Image: Flickr, Descrier

University of Warwick political societies write open letters to students before UK general election.

Two of Warwick University’s main political societies, Warwick Labour and Warwick Liberal Democrats, have each written an open letter addressing students at the University as to why they should vote for their respective parties on July 4th. The University of Warwick Conservative Association was also contacted but they declined to write an open letter.

Warwick Liberal Democrats open letter:

On 4 July, the future of our country will be in your hands.  

Every Lib Dem wholeheartedly welcomes any opportunity to remove this catastrophic Conservative government, whose countless prime ministers have ruined so much and achieved so little. We will go into this campaign determined to fight for our progressive and liberal values unmatched by any other party. Both Sunak and Starmer have zero ambition and zero compassion. They will both continue to decimate public spending, refuse to fix the housing crisis or our broken constitution, and throw vulnerable minorities under the bus at any opportunity.  

I’m sure I don’t need to spend too long attacking the Conservatives. From Brexit and Partygate to Truss-ageddon and Sunak’s directionless flapping, they have spent the past five years ruining this country, particularly any and every opportunity for young people. The tax burden for working people is the highest since the 1940s as we are saddled with the burden of paying for the Tories’ corrupt Covid contracts and economic crashes. The NHS is in tatters, socio-economic inequality has been allowed to flourish – sometimes actively encouraged – and home ownership is little more than a dream for anyone under the age of 40. Climate targets have been abandoned, refugees and immigrants vilified, and schools left crumbling. At every step, Labour have failed to effectively oppose this, and come into this election offering nothing but superficial change.  

The Labour Party has indeed changed. No longer is it accepting progressive, left-wing voices. This is the party that willingly accepted Natalie Elphicke and yet refuses time and time again to expel Rosie Duffield and had to be forced to reselect Diane Abbot. In constituencies up and down the country, Starmerite careerists are being parachuted in at the expense of traditional Labour voices. The next Health Secretary, Wes Streeting, is getting more and more vocal in defending the rampant transphobia in the Conservative’s culture war. Do you really want to vote to put him in charge of the NHS? A vote for any Labour candidate is a vote for a Labour government that will put people like him on the ministerial payroll.  

The Liberal Democrats are different. Throughout recent years, we have led the way on the most important issues. While Labour floundered and sacked shadow ministers for standing up for Palestine, we were united in swiftly calling for a ceasefire. Starmer and Sunak are in total agreement that trans women should not have their gender recognised, while the Lib Dems have been steadfast in our refusal to be drawn into such ridiculous culture wars. We have stood up against profit-driven water companies dumping sewage in our rivers. Looking past the brilliant stunts of the past couple of weeks, we have consistently fought for better mental health provisions on the NHS and genuine climate action.  

A common attack line against us is that we won’t win. Firstly, to my mind, that’s no reason to blindly throw one’s weight behind a more likely government with no morals, policies, or ambition. Your vote has to be won, not taken for granted. More importantly, our constituency system means there’s every chance that we could be best placed to beat the Conservatives in your particular seat, and it is actually Labour who can’t win! In fact, one of the best parts about being a student is that we get two places to vote, at either our home address or at university. This means you should do your research and vote wherever you are more likely to influence the outcome. Campus is split across two constituencies.  

If you live in Sherbourne, Heronbank, Lakeside, or the Cryfields, you technically don’t live in Coventry. You live in Kenilworth and Southam, a genuine Lib Dem target seat where a Labour vote is a waste, but a Lib Dem vote could dislodge a Conservative! Jenny Wilkinson is a fantastic candidate, and we recommend a tactical vote, or otherwise, for her. If you live in the Coventry South part of campus or Warwick and Leamington, you are in a safe Labour seat with a popular incumbent and you should see if your vote could be more useful at home. There’s a good chance that in one of your seats, a Lib Dem vote could be more meaningful than a Labour one.  

Whether you live in a Lib Dem target or not, we remain the only meaningful progressive option at this election. If the polls are to be believed, Labour will get in with a huge majority. Based on their recent rhetoric, they will need to be forced into enacting progressive policies. What Starmer’s government will need is a strong liberal voice on the opposition benches, especially if the Conservatives lurch even further towards far-right reactionism under Braverman or Badenoch.  

On 4 July, vote Liberal Democrat. Vote for a fair deal. 


Warwick Labour open letter:

Dear Reader, 

I write on behalf of Warwick Labour, offering a summarised overview as to why you should vote for Labour on 4 July. 

It’s no secret that Warwick Labour are very openly critical of the national Labour Party and its current leadership. But do we still think it’s essential to vote Labour? Yes, we absolutely do. 

The last 14 years have been rough, oh dear, they’ve been rough. Nobody knows that more than students: we grew up through it. It is impossible to list all of the Conservative’s disgraceful policy decisions, disregard for public life, and crimes against the working class here, but I will mention just a few of the most astonishing. Austerity has ruined our beloved public services to near irreparable levels. As prisons are overcrowded, our NHS kneels alongside the education system, local governments, and social housing, begging for investment. We’ve seen the working class scapegoated for the continued protection of the rich. The bedroom tax, the two-child benefit cap, record food bank usage, Grenfell, and unprincipled treatment of striking workers, to name a few. When children are malnourished, frail, and starving in what is supposed to be ‘Great’ Britain, it is hard not to feel disdain and disgust for this period in our history. I’m sure fellow students will share my frustration at the tripling of tuition fees, lack of state school funding, youth services, and support for mental health. The Tory Party is a joke. 

The Conservative Party has become the Populist Party. We have seen refugees, migrants, workers, young people, disabled people, and LGBTQIA+ people consistently demonised in harmful campaigns. Campaigns of lies, sleaze, and division. We may not agree with Starmer on many points, but what is true is that he is someone obsessed with the law. Westminster has ruled our nation from Walpole to Sunak. It has ruled our country through an industrial boom, two world wars, the creation of the welfare state and Coronavirus. Through Covid, their party showed nothing but disregard for health and integrity. From lies at the dispatch box to parties in Downing Street, and contracts for their Etonian chums. Do you really think that Rishi Sunak cares about you, the country, or the rule of law? This man stood behind Boris Johnson at every opportunity he had. Do you trust a party who is responsible to nobody but their wealthy donors and 200,000 members? This Tory Party voted for Boris Johnson and Liz Truss as leaders. The bar couldn’t be any lower if it lay at the bottom of the Dead Sea. Labour will undoubtedly show the bare minimum of respect that the country deserves. 

The only way to rid the Tory disease from government this July is to vote Labour. The left is at real risk of splitting the vote and allowing the Tories back into government. We would encourage tactical voting, if you have a Tory MP, get rid of them! The country cannot survive another 5 years of this farcical mess, we implore you to do the country and yourself a favour. Turn a page.  

What’s in it for young people? Votes at 16, social housing, renewable energy, and more teachers are more far-reaching than anything the Tories have to offer, who will be sending Year 13s to war, or to do token unpaid labour, whilst they struggle to find paid work. 

We have established who the Tories are responsible to. The Labour Party is founded on unions, and unions have fought for a brilliant new Workers Deal, to pass within 100 days of government. Workers’ rights will be strengthened, a real living wage introduced, fire and rehire will be ended, zero-hour contracts will be banned (that’s one to note for students especially), union rights will be strengthened, and bargaining power will be stronger. Workers need this more than ever. 

Lastly, Warwick University is in Coventry South, where Labour’s incredible Zarah Sultana is standing for re-election. Zarah will fight for a better Labour Party as Co-Chair of the Socialist Campaign Group. Labour in government, with socialist pressure, could be transformational. Zarah unequivocally supports Palestine, young people, the Muslim, Jewish and Sikh communities, and LGBTQIA+ people. She has donated her unfair pay rises to food banks, raised £13,000 for Coventry Food Bank, and dealt with over 28,000 inquiries and issues for local residents. She also leads the fight against climate change and fights for free school meals – issues that the Conservatives simply do not understand. If you want an MP who cares about humanity, cares about you and cares about our country, vote for Zarah Sultana and Labour on the 4 July. Vote Labour for change. 

All the best, 

Ollie Chapman 

Chair of Warwick Labour 



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