Tory Chairman tries to convince students to vote Conservative

Responding to the invitation of the Warwick Conservative Party, Caroline Spelman, Chairman of the Tory Party, sung the praises of her party at a a talk on campus last Thursday.

The economy inevitably dominated the Thursday evening discussion, with issues such as the government’s plans to tackle the recession, and the alternative measures proposed by the Conservative Party being top on the agenda.

Spelman’s talk also touched several other significant topics, such as election speculations, cabinet reshuffle, armed forces recruitment and immigration.

Spelman first discussed the political implications of the economic crisis. Given the great volatility in the polls, there is now a higher pressure on politicians to adjust rapidly, according to people’s changing expectations, in order to deliver the right policies. She also did not rule out the possibility of a new general election being announced by the Labour Party.

Spelman pointed out that Labour might make an attractive policy proposal, such as an income tax cut, and then call an election.

However, Spelman argued that if this were to happen, “the politician has to trust the electorate to get it right, that’s the beauty of democracy.”

Spelman then emphasised the importance of the country’s savings ratio, especially during a recession. According to the International Monetary Fund, the UK remains the most vulnerable developed economy in the face of the financial downturn.

The Conservative Chairman added that some see this issue as a result of Gordon Brown’s failure “to fix the roof while the sun was still shining.”

She then presented short-term measures that the Conservatives would take to balance the economy. These include the introduction of a national guarantee scheme, worth £15 billion, through which they would underwrite loans from banks to business to keep credit flowing. They would also implement a 6 month VAT and national insurance “holiday”.

The Tories also plan to allocate £4 billion for the compensation of savers, who suffered due to the cut in interest rates.

This measure would involve an increase in allowances for pensioners, through bigger income tax allowances.

Addressing the issue of job cuts in the graduate market, Spelman said that, in a recessionary market, “lateral thinking” is encouraged, reminding students that they might have to settle with a job that they wouldn’t have necessarily considered before.

Having graduated as a Eurpean Studies student from University of London’s Queen Mary College, also during a recession in 1980, she acknowledged the difficulties of the present moment.

Spelman suggested that students should increase their value in the marketplace, by undertaking further education, such as postgraduate degrees or vocational courses.

In this sense, the Conservatives plan to encourage higher education by offering more schemes.

“Mrs. Spelman delivered an interesting talk” a second year PPE student told the Boar, “however, rather then giving clear answers to the questions, she preferred to attract people’s votes for the next elections and to hold the present government accountable for implementing the wrong measures against the recession. She avoided giving clear answers on Tory economic policy”, the second year concluded.

Asked to comment on the outcome of the talk, Faye Lawson, chairman of the Warwick Conservative Party, stated: “It’s good that someone who is as high profile as Caroline has taken the time to come to Warwick and it is also good that the direction of the Conservative Party is towards the young.”

Caroline Spelman is also MP for Meriden, in Warwickshire.


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