It’s time for another general election and, despite what some politicians are eager to say, the big defining issue of this vote will be Brexit. Students are far more likely to have voted Remain than they are to have Leave, and many of them would be very happy if they could stop the vote. So who do they vote for now? The Tories are pushing for Brexit, and the Labour position is a convoluted and obtuse Leave, as well. Well, step forward the Lib Dems.
Tim Farron is trying to position his party as the 48%, by taking an anti-Brexit stance and hoping to gain a lot of votes from that. But students are still smarting from the Lib Dems’ betrayal over student fees, one of the many reasons they were decimated in the 2015 election. So, if students were to vote for them this time round, could they be trusted to keep their word?
For a start, Farron is standing on a paradoxical platform. I genuinely do not understand how he can claim to respect the result of the country’s largest ever democratic vote, and yet be campaigning to push forward the views of those who lost the referendum. Brexit is going to happen, and the main point of this election is who we want in the driving seat as negotiations are underway.
So, if students were to vote for them this time round, could they be trusted to keep their word?
Giving power to Farron and the Lib Dems is essentially supporting a person who wants to harm our deals with the EU, and sabotage our country’s chance to make a new path for itself in the world. I appreciate that it’s not the path many students wanted, but they should be big enough to not actively try to sabotage their future. If they’re so desperate to avoid the no deal scenario then they shouldn’t be propping up a man who will make that a more probable outcome by throwing up roadblocks throughout the process.
Let’s move on to homophobia. The moment the campaign was started Farron was dogged by a past refusal to say whether, as a practicing Christian, he regarded homosexuality as a sin (he has since come out as said he does not believe being gay or having gay sex is sinful, although I doubt he’d have said otherwise). Now, let’s be frank here – this should not matter, and a man’s private thoughts should not be used against him, especially as he has continuously voted for gay marriage. That said, his stance on abortion – again informed by his religion – is a noticeably less liberal one, and he has consistently made himself scarce on any votes on that topic.
I appreciate that it’s not the path many students wanted, but they should be big enough to not actively try to sabotage their future.
If this were a candidate on the right we all know that they would continue to be slated for it and tarred as a homophobe, even if they clarified their support for gay rights. If you’re going to leave Tim Farron alone for supposed homophobia, solely because you support liberal ideals, when you know you would attack a Tory under the exact same circumstances then I call into question your integrity.
Perhaps the biggest reason not to vote Lib Dem is because, in all seriousness, they aren’t going to win. I do feel a bit sorry for Remainers who are still flogging that horse, praying for a second referendum. Brexit is not going to be stopped.Voting for Farron’s posturing may give students some degree of comfort and a feeling of the moral high-ground, but nothing tangible will come of it. Farron and the Lib Dems will not win enough votes to form a government, and even if they did they would sabotage any chance of a good Brexit deal for Britain.