Ahead of next month’s general election, Epigram asked the University of Bristol’s politics societies to make the case for their parties. Here Liam Smyth tells us why Labour will be getting his vote…
Well that came as quite a surprise, didn’t it? Yet again, the ‘strong and stable’ Conservatives have decided to prove just how strong and stable their leadership is by dragging the country to the polls for the third time in as many years, after a succession of bad decisions have led (ironically) to some of the most destabilising and divisive governance since at least the late- seventies. Received wisdom is that Theresa May has called this election in response to the perceived electoral weakness of the Labour party. It is clear, however, that there is more at stake in this election than at any other in recent political memory – and predictions of a Tory landslide are grossly premature.
— Thangam Debbonaire (@ThangamMP) April 29, 2017
In reality, this election is all about Brexit. In effect this is our second referendum. The future prosperity, stability and, indeed, continued existence of the United Kingdom will be decided on the 8th of June. Britain is leaving the European Union – that much is true – but precisely how we leave is still to be decided.
Theresa May has claimed that she is going to the polls to secure a mandate for her adamantine Brexit, encased in a depleted uranium shell. 52 per cent of the electorate may well have voted to leave the European Union. They did not vote for economic collapse, the shredding of legislation which protects workers and the environment, or the Farage-lite xenophobia of the Conservative ‘vision’ of Brexit. The Labour party will not seek to overturn the democratic result of the referendum. Instead, it will campaign for a Brexit that works for all – students, workers, and our European friends, colleagues and neighbours.
— Labour Students (@LabourStudents) May 8, 2017
A vote for Labour on the 8th of June is a vote for true stability, strength and internationalism. Whilst the Conservatives seek to appease the far-right of their own party, and the Lib Dems seek to overturn the referendum result, Labour will seek to govern in the interests of all. Policies such as a £10 an hour minimum wage, reversal of cuts to corporation tax, re-nationalisation of the NHS and our transport infrastructure, building affordable new homes, and free school meals for all primary school children will improve the lives of everyone living within the UK – particularly those who have been left behind by the divisive governments of Cameron, Clegg and May.
The Conservatives love to trade in soundbites: ‘Strong and Stable’ leadership, ‘Long term’ economic plans, ‘hardworking people’, and ‘coalitions of chaos’. While this may make a great drinking game (anyone who’s played Roxanne will be able to guess that a round of Tory buzzword bingo during an episode of Question Time gets messy pretty quickly) the reality in the cold light of day is rather different. Seven years of Tory rule has tripled the national debt, dragged us out of the European Union, and nearly led to the breakup of the United Kingdom – twice. If one thing is clear, it is that the politics of austerity have utterly failed, granting tax cuts to the wealthy, while working families are forced out of their homes in record numbers.
It is vital, then, that students register to vote and make sure their voices are heard. With esteemed Hillsborough survivor/academic/spaceman Paul Nuttall driving the purple banter bus, Tim ‘gay sex is a sin’ Farron flying the flag for the Lib Dems and the nasty party (ironically) back with a vengeance under May, our choice on June 8th couldn’t be clearer – a strong government, working in the interests of all under Jeremy Corbyn and Labour, or Theresa May implementing a manifesto that Farage himself would be proud of. This election is a once in a generation chance to make sure our voices are heard, and secure the future prosperity of the United Kingdom – let’s make sure the Tories can’t jeopardise that with soundbites, and work together to make June the end of May.