Latest Posts


Pressure groups – UK uncut

UK uncut, a movement which started in 2010, have raised awareness about tax dodging and its implications- before UK uncut tax dodging was not a central issue in British politics. UK uncut engage in non violent action, by peacefully occupying tax dodgers’ businesses and in addition bringing to light the public services which are being cut as a result of insufficient government revenue from tax. UK uncut have brought to our awareness the fact that tax avoidance by corporations and the rich cost the UK public exchequer £95bn a year – suffice to say a significant amount.
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Corbyn’s Labour Shadow Cabinet


Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet is one like we’ve never seen before, comprising of MP’s from diverging ends of the left wing spectrum of politics. He has appointed a cabinet that to some extent can be viewed as a milestone for gender equality in British politics with female ministers outnumbering male ministers 16 to 15 but at the same time it has been denounced for assigning women to mediocre or ‘junior’ positions. However, despite the new found egalitarianism on the grounds of gender there remains a significant under-representation of ethnic minorities with only 3 of the 31 shadow ministers coming from black or Asian backgrounds. Corbyn’s cabinet is also far older than its predecessors, with an average age of 53 as well as consisting of more previously rebellious MPs, with Corbyn himself having defied the party whip over 500 times and John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, having done so 469 times since 1997.

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What are the implications of bipolarity on world order?

Bipolarity is a system of world order where two overwhelmingly strong powers dominate international relations. A bi-polar world emerged after 1945 where two disproportionately powerful powers developed. The USA and then the USSR had formidable military power, specifically atomic power and their ability to influence world events stemmed, in part, because of their willingness to utilise it to coerce global events in their favour. A bipolar world order differs from a multi-polar world, the world prior to 1945 where you had a number of Great Powers that vied for international supremacy. Bipolarity is seen, especially by Realists, as a recipe for stability. Read More


Why has the US not intervened in Syria – Realist Explanations

The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing civil war between the armed forces of the government, led by President Bashar al-Assad and his allies, and a broad range of opposition groups, from the moderate Free Syrian Army to the extremist Islamists in the Al-Nusra Front. Additionally ISIS (whose aim is to create an Islamic State combining Iraq and Syria) have taken advantage of the chaos in the region, taking control of ⅓ of Syria and most of the oil supplies. ISIS support neither the opposition nor the government. The war has created a humanitarian crisis- an estimated 200,000 people have died (roughly 1% of the population), and 7.6 million have been displaced. Recently many of these displaced people have been seeking refuge in Europe, causing chaos in the borderless Schengen area and thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean Sea. There are clear, liberal reasons to use military force to stop this civil war and end the suffering. Since the Syrian regime is unpleasant and undemocratic, the liberals would argue we should intervene to help the opposition and help them establish a new, democratic and secular government. From a realist perspective there are a number of drawbacks.

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Divisions within the Conservative Party

There is a fundamental division that exists within The Conservative party. The party leadership is dominated by the modernisers, those MPs gathered around Cameron that see the Conservative Party as the natural centre ground. Osborne is a key moderniser and his recent speech to the Tory conference was seen to be treading on traditional New Labour territory. However, the party also consists of a number of fundamentalist right wingers that believe in leaving the EU, imposing stricter regulations on immigration and moreover scrapping the Human Rights Act, which is manifesting itself in the showdown that is the EU referendum, set to be held by May 2017. Read More


51 of the largest economies are corporations? The Misleading statistic that won’t die.

In the Year 2000 a study by Sarah Anderson and John Cavanagh  made global headlines when it claimed  that “Of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are now global corporations; only 49 are countries”.  This statistic has since entrenched itself into foreign policy discourse- without any critical analysis of how this statistic came to be true.

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Alevelpolitics has a podcast

Hello All

Myself, Nagina, Lola and Alfie have begun a podcast relating to A2 Global Politics. As of October 2015 we aim to upload a 15 minute discussion of issues and concepts. It will be uploaded every week on ITUNES  (Not soundcloud as previous versions of this post may indicate).


Link here

So far we have done one podcast on the subject of the Migration crisis in the Med and another on realism in international relations. Another- on liberal international relations theory- will be available soon.


If you wish to get involved in the podcast please contact me ( or Jal Patel. No experience required!!


What is the Iran deal and why is it controversial?

The Iran deal (or more formally the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) is a deal on the nuclear programme of Iran signed in Vienna on the 14th July 2015. It was signed by the 5 Permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany, the European Union and Iran. It requires Iran to eliminate 100% of its medium enriched uranium, 98% of its low enriched uranium and ⅔ of its centrifuges. In return America will return roughly $100 billion of frozen assets to the Iranian regime, but will continue some sanctions against Iran on the grounds of human rights. The provisions on uranium will last 10 years and those on plutonium will last 15 years. After this time period Iran will be free to pursue a potential military nuclear programme, unless another deal is reached in that time. In short this deal allows Iran to keep a small nuclear programme for civilian energy purposes, while (hopefully ensuring) it never attains a nuclear weapon. Read More


Video: The Realist Henry Kissinger on Foreign Policy and the Art of Diplomacy (1994)

Published on 29 Jan 2014

Diplomacy is a 1994 book written by former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. It is a sweep of the history of international relations and the art of diplomacy, largely concentrating on the 20th century and the Western World. Kissinger, as a great believer in the realist school of international relations, focuses strongly upon the concepts of the balance of power in Europe prior to World War I, raison d’État and Realpolitik throughout the ages of diplomatic relations. Kissinger also provides insightful critiques of the counter realist diplomatic tactics of collective security, developed in the Charter of the League of Nations, and self determination, also a principle of the League. Kissinger also examines the use of the sphere of influence arguments put forth by the Soviet Union in Eastern and Southern Europe after World War II; an argument that has been maintained by contemporary Russian foreign relations with regard to Ukraine, Georgia and other former Soviet satellites in Central Asia.

The history begins in Europe in the 17th century, but quickly advances up to the World Wars and then the Cold War. Kissinger refers to himself numerous times in the book, especially when recounting the Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford presidencies.
Kissinger dedicated the book to the men and women of the United States Foreign Service.

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Video: Assessing the Iran Nuclear Accord – John Kerry



U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry joins CFR President Richard N. Haass to discuss the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran's nuclear program. Kerry begins by outlining the technical restrictions on Iran's nuclear program, claiming that they considerably lengthen the amount of time it would take for the country to amass enough fissile material for a single nuclear bomb. He notes that given the alternative, which almost certainly entails war, this deal is in the best interest of the United States and countries in the region, including Israel. Over the course of the conversation, Kerry rebuts arguments commonly put forward by critics of the JCPOA and emphasizes why U.S. legislators should vote in support of the deal, allowing implementation to move forward. Read More


The Group of Seven (G7)

Taken from CFR Backgrounders



The Group of Seven (G7) is an informal bloc of industrialized democracies–the United States, Canada France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom–that meets annually to discuss issues such as global economic governance, international security, and energy policy. Proponents say the forum’s small and relatively homogenous membership promotes collective decision making, but critics note that it often lacks follow through and excludes important emerging powers.


Russia belonged to the forum from 1998 through 2014–then the Group of Eight (G8)–but was suspended after its annexation of Crimea in March of that year. With tensions over Ukraine deepening, concerns over the eurozone’s economic future growing, and the larger G20 serving as an alternative forum, the future of the G7 bloc is unclear.

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What are the key issues for the British Economy?

The state of the economy has consistently ranked among the top two or three issues for the British electorate during the general election. In a populus poll, 69% of voters said that the economy was ‘very important’, with 92% saying either it was ‘very or fairly’ important. There are several issues that are the main focuses and concerns of the Chancellor and the government as a whole (as well as the shadow chancellor and the opposition). Read More


To what extent have recent governments kept their green promises?

After the inconclusive election in 2010, the coalition’s programme for government had substantially covered the challenge of climate change, some would say as strongly as it talked  about cutting the deficit. On 14 May, three days after becoming prime minister, Cameron went to the Department of Energy and Climate Change to declare his would be “the greenest government ever”. He even appointed himself the department’s “fourth minister”. Yet, Osborne’s cold wall of austerity quickly undermined meaningful green action and the few coalition environmental policies never seemed to truly take effect. Cameron’s off the cuff remark to get rid of  “all the green crap” and his reluctance to prioritise the environment over austerity meant the coalition government had fallen short.

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Video: How effective is Prime Minister’s Question Time?

Go behind the scenes to see how Prime Minister’s Questions really works. With unprecedented access, cameras have been allowed to film in the House of Commons chamber to show what happens at the most high profile event in Parliament each week. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, tells us about his nerves before the event. We learn how an MP gets to ask a question. One way is by a ballot. Another way is by ‘bobbing’, standing up in the chamber to try and be called by the Speaker. Backbench MPs reveal how their parties try to control proceedings, including an email sent out suggesting ‘helpful’ questions. The value of Prime Minister’s Questions divides opinion inside and outside the House of Commons; is it an effective way to scrutinise the government?

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Why is the power of the whips in decline?

The whips are a group of MPs who are in charge of party discipline. It is their job to make sure MPs on their side all vote with the party line. They are notoriously secretive about the way they work and have a reputation for using torture and blackmail against MPs. But here, whips from all three major parties tell us about their role and how it is changing. Labour Chief Whip Rosie Winterton tells us how they try to convince MPs of the merits of the argument. We learn through Conservative Whip Desmond Swayne that they are in charge of what office an MP gets, which can be used to persuade them. Under the coalition government, MPs in this parliament have voted against their party in record numbers. Don Foster, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, tells us how difficult it is as a whip in a coalition, where there is a natural split between the two governing parties. As their job becomes more difficult, is the power of the whips in decline? Read More

Gordon Brown Announces That Budget Will Take Place In Two Weeks Time

How has the UK constitution been challenged since 2010?

How does the House of Commons respond when there is a challenge to Britain’s uncodified constitution? First we look at the prospect of Scottish Independence in September 2014. With the real chance of Scottish people voting to leave the United Kingdom, the way that the House of Commons functions might have to change. Politicians and officials throughout Westminster brace themselves for one of the biggest constitutional shifts the country has seen. The next example is a new law proposed by the government called the ‘Recall Bill’. It allows for MPs to be sacked by their constituents for serious wrongdoing. Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith thinks it doesn’t go far enough and we follow him as he tries to get enough support to challenge the government. What do his proposals mean for democracy? Does it give voters more direct influence on their MP? Or does it make MPs vulnerable to business and lobbying interests? We follow the story right up to the crucial vote in the House of Commons. Read More


To what extent was prioritising deficit reduction a successful policy choice since 2010?

The Coalition government from 2010 until 2015, made up of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, sought to prioritise deficit reduction above all other considerations. This was in the wake of the 2008 global banking crisis which strained the UK economy and heralded the policy of austerity connected closely with the Chancellor Osborne. It was partly successful in creating jobs and some growth but the policy has been controversial. Labour have argued it has not served the least well off, some conservatives have argued it had not reached its intended aim of removing the deficit altogether and it is claimed the government, without acknowledging it publicly, did slow down deficit reduction and prioritise growth after 2013, which stands today at just 0.3% in the last quarter. Read More


Have attempts at constitutional reforms in recent years been driven more by political considerations?

Over the recent years many attempts to reform Britain’s uncodified constitution has been motivated by political reasons, what could be termed low politics. While previous reforms can be, arguably, more aimed at creating a more democratic and codified constitution, most reforms have been nothing more than political tactics to win votes and solidify power. Blair’s Human Rights Act, judicial reform and Freedom of Information Act can be used as examples of constitutional reform aimed at creating a clearer codified constitution that outlines British citizen’s rights, creates a more independent judiciary as well as improving civil liberties. However, these reforms did not go far enough and Cameron’s proposal for boundary changes and further devolution to Northern cities are no more than political strategies to consolidate power. Therefore, attempts at constitutional reform in recent years have been driven more by political considerations than a want for genuine reform. Read More


To what extent have government proposals to reform the constitution been controversial?

In 2011 the coalition introduced the fixed term parliament act as a result of the Coalition agreement,  which in effect meant UK elections are now fixed to the first week in May every five years. This was welcomed by the LibDems, Labour and some Conservatives as the previous system was seen as giving an advantage to the Prime Minister who could call an election at the most advantageous time for them (as was the case under Blair where he called elections in 2001 and 2005, four years into his first and second terms and famously in 2007 when Brown flinched from calling an early election which he would probably have won). The old system would also mean there was always a period of uncertainty as to when an election would be called, this was seen to be bad for economic decision making. However there has also been criticisms to the new reform, some have argued that knowing the date a long time in advance will lead to longer election campaigns, a lack of flexibility and the possibility of a ‘lame duck’ government limping on longer than it should. The last Coalition seemed to have run out of steam in 2014, leaving a year were no real substantial pieces of legislation were presented to parliament. Clegg disputed this, believing that five years was “going with the grain of some of the founding texts of our unwritten constitution”. Despite some disputes against the Act support was given by most parties, with little opposition or disagreement, aside from Conservative back benchers. Read More

ukip s

Divisions in UKIP explained

There seems to be chaos in the ranks of UKIP- a scandal that started off with Farages unresignation and has extended to squabbles over public money, resignations and people denouncing those whom 2 weeks ago they would call allies. As of 17/05/15 this has culminated in Douglas Carswell, the party’s only MP, calling for Nigel Farage to take a short break although no doubt there will be further developments after this article is published
This chaos and confusion has only been exacerbated by a 24 hour news cycle- Thursdays episode of Question Time shedding little light on the situation. Those not fixated by pre-determined attitudes to UKIP are unable to decide whether this is a much talked about pub-brawl that will soon blow over, as most UKIP supporters believe, or a political implosion in the works-as most UKIP detractors believe.
No-one really seems to know what is going on, so one will not comment on the details in particular.
However, with the growing possibility that Farage will no longer be leader of UKIP soon, and with the ongoing discussion of the direction UKIP should take for the 2020 election, this article will discuss the divisions in the party. These divisions are

1. Blue (economically right) vs Red (economically left) UKIP.
2. Socially conservative UKIP vs socially liberal UKIP
3. Peoples army UKIP vs politically correct UKIP

1. Blue (economically right) vs Red (economically left) UKIP.

The face of UKIP for most of it’s history and certainly under the early leadership of Nigel Farage was “Blue UKIP”. Disillusioned Thatcherites in exile who left the Conservative Party and joined UKIP sometime between the signing of Maastricht and the present. Such “Thatcherites in exile” include

1. Nigel Farage himself, a former Conservative Party activist who claims he is ” The only politician keeping the flame of Thatherism alive” and has written in favour of Ms Thatcher in his new book “The Purple Revolution.”

2. Douglas Carswell- who wrote a book called “The Plan” in 2009 alongside Daniel Hannan calling for the NHS to be replaced by a new system of health provision in which people would pay money into personal health accounts which they would use to buy healthcare when they needed it. This would in effect be the dismantling of the NHS as we know it. Since joining UKIP he has changed his mind and supported a fully-nationalized health service.

However Carswell can still be found preaching the virtues of free trade free markets and removing big business from politics. It’s clear that although he has to appeal to working class voters, he is still a Thatcherite at heart.

3. 90% of their money comes from former Tory donors. 

However in their attempt to appeal to working class voters a faction I name “Red UKIP” has been increasingly prominent in the party. These are not Thatcherites in exile, but in fact people disillusioned with Labour and seeking an alternative. Such individuals/ groups include.

1. Alan Sked- A man of the center left who founded the party in 1993 and left it in 1997 and has subsequently founded a party called “New Deal” which describes itself as “a new left-of-centre anti-EU party which he hopes will challenge Labour”. Alan Sked has been critical of the right wing and extremist direction the party has taken under the leadership of Nigel Farage.

2. Patrick O Flynn- The Party’s communications director and economic spokesperson called for an increased in VAT on luxuries- or a “wag” tax at their Autumn conference last year only for the policy to be rejected by Farage instantly. In the controversial interview he did for the BBC he has called for UKIP to be on the “common sense center” of British politics and condemned some of the people close to Farage for promoting an “American Tea Party agenda” such as “gun liberalization” or “scrapping the NHS”- both ideas espoused by Nigel Farage himself in the past.

3. Large numbers of their voters- 73% of whom think the railways ought to be nationalized and 78% of whom think energy companies ought to be nationalized. This puts UKIP voters somewhat to the left of the Labour Party leadership- never mind their own.

2. Socially conservative UKIP vs socially liberal UKIP

One of UKIPs unique selling points is its hostility to what it describes as “open door immigration”. It is clear no-one in the party is going to support open borders. No-one in the party is going to support fascistic closed borders and mass-repatriation. Within those 2 extremes there are shades of difference. For example Douglas Carswell in his victory speech in the Clacton by-election of 2014 said “We (UKIP) must be a party for all Britain and all Britons, first and second generation as much as every other”. This contrasts Nigels comments on the failure of multiculturalism made shortly after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

Immigration is not the only issue where the party is divided. Nigel Farage has come out in the past in favour of drug legalization- saying the war on drugs has failed. However he has said that he is at odds with most of his party on the subject- though he is reluctant to name names and few have publicly condemned him on the subject.  One senior figure in UKIP who clearly disagrees with him is Suzzane Evans who openly agrees with Peter Hitchens’ claim that there is no war on drugs and that it ought to be fought with more vigour. This division is made more complicated by the promise in the manifesto she played a large part in writing which states

“We will not decriminalize illegal drugs, however we will focus on ensuring drug suppliers, not their victims, face the full force of the law.”

This is a middle of the road position that is going to please neither libertarians who wish to decriminalize drugs, or conservatives like Peter Hitchens, who want to prosecute those who posses drugs with more vigour. This dispute over drugs may be one of the disputes between Farage and Suzanne Evans who despite being a relatively new member of the party is widely expected to be the new leader should Farage resign properly.

Farage has also come out in favour of liberalizing gun laws. This is something condemned by Patrick O Flynn, as stated in the linked BBC interview above, and Diane James, their Home Affairs spokesperson. However in a rare moment of agreement Douglas Carswell has supported repealing the Firearms Act 1997- claiming in the aforementioned “The Plan” that it has done nothing to reduce gun crime. He hasn’t expressed a change of heart on this issue since joining UKIP.

Aside from economics, social policy is a key area of policy UKIP cannot afford to be “all things to all people” on. They must either become more conservative, in attempt to gain support of their conservative critics such as Peter Hitchens. Or they must become more libertarian and risk abandoning their conservative supporters but appeal to the disenfranchised right-wing libertarians who increasingly find themselves without anyone to vote for

3. Peoples army UKIP vs Politically Correct UKIP
This is perhaps the most complicated division to explain. UKIP as it stands exists as an “insurgent” party- a protest vote. They are against the “liblabcon” and despise “Political correctness” However their increased poll ratings and their new-found ability to attract people from the political establishment- people like Mark Reckless and Douglas Carswell, have resulted in a crisis for UKIP. Are they “the peoples army” or are they “Politically correct”

One fallen soldier of the “Peoples army” was Godfrey Bloom. UKIP MEP for 9 years he was ejected from the party after calling countries which might receive foreign aid “Bongo Bongo Land” calling a room full of women “sluts” and hitting Michael Crick over the head with his own party’s manifesto. A full list of his gaffes can be found on his Wikipedia article. Bloom sat the rest of his term as an independent MEP and shortly before leaving the Parliament he gave an interview to Michael Crick comparing Nigel Farage to Stalin in his determination to purge wrongdoers.
Despite Farage’s apparent Stalinist attitude, it would seem fruitcakes keep slipping under his radar. In 2015 alone we have had
1. UKIP MEP for Scotland David Coburn comparing Scottish government minister Humza Yousif with Abu Hamza (no sanctions were applied)
2. UKIP PCC Robert Blay pledging to shoot his Tory opponent Ranil Jayawardena – saying ““His family have only been here since the Seventies. You are not British enough to be in our parliament. “I’ve got 400 years of ancestry where I live. He has not got that.” (suspended immediately)
3. Peter Endean- a council candidate in Plymouth, tweeting pictures of Mediterannian migrants with the caption “Labour’s new floating voters. Coming to a country near you soon”. (No sanctions applied)

The alleged Stalinist Nigel Farage has himself said all sorts of politically incorrect things on Islam, multiculturalism, HIV benefit tourism, the pay gap, gun control, Scottish nationalism, the European Union, Equality legislation and climate change. It is believed his comments during the ITV 7 leaders debate on HIV benefit tourists were a pre-planned dog-whistle to make him stand out from the crowd of politically correct politicians.

This is one of the sources of O’Flynns frustrations- he dislikes the people who advise Nigel, saying they are turning him into a “nasty” man (see interview linked above). O’Flynn clearly wants the party to be more politically correct. This would involve Farage being less “nasty” and “aggressive” and more focused and the party’s main job of convincing the majority of the UK electorate to leave the European Union. O’Flynn is not alone. Douglas Carswell, in a speech aimed at changing attitudes within UKIP said “What was once dismissed as “political correctness gone mad”, we recognize as good manners”. No doubt several other MEPs and hundreds of candidates agree with Carswell and O’Flynns point of view; if they want to be re-elected in 2019 to the European Parliament, or if they are to be taken seriously in future elections, they will not want to be burdened with news stories of controversy from others in their party.

However this is difficult. For many UKIP is the last refuge for controversialists. It is a populist party that has been appealing to all people at the same time, which leads to policy division as seen above. But what is too controversial for UKIP? Some lines are already set in place- you have to agree to its constitution and you have to state you’ve never been a member of a far-right group (BNP, EDL, Britain First, Liberty GB etc). But this still leaves a wide-net, which can let in several bad fish, as detailed above. And if UKIP purged everyone who said anything controversial then I doubt even Douglas Carswell would be attending this Autumns conference.So the fight in UKIP is mainly where to draw the line- what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.

To conclude this rather lengthy article- UKIP now suffers the same problem the Liberal Democrats have historically suffered. They are a party with no clear values who try to appeal to all people. What has united them is a popular figurehead (Nigel Farage) and the collapse of the Liberal Democrats. There is now no reason they need to be a united party- and so differences that were brushed under the carpet will now have to be openly addressed if they are to survive until 2020.


The Bedroom Tax Explained

In April 2013 the Conservatives introduced a change in the housing benefit rules for local social housing residents called the under-occupancy penalty. Critics like Labour dubbed it the bedroom tax. Since it has been introduced, families who are regarded to have too much living space by their local authority have received a reduced payment. Families are assessed to as how many bedrooms they actually need. The new rules allow one bedroom for each adult or couple. Children under the age of 16 are expected to share, if they are the same gender, and those under 10 are expected to share whatever their gender

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Why I am Voting UKIP

This article is one of a series about why Lower 6th students are voting for a particular party in this Thursdays Mock elections. Please find the “Parties” section of the website for other articles in the series.

It’s not popular to be a young person voting for UKIP. According to polls they barely pick up 3% of the people of my age-group, and my age group are far more likely to be in favor of membership of the EU. A lot of them will be affiliated with the National Union of Students, an organization that has spent more time condemning UKIP than ISIS, partly inspired in this by the toxic ideology of “political correctness”.

Well I guess I must be the one who looks at the emperor’s new clothes critically (a beautiful metaphor before Russell Brand used it). The new clothes do not deal with many of the problems the main political parties won’t talk about- because they aren’t listening. That the size of the state and its debt is unsustainably large and cannot be continued- and we’ll be the ones paying the bill. That punitive taxes and EU regulations are killing the economy far quicker than any “austerity” the Tories may be implementing. And more importantly- who you vote for this election doesn’t matter nearly as much as the main three parties pretend it does, because the EU is making far too many of our big decisions. One may claim that last year’s European Parliament elections were important, but the chamber you see Nigel Farage yell in so much is merely a rubber-stamping organization for the wishes of the Commission. Since UKIP will never be taken seriously in an organization that puts EU integration before common sense, I do not blame UKIP MEPs for abandoning that rotten chamber, and refusing to vote for any resolution that will increase the power of the EU. They have far more important things to do with their time.

UKIP, to me, isn’t really about left or right- it’s about change. A move away from big government but in a way that helps the most vulnerable in society- not the richest. A reassertion of National Sovereignty and the right of the people to be ruled only by elected representatives- something that used to appeal to all from Enoch Powell to Tony Benn. An appeal for global trade, not just trade with a narrow group of nations with a similar cultures to ours.

Is UKIP perfect? Of course not. Do I agree with all the policies they want to implement? Not really. But if I do not use my vote, I’m simply letting someone else speak up for the establishment on my behalf, and so I do not feel I have the luxury of being an ideological purist in this life-changing election of all elections. So I know it won’t make me many friends. And I’ll get called a lot of names for it. But I’m voting for UKIP in these mock elections, and in all future elections I can after that.

The Chief Press Officer of Woodhouse Mock Election UKIP branch.

Liberal democrat

Why I am Voting for the Liberal Democrats

This article is one of a series about why Lower 6th students are voting for a particular party in this Thursdays Mock elections. Please find the “Parties” section of the website for other articles in the series.

British Liberalism is rather in trouble. A force that gave us prosperity, social democracy and human rights are under systematic attacks from both left and right. It was Tony Blair who introduced the ID Cards Act and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (amongst others) which undermined our civil liberties given to us since Magna Carta. The Tories want to repeal the Human Rights Act, leave the European Convention of Human rights and scapegoat immigrants for everything, taking us back to the 1930’s on every which way possible it would seem. UKIP are stirring up fears about immigrants and homosexuals, as can be displayed by their leader’s comments on the debate recently. The supposedly libertarian Greens say “there are difficulties with the liberal approach… it has failed”.

No Liberal Democrats are not perfect. Yes ISIS and Putin both pose legitimate threats to world Security, and yes, and there are those within our borders who wish to do us harm. But it is liberalism that they hate and our liberal values we must never abandon to appease them.


It is far more productive to emphasis our achievements within the coalition rather than decry our failures. The Liberal Democrats achieved a lot while in government- we legislated the EU powers act which means no longer will democratic farces like the Lisbon Treaty happen. We got the best deal for students we could against a party that wanted to put tuition fees even higher and cut student living allowances (something the Liberal Democrats increased). While the Tories cut taxes for millionaires, we also increased the tax free allowance to £10,000, reducing the tax bill for millions of working class families.


It is clear that neither Conservative or Labour will win this election. So who do you want with access to ministerial keys propping them up? Farage the xenophobe who will drive the Tories to the right? Bennet the lunatic who will drag Labour into even more borrowing? Salmond the seperetatist who will drag this union apart? Or the Liberal Democrats, whom, like it or not, have proved they can do it, and will put country before party, ensuring that we get a moderate government for the full five years that can ensure good quality government. With your help- we can be the 3rd largest party in British politics- to ensure a balanced budget and a fair society.

green party

Why I am voting for the Green Party

This article is one of a series about why Lower 6th students are voting for a particular party in this Thursdays Mock elections. Please find the “Parties” section of the website for other articles in the series.

I’ve always been on the left wing libertarian side of the political spectrum, but that gives you a decision – Labour or Green? For me, the overwhelming reason that lead to my eventual membership of the Green Party in January 2015, was a question a friend who was already a Green Party member asked me – ‘How many planets do we have?’. And this got me thinking, because we do only have one planet, and even quick research on climate change can bring up indisputable and terrifying facts, which none of the mainstream parties seem to care about. Before the 2010 election, Cameron promised to be environmentally conscious, but since his appointment at Prime Minister, not one of his speeches has mentioned the environment. Arguably, Blair’s attitude was equally as PR motivated as Cameron’s, with promises that haven’t been fulfilled. My generation hasn’t been the people to affect the environment like it has been, but we are the generation who will have to live with the effects of climate change, and the Green Party seem to be the only party in Westminster who care.

But my support of the Greens, despite originally being due to their environmental policies, has expanded into other regions. The Green Party is anti-privatization, against university tuition fees, believes in a living wage rather than a minimum wage and wants to create jobs for the millions unemployed in Britain, among others. In short, the Green Party are investing in Generation Y’s future, instead of searching for the grey vote like the Tories and Labour. I believe strongly that to invest in the youth is to invest in the future, but there’s not really much point investing in a future if we don’t have a planet to live it out on. Luckily, people seem to be coming to this conclusion with me. The Green surge, of January 2015, where 13000 members signed up in a week, shows this. If people voted Green, I’m certain that our country would be in a better place.

By Lola May- Green Party Candidate for the Woodhouse Mock Elections


Why I am voting for the Conservative Party

This article is one of a series about why Lower 6th students are voting for a particular party in this Thursdays Mock elections. Please find the “Parties” section of the website for other articles in the series.

When the Conservative Party took power in 2010, Britain had the highest deficit in Europe. It was expected that Britain would be worst hit by the financial crisis because, after all, our key export is financial services. After 5 years of competent planning on the part of Cameron and Osborne, we’re now the fastest growing economy in the G8, we’ve created more jobs than every other Eurozone country combined, and the deficit has been cut by 1/3. Inflation, running rampant under Brown, is now down to 0% and this means the “Cost of living” may very well fall for millions of working class families Labour claim to care about.

A lot of what we’re criticized for is simple fairness. Raising the tuition fees to £9,000 a year has allowed standards for universities to increase. For people who do not wish to go to university- we have created alternative careers such as the significant expansion of apprenticeships The misnamed “Bedroom Tax” was merely applying the same rules to public housing assistance to those already applied in the public sector under New Labour. Cutting welfare fairly has also encouraged more people to get a job- removing them from the squalor and poverty that arises from dependence on the government.

Let us be optimistic. Things do get better. The current government has worked very well, and it is all very well voting for more middle class parties such as the Greens, UKIP or the Liberal Democrats. But only two people can be Prime Minister come May 7th- David Cameron or Ed Miliband. I sincerely hope it is the former.

By Anonymous


Why I am Voting for the Labour Party

This article is one of a series about why Lower 6th students are voting for a particular party in this Thursdays Mock elections. Please find the “Parties” section of the website for other articles in the series.

A lot of people are disillusioned with Politics because there is a perception that the two parties are exactly the same. Perhaps this was true before 2010, but since Ed Miliband has been elected leader he has taken Labour significantly to the left away from the failures of New Labour. Likewise, Cameron has taken it to the right under the influence of UKIP, and consequently there are now clear differences between the two parties.

For example, how our parties will balance the budget and deal with our skyrocketing debt is different, and significant for the future of the country. The Tories have done so by making cuts which hit the poorest in society, and they fail on their own terms by hardly making a dent in the welfare budget. The bedroom tax is the best example of this. When accounting for the emergencies and bureaucracy enforcing it costs, the sanction barely saves any money at all. The cuts to frontline services have reduced economic growth, and the lax labour market regulations have resulted in several low-paid jobs, chiefly 0 hour contracts with more in-work benefits needing to be claimed, and less money going to the Treasury in Income Tax. This coalition, formed to remove the deficit entirely, has barely cut it below £100 billion.

Labour are going to go about it a different way. Labour would raise the tax rate to 50p on the wealthiest, so that the rich are paying for the crisis they caused, not the poor. Additionally they will remove non-domicile status, so if you live in this country, you pay tax in this country. The Labour Party will ban most 0 hour contracts and will raise the minimum wage to £8 an hour, and this will result in a decrease in the welfare budget as more people get decent paying jobs. This will also increase the tax bill to the Treasury and check the rampant inequality growing under the present government. Strict Labour market regulations and high taxes on the rich paid back large amounts of British debt between 1945 and 1979 at paying off debts, why would it not work now? It’s better than Cameron’s austerity which clearly is not working.
A lot of personal attacks have been made on Miliband, and yes, he isn’t the most photogenic leader in the world. But is that really what we judge politics on? He’s more than capable of leadership; he’s shown that by standing up to David Cameron and Barack Obama over foreign policy, Rupert Murdoch over illegal phone tapping and wealthy hedge fund managers who fund the Tories so they can dodge taxes.

Unlike smaller left wing parties such as the Greens, Labours policies are actually practical, achievable and good for the economy. Ideological politics nearly destroyed this country in the 1980’s, when Thatcher pursued Monetarism against all the evidence it did not work, and I doubt a left-wing ideologue such as George Galloway or Natalie Bennett would fare much better. Ed Miliband is a problem solver, not an ideologue, and that’s why I hope he becomes Prime Minister.