Thursday, 7 May 2015

Could The Hustings Change People’s Minds?

Natalie Bennett, Nigel Farage, Nick Clegg, David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nicola Sturgeon, Leanne Wood

Well, what do you know- it’s Election day and things are getting tense! All the parties are doing all they can in the final hours to persuade as many people as possible to vote for their party. You may have seen posters around Nonsuch telling you to vote for the different parties- however, were you there on Wednesday lunchtime to watch the Hustings? Nonsuch has adopted the style of the leaders’ debate (some of you may have seen this on television not too long ago.) If you missed it, here’s what happened...

Each of the Nonsuch party representatives attented this debate to give everyone an overview of their pledges and to persuade people to vote for their party. Three topics were discussed in the entire lunch hour (Education, NHS and Economy), everyone had a huge amount to say!

The first topic to be discussed was Education. Now, this election may seem irrelevant and unimportant to the younger generation (i.e: us), however, the elected party will make changes to the education system, affecting all of our lives, including yours. The Green Party, represented by Hannah in year 12, went first and wanted to “scrap tuition fees for universities” and wants all teachers hired to have qualifications. On the other hand, Lib Dem representative Kerry stated that tuition fees for universities could not be reduced as this would result in universities going into debt. Seems like she’s done her research, but has the Green Party considered the universities fund?

The Labour Party representative, Ayah in year 8 seems to have repeated the same pledges that were in fact made in 1936 by the Labour Party, but were not accomplished. This was pointed out by Sophie from the Tories. She has a point- if the Labour Party couldn’t accomplish their promise back then, should we trust them to try again? Sophie also added that “the main problem is deficit, which Labour created.”

The next topic was the NHS and the debate gradually heated up. Both the Lib Dems and the Tories want to fund £8 billion to the NHS by 2020. However, to beat them both in this political race, the Green Party has propsed to fund £12 billion to the NHS. Is this the truth or is this too good to be true? This is the amount the NHS needs to be stable financially, yet it has not been made clear where they are going to get the money from.

An interesting point that was made in this discussion by Ayah was that the NHS was first founded by Labour politician Aneurin Bevan in 1948, July 5th. Ayah repeatedly tried to put her point forward to the other parties that “the NHS was perfect, until the Tories came to power”. The Tories had apparently spent £3 billion pounds, doing nothing but wrecking the NHS, therefore bringing the NHS into this position. Yet, the Tories representative Sophie replied to Ayah saying that the NHS has many “flaws” and could not have been perfect. If it was perfect, then how did these problems arise?

Finally, the representatives came to discuss the UK’s Economy. Lib Dems said that they would borrow less money than the Labour Party and would cut less than the Tories. But is this necessarily a good thing in all cases? Does this mean that funding for the Government will be restricted to improve the country? The Lib Dems wish to re-introduce the Corporation Tax, along with the Green Party. Hannah from the Green Party stated that this was a necessity as they needed “to fund it back to the Government to give to poorer people”.  However, there were replies from other representatives saying that major banks have threatened to move abroad to avoid this Corporation tax. Sophie also pointed out that last year, HSBC, one of the world’s leading banks, had to pay £760 million for the Corportation Tax and were thinking of moving to Dubai or Hong Kong. What are the two other parties going to do about this?

Labour, on the other hand, wanted to focus on the wages of people and one of their pledges is to increase the minimum wage to £8 by 2020 for everyone. Now, this may seem like a good idea for struggling families but why is this not motivating people to vote for Labour? During this debate, Sophie revealed a letter that was sent from the Labour Party to the Chief Secretary saying: “I’m afraid there is no money.” What does this mean for Labour’s future? If Labour comes to power, then there may be no money again, putting the UK at serious financial risk!

The Hustings continued with questions from the audience, including one about the possibility of the parties having to join forces with another. Green Party representative Hannah would rather join with the Lib Dems or Labour not the Tories. Labour was very adamant that it would not join hands with the Tories (which is evident from the conflicts they had during the debate).  The Lib Dems and Tories surprisingly agreed to on a combined leadership if the situation should arise. Is this going to be the result of the Election?

The candidates concluded the Hustings by saying why they believe you should vote for them in the Mock Election. One final remark was made by the Tories when asked why they think Labour is focused on finding faults in the other parties: “The reason why they are criticising every other party is because none of their pledges are any good.”

So who are you going to vote for? Ayah’s Labour Party? Sophie’s Conservatives? Kerry’s Liberal Democrats? Or the Green Party’s representative Hannah? Don’t forget to vote on Thursday lunchtime in the hall!

By SM & TC

No comments:

Post a Comment