- Labour Party and Business: A Difficult Relationship?
- Chameleon Conservative Cameron Shows True Colours
- An Election Reflection for a Majority Minority
- Mhairi Black: Giving Politics a Makeover
- Galloway Threatens Legal Action Over Election Result
- Voter Turnout: What The Numbers Tell Us About The 2015 General Election
- Looking At The Reaction to the Election Explains its Result
- The Polls Were Wrong Because People Lied, it’s That Simple!
- Russell Brand “Resigns” from Politics following General Election Result
- It’s Not The Cold War Anymore, We Don’t Need a Nuclear Deterrent
- The Future of Labour: Who Will Be The Next Leader?
- The Future of the Liberal Democrats: Who Will Be the Next Leader?
- The Future of UKIP: Who Will Be the Next Leader?
- A Tale of Three Ends
- The Tory Legacy
- If the Party Leaders were characters from Friends…who would you vote for?
- The Ten (Well, Six) Commitments: Is Stone Legally Binding?
- Tuition Fees: A Hollow Attempt to Pander to the Student Vote?
- 6,417 Ed Milligrams – What Do You Actually Vote For?
- Boris Johnson to become Gangster Rapper
- Political Engagement: The Calm After the Storm
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Green Party’s John Spottiswoode.
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: TUSC’s Sue Atkins
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, Independent Candidate Chris Daviss
- “I don’t think the Liberal Democrats should be in government just for the sake of it” – An Interview With Nick Clegg
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, TUSC’s Nick Chaffey
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Conservative’s Jeremy Moulton.
- Should Young People Be Made To Vote?
- The Nationalist Parties
- No Votes for Women?
- None of the Political Candidates Ticking Your Box? There is Another Option.
- The Other Parties
- Liberal Democrats Party Profile
- The Green Party
- Labour Party Profile
- In Defence of the Coalition
- Why Labour Should Win the Election But Won’t
- The Protest Vote: The Weapon of the Disenfranchised.
- Why Young People Must Use Their Vote
- An Interview With Natalie Bennett
- What Will a Multi-Party System Mean for Britain?
- Tuition Fees: Must Try Harder Ed
- Science and Policy
- This Election is Far Bigger Than Party Politics
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: Ian Callaghan, Green Party
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: Lib Dem’s Adrian Ford
- Paliamentary Candidate Interview – Labour’s Darren Paffey
- Parliamentary Candidates Interviews: Lib Dem’s Eleanor Bell
- TV Debates: The Crucifixion of David Cameron
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview – Labour’s Rowenna Davis
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, the Green Party’s Angela Mawle
- Can We Trust Politicians Who Act Like Schoolchildren?
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview – UKIP’s Sandra James
- Manifesto Focus: Labour
- Why Nuclear Weapons Are Imperative For The UK’s Security
- Southampton’s Role in the General Election Should Not Be Overshadowed by a Sausage Roll
- Just When You Thought UKIP Couldn’t Do Anything Right…
- What the Hell Do You Want?
- Which Political Leader Are You?
- The EU: To Be or Not To Be
- Your 2015 General Election Candidates
- What a Silly Sausage: Southampton UKIP Candidate Accused of Bribery
- UKIP Party Profile
- Conservative Party Profile
- The Leaders Debate: The Insurgents, The Pretender & The Incumbent
- SUPA’s Short and Sweet Guide to Voting on 7th May
- TV Debate: Clash of the Titans
- Leaders Debate Brings Hope For Progressive Politics
- TV Debates: David Cameron and Ed Miliband Versus Britain
- 14,000 Voters Missing From Electoral Role in Southampton – Register to Vote Now!
- Men’s Rights Party Set To Contest in General Elections
- A Royal Coup? – Queen Guitarist Brian May Considering Standing for Election
- Debating Over Debates
- Galloway Demands Inclusion in TV Debates
- The General Election 2015 – A Disunited Kingdom?
- 99 Days To Go: The Most Unpredictable Election Yet!
- Poll Indicates Demand for Green Party to be Included in Election Debates
- Have You Registered To Vote?
- Is Sol Campbell running for Parliament?
- Salmond to Stand as MP
- Students May Hold the Key!
- The Green Party Should Not Be Included in the 2015 General Election Debates
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Alan Whitehead MP
- What’s at Stake for Students in the General Election?
- It’s Time For Politicians To Get Down With The Kids
- The Debates Debate
- Who Will Run The Country in 2015?
- New Year, New Government? New Politics?
- Newly Elected Itchen MP Accused of Helping UKIP Secure Labour Votes
Thursday night’s debate covered a wide range of issues, from government spending to housing to the event of a hung parliament. But the one thing that stood out amongst the sometimes very heated disagreements was a seemingly unanimous condemnation of David Cameron and his coalition. Condemnations that David Cameron was not there to rebuke.
What was supposed to be a one and a half hour opposition debate turned into a one and a half hour character assassination of the Tories. Each party spearheaded their own unique blend on running the country and each party contrasted their answer to the nation’s problems with the Tory-Lib Dem coalition’s failures.
“took a page out of David Cameron’s book”
Ed Miliband seemingly, and justly, took a page out of David Cameron’s book and blamed the Tories for every issue raised. He condemned Cameron for his policy of austerity and held it responsible for nearly all the problems posed by the audience, principally, social housing and public services. He attacked the coalition for its broken promises and as has become a stock answer, on more than one occasion refused to make promises for fear of not being able to deliver. Miliband seemed to really attack the belief of dishonesty amongst politicians, as this election has seen the issue of public trust in their MPs take a centre stage for those considering either not to vote or protest vote. Miliband again continued his campaign to disprove doubts of his character but his performance was noted to be very Blair-esque.
“also had a fair bit of criticism for Ed Miliband”
Leanne Wood once again stood up for Wales and she pushed at every opportunity the damning effects of austerity on the Welsh. She criticised Cameron and the other parties for putting a deadline on cutting the deficit and seemingly conveyed a feeling of abandonment in Wales. However she also had a fair bit of criticism for Ed Miliband and his Labour party, once again attacking their track record and refusal to grant economic parity for Wales with Scotland. Her most notable performance was her defiance of the right to buy scheme in Wales, vowing to allow the Welsh councils the power to overturn the scheme in their constituents. Her performance was strong but one was left with a feeling that her presence was dim in the light of the other opposition leaders.
“I found myself torn between the Greens”
Natalie Bennett, despite being in the centre, could not have been leaning any more left else she’d have fallen over. She criticised David Cameron’s government for its abandonment of the most vulnerable through its austerity measures. In every issue raised she proposed to increase spending, from housing to public service and every issue in between that has suffered austerity, she proposed spending increase. In fact the only thing she seemed to support of the Conservative Party was its current defence spending (minus trident). Bennett championed a truly utopian social revolution which would need to completely reverse nearly all of the Coalition’s policies. However I found myself torn between the Greens, on the one hand I felt sucked in by her espousal of positive social change and support of a fairer, better Britain with a seemingly bright future and the fact that it seems the only way the Greens could ever possibly hope to achieve these goals would be to tax the nation dry.
“She’s confident and controversial, she’s patriotic but has an appeal to those outside Scotland”
Nicola Sturgeon made her disdain for the Conservatives absolutely clear. She championed a policy of modest spending increase and stated that a slower reduction of the deficit was needed to improve overall quality of life in the UK. She labelled Ed Miliband and the Labour party ‘Tory-lite’ and warned that if Miliband allowed Cameron to get into power by not working with the SNP the public would ‘never forgive’ the Labour party. She received large applause for the declaration, as well as her condemnation of the right-to-buy scheme as the ‘worst idea’ for housing and rebuked Nigel Farage and his immigration policies stating the nation needed to be pragmatic not ideological. Sturgeon has become a real dark horse in the General Election campaign, with a growing support base south of ‘Hadrian’s wall’. She’s confident and controversial, she’s patriotic but has an appeal to those outside Scotland. It will be interesting to see how she deals with this growing support across the United Kingdom in the future.
“a refreshing change from his anti-EU rhetoric”
Nigel Farage too hammered the Conservatives. It will shock nobody to find out that his biggest qualms with Cameron was his continued membership of the EU and all the detrimental effects he believes come with it. From the EU he linked all the major issues, public housing, spending, immigration and even the military. His argument for Trident and the military spending increase was perhaps his strongest, not because he didn’t support his other arguments with evidence, but because it was a refreshing change from his anti-EU rhetoric. His call for a brown field revolution and his reform of the Barnett formula were also notable policies he put forward. His supply and demand analysis of the effects of immigration on housing and his critique of the audience however did not go down well and his rebuke from David Dimbleby cast Farage in a very weak shadow. However UKIP’s rise has been the most noted and it would be foolish to cast him aside, something Leanne Wood and Natalie Bennett did at the end of the debate as they ignored him while they all shook hands, which personally came across extremely rude.
To go full circle. there was a lot of cross party examination and picking apart of one another’s policies in sometimes heated manners (Natalie Bennett scaring Miliband from talking offered some comic relief), however the real loser of the debate was David Cameron. Every party picked apart Cameron’s policies and with 4.3 million tuning into watch the debate, the Conservatives left themselves completely defenceless. Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems got off lightly, but then that is perhaps revealing of the Lib Dem’s position in British politics, watching the debate one could be forgiven for forgetting about Clegg and his party and perhaps that goes some way into foreshadowing the election results. With a seemingly unanimous desire to work with the Labour party to stop the Tories getting into power (even UKIP admitting it could have worked with Miliband), the opposition debate was more of a lynching of the Tories and a crucifixion of David Cameron.