This week’s Sunday debate from POI will be slightly different to other weeks.
The editors will not be debating one another on a particular issue or event. Rather, given the upcoming election, they will each write a piece on behalf of their political party.
In these pieces they will discuss why they believe the public should vote for their chosen party, and why their party is the best suited to form Her Majesty’s next government.
Written by Emer Kelly.
A Liberal crosses… over to The Dark Side.
Liberal Brexiteers are not the most represented group of individuals, but I can be certain that there are many of us out there, and all of us are struggling to know who to vote for. According to YouGov, 32% of Lib Dem supporters voted for Brexit, add to this those individuals who voted remain but now believe democratically that Brexit should happen, the result is a considerable proportion of Liberal Democrat supporters!
The Liberal Democrats should not be campaigning for a second referendum. First and foremost because it is not democratic, but also because the institution of the EU in its current form stands against the Liberal Democrats self professed aim ‘to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society’, and fundamentally opposes the values of ‘liberty, equality and community’.
It may seem counterintuitive to think the EU does not create community, but we must remember that the world does not stop at the boarders of the EU, in fact only 7% of the worlds population is inside the European Union. That’s 93% of the worlds population that we are not able to fully engage with due to our constraints from being within the EU, being in the EU cuts us off from the single most useful resource we have, people. On a side note, a proportion of that 93% live in developing countries, countries that could massively benefit from the UK trading with them rather than just dishing out charity support. I will preempt the rebuttal from Remainers that the EU does in fact have low tariffs for trade with developing countries, and this is true in certain circumstances, for example raw coffee beans can be traded with no tariff, but if the producer of those raw coffee beans (outside the EU) wanted to roast them and thus make a decent profit from them, they would be subject to large tariffs. Surely this cannot be fair, or indeed liberal in any sense of the word!
There is a strong case for Brexit as a Liberal Democrat regardless of your views on the EU in and of itself, because as a Democrat, one should believe in democracy, and we voted in a democratic way to leave the EU. Yes, arguments can be made to say the vote was not actually democratic, but these same arguments stand against our general elections, so if you believe in those arguments then you must believe our whole political system is undemocratic, which I do not believe is the case. I wonder what would happen if we had a second referendum and had the same results? Would the Lib Dems continue to argue to block Brexit, could this be the neverendum?
The EU is a privileged fortress which is quite literally for the few, not the many, and I believe the UK should start to engage with globalisation in its truest form by leaving the EU, but this vote really isn’t about Brexiteers and Remainers, it is about pro or anti democracy. This election is about whether we wish to continue to live in a country whereby everyone’s vote is treated equally, or where millions of people are slighted because a few people in positions of power disagree with their view. This is why I will be voting Conservative in the upcoming election, I cannot say that I agree with many of the policies of the Conservatives, but I believe they are upholding democracy at a time when we are in dire need of it.
I plead with everyone who believes in democracy to vote for those who are going to uphold it, yes, in the short run this will mean we may live in a country with less liberal polices in, but it will mean that in the long run we can continue to live in a country with a government that respects the will of the people.
Written by Liberal Editor, Olivia Margaroli
Why vote Conservative?
Undoubtedly this election is about Brexit. By voting conservative you are voting to implement the results of the 2016 democratic referendum by early 2020. Britain can then begin “unleashing its potential”, without being continually weighed down by the endless debates, deals and disruption this delayed Brexit has caused. By voting for the Liberal Democrats, or for Labour you are asking for more referendums, which will only hinder the other areas of progress promised by these parties.
We have already reaped the economic benefits of a conservative Government, through tax cuts, historically low unemployment rates, and the creation of new work opportunities. Under a Conservative Government Britain is likely to continue its economic growth, and this includes the further strengthening of the NHS. Due to the Brexit deadlock, the issues facing the NHS haven’t been getting the necessary attention. By voting Conservative you are voting for an end to this unproductive deadlock, which will intern mean that the government will be able to return its focus to the NHS. Boris has promise a £33.9 billion funding boost for the NHS, as well as the construction of40 new hospitals, and the quicker Brexit happens the quicker these promises can be implemented.
Labour is promising to increase public spending by billions, an unrealistic financial promise which would likely put us back into a familiar recession under the same party. Even the IFS have shown Labour’s promise of £80bn extra in spending is unlikely, and would lead to higher tax rises than they have suggested in their manifesto. Labour are willing to spend millions of taxpayers money to fund their own radical ideological obsessions. The conservatives are aiming on increasing spending on the public sectors which demand it the most, with a 29% increase on NHS spending, £14billion extra for schools, as well as £6.3bn on 2.2 million disadvantaged homes across Britain. Although ambitious, the Conservatives are making fewer, more realistic “promises”.
One important reason that I implore you to vote conservative is down to the security promises made by parties. The conservatives have recognised the dangerous of reoffending rates due to weak sentencing, and have pledged to end the automatic halfway release of prisoners who have committed “serious crimes”. Furthermore they are expanding electronic tagging for prisoners serving time outside jail, in an effort to maximise public safety. Meanwhile Corbyn has openly stated that he doesn’t believe that terrorists should be forced to serve full sentences. This attitude towards the criminal system could create dangerous implications, and threaten the safety of the British public.
Written by Conservative editor, Ellie Roberts.
Why should you vote for Labour?
You should vote Labour this week because the man at the helm and the party behind him are of integrity. Whilst Boris disavows all manner of things he has said and published, Corbyn stands by the actions he has made over his 40-year career in public service. From protesting apartheid and fascism to poverty and unnecessary war, Corbyn has remained steadfast in his convictions and beliefs. Jo Swinson, whilst not a full conservative like some members of her party, voted repeatedly for coalition austerity measures and her leadership is open to a . Corbyn has repeatedly voted against measures that would hurt the poorest in our society, even against his party whip.
If you cannot support the man, instead look to his manifesto. In it are radical progressive reforms that seek to transform our country to a place where food banks, homelessness and insecurity are a thing of the past. A country that makes multinational corporations pay their share and stop their exploitation of our workforce. A country that recognises the ongoing climate crisis, accepts blame and takes actions to put an end to it. One that doesn’t just repeat the mantra of ‘Get Brexit Done’ but has long-lasting forward looking plans to help all.
Instead, hidden in the Conservative manifesto is a blank cheque for broad constitutional reform. It wants to look at “the relationship between the Government, Parliament and the courts; the functioning of the Royal Prerogative” (p.48). With the events of the past year it doesn’t take much to guess what changes in power they want to see. Whilst the Speaker and courts may have been able to stop executive overreach in the past, the Conservatives want to move power from parliament to the government, an affront to our most basic principles of parliamentary sovereignty that they claim to respect.
As with all political dialogue over the last three years, we must finally turn to Brexit. This does not need to be a partisan issue. If you are pro-Brexit, then you still have cause to vote for Labour. I believe that Corbyn is a Eurosceptic, there are many reasons to be, some of which I myself find convincing. As Corbyn has said, he will fight for a deal with the newly minted EU leadership and return this to the people for a final vote. To those who say he must pick a side, there is precedent not to. In the 1975 European Communities referendum, Harold Wilson and his government took no official stance other than to deliver what the people voted for. Three years ago the people voted with the varying positions of soft Brexit to hard all encapsulated within a single side. Now the people can decide fully aware of what they are voting for.
Although I have said that you should vote Labour, under our current electoral system, sometimes you must take political realities into consideration. If you live in a safe seat, you may not be able to see a Labour victory but you should go out and vote as it will help your party get their deposit back. If you live in a Lib Dem/ Tory marginal, you should vote tactically. But pay attention to the polls and previous results as there have been some dodgy leafleting concerning false ‘two horse’ races.
Vote Labour to see a transformed Britain working for the many, not the few.
Written by Labour editor, Daniel Orchard.
This election is a show. We need to think about the future and surprisingly, that means voting Liberal.
Let’s all be honest – British politics is becoming a bit of a joke. Whether it is Jeremy Corbyn taking extension of drug patents to the extreme and claiming that the NHS is being sold, or Boris Johnson and his false promises and abysmal Brexit plan. I won’t lie, Jo Swinson isn’t my favourite. I am saddened by politics at the moment and by my choice of leaders.
So who do you vote for? Honestly, it is not a great choice. It is choosing the lesser of two evils. One thing seems clear at this point in time, one side will lose. When one sides loses, we will see a leadership change… although I worry Jeremy Corbyn might reject this convention for a second time and simply cling onto power.
That is what I am looking to, the future. Who will replace Johnson or Corbyn? I hope for someone at least semi-competent and will lead their party back to the centre. We have to give parties the incentive to return to the centre. We have to prove the median vote is in the centre, not at either side of the political spectrum where out parties will polarise to.
The only way to show that the median vote is in the middle, the only way to give incentive to parties to move to the centre and make liberal labour and conservative MP’s run for party leader, is to show that the voice of Britain is still in the centre. We have to show that we are better, that we have not polarised beyond repair. On election day it is our duty to guide our parties back onto the tracks and back to rebuilding our failing country.
Written by Chief Liberal editor, Max Anderson
A different way of thinking and do not be threatened by the name.
As the Chief Conservative Editor of POI, you might be surprised that I am writing my article this week about the Brexit party. However, since it is less than a week to go before the General Election it is vital that all parties are represented to the voters. Though I will not be voting for the Brexit party, I do hope that this week you allow me to present the Brexit party’s case. All must be heard.
Firstly, if you want Brexit I’ve found the party for you. The Brexit party offers a clean-break Brexit making sure that there is no extension to the transition period. For those tired of the Brexit process, this could be just what you are looking for especially if your current MP is from the Labour party. Instead of Labour’s position of re-negotiation followed by a referendum with Jeremy Corbyn as the neutral presider, a vote for the Brexit party helps the chances of this being stopped and allowing an increased chance of a right-wing Brexit.
Yet don’t let the Brexit party’s name deceive you. There is more to them than meets the eye. In their manifesto, they call on reducing immigration with a points-based system which is also what the Conservatives have committed to. If you are unsure of the Tories, then the Brexit party might be the lesser of two evils. With the further delay and enhanced controversy over the building of HS2 the Brexit party join the Green party in being opposed to the project. Though for different reasons the Brexit party instead plans to use the saved money by upgrading existing lines. The Brexit party is not a one-trick pony and this stance is not a rouge one that’s been magically pulled from a hat.
The Brexit party economic stance is no half-hearted measure either. They want to cut VAT on fuel as well as reducing corporation tax allowing the UK to become an even more accessible and exciting place to set up and run a business. This policy will in their minds create jobs allowing the UK to thrive in a post-Brexit world. These are not far-fetching ideas and to vote for the Brexit party should not be seen as a wasted crazy vote. There are sensible ideas in their manifesto which should not frighten.
Onto other issues, the Brexit party is anti the House of Lords due to its undemocratic nature as well as being pro-creating citizen’s initiatives promising referendums on issues that over 5 million voters sign. The Brexit party makes a clear case for wanting to create a fairer democracy and this should not be overlooked.
I have learned a lot this week and I am thrilled that I have done my article this week on a different party to the one I support. The Brexit party should not be feared. You may disagree with there policies and I disagree with lots of them as well however, they are not a threat. They express a different way of thinking which we must accept and learn from. They are a functioning party with relatively sensible views. So though I urge you to vote for the Conservative party, I do hope that you allow the Brexit party a chance to persuade you. It is only fair.
Written by Chief Conservative editor, Jack Kane.