Hello, we’re back and back with a vengeance. Back to the lovely short PMQ’s we know so well, no more back and forth over shared platforms and local elections, even if Mr. Neil did try and cut it short before we talked about football (god forbid)
We are officially in the month of the EU referendum, which is forecasted to be one of the closest results we will ever see. With Brexit threatening to split up the conservatives, many voters still undecided, and the ‘remain’ campaign joining forces across unlikely political channels, you’d be forgiven for thinking DavCam and Jez might be able to put things behind them and act like a diplomatic team for the sake of the country, but you would be mistaken. Although Dave does keep trying to get Jeremy on his team, he is, in fact, having none of it; accusing him instead of choosing an employment minister who is in disagreement with his views on the EU. A lot of BritIN (a brilliant re-wording thanks to my dear friend Jake Bamonte) supporters could seem a bit frustrated with Jeremy’s tactics, perhaps he should be veering a bit more towards the Machiavellian side of politics, ie playing up to the public a little more, but if you actually think this all the way through, it makes no sense.
Jeremy has often been berated by his opponents for not having a strong enough political agenda, and he doesn’t act tactically or politically enough – but realistically that’s exactly why he was elected and why his popularity on that level doesn’t dwindle. He showed his supporters today that he is not going to bow down to peer pressure and buddy up to Cameron just because they currently want the same thing, he is taking a strong stand on his position, without failing to keep Cameron in check at the same time. An alliance for the sake of face would be sure to come back to bite him later on, the best game he has is really not to play one.
The first major issue that was brought up was the possibility of extending the voter registration deadline due to the fact that the gov.uk website crashed in its final hour, due to overwhelming traffic. I actually have a lot to say about this, not mainly due to what was said in the lower house – which FYI was just about the possibility of creating an emergency law in order to extend the deadline, giving everybody the fair chance to vote, and has been approved, registration is open until midnight on the 9th, click here to register) – but mainly due to what was said in reference to the deadline on the daily politics by Andrew Neil and others – and to be quite frank it makes me so angry I can barely write it.
The comments were incredibly patronising and I found them quite rude. It was the insinuation that if you hadn’t already registered, and you were registering at the last minute should it really be just tough luck, and you should have done it earlier, or been more prepared etc. He also draws reference to the fact that most of the surge of voters were under 34, and the assumption that most of the voters in this category would most likely vote to remain. I don’t know if he was just playing devils advocate or not (BBC and most other major news organisations seem to be playing up to the ‘leave’ camp) but in my opinion, these comments came across as propaganda for brexit. A deadline is a deadline – ask any journalist or student for that matter. What is the point of having one if it will not be honoured? There’s a set amount of time to register, and people should not be penalised or belittled just because they used up the complete amount of time allocated. If you don’t believe in deadlines you might as well send a registration link to your mates, maybe letting it trickle down till all the ‘important’ people have registered. Publicising comments like this are dangerous – you cannot examine the importance of the electorates opinion just because some are more involved with the campaign than others, and you definitely cannot play up to the stereotypical opinion that the youth are flimsy and unorganised, those kind of remarks are seriously damaging to the legitimacy of democracy.
An interesting idea that was brought up by the SNP rebel rouser during this session was the idea of security. There has never been an armed conflict between EU member states- conflict deterrence being the main reason it was created in the first place post World War II – and the threat of our security could hang in the balance being a non-EU state. The fact that is was brought up by the SNP was interesting enough, being that David Cameron did not originally bring them up as part of his misfit band of merry men and women, yet the Scottish referendum result was largely influenced by the UK’s position in the EU.
On the subject of education, Universities in general, are pro-remain. Universities get a certain amount of economic advantages and funding from staying in the EU, not to mention a great influx of students from all over Europe. Without the possibility of this free movement, this could cause a panic in the education system, including higher fees for UK students (even though the conservative party want to do this anyway – constantly set on hurting the youth) not to mention the possibility of British students to study abroad (usually for lower prices or even for free) would become increasingly more difficult.
The last point I want to make is based on the subject of everyone’s most disliked mate, immigration. The subject of immigration comes up again and again, and most usually in the subject of our services. Brexit likes to tell us that EU immigrants are using up our services, they shouldn’t be entitled to what we have and that leaving the EU in general is better for the NHS. I really don’t know how they got this assumption, but first of let me just mention that there are a vast amount of people, of all ages, living abroad on an EU citizenship, and they are able to use the services in that country just as EU immigrants here. Why are people so obsessed with the idea that we are the centre of the universe? We are nothing but a tiny island with a flawed historical past who still thinks they control the world. We are not – the EU was created after a devastating point in history to ensure that a war as big as the last one would not happen again, and exiting this community would not only be a blow for advocates of universal human rights (as I believe we all are) but it would make us a lonely dot on the outside of the international community.