Talking to student voters in Manchester
I was invited back to the UpRising Manchester politics session on Tuesday morning to talk to some first-time student voters about why I got involved with party politics and what attracted me to UKIP. There were four groups of students who rotated around each table, chatting to a young representative from each main political party (The Greens were invited but had to pull out last minute!). As each group came to my table, they were asked to sum up each party in one word which I have summarised:
Labour: “Working-class”, Naïve”, “Nationalisation”
Conservatives: “Posh”, “Mean”
Liberal Democrats: “Liars”, “Pointless”
UKIP: “Small”, “Pointless”, “Racist”
They were also asked what issues were most important to them, these were the most common:
So although some perceived UKIP as racist, they also expressed concern over immigration. I explained why the UK cannot control immigration while we are members of the European Union, then explained that UKIP was the only party which was proposing an ethical, points-based immigration system which doesn’t discriminate against people from India, New Zealand and Canada, in favour of people from Romania, Poland and Germany.
Secondly, I illustrated some UKIP policies on Education such as scrapping tuition fees for people wanting to study STEM subjects, building more grammar schools, and encouraging people who aren’t suited to university attain skills and qualifications through vocational training.
Lastly, UKIP’s policies really surprised a lot of the young people who came to speak to me. I explained how UKIP would stop reverse outsourcing NHS services to the private sector through PFI deals and inject £3 billion extra per annum into the NHS. I also clarified that the Labour Party did more to privatise the NHS than any other party which also surprised the first-time voters as it contradicted the Labour Party’s principles on nationalisation.
Overall, it was a fantastic morning. I really enjoyed listening to what the students had to say, answering questions on UKIP policy, and stressing how important it is for them to vote on Thursday 7th May 2015! Despite the animosity and suspicion towards UKIP at first, it had softened by the end.
Dayle Taylor is our Parliamentary Candidate for Blackburn and North West Regional Chairman for Young Independence.