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The Big Question Time Event at Kingston University

Bauke Schram March 31 20156:00 pm

Thank you for following this liveblog. I hope the information provided was useful for those who did not attend the event. Register to vote at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. The election is only a little over a month away.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:58 pm

“I hope whoever gets elected takes the student voice very seriously,” Amy Bush signs off the event.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:57 pm

Peter and Amy, who organised the series of events, give a little thank you to the audience.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:56 pm

Godfrey says the designers had done a great deal to make the new Town House (the development in question), appealing to residents.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:54 pm

Keogh mentions the tension between residents and students.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:53 pm

“I don’t really stop talking about it,” Keogh says about KU, after it is asked where the university stands in the parties’ manifestos.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:51 pm

“The townhouse development is very needed,” Davey. “I think KU doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves.”

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:49 pm

“There’s a difference between being pro-student and being pro-development,” Berry says.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:48 pm

Denza Gonsalves, KUSU president, asks questions about planning permissions in the constituency.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:47 pm

All other party members look dazed at Keogh uses LGBTQI+ terms to discuss the marriage act.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:46 pm

Keogh calls out the ‘Spousal Veto’ part of the equal marriage act: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/richard-adams/unequal-marriage-and-transgenders_b_3560849.html?

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:40 pm

Roberts distances himself from Farage and other EU MEPs, saying he is here to represent UKIP, not them.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:39 pm

Questions about UKIP’s stance on LGBTQ+ citizens in the UK.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:38 pm

An audience member questions UKIP’s alleged scapegoating immigrants and gets cut by the chair. “I didn’t even get the chance to finish my question,” she says.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:36 pm

Have a look at the parties’ plans for the NHS if they get into government: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30796343

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:36 pm

Godfrey says the Tories hate the NHS, saying that the institution is socialist and therefore political.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:34 pm

“I think you’ve gone Tory,” Godfrey tells Davey.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:33 pm

Davey: “I don’t know about you, but I want the best quality health care for me and my family.”

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:31 pm

“We need to stop owning and, quoting Labour, ‘weaponising’ the NHS,” Roberts says. 

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:29 pm

“The fact is, the NHS is an institution that needs to be invested in,”Roberts says.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:28 pm

Berry denies that the NHS is being privatised, but talks about third-party private providers. Both Berry and Roberts speak of ‘free at point of use’.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:25 pm

“It is beyong arguing that Labour rescued the NHS,” Godfrey says. 

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:24 pm

“I don’t think PFI is a great mechanism,” Godfrey says.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:24 pm

Greens talk about PFI contracts and Godfrey (Labour) says once again: “The Labour party is the party of the NHS.”

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:22 pm

Keogh attacks Farage’s view on an ‘insurance-based, US-style healthcare’ in the UK. 

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:21 pm

“I can’t be short of the NHS,” Keogh says. She says she’s way too passionate about it. 

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:21 pm

“There is a role for private providers,” Davey says, as long as it is limited. Davey talks of Your Health Care. “LibDems want more money to go to the NHS,” he says. Speaks of mental health services.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:20 pm

“What is a massive concern to me, is that patients get the best care. I think the government has done a great job there,” Berry says. He claims a very small percentage of the NHS is privatised.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:19 pm

A question about the wholesale privatisation of the NHS kicks off the discussion after the break.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:05 pm

After a heated debate on racism, the audience and candidates get a short break.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:05 pm

“We don’t talk about it [immigration],” Roberts says. “That’s all we’re talking about!” Keogh sighs.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:04 pm

“This has nothing to do with the immigrants themselves, it’s a numbers thing,” Roberts claims.

Bauke Schram March 31 20155:00 pm

“I didn’t take the route of UKIP to go for an easy option,” Roberts defends himself. He singles out the few “idiots” expelled by UKIP after several scandals, much like he did last time he was at Kingston

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:58 pm

Godfrey points his pen at Roberts, saying: “I wouldn’t think for a second that you’re racist, but the fact that your leader is racist, makes me think your party is Racist. Why are you defending that party?”

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:56 pm

“We know there are some pretty nasty people in UKIP,” Godfrey tells Roberts. “We don’t need to talk about those, we can just talk about your leader, Nigel Farage.”

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:55 pm

Godfrey says that Labour has more MBE MPs than all other parties put together.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:54 pm

“Is tackling racism a priority for the Labour party? In the words of Ed Milliband: ‘Hell yes!’ ” Godfrey kicks off his statement.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:53 pm

“Challenge that narrative whenever you get the chance!” Keogh once again gets applause from the audience.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:52 pm

Keogh makes some snide references towards Farage’s policies: “If you hear someone blaming immigrants for something like a traffic jam, call them out!”

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:49 pm

“This idea of a point-based system is based on the idea that one person is better than another,” Keogh says. She calls UKIP a racist party and receives applause.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:49 pm

Davey talks about the benefits the UK get from the EU. 

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:47 pm

“I’m really proud to be pro-European,” Davey says.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:47 pm

An all-white panel talks about racism and diversity in politics. Worth noting also that  James Berry (conservative party) talks about glass ceilings and diversity in his party. In the panel, however, Greens’ Keogh is the only woman.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:44 pm

Berry, in order to defend the Tories’ immigration policies, mentions UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s stance on racism prevention.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:43 pm

Roberts passionately talk about EU-immigrants, saying that the current pledge by the Tories to bring back immigration to the tens of thousands penalises non-EU immigrants.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:41 pm

“The fact remains that our immigration policy is less discriminatory against certain racial groups than the current one,” Roberts says.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:40 pm

“There will be no points allocated based on race,” Roberts says on UKIP’s planned point-based immigration system. 

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:39 pm

“You can chuckle,” Roberts tell the audience.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:39 pm

“Integration of immigrants coming into this country is going to be vital in tackling racism in this country,” Roberts says. “I want to tackle this issue of racism head-on.”

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:38 pm

The chair aims a question on racism and immigration directly at UKIP candidate Ben Roberts first.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:38 pm

Godfrey accuses Davey of saying he saved the maternity ward in Kingston Hospital, and says it is now intensely underfunded.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:37 pm

“You promised no VAT rise … you get into power, you raise VAT, which hit the poorest people the hardest,” Godfrey tells Davey.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:35 pm

A lot of finger pointing between Ed Davey and Lee Godfrey because of alleged ‘broken promises’. Davey: “You broke promises in a majority government.”

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:33 pm

Ed Davey talks about green investment and investments in young people that were made possible by cuts in higher education.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:33 pm

Ed Davey, the current Kingston and Surbiton LibDem MP, is asked to respond to the attacks from his colleagues.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:32 pm

In stark contrast with Keogh, who received applause from the audience, Roberts receives shaking heads from (art) students.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:31 pm

Roberts says UKIP wants to abolish tuition fees on subjects with ‘core skills’. “We have to address the specific needs of this country.”

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:30 pm

“You can’t turn the clock back, we are in this unfortunate position,” Roberts says. 

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:30 pm

Ben Roberts, the UKIP candidate who received strong criticism from KU students last time he was in this lecture theater, speaks of LibDem and their ‘broken promise’: “It is a symptom of a Westminster politican who says things to get people to vote for them.”

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:28 pm

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:28 pm

“Actually Ed, you really let me down. I was one of the students in your constituency,” Keogh, only 23-years-old, tells Davey.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:27 pm

“We used to have free education,”Keogh said. Keogh mentions trident when talking about savings the Greens would make to fund free education.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:26 pm

“You can’t deny that people are starting their working life with more debt than ever,” Keogh says. 

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:25 pm

“We all benefit from higher education. It is not a commodity and it should not be treated as a commodity … instead it should be treated as a right,” Keogh says.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:24 pm

“Education is a right,” Green Party’s Clare Keogh kicks off her answer.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:24 pm

Godfrey: “If you let me, I will come back to this university once every term, to be held accountable.”

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:23 pm

Godfrey mentions Labour’s £6k tuition cap promise. “You have the power here,” he says.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:22 pm

“Ed Davey has promised to vote against any lowering in tuition fees, so you know which way to vote,” Godfrey said. 

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:22 pm

“This is the man who made the agreement with the tories,” Labour candidate Lee Godfrey said, pointing at Ed Davey, referring to the tuition fee u-turn. “The biggest betrayal in recent political history in my view.”

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:20 pm

Berry, who studied at UCL, brings forward the defense the Tories often use in this debate: ‘at least we didn’t promise anything’. 

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:19 pm

“It was a cut that had to be made, I accept it wasn’t popular,” Berry says. 

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:18 pm

James Berry, the conservative candidate, says: “Cuts had to be made … tuition fees was one of them.”

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:17 pm

Lib Dem’s Nick Glegg pledged not to lift the tuition fee cap to £9k a year. Ed Davey, representing a constituency with an incredible amount of students, has been under fire after his party’s ‘tuition u-turn’.

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:16 pm

The event has kicked off. Apologies for the slight delay. The chair of the panel dove right in by asking Ed Davey about the tuition fees. 

Bauke Schram March 31 20154:02 pm

The Clattern Lecture Theater is slowly filling up with anticipating students. Three of the five candidates have sat down.

About Bauke Schram

Bauke Schram is the external news editor for the River Online. She is a political journalist with an interest in transnational organisations and international economics. She has written for the likes of City AM, Shout Out UK and Third Sector Magazine

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