Yay or Nay? Interview 3

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‘It just makes sense’, says Matthew Quinn. As president of the Stop AIDS Society, Quinn thought it was a good idea to bring the Robin Hood Tax to Southampton University. As the name suggests, money in the form of a tax from rich nations is given to poorer nations to help tackle poverty, climate, educational and health issues. This could raise up to £250bn. All this with just a tax of 0.05% placed on all financial transactions. In the last of the yay or nay interviews, Quinn imparts his views on the elections.

Are you going to vote? Yes I am, the last 3 years of uni I’ve become more and more interested in politics and the issues we have to address domestically and internationally. This is the best way to make a difference…more important than any amount of political lobbying.

Do you know where to vote?
I do… but I am voting by post anyway.

Will who wins affect you?
YES YES YES! every party wants a different tax system/welfare system/international development system…..It’s kinda scary how important this election is.


The idea of a prime ministerial debate?
The idea is brilliant. I find it really odd that these have been the first ever. I am also a US citizen and debates are a fundamental piece to the elections.

The reality of the prime ministerial debate? Agitating to no end. I think some parties only had one set of points and there was a lot of empty rhetoric that reminds me of Obama…which hasn’t done the US a lot of favours. I think the right questions weren’t asked.
Were you distracted by the candidates’ ties/make up/newly bought suits? Come to think of it I was! I remember staring at Clegg’s fluro yellow tie :D. I don’t think I was misled by their outfits though.

David Cameron, Prime Minister? Yes please. The conservatives HAVE changed. Many people think they are out to reward “the rich” and hurt “the poor” but their policies make sense. Cameron is a brilliant speaker, he’s young, enthusiastic and knows his stuff. I don’t think right now is the time for a cut in inheritance tax though.

Gordon Brown, still Prime Minister?
No thank you. Too little too late for me. Why is our deficit so big? Why hasn’t the House of Lords and Commons been reformed yet? He wasn’t elected to lead, I don’t think labour needs more time they LITERALLY have had 13 years to change things.

A hung parliament? This doesn’t worry me so much. The UK system isn’t as stubborn as the US, we should still be able to pass the laws we need. It also means that political lobbyists (such as myself) can gain a better leverage on MPs using other MPs support.

The conservatives wanting to create 10,000 new University places in 2010? This idea of “creating” spaces does concern me. It is devaluing degrees. I don’t think that having a degree is as crucial as some assume. There needs to be more jobs for those with the degrees available if there are going to be more people with degrees. There is actually a brain drain with people getting a subsidised degree here and then going to America to start a business. The UK needs to encourage younger and stronger entrepreneurship.

Labour wanting to keep tuition fees?
This is where I am torn. If tuition fees are a barrier to entry to University then there needs to be reform. However, as soon as you make something free there becomes and unlimited demand for it. I know that by investing a little bit into our degrees we feel more ownership of our time here, by realising that I am spending £3000 a year to be here I then realised I had to get the most out of it as possible, and I don’t think I could be more involved here now.

The LibDems wanting to scrap University tuition fees over six years?
Same argument as before however, LibDems haven’t been in power for over 50 years..do they really know how to balance a budget? Where would the billions come from to fund the tuition….and don’t tell me trident, because the trident system employs gizzilions of engineers which would then be out of jobs.

Students not voting on Thursday? Really Really irresponsible. Tuition fees affect us. Taxes affect us. Spending cuts will affect us. Financial reform will affect us. Job creation will affect us. NHS reform will affect us. Education reform will affect us. Welfare reform will affect us. Get off your rump and vote people.

These questions? Very thought provoking. I hope I’ve helped. p.s. (shameful plugging i know) join the FB group : Southampton Supports the Robin Hood Tax

Thank you to all three students Chloe Green, Azeezat Johnson and Matthew Quinn for taking part. Now it’s your turn: Vote!

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