opting out; it doesn't work like that. We don't have the means to start a new society, we need to control where we're from. We need try to influence it for the betterment of the people, rather than for the sake of the richest 1%.

This is why I'm an advocate for Jeremy Corbyn, because he is an advocate for that same message. It's not even necessarily that I care about Labour, but I know that Corbyn possesses a sense of decency that I rarely see in politicians. I relate to the things that he speaks on and how he articulates himself. He doesn't try to confuse the general public -- he connects with them. There are a lot of politicians that speak purposefully to distance themselves from the average person, which helps them get away with so many things. Corbyn makes it very simple; he speaks plainly and in a way that everyone can understand.

It's not even that knowledge is power; wisdom is power, because wisdom is deeper than knowledge. If you don't know all of the facts, and you don't know all of the policies, find the time. And, at the very least, make sure you know what's going on in your area and in your life. I feel like I have a duty to encourage my peers to vote. I hope that if they can see how easy it is, and how important it is, that they will get out and spend the five minutes that it takes to register to vote.

I see politics the same way I see everything in life; whether it's faith, sport, music or law, you've got to study. You have to. If you're not willing to study, you're willing to be a victim. It's time for us to start being in control of our own destiny." -- Novelist

Available around the UK from today, PUSH also features other formidable figures from fashion, music and art, such as Tottenham rapper Oscar #Worldpeace, to Belly Squad, Patta and Radar Radio. Sign up for PUSH issue one here. The first 1000 people to sign up will be sent a copy for free; any issues after will be subject to postage. 

And remember to do what Nov says - register to vote


Text Robbie Russell and Novelist
Photography Vicky Grout

Jeremy Corbyn
General Election
labour party
UK politics
vicky grout
music interviews