General Election 2017 Debate

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avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20177:06 pm

Good evening, welcome to the Wessex Scene’s coverage of the Union’s General Election Debate between representatives of our university’s political societies. They will be debating key issues in addition to answering questions from the audience assembled here at the Bridge.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:13 pm

To commence, the opening statements from each speaker – to begin the Conservative speaker Charlie Pound

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:14 pm

Pound already on the frontfoot, already critiquing the shortfalls of the ‘Coalition of Chaos’

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20177:15 pm

Hannah Ashworth is representing the Liberal Democrat party. She opens by discussing the Liberal Democrat’s NHS, Education and Environmental policies.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:19 pm

Finally we hear from the Labour speaker, Charlie Fear, the society’s membership and publicity officer! Fear warns of the danger posed by a weak negotiating position in Brexit, and emphasises revitalisation of the NHS, and education policies

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20177:19 pm

Union President Alex Hovden opens up the floor to questions…

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:20 pm

The first question from Henry Lane, asking the Conservative candidate how best Britain can achieve economic stability in the Brexit period.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:22 pm

Our News Editor Sam Tyler stresses Britain’s continued prioritisation of economic policies, arguing that Brexit does not herald economic implosion.

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20177:23 pm

Hannah Ashworth, the Liberal Democrat representative, warns about the dangers of ending free movement.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:24 pm

Fear stresses that this is not a General Election remaining in a bipolar Remain vs Leave sphere.

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20177:24 pm

Fear accuses the Conservatives of putting ‘party before country’.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:26 pm

Ashworth critiques what voters actually intended when voting Leave, instead suggesting they aimed for a soft, not hard, Brexit… Is Brexit just Brexit?

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20177:28 pm

Pound, says ‘The Lib Dems have a clear position on Brexit, the Conservatives have a clear position on Brexit’, whereas Labour have ‘no clear direction’ for their Brexit plan.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:28 pm

Our second question, also on economics, asks the panel why, with our GDP rising, are people’s wages falling?

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:30 pm

Fear gangs up against the Conservative speaker, pressing him on why only the 1% has got richer

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:32 pm

Ashworth continues this assault, commenting that the pay rise for the 1% disregards nurses within the NHS

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20177:34 pm

The next question from the floor: ‘why, if wages are increasing, is the use of food banks also on the up?’

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20177:35 pm

Fear responding for Labour blames ‘chronic mismanagement of our economy’ for the rise in use of food banks.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:38 pm

“An ethical foreign policy”. Fear warns of the danger of previous Tory trade with unreliable partners.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:40 pm

Fear with another graph, this time targeting “Chronic Tory economic mismanagement”. Labour have certainly come prepared…

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20177:40 pm

A question from the floor asks Labour plainly ‘where is the money coming from?’

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:41 pm

Tyler continues to discuss the merits of a three day week, arguing that Labour are going back to the 70’s.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:43 pm

Pound turns the table, exploiting Labour’s quixotic political manifesto… Money doesn’t grow on trees?

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20177:44 pm

The panel discuss the lib dem’s proposal for a ‘1p tax’.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:46 pm

The debate shifts to our nuclear deterrent, with Fear commenting that if Britain didn’t have Trident, public wealth would rise exponentially.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:51 pm

Returning to economic policies, Pound defends the social care act, commenting that rises in additional funding to our healthcare system has been in accordance with NHS requests

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20177:51 pm

Discussion turns to the parties policies on corporation tax and provisions for small businesses.

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20177:52 pm

Discussion turns to policies on corporation tax and provisions for small businesses.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:52 pm

Ashworth, flustered, dodges the question.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:54 pm

Tyler instead takes charge, pressing Fear over the inadequacies of the ‘Robin Hood Tax’.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:55 pm

Fear admits the Robin Hood tax is idealistic, yet defends Labour’s “realistic” manifesto….

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20177:57 pm

With the interval called, we take the opportunity to catch our breaths

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20178:03 pm

The next round of questions begins with a scathing attack on the tories. Pound is left to defend accusations that the Conservatives are intent on ‘destroying the planet’.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:04 pm

Ashworth highlights the success of the Lib Dem’s Green Deal to encourage greater spending on renewable energy, axed after the 2015 General Election…

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20178:05 pm

Fear is not as sharp on Labour’s environmental policies as on its economic policy. No graphs this side of the break (yet) …

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:08 pm

Clear polarisation on the panel between Pound and Ashworth against Fear, with Ashworth dismissing the impracticality of Labour’s Green Policies.

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20178:08 pm

Fear challenges Lib Dem rep Ashworth, refuting ‘you don’t know what our policy is, but yours is better’.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:11 pm

Fear and Tyler ridicule Ashworth’s lack of environmental policy awareness, despite offering better policies..

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20178:12 pm

Tyler earns a round of applause for defending Labour representative Fear’s commitment to facts and figures (and of course his graphs).

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:13 pm

Go hard or go home. Fear identifies Conservative environmental policies as vote driven – juxtaposed to Labour’s?

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:15 pm

Fear’s fact sheets and graphs fail to recognise the idiosyncrasy of Nottingham’s city council – shocking gap in knowledge

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20178:16 pm

The discussion turns to Labour’s energy policy and re-nationalisation plans.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:20 pm

Lane’s up again, this time enquiring how each party aims to tackle disability, pressing Pound on the Conservatives disregard for those with physical and mental health disabilities

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:22 pm

Pound retorts, declaring Conservatives intend to replace the outdated mental health act, instead offering a system that works for everyone

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20178:22 pm

Ashworth emotionally argues that the Lib Dems are the ‘only party taking mental health seriously’.

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20178:24 pm

Fear argues that ‘mental health is not something we should play political football with’.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:30 pm

Ashworth clarifies that not simply having more staff is essential in effectively tackling mental health, but having trained staff

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20178:34 pm

The discussion turns to the practise of religion in schools.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:34 pm

1 hour 34 minutes and we finally hear this election’s soundbite… Beats Theresa May’s record!

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20178:35 pm

The gates have opened… ‘strong and stable’ echoed twice by the Labour representative.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:36 pm

Quickly followed by the other – Fear observes Theresa May’s internal coalition of chaos amongst Tory backbenchers

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:37 pm

“It’s pot calling the kettle black”. Tyler is quick to amend Fear’s claims, pointing out the current state of the Labour Party.

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:39 pm

Will raising tuition fees again discourage students from applying? Pound claims not…

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20178:43 pm

Fear repeats his criticism of the tories’ ‘chronic management’… a case of deja vu?

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:44 pm

“Empty platitudes”… Fear views the Tory healthcare policy as impractical, particularly when acknowledging May’s tough stance on immigration

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:51 pm

The topic changes to legalisation of cannabis. Both Labour and the Lib Dems declare their intention to de-criminalise illegal drugs, yet legalisation does not resolve the problem of enforcement.

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20178:54 pm

2 hours in, panel still ‘strong and stable’ …

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20178:57 pm

The topic changes to Labour’s ostracised leader, with both Pound and Ashworth taking the easy shot against Corbyn’s leadership

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20179:00 pm

Tyler unaware of the decision to bomb Syria… someone doesn’t keep up to date with Wessex Scene’s international coverage

avatar Zélie Seddon May 15, 20179:01 pm

And that brings tonight’s debate to a close…

avatar Kieran Hyland May 15, 20179:02 pm

Debate Winner? Stalemate. It was certainly more equal than most election polls predict…

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Online Manager 2016-17. Physics with Astronomy Student.

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