UKIP, which stands for the ‘United Kingdom Independence Party’, is a right-wing political party with Paul Nuttall in charge. Over 39,000 citizens are members of UKIP and the party has been steadily growing ever since Brexit occurred, as they had merely achieved the purpose of their party when Britain left the EU. It is believed that migration outbound is around 323,000, whereas inbound is 596,000 a year, of this (inbound) 268K were from the EU whereas 257K were from outside the EU.
As highly skilled labour is extremely valued as well as students, they would be allowed into the country with a visa, unfortunately lowly skilled labour will experience a 5 year ban, in order to balance the flow of immigration. Mr Nuttall believes this “radical plan” will provide the party a much needed competitive edge over the conservatives, however Theresa May has included in her manifesto that net migration will drop. Net migration is simply defined as the difference between outbound immigration and inbound immigration, to identify whether there is in an imbalance in the flow of migration.
The policy hoped to be implemented will be known as the ‘one-in, one-out policy’, with the hopes of cutting migration from 600,000 to 300,000, overall believing they can achieve a 0% net migration level by five years’ time. There is an exception to the ban on low skilled labour, as ‘seasonal’ fruit pickers are allowed six month visas, due to the fact they play an important part in the UK economy, also it is an easy way to make quick money. UKIP are considering an ‘Australian style points system’ for ‘families, workers and students’, with a Migration control commission overlooking the whole operation. It is important to remember that until Brexit is finalised in 2019, there will still be the free movement of labour, which could cause an even bigger issue for the party. Mr Nuttall commented with “Net migration has been equivalent of a city the size of Birmingham over the past three years”... “This is clearly unsustainable and it is clearly unfair, particularly to inner city communities”.
The conservatives, particularly David Cameron were criticized in 2010 for not causing a significant drop in immigration levels, which could be classed as ‘sustainable’ enough for satisfaction. Immigration barriers have also been seen to be a burden for business, as employers seek the best workers regardless of their worldwide location. Reflecting upon this Nuttel made a fair statement that the Tories should not be trusted by their ‘political will’, as they lack the efforts to achieve any goals regarding the limiting on immigration. John Bickley, proclaimed that England was “the sixth most overcrowded country in the world”. Immigration not only puts a strain on the job sector for British citizens but also on local communities to deliver more needed resources and the public sector to create more transport in order to align with the carrying capacity of the population, not to mention wage cuts.
The purpose of a general election is to provide freedom of choice to the public on what party they feel should run the country. It is important to register at your constituency to be qualified to take part in voting. Each person is allowed to vote for one MP, who represents their party and the overall party with the most votes has their party leader as prime minister undertaken by the Queen. There are a few essential requirements needed to be able to vote: a British citizen, over 18 and you need to be registered to vote. Certain qualifying commonwealth states such as Ireland are allowed to vote, if the person if over 18. If you are away from home/overseas during the general election, you are able to vote online, if you have registered to vote in the past 15 years. By going to the Electoral Commissioner's website ‘http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/our-work/who-we-are/the-commissioners’, you are able to check if you are registered to vote; if not feel free to register on the governmental website with a printable form attached.
The next general election has been called on 8th June by Theresa May the UK prime minister. It is believed she is holding the election to able to focus more on brexit negotiations, she is already fully aware that other parties such as: labour, SNP and the Lib Dem’s will take their shoot to delay the negotiations. Fortunately, she stands in high popularity, as votes from April show: the conservatives are leading by 43%, labour by 25%, Lib Dems with 10%, UKIP at 11% and the green party following on with 4%. However, in previous elections such as in 2015, the polls have proven to be incorrect, so take caution on predictions until the official result. Throughout her time as PM, she has successfully helped to reduce the forever growing deficit and backed plans for more grammar schools.
Normally, the next general election would have been hold in 2020, more precisely on the first Thursday in May, by the 2011 Fixed Term Parliaments Act. However over two-thirds of MP’s voted for another general election, 522 votes: 2 votes, which May has accepted. Jeremy Corbyn commented on May’s choice, ‘chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first’. Another term of reference is ‘snap election’ and the last time this happened was by Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1966 whose purpose was to increase Labour MP’s in parliament. Currently, the next election is now due for 2022, but this could change any time if ⅔ of MP’s chose otherwise. Campaigning for the election is most likely to start anytime soon as parliament will be breaking up on the 3rd May. It is expected that Labour’s manifesto will be released in the next two weeks, whereas Labour may be the second week in May. As of recently chancellor George Osborne will be leaving Westminster ‘for now’, followed by Labour’s Alan Johnson and 12 other various party members. At the moment the conservatives hold 330 seats in Parliament, Labour has 229, the SNP have 54 and the Liberal Democrats hold 9. As for now, the outcome of the election is far from certain, with Labour even announcing that if elected, they will introduce 4 new bank holidays into the public calendar.
On Thursday 30th March, the watchdog agency accidently leaked personal data of 3,000 MP’s staff and salaries. The independent parliamentary standards authority claimed that the data consisted of the names, working/holiday schedules of each staff affected and luckily more sensitive personal information such as: phone numbers, addresses and bank account details were kept safe and not leaked. The IPSA also said the “extremely sensitive” information of staff working for 650 of Parliaments MP’s, was only left on the old website for approximately four hours. Watchdog had announced that they took down the information within an hour of being alerted by Karl McCartney (conservative MP) and apologised just after an enquiry was launched, classing the incident as ‘serious’, as they are unsure how it occurred. They also established that they would not publish details of MP’s travel plans due to the incident that occurred at Westminster, the previous week. The death of PC Keith Palmer has encouraged police to strengthen their security, especially through preventing any threats of cyber-attacks. At the current moment it is unclear who was behind the leakage or if a group had worked together to obtain the data, but all will be revealed after the investigation.
Marcial Boo, who is the chief executive of watchdog, sent a personal email to each MP proclaiming that, “some documents were published in error”. Further on he elaborated that; “These should not have been made public as they contained confidential personal information about MP’s staff names, salaries, rewards, working patterns and holiday entitlements”. Also adding; “"We take information security very seriously and the safety and security of MPs and their staff is a priority. An investigation is currently underway and we have notified the Information Commissioner”…"We will be writing directly to all of those affected”. It is yet unclear whether the MP’s affected have forgiven the accident.
After the data had been released, certain MP’s believed it was “hugely embarrassing”, due to the fact certain employers were employing their wives and children, paying them for work which was not even undertaken. In fact, Francois Fillion who is the French presidential candidate was under investigations after allegedly paying his family thousands of euros for work which was simply not done. It is believed that approximately a ¼ of MP’s employ a “connected party”, robbing £3.6 million from taxpayers. Mr McCartney remarked that the perpetrator “really needs some IT training before their next job”, as for instance one MP was classified as ‘100% disabled’.
In 1983, Parliament assembled Copeland, a constituency located in the House of Commons. Recently the conservatives have managed to take over labours long reign of over 80 years; Theresa May claimed that her reason for success was due to her style of government “working for everyone”. Even though the win in Copeland may have demotivated labour members it for sure kept Jeremy Corbyn going, as he made a separate win in a by-election at Stoke Central; however certain members of the labour party have urged Corbyn to reconsider his position, due to the loss.
Despite the odds being heavily against her, MP Trudy Harrison managed to bag the seat which labour had, ever since the 1930’s. May, also commented on Ms Harrison by saying, “such a fantastic candidate”… “Actually rolls up her sleeves and gets things done”. Here Harrison is being described as a very productive and motivated MP and with such a high vote share of 44.3%, it seems as though the public believed this just as much as May did. Following on, labour raked in 37.3% on the vote, with Gillian Troughton as their leader, the Lib Dems gained 7.2% of the vote with Rebecca Hanson, and Fiona Mils running for UKIP had 6.5% of the vote, followed by other parties making up 4.7% of the results. It was said that the Copeland result was the best by-election result since January 1966, commented on Strathcycle University professor, John Curtice.
May believes that the win was down to her critical thinking and the strong relationship the conservatives have built with the public, especially the working class. “They want a party which is on the side of ordinary working people, which will respect the way we voted in the referendum and which will build a country which represents everyone”. “That’s why they voted for me tonight”. Despite the loss, Corbyn responded by declaring a lack of labour campaigns, was the fault in Copeland, “message was not enough to through in Copeland”. He sees the win stoke general as being “decisive rejection of UKIP’s politics of division and dishonesty”. Corbyn seems to have learnt from the loss in Copeland, as he remarked that, “Labour will go further to reconnect with voters and break with the failed political census”.
It is clear that if no improvements are made it will leave a weak backbone for labour’s support, which could lead to a loss in votes at the next general election, mentioned by labour MP John Woodcock; “historic and catastrophic defeat”. The low moral throughout the labour party is not acting in anyone’s favour; more is needed to be done to increase their support. During the Stoke election, UKIP had believed they were in a major advantage, as in June the area was filled with mainly leave voters in relation to Brexit.
In Stoke-on-Trent the winner Gareth Snell, commented upon the voters, claiming they had, “Chosen the politics of hope over the politics of fear”. Further on, said; “the city will not allow ourselves to be defined by last year’s referendum and we will not allow ourselves to be divided by the result”. Nevertheless, UKIP candidate Paul Nuttal, who said “his time would come”, had come only second, with 24.7% of the vote leaving of a close result with conservative candidate, Jack Brereton, with 24.4%of the vote. This was followed by Zulfiqar Ali, representing the liberal democrats gaining 9.8% and other parties made up 4.1% of the vote. In contrast to 2015, labour managed to consolidate 39.3% of the vote, rather than their 37%. Even though they were defeated UKIP seem to stand tall, commenting that “There’s a lot more to come from us”, “I am not going anywhere”. Now that the conservatives have gained the Copeland seat, the defeat in Richmond is no longer a burden.
The fact Corbyn has lost the Copeland seat may show that there is a lack of trust towards him and the Labour party. Not to mention, that left wing MP’s are remarking that his character and actions have let him down.
Should the UK abolish the human rights act ? A recent survey has proven that ‘no’ was the popular majority answer with 76% (1,064,458) agreeing and ‘yes’ was a simmered 24% (337,010) people. The majority of those who choose yes agreed that it should be replaced with the Bill of rights. Whereas those who said no did also agree that criminals need to lose many of their rights as a punishment. Nevertheless the conservatives plan, disregarding the majority of the view, has in fact succeeded. Plans will shortly commence, as the justice secretary has confirmed that the Human Rights Act will change to the British Bill of Rights.
In 2015, the conservatives ironically agreed in their manifesto; that they would be abandoning the policy, in order to avoid a fight with the Scottish government. Theresa May has seen to be predominantly unveil great leverage with a controversial constitutional change. Responding to this situation in April with; “This is Great Britain, the country of the Magna Carta, parliamentary democracy and the fairest courts in the world”.
A main motive for the switch for the tories, was separating the British and European courts of Human rights. Furthermore to prevent foreign nationals, using the Human Rights act to cement their place in Britain after committing numerous offences. Also, concerns have also risen regarding the Strasbourg try to overrule verdicts that the courts and parliament, examples include: stopping the ban on prisoners voting rights and stopping life sentences, even for serious crimes committed.
The bill of rights; itself is a very conservative act, retaining previous British values. As mentioned, the conservatives hope to “restore common sense and tackle the misuse of the rights contained in the convention”. I short strategy paper was supposed to be published but no materialistic copy was provided. Hopes are; the reforms block the European court of Human rights from overruling British judgements in court.
The main roadblock for the government, Theresa May, is the say of the house of commons and the house of lords. The Guardian newspaper commented; “room for parliamentary manoeuvre could easily be restricted by a relatively small number of rebels”. Justice minister Ken Clarke and attorney general Dominic Grieve QC, believe the move will lose traditional laws and there could be issues within the European and British courts in the future. The commons did not provide a backrest for May’s opinion and instead the house of lords was seen to be more of a savior. With 224 candidates (213 labour and 101 Lib dems). With a new British Bill of Rights coming into place, only time can tell the effectiveness.
An ordinary mother with two children, a husband ben, almost two years of experience in politics and a lib dem candidate; seems like a very unrealistic combination for a winning battle against the almighty Zac Goldsmith, doesn't it ? Wrong... 2 December indeed turned many heads as the shocking announcement of Sarah Olney; winning the majority of votes in Richmond indeed came as a surprise too many.
In fact, she managed to rack in 48% of the vote, whilst Zac Goldsmith gained 45% and labor a horrific 3%. Zac Goldsmith had been a popular candidate for many years in the Richmond area, being a well known, warm-hearted figure, who regularly stood by his word, helping to retain loyalty in his voters.
Born in 1977, Sarah was a simple lady, attending Surrey Comprehensive School and leading onto studying English Literature at Kings College London. Starting as a qualified account, then going onto working in the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) located in Teddington. Not the sort to get into politics ? In fact, it was only after the general election, motivating her to play her part in politics, finding her place in the lib Dems. She commonly, mentioned her interest in politics, was a sudden spark and had not placed much emphasis on it throughout her life, until now.
Many speculations have been airborne throughout the media, unfolding the truth about why she was really chosen. A collective suggestion portrays her cutting edge on her Pro-EU views, a well-known popularity which society, feels the need to correct. Although Brexit won, 17 million to 16 million, there has still been demands, for a 2nd Referduman, Sarah believes she can help, by voting against article 50, in parliament. A common vow, Zac and Sarah share, there opposition on the building of a third runway at Heathrow, however, this can generate jobs and money into the economy. Perhaps Sarah's Pro-EU mindset had given her an advantage that Zac, simply did not provide, previously being a former conservative-now independent candidate and standing with Brexit.