Politics Editor’s Analysis: What Are Students Offered?

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This generation of young people (you, reading this) are the worst-affected in Britain, since perhaps World War Two. But before you furiously text your grandparents and scream about tuition fees, rocketing rents and Brexit, (before presumably crying at the realisation they don’t know how to use their phone), let’s have a look at what our political overlords have to offer us. Our current (God knows how long Theresa will last, clinging on for dear life, clinging) leaders talk a lot about youth unemployment, graduate prospects and “tackling” our issues. But what does it all mean?

Well, said grandparents would probably tell you that Labour is offering exactly the same as they did back in their day, which can only lead to power cuts, Trotskyite rallies, and the public ownership of your leg. But this is untrue (somewhat). Aside from Jeremy Corbyn’s striking resemblance to a Geography teacher who has somehow stumbled into the House of Commons, and stayed, thinking it was a PTA meeting, he is not as clueless as he seems.

Labour

Labour has a radical (but ‘responsible’, their tagline assures you) manifesto to offer students. They promise an abolition of tuition fees, a return of maintenance grants and that feeling you get when you find a tenner in your back pocket. Labour does announce these policies alongside figures designed to reassure voters of any fears over costing. These figures are estimations based on a variety of factors – and they’ve come under a lot of fire for them. Even when Corbyn was announced as a potential leadership candidate, let alone when he actually became leader, he was the subject of a tirade of abuse and rejection – and his manifesto plans were no different. The impact of Brexit, though, is something to take into consideration, and whilst that could bring financial benefits (???), it could also bring financial downturn. That is the main thing to bear in mind when judging how realistic these policies are.

Conservatives

Now we come onto our government. One has to admire Theresa May. In the current state of affairs, she is clinging on for her political life so fervently, in the way Doctor Who’s face does prior to regeneration. After the vast majority of 16-25 year olds voted overwhelmingly in favour of the proactive and ambitious Corbyn, you might have suspected that Theresa would have something to offer. But alas, like your fridge at uni, she has nothing.  The most change she offered was, completely seriously, a freeze on tuition fees, fees her party tripled. Many would argue this is akin to a thief who, after ransacking your bank account to add 40k+ of debt, expects you to be grateful that they haven’t added any more. Given her long history of U-turns, it is doubtful whether much trust can be placed in this policy, or indeed her.

Of course, the Conservatives would justify this lack of direction, movement (life?!) on student policy by the state of our economy at present. What they have to offer may be a ‘strong and stable’ economy for us to thrive in, and over the last 8 years of Conservative rule, the economy has (slightly) improved.

At the time of writing, the Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable has stated proudly that the Lib Dems were a ‘well-kept secret’ due to their unreported local by-election success. So secret in fact, that you’d forgotten they existed. Their main point on youth employment would not be a focus on the young at all, but more their introduction of a second referendum – this they argue, is what young people crave the most.

 

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Politics Editor, 2nd Year English student. Writes mainly Politics + Opinion,

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