Q&A With Happy Alex On British Politics – Liberal Politics Enthusiast

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Hello friends!
I am excited to bring Happy Alex to the stage with a Q&A on current British politics from a liberal point of view. I’ll be asking the questions, and she’ll be answering them.

Thanks,

Ariana

Ariana: What parties are liberal and conservative parties in the U.K.? ~hands over the mic~

Alex: More liberal politcs is considered ‘left-wing’ whilst more conservative politics is considered ‘right wing’ At the far end of right wing politics you have parties such as the BNP (Britsh National Party) an undeniably racist party, then you have UKIP (UK Independance Party) that have very strong views on things such as immigaration, then it’s the Conservatives or ‘Tories’ your traditional right wing party currently in power. In terms of left wing politics, the Liberal Democrats sit in the middle (but kind of lean to the Tories) and then there’s Labour. Labour is orginally a left wing party, but ‘new labour’ is more right wing, whilst quite simply ‘labour’ is more left wing. Far left parties in the UK include the Green party and the SNP (Scottish National Party)
Did that make ANY sense? No? Okay.
Oh yeah and by the way, in general I support Labour under Jeremy Corbyn (not new labour) and the Green Party.
Ariana: A short explanation on the current things happening in U.K. politics? 
Alex: Firstly there’s the EU Referdum. Basically, the UK is delibearting leaving the European Union, which means we won’t really be part of Europe anymore. It’s super complicated and I can’t start to explain what’s going on, but our Prime Minister (David Cameron) is campaigning to stay, whilst half of his party is campaigning to leave, which has caused a huge divide in the party.
The other big thing happening in UK politics is the Budget (basically what our chancellor, George Osbourne, is going to spend our money on this year and how he’s going to generate that money) and the most controversial thing in this year’s budget is CUTS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITES. That caused a lot of uproar and actually caused a member of the Tory party to resign in protest (Iain Duncan Smith) The labour party also slayed George Osbourne about his pretty crappy budget in the house of commons recently, you should have seen his face.
Was that brief? There’s also things like the strike of junior doctors, the tax on fizzy drinks etc but I think I need to stop.
 
Ariana: What is your prime minister’s stance on affairs such as the Migrant Crisis?
Alex: David Cameron is someone who is definately trying to control immigration in his own conservative way, but he’s not particulary nortorious for cracking down on immigrants either. The classic conservtive mantra is for ‘hard working British families’ and when arguing anything this is pretty much always slipped into his speech. In terms of immigration he is worried that it will have a negative impact on ‘harding working British families’ and has tried to control immigration. More right wing politics is known for being made of rich, white buisness men, with the stereotypical rich, white businessmen mentality,  so I wouldn’t say David Cameron is the most liberal on this subject. 
 
Ariana: What is your stance on the Migrant Crisis?

Alex: I recognize that one tiny island can’t hold all the people in the world, but I honestly feel that people are so undeducated on the benefits of immigration. Immigration has enriched our society and our economy, by providing our workforce with skills we would otherwise not have. And when blaming immigrants for stealing our jobs, remember our unemployment crisis is not because of immigration, but because Margret Thatcher destroyed all our industries, leaving our working class unemplyed in lonely, devestated towns. Also let’s all remind ourselves why people migrate from their country. I’m very lucky to live in a stable and rich county, most of the world’s population doesn’t have that luxury and no wonder they choose to move here. I think even though immigration can become an issue, most people don’t like the idea of immigration, because they feel uncomfortable with the idea of a Mosque being built in a quiet, English village. 
Ariana: How could U.K. foreign and domestic policy be different?
Alex: I don’t know that much about the UK’s foreign policy and it’s something I need to learn more about. I’m not going to say too much about it, because I’m fairly uneducated on the subject. If we could stop making dirty nuclear deals with China that would be nice though, also I completely disagree with bombing Syria.
Domestic policies, that’s a huge spectrum. We need a better mental healthcare system, particulary for young people and more pastoral care systems in school. I’m not sure if this quite fits under domestic policies, but I would appreciate it if the government sorted out the pay gap between men and women too. I was unaware I was living in Victorian England. There’s obviously a huge unemplyoment problem at the root of poverty and I would like this to be tacked too. There’s a lot to talk about actually and I’ll save all this for discussion to a later date.
Thank you so much for having me this week, hopefully I didn’t send any of you to sleep! I’m so excited to set up this wonderful project alongside Ariana and I hope we can all have some really cool discussions about the policies that effect us as young people.
Thank you so much for reading,
Alex
A Note from Ariana: Keep an eye out for my turn to answer questions on Happy Alex’s blog.
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27 thoughts on “Q&A With Happy Alex On British Politics – Liberal Politics Enthusiast

  1. Dreamer

    I’m not into politics at all yet I couldn’t stop reading this! I’m from the UK, some may say, it’s pretty complicated. However I knew nothing about this. Thank you for educating me in issues that are actually happening around me right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. theorangutanlibrarian

    Interesting post! Reading about all the tory cuts is always depressing :/ On the bright side, I’d like reassure you that we are not living in Victorian England- the statistics about the wage gap are very misleading- women are not paid less for the same jobs as men- the figures are actually based on the average earnings of men compared to the average earnings of women. There are a lot of explanations for this (I particularly recommend checking out the factual feminist for details https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58arQIr882w )- I hope that helps 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • happyalexx

      Yes it is true, that in general women are paid the same amount as men for the same job. However sterotypically male jobs e.g. a binman is paid much more than a sterotypical woman’s job e.g. carer, even though they work the same hours and their job requires a similar level of skill. You will find this pattern across lots of sterotpically male or female professions and to me, this still counts as wage inequality. Although, I think we’re reading from the same page and we’re both passionate about feminism. I’m going to go and watch that video now, I’m sure it will be very interesting and thank you for taking the time to read our post 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ariana

        In the United States wage inequality is pretty bad for women. Some people believe if women get the same amount of pay, then things will be messed up. Democratic politicians tend to be for equal pay for women though, because they think it is unfair.

        Liked by 1 person

      • theorangutanlibrarian

        Thanks so much for your reply. That’s an interesting perspective, but I’m afraid there are a couple of issues with it. Firstly, there are plenty of stereotypically male jobs that pay as little as a carer (such as builder, postman, bus driver). Secondly, this is a social issue and not a gendered one- it has a lot to do with how much the government are willing to pay public sector workers and the negotiation of those workers to get the salary they deserve. For instance, there is a union for carers and they ought to be doing more to address the injustice of low pay for carers. The pattern of lower incomes actually has a lot more to do with working in the public sector as opposed to the private sector. I also think that by making this a gendered issue, it does a terrible disservice to the 42% of carers who are men.
        Thanks again for your comment and let me know what you thought of the video- there are a lot more I can recommend if you’re interested.

        Liked by 1 person

      • happyalexx

        The video that you directed me to is talking about American wage gaps and I am talking about wage inequality in the UK. The reason I used the example of the carer and the binman is because they’re in the same employment band in the UK, which categorizes them in a way that makes their work seem of equal skill and income, however stereotypically male jobs in this band are paid a lot more than stereotypical female jobs in the same band. Also, as someone who is very passionate about destroying gender stereotypes I know that there are plenty of male carers in our workforce, but in societies eyes a carer is a female job, which is paid significantly less than a so called male job in the same band and this,I think, is a reflection of wage inequality. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me about this, I really appreciate it so so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      • theorangutanlibrarian

        The principles, the economics and the arguments are the same. But if you’d rather, here are some UK articles:
        http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2015/07/the-gender-pay-gap-is-a-myth/
        http://www.hexjam.com/uk/careers-education/i-m-a-feminist-and-i-hate-the-gender-pay-gap-myth
        http://www.iea.org.uk/blog/the-gender-pay-gap-is-a-fashionable-myth
        If you want to watch a slightly more controversial video on the matter, I’d try Sargon of Akkad- as he has provided a ridiculous amount of research on the wage gap in the UK (his research is here http://pastebin.com/FNHjaQMv – watch the video to make sense of it). But honestly, watching Christina Hoff Sommers explanation should suffice- obviously taking into account that it’s for the US- as I said, the principles are the same.
        With regards to your point about being in the same pay bracket, there are lots of different jobs in the basic pay rate of tax- which is 20% for £0 to £31,785. As this bracket is so large, many of these jobs are in no way comparable- there is everything from skilled to unskilled labour in this category. The difference in pay between a binman and a carer has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with the fact that being a binman is an undesirable career choice. There are plenty of stereotypically male jobs, as I mentioned before (eg builder, postman) that pay the same as stereotypically female jobs. But as I said before, the difference in pay has less to do with gender and more to do with working in the public sector.
        And since you mention it- the fact that almost half of carers are men is evidence that these categories are breaking down. Perhaps it would be more worthwhile to encourage women to become binmen so that they may earn more money?
        You’re welcome- I’m a bit of a politico, so I’m always happy to discuss these things. Thanks so much for your responses!

        Liked by 1 person

      • happyalexx

        Thank you so much for the resources, I empathise and agree with your point to agree. I just feel that this constant pattern I’ve found between stereotypical male and female jobs is very reflective of wage inequality. But, I like to think this system is broken, now that’s it more acceptable for men and women to do any job despite their gender. My dad is an example, he is an art psychotherapist – therapy and art being once more female dominated career paths. I’m fascinated by the psychology of out society and what I still think is a secret pay gap. Although talking to you today, has really helped me learn more about the subject and I’ll be defiantly giving those articles a read 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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