Back in March, I made a list of goals – one of which (number 19 to be exact) was to learn more about politics; and with the General Election being in a matter of weeks, now seems like the perfect time to get educated on who I should be voting for and why. As I’m new to politics, I’m not going to start confusing myself with tons of parties and their jargon – because if I’ve never heard of the “Ulster Unionist Party”, then it’s likely it will have no impact on who I vote for or who becomes the new PM. So I’m going to start off with the basics, discussing the things I care about and what the main two parties (Labour and Conservatives) have said they will do regarding them.
I believe that everyone should have the right to free health care and treatment. I also believe that all those who work for the NHS should be paid well and respected for the service they provide. On this point I believe I’m more suited towards Labour as they discuss investing in resources and staff, whereas the Conservatives third point on “care being free at the point of use” suggests to me that they do intend to charge for healthcare after treatment.
Labour – “Labour will invest in our NHS, to give patients the modern, well-resourced services they need for the 21st century. Labour will ensure that NHS patients get the world-class quality of care they need and that staff are able to deliver the standards that patients expect.”
Conservatives – “The Conservative Party believes in the founding principles of the NHS. First, that the service should meet the needs of everyone, no matter who they are or where they live. Second, that care should be based on clinical need, not the ability to pay. Third, that care should be free at the point of use.“
Having left 4 years of University with over £40,000 worth of debt in student loans, I understand that the financial issues caused by further education can be a huge stress. I’m not saying that further education should be free as it is an investment in “future you” and by paying, it shows your commitment to the course; but £9,000 tuition fees is beyond a joke. I think with this point I am happy with reasoning from both parties as I agree with Labour reintroducing maintenance grants and I agree with Conservatives for pushing Universities who charge the maximum tuition fees to give back to students and the community.
Labour – “Labour will reintroduce maintenance grants for university students, and we will abolish university tuition fees. University tuition is free in many northern European countries, and under a Labour government it will be free here too.“
Conservatives – “We will make it a condition for universities hoping to charge maximum tuition fees to become involved in academy sponsorship or the founding of free schools. We will introduce new funding arrangements so we can open a specialist maths school in every major city in England.“
I hated the idea of BREXIT for a number of reasons, some being as important as the value of the pound and trading, and some as minor as my own laziness not wanting to deal with visas for Europe trips. Either way, I want the best possible deal in BREXIT. With this point I believe I fit more with Labour’s views because they want to retain as many EU benefits as possible.
Labour – “We will scrap the Conservatives’ Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union – which are essential for maintaining industries, jobs and businesses in Britain. Labour will always put jobs and the economy first.“
Conservatives – “As we leave the European Union, we will no longer be members of the single market or customs union but we will seek a deep and special partnership including a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement. “
From the points made on healthcare, education and BREXIT, this June I will be voting for the Labour Party. But no matter what side of the fence you sit on, it’s important you vote in the General Election on June 8th!