Do Labour, Liberals and the Conservatives need a change of leader? As another election looms, and trust diminishes daily for the leaders of Labour and the Tories, is a new leader and PM required for either party?
Since Boris Johnson’s election, there has been a growing voice for the PM to call an election. If he was to do so, due to recent changes in UK law, Boris needs ‘at least 66% of MPs to agree to it.’ So one would expect Boris to try and hold onto power until Brexit is over, holding his one MP working majority.
However, in recent weeks it seems likely that Boris Johnson will call an election. The Week reported that ‘a senior Conservative MP appears to have let slip that Boris Johnson is planning a general election this year.’
The reason might be that Boris wants to get a proper mandate from the people. This may be to either get Brexit through or to continue on after.
However there are also claims to overthrow the current government from within. There has been calls for a caretaker PM. A number of candidates have thrown their names into the ring, but the usually obvious choice of shadow PM, doesn’t seem to have the support as long as Jeremy Corbyn holds this position. As the Independent noted, ‘Labour must be ready to support an alternative caretaker PM if MPs refuse to put Jeremy Corbyn’
Therefore the question is clear; Is Boris Johnson the best candidate, or does a new figurehead need to take his place as caretaker or even better, beat him in a general election and should that be Mr Corbyn?
Written by Liberal writer, Max Anderson
Time to forget everyone else, Johnson is the only one with a plan as PM – Conservative article
While the government is trying to be responsible by re-negotiating the Withdrawal agreement and prepare for a no deal Brexit, the opposition parties are still trying to topple the government. They are still squabbling over who should be in charge and if there should be a care-taker government to preside over Brexit. There is only one viable option and luckily he is the one already in power. He has the support, he’s shown he can act prime-ministerial and finally, he has a plan. No one else does.
Boris is clearly the best we’ve got and all you have to do is look at the rising support for him. The ORB has found, “that one in three voters” now support the government’s handling of the Brexit negotiations. This an increase of one in ten under May. In addition, Boris Johnson is clearly the man to deal with Brexit due to his surging popularity along with his own party’s popularity. “The Conservative Party has opened up a 14% lead over Labour.” This is an increase of 17% compared with the dreary 28% for Labour. The public are making it clearly known that there is far more support for Boris’ premiership than any of the hopeless other options. So if there is anyone who is going to unite the UK, it is clearly Boris.
From the evidence above, Boris has surprised us all with how well he has dealt with becoming PM. Yet when you look at what he has achieved, it’s clear why his ratings are up. In a previous article, I talked about Boris’ actions over the Iranian tanker crisis, showing tremendous restraint and leadership. His balancing act of supporting our closet ally and showing no cowardice against Iran was excellent. More recently, he has gotten two of Europe’s largest powers to agree that the withdrawal agreement can be changed if the UK comes up with a plan in the next thirty days that respect the Irish peace process and the single market. The onus is finally on a British PM to come up with a plan, and in these times Boris is the only one who can pick up the mantle.
Boris is certainly the only option especially when the actors waiting in the wings are as silly as ever. Jeremy Corbyn has an over-complicated plan for which there is little support. His plan would install him as a caretaker PM where he would delay Brexit, call a snap election and call for another referendum. This plan is so error-strewn it will only cause more destruction and anger. The people are tired of silly politics like this and the polls show it. Hard-core remainers in the Conservative party do not support it, the leader of the Liberal Democrats does not support it, and not enough MPs in Parliament support it. There is only one proven and viable option for the UK, and that is under the steady leadership of Boris Johnson.
Written by Conservative Writer, Jack Kane
Point of Information
Shakespeare’s follow up to Romeo and Juliet – Jack Kane and Boris Johnson; a tragic love story filled with lies, deceit and bad haircuts. – A Liberal response
Mr Kane’s article this week is full of hypocrisy and inaccuracy. He cannot even finish his first sentence without making a mistake. He says, ‘the opposition parties are still trying to topple the government.’ However, it is not just the opposition party, but his own party and government who are trying to topple Mr Johnson.
His first claim is that Boris Johnson is loved by the public. This is only compared to Jeremy Corbyn. If your only good quality is being slightly better than Corbyn, then that’s not much to brag about.
Quoting polls is a dangerous game Mr Kane, and they can be very biased. Even still, most don’t look to favourable upon Mr Johnson. The Evening standard reported that only 31% think he tells the truth, 27% thinks he understands the life of an ordinary voter and 25% of people would let him babysit their young children.
Mr Kane praises Boris Johnson’s recent dealing with the EU. But he really needs to ‘dig deeper’ as he tells me in his response. Macron said, ‘that the Ireland-Northern Ireland backstop plan was “indispensable”’. If Boris wants a deal, he must keep the backstop or ‘find a workable plan’ Angela Merkel said, “Mr Johnson will have to fold to the demands of the EU over the backstop…”. This is after he just folded to the demands of the EU when he said he wouldn’t negotiate with the EU removed the backstop. Mr Johnson’s arrogance and ignorance helps to turn facts against his opposition. Mr Kane after reading this article, the biggest fear for you is not Brexit, but is turning into Mini Johnson.
Written by Liberal Writer, Max Anderson
The original ‘silly politics’ PM candidate: Boris Johnson – A Labour response
Mr Kane puts together a compelling argument; we are in a moment of political crisis, with even the most avid followers of politics becoming increasingly disillusioned as time passes. He is correct in the assertion that we desperately need someone reasonable with a plan… but that candidate is not Johnson. Yes, he may have a ‘plan’, but that plan is to crash out of the EU without a deal, putting livelihoods at risk, and plunging the UK into a 3 month crisis. In my opinion, the basic requirement of a plan, any plan, is not sufficient, hence my support of a candidate calling for second referendum in the case of a ‘no deal’ scenario, Burnham is not willing to recklessly throw the country to the dogs for the sake of appearing ‘strong’ and ‘decisive’. Pragmatism and reason is what we need.
My other major qualm with Mr Kane’s argument is his portrayal of Johnson’s character as reasonable, and the antidote to ‘silly politics’. This entire section of his article appeared rife with irony; does he not recognise his dream candidate as the ultimate silly politician? Most recently, Johnson flailed a dead kipper in the air in a weak attempt to demonise the EU and all its ‘red tape’. If this act wasn’t silly enough, it was later revealed that his entire assertion was false: he lies to the electorate consistently to win votes… In a Politics Hub article, Johnson’s politics was described as ‘focused on dramatic effect rather than content’: a deadly combination in power.
Finally, I resent Mr Kane’s focus on Johnson’s successful foreign policy regarding Iran. One only has to look back to his enormous faux pas in the Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe affair to realise how irresponsible a leader Johnson is. What we need now is reasonable and unitary politics.
Written by Labour Writer, Isabella Jewell
Out with the old in with the new. Time to look to the moderates from Labour and the Tories – Liberal article
Liberal Democrats fail to produce any serious contenders, so bring on the Centrists from Labour and the Conservatives
As a Liberal, my task of finding someone to be the next PM within my party is hard. Therefore, I will be selecting candidates from the Labour and Conservative parties who are very much centre. The reason for this is because I have major doubts for most over most of the Liberal MP’s. I agree with what they say, what they do but they are quite uncharismatic. I still miss the days of Nick Clegg I can’t deny.
The next PM needs bucket loads of passion, charisma and a name that is recognised by the public. Most importantly, the candidate needs to be fresh faced.
Jo Swinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, has some, but she has already made mistakes in the short term she has been leader. The way she made ‘her very own motion of no confidence in Her Majesty’s government’ to me was reckless. She made no effort to gain support from any other party, it was destroyed in the house and was done at the wrong time.
The Liberals cannot do this alone; they need support from other parties and Swinson’s go it alone attitude will keep the Liberal Democrats as insignificant as ever.
For the Labour party, the choices are endless. I am a big fan of New Labour. Anyone who hasn’t been removed or contaminated by Jeremy Corbyn could be the PM. This is of huge importance with Labour being at the ‘lowest level of support since May 2009, when Gordon Brown was PM and was facing the financial crisis’ The Week reported. Those who I find to be the best candidates are Ben Bradshaw, Yvette Cooper, Sadiq Khan and David Lammy. All four are what I would consider centre candidates and all four are shots in the dark if I’m being honest.
Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter, is a very experienced politician, serving for the Blair and Brown administration. He is good in interviews and debates, but he is not known to public. Although I am a big fan for Mr Bradshaw, this mountain might be too big to climb and he it is perhaps looking back to the past not the present.
Sadiq Khan needs no introduction. However, I think he is too comfortable where he is. He will ultimately end up being leader of the Labour party, but just not yet.
Yvette Cooper is perhaps my most realistic choice. She is a great debater, stands by her policies and she is ‘associated with the Blair and Brown eras’. Very experienced and remains a key figure in the Labour party. Realistically, she is the best candidate.
Finally, David Lammy. He will be PM one day mark my words. Fierce, tough and great at debating from every angle. He has the ability to engage people into politics and has no problem going headfirst taking on people. The only problem – is he ready? He can sometimes go off the rails a bit and his lack of experience leaves some to be desired. However, maybe we need some fresh blood.
For the conservatives, I really am going to go for a fresh face. The reason for this is twofold; we have just had a recent Conservative election race, so it would be redundant to talk about those candidates and I also think back to old dinosaurs or people who look like they could be blown over by the wind like Philip Hammond.
My choice is Alex Chalk. A keen supporter of stopping the spread of CO2, liked by his electorate in Cheltenham and a big supporter of improving and funding technology, as his voters have seen large amounts donated to the Cyber park. My only critic would be his lack of experience with the big boys, but in his little time as an MP he has certainly impressed me.
Written By Liberal Writer, Max Anderson
Point of Information
A centrist PM is the way forward, but don’t be too quick to dismiss the Lib Dems – A Labour response
Mr Anderson’s approach to this debate is certainly an interesting one; he has identified a handful of brilliant candidates, all of whom I do not doubt could do a better job than Johnson. I am completely in agreement that we need a more centrist candidate in this moment of unprecedented division, as I have argued in my article and previous response.
David Lammy would certainly be a fantastic choice of leader, his passion is electric, and I can certainly see him unifying the public. The only hesitation I would have with Lammy, is perhaps he may be seen to be another London-centric remainer, a characteristic which may alienate many of the Labour base in leave constituencies. It is for this reason that I have argued so avidly for Burnham as party leader, he represents more forgotten communities, those who feel like London has left them behind.
The only aspect of Mr Anderson’s argument that I find truly perplexing, is his dismissal of the Liberal Democrats, claiming that there are no serious contenders. As a constituent of the West Oxford and Abingdon constituency, I have been very lucky to be represented by – and interact with – the Liberal Democrat rising star, Layla Moran. A scientist with a background in teaching, Moran is not a career politician, she has a great understanding of the real world, and the issues that face young people.
Her loud opposition to Brexit has always been clear, and she can certainly whip up a crowd. As a constituent of hers, I can also testify to her ability to connect with the electorate on a human level, something rather special for a politician… She is quick to respond to communications with lengthy replies, offering a completely open mind to those who seek to discuss with her. Moran could be the ‘fresh face’ you are searching for, the politician with real life experience, intelligence, and a profoundly human ability to interact with those she represents.
Written by Labour Writer, Isabella Jewell
Mr Anderson wants you to think that he likes everyone but, if you dig deeper and find the people he truly loves, you are in for a shock – A Conservative response
I shouldn’t be surprised that again I am baffled reading Mr Anderson’s article. His writings do make me chuckle due to them having a such a jumbled structure without any hope of an argument being made. It’s always a pleasure Mr Anderson.
When talking about possible Conservative leaders he writes “I also think back to old dinosaurs or people who look like they could be blown over by the wind like Philip Hammond.” What a foolish statement to make. Mr Hammond is a highly respected MP and has held many cabinet positions including Chancellor of the Exchequer. He has helped navigate the UK through tough economic times while brining unemployment to its lowest since 1975 and increasing wage growth. To say he could be blown over in the wind just because he is not as eccentric as other candidates its improper.
Continuing on that trend, Mr Anderson’s friend David Lammy is not one to shy away from a tasteless comment. His comparison of the ERG to the Nazi party and pro-apartheid supporters should be highly condemned. He is holding the ERG to the same level of murders and people who supported segregation. Personally I am not a huge fan of the ERG but to compare it to the party who forced my grandfather to flee Austria before World War Two due to his religion, is disgusting.
After comments like this it is vital that Mr Lammy and his best friend Mr Anderson need to burrow their heads in the sand for a bit.
Written by Conservative Writer, Jack Kane
Breaking the Westminster Bubble – Burnham is the unitary candidate we need for PM – Labour article
When confronted with the pitiful choice between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn for the next PM, it’s hard not to believe you’re living in a dystopia. Both men have their failings; they are out of touch with the electorate and hold deeply divisive Brexit stances. In a recent poll by The Guardian, when asked if either politician has the UK’s best interests at heart, only 38% of people believed this was true of Johnson, whilst a mere 27% believed Corbyn is working for the good of the Nation. Corbyn has lost the trust of the public, and in the case of a snap election, I believe he needs to step aside for a unitary candidate.
To identify the main issues which – I believe – create a miasma of mistrust around a potential Corbyn premiership, one cannot forget Brexit. Corbyn’s approach of tactical ambivalence regarding the subject has frustrated many labour voters, as well as MPs. We know he can run an invigorating campaign when his heart’s in it, which makes the flop of Labour’s remain campaign an even more bitter pill to swallow. He has already lost MPs to the Lib Dems and Change UK, so I believe a remain candidate is essential to the success of Labour’s campaign against Johnson.
As such, I shall now present my proposition for the next Labour leader, and PM – The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham. Burnham has been clear on his position, supporting remain in the referendum, yet accepting the result of the referendum. Despite accepting the result, he has subsequently come out as for a second referendum, given how likely no deal is becoming… This change in viewpoint, I believe, is proof of his pragmatism, how he makes considered decisions based on his constituents – the fact is that the North of England is predicted to be one of the worst hit regions after Brexit.
Another problem that has tainted Corbyn’s labour is the claims that the party is out of touch with the electorate. In fact, it is impossible to deny that the Brexit vote was intrinsically linked to a resentment of London-centred politics that leaves other regions behind. In fact, recent research found that Labour – the traditional home of the working class – is now the third most popular party for working class voters.
Burnham’s background as a proud northerner, born in Lancashire and educated in a normal comprehensive school, makes him far more grounded compared to the stereotypical north London MP. Burnham’s record, bringing Manchester together after the horrific terror attacks attest to his ability to connect with the electorate, furthermore his ‘Northern Powerhouse’ project, and scheme to regenerate struggling towns in the North West highlight his ambition to spread opportunity all over the Nation, beyond London. I am convinced that this is what the opposition needs in order to stand up to Johnson and have a chance of winning.
Burnham is a candidate with potential to lead the country. His experience as an MP, cabinet member, and mayor of a major city highlights his competence, one only needs to check his voting record to see that he is a candidate that fiercely backs the NHS, eliminating homelessness, and greater representation of constituencies outside of London. He is a breath of fresh air, a politician combining experience and pragmatism, alongside relatability and a ‘radical’ understanding that the ‘unheard’ should be given a voice.
Written by Labour Writer, Isabella Jewell
Point of information
Look at the fine print Miss Jewell, Mr Burnham is not your man – A Conservative response
I couldn’t agree more with Miss Jewell about the horrendous leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. He has gone against his ideals as a Eurosceptic, his plan for Brexit is a sham, his response to the Iran tanker crisis was shambolic, as well as his pathetic nature in dealing with anti-Semitism in the Labour party. However, Miss Jewell has put Boris in the same category as Jeremy Corbyn by describing them both as pitiful. To use her own words against her I believe that is pitiful.
From my article you can see the evidence that supports my claim with Boris being far more popular and therefore, more in touch with the people. As well, the polls are showing that the electorate are getting behind Boris’s Brexit rather than the sham that is Corbyn’s. Miss Jewell also states that Corbyn can run an energised campaign. I think she forgets he was running against Mrs Robot May and even still he couldn’t not win an election. So It is no surprise she has moved to supporting Mr Burnham however, it is clear that her dream man is not all she thinks.
Her unitary candidate is now a supporter for a second referendum which in my opinion is wrong. The people spoke in 2016 and they voted to leave the European Union and even though I was a remainer, I accepted the result. A second referendum would defeat the point of us having a referendum in the first place. It would undercut the democratic process we engaged in in 2016. Furthermore, if a second referendum was to take place and we voted to not leave the EU, what would you say to the people whose decision you have over-turned. You have taken away their democratic voice, and this is why Mr Burnham is not the right candidate.
Written by Conservative Writer, Jack Kane
Burnham is good, but love for a fellow Mancunian is out of place – a Liberal response
Andy Burnham is fine for PM. That is the best I can say of him. He is popular, well known and has some charisma. In fact, he is very similar to one of my own candidates Ben Bradshaw. Bradshaw took over two secretary positions from Mr Burnham, Minister of state for health and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
He is an experienced man who is having some success, but there are some worrying features about him during his time as Mayor and MP. But don’t let me tell you that, let a Mancunian tell you that from their personal experience.
The Manchester Evening Standard wrote a piece on Mr Burnham. Most of it positive but still some worrying signs. They said how Mr Burnham had produced ‘some head scratching among politicians and officials’ and has had to do some ‘radical rewrite[s]’ especially when coming to his policy ‘to allow only council housing on green belt’. His plan for new houses and Business’s ‘has been 18 months of internal wrangling, resulting in five separate delays.’
Mr Burnham as I said is fine. His average display as Mayor with passionate daring new projects is to be praised, but he fails to complete the crucial administrative duties he has.
Miss Jewell, I can see why as someone who studies in Manchester why you feel a connection with him. I felt the same draw from Alex Chalk due to him studying at the same school as me, Windlesham House school. These ties are important to politics. However, this time your bond with a fellow Mancunian is, to quote Ed Miliband, ‘wrong’.
Written by Liberal Writer, Max Anderson
Hello, my name is Jack Kane and I am third year undergraduate at the University of Exeter. I am a studying Politics and will graduate Exeter in the summer of 2020. I have been interested and engaged in Politics since a very young age.
I am currently in my second year of reading Politics at the University of Exeter. My first interaction with politics was at the tender age of four years old.
I have just finished my second year at The University of Manchester studying French and Italian and am about to leave the Northern Powerhouse for a year abroad.