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DKrol
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« on: July 05, 2019, 08:55:17 pm »

First Leaders Debate
August 12, 2019

Questions For Each Leader:

1. What is your position on Brexit? If you support Brexit, how will you enact the actual policy of Britain leaving the European Union? If you oppose Brexit, what is your plan to reverse Articel 50 being invoked by then-Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom?

2. More than 300,000 people are homeless in this country and scores more are living in temporary housing. If elected Prime Minister, what will you do to address this crisis?

3. Reform of the House of Lords has become a hot-button political issue in this campaign. How would you like to see the Lords reformed, if at all.

4. Britain has suffered several major terror attacks over the last few years, including the Manchester Arena bombing and the Westminster Bridge attack; Jo Cox was shot to death in 2016, and, just last week, Arder Carson was brutally stabbed to death in his constituency. How will a Government led by you ensure Britons remain safe in their own neighborhoods?

Questions for Specific Leaders:

1. Mr. Cameron, the Tories have been in Government since 2012. Why should Britain return you to Number 10 as the third Conservative Prime Minister?

2. Ms. Swinson, your comments on the campaign trail about allowing Scotland, Wales, and any region that chooses to to remain in the European Union even if the nation as a whole leaves have drawn sharp criticism and created a lot of confusion. Do you agree that such a plan would break up the Union?

3. Mr. Darling, why didn't Labour mention Brexit in their manifesto? Is Brexit not the largest issue of the campaign?

4. Mr. Farage, why didn't you campaign at all last week? How do you respond to comments from those who do not believe you are taking this election seriously and worry how you will govern?

5. Mrs. Soubry, is Change UK a left-of-center or a right-of-center party? Some have criticized you, a former Conservative MP, for endorsing and campaigning on what many have described as a manifesto of the left. Your response?

6. Mr. Nuttall, some have called the Brexit Party a splinter group, designed only to hurt Mr. Farage's UKIP. Do you think both parties can succeed, or is the success of one exclusive of the other's?

7. Ms. Lucas, can the Green Party become a major party in British politics?

8. Ms. Sturgeon, will Scotland leave the United Kingdom before the next election? If so, how? If not, why not?

9. Mr. Price, will Wales leave the United Kingdom before the next election? If so, how? If not, why not?

10. Ms. McDonald, your manifesto mentions preseving the special relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Is that possible if the UK, with Northern Ireland, leaves the European Union while the Republic of Ireland remains in the European Union?

11. Ms. Foster, why didn't the Democratic Unionist Party release a manifesto and why didn't you campaign last week? Do you plan to contest seats in England and Wales again this election? How do you respond to those who say that the DUP standing in England and Wales is betraying the point of the party and its loyalty to Northern Ireland?
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2019, 11:40:45 am »

BREXIT PARTY RESPONSES
First Leaders Debate
August 12, 2019

Questions For Each Leader:

1. What is your position on Brexit? If you support Brexit, how will you enact the actual policy of Britain leaving the European Union? If you oppose Brexit, what is your plan to reverse Article 50 being invoked by then-Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom?

Britain will be all the better after having left the EU. We will leave the Union completely and make sure that we have control over our industries of Agriculture, Fishing and Trade Policy. The European Union will not force us into participating in their subsidizing of smaller poorer countries in Europe or their European defense force. In addition, we will stop giving them money, laws of the EU will not apply to us, and we will end the open borders we have had with EU countries. It will be a clean exit. We will not have any agreement that gives us some of the "perks" being an EU member state because the British people want none of it. Over 17 million Britons voted against it!

2. More than 300,000 people are homeless in this country and scores more are living in temporary housing. If elected Prime Minister, what will you do to address this crisis?

Our party believes that the housing problem can be helped by decreasing the cost of housing and making more of housing available. Our social housing has been offered to people who just came into the country the same as our British citizens, we would establish a residency requirement of 5 years in the UK before you are able to get these benefits. In addition, we believe that 1 million housing units can be built on brownfield sites which we will provide grants for the use of.

3. Reform of the House of Lords has become a hot-button political issue in this campaign. How would you like to see the Lords reformed, if at all.

We would like to see the House of Lords become a democratically elected body to truly represent the people of the UK and their views rather than an establishment class trying to retain their political power over people by appointing their vanguard without having to answer to the people.

4. Britain has suffered several major terror attacks over the last few years, including the Manchester Arena bombing and the Westminster Bridge attack; Jo Cox was shot to death in 2016, and, just last week, Arder Carson was brutally stabbed to death in his constituency. How will a Government led by you ensure Britons remain safe in their own neighborhoods?

Our country has a problem with violence, it's undeniable. Our police get a budget of 7.3 billion dollars is half of our foreign aid budget. Shouldn't we take care of our own citizens before worrying about those in foreign countries? After MP's are killed and Stadiums have been bombed, how are we going to ignore such a glaring problem? Under a government under the Brexit Party, people will remain safe with an adequately funded police force.

Questions for Specific Leaders:

6. Mr. Nuttall, some have called the Brexit Party a splinter group, designed only to hurt Mr. Farage's UKIP. Do you think both parties can succeed or is the success of one exclusive of the others?

Our party is different than UKIP in that we are appealing to all of the British people who are worried about the cult of personality and far-right connections of UKIP. We have Brexiteers from across the political spectrum in our party. If UKIP claims to be the party of those who wish to leave the EU why are they polling in the teens when Brexit was supported by over half of voters? We want to win votes from people who voted for UKIP and the votes of people who voted for Brexit and then turned around and voted for the Conservatives and Labour because of reservations about Nigel Farage at the helm of the UK. We aren't just a group meant to siphon support from UKIP and I believe we are the far more effective party to get Brexit done.

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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2019, 06:23:17 pm »




Nicola Sturgeon's Debate Responses



Opening statement:

The people of Scotland face big decision this election. Should Scotland stay in a union which doesn't listen to Scotland, or should Scotland become an independent, forward looking country that is in the EU? In this debate, you will hear Mr. Nuttall and Mr. Farage attack immigrants for political gain and Mr. Cameron call for more cuts to public services which are essential to Scotland's most vulnerable. No doubt you'll also hear Mr. Darling hedge his bets on Brexit. These people haven't and won't listen to Scotland, they represent a wealthy elite in the South East of England. A vote for the SNP is a vote for an independent Scotland in the EU standing against austerity and inequality.



What is your position on Brexit? If you support Brexit, how will you enact the actual policy of Britain leaving the European Union? If you oppose Brexit, what is your plan to reverse Article 50 being invoked by then-Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom?

The SNP believes the surest way for Scotland to remain in the EU is for us to have an independent Scotland. But, as long as we stay part of the UK, SNP MPs in Westminster will strongly advocate for a second referendum on Brexit, and will campaign to stop Brexit. We support revoking Article 50 as a way of stopping Brexit, especially if we get too close to the deadline and risk crashing out. SNP MPs will also be a voice for Scotland in Parliament to make sure that Scotland gets a seat at the negotiating table. This is absolutely necessary, a leaked government memo revealed that the Tories don't see the Scottish fishing and oil industries as a high priority in the Brexit negotiations. 80,000 Scottish jobs depend on Scotland's membership of the EU, only a strong Scottish voice can fight to protect Scotland's jobs.



More than 300,000 people are homeless in this country and scores more are living in temporary housing. If elected Prime Minister, what will you do to address this crisis?

As First Minister, I have fought endlessly to put more money in the hands of the poorest in our society. We have invested £50 million towards ending homelessness, building 82,000 affordable homes since 2007. We have set up programs to help alleviate costs associated with housing including helping 316,000 low income households with buying essentials and Social Security Scotland, to help provide support to the most vulnerable Scots. We have done all this with our hands tied. Savage Tory austerity has led to huge cuts to our vital social programs and the results have been an explosion in extreme poverty. SNP MPs will oppose cuts to public services and the welfare system vigorously, and will be a voice for ending homelessness.



Reform of the House of Lords has become a hot-button political issue in this campaign. How would you like to see the Lords reformed, if at all.

I am very proud that the SNP is by far the largest party to have no representation in the House of Lords. It is a corrupt, aristocratic, undemocratic and outdated institution that has to be abolished.



Britain has suffered several major terror attacks over the last few years, including the Manchester Arena bombing and the Westminster Bridge attack; Jo Cox was shot to death in 2016, and, just last week, Arder Carson was brutally stabbed to death in his constituency. How will a Government led by you ensure Britons remain safe in their own neighborhoods?

As First Minister, I've increased law enforcement spending by £100 million. While England and Wales have lost 20,000 officers due to Tory cuts, officer numbers in Scotland have actually increased since the SNP came to power. In addition, we have invested £17 million in violence prevention and £13.5 million in anti-sectarian education. As a result, crime is down 42% since the SNP took office, the lowest level ever in Scotland. Violent crime is down 46%. The re-conviction rate is also the lowest its been in 19 years.



Ms. Sturgeon, will Scotland leave the United Kingdom before the next election? If so, how? If not, why not?

I am optimistic that we will get independence. Unfortunately, the Tory government have refused to allow a referendum. The only way to get one is to have an SNP victory this election to send a strong message that Scotland wants a referendum on independence.



Closing statement:

You've seen the contrast on the debate stage today. Parties like the Tories and UKIP who look to the past and campaign based on fear. Labour has forgotten its working class roots. The SNP offers hope and vision for an independent progressive Scotland which protects workers, looks after the vulnerable and moves the country forward. Vote SNP.


Image source: www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2019, 04:45:21 pm »

First Leaders Debate
August 12, 2019

Questions For Each Leader:

1. What is your position on Brexit? If you support Brexit, how will you enact the actual policy of Britain leaving the European Union? If you oppose Brexit, what is your plan to reverse Articel 50 being invoked by then-Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom?

I oppose Brexit, and Brexit will not happen without a deal with the European Union. My administration would negotiate with the European Union to suspend Article 50. Once we have successfully negotiated the suspension, we will begin preparations for a second referendum. If I am eected, I pledge that a second referendum will occur within my first 3 months in office.

2. More than 300,000 people are homeless in this country and scores more are living in temporary housing. If elected Prime Minister, what will you do to address this crisis?

We need bold new ideas. I will support a national housing program. My administration will create a 200 billion pound fund to house the homeless. We will invest up to 10 million pounds in existong homeless shelters. The 200 billion pound find will be used to built new homes for those, who are living on the streets. We will also pay an annual amount of 30,000 pounds to every single homeless person, who uses this program.

3. Reform of the House of Lords has become a hot-button political issue in this campaign. How would you like to see the Lords reformed, if at all.

I don’t really support reforming the House of Lords. I support the House of Lords, as it is. I support change, but I just don’t think that changing the House of Lords does much good for Great Britain.

4. Britain has suffered several major terror attacks over the last few years, including the Manchester Arena bombing and the Westminster Bridge attack; Jo Cox was shot to death in 2016, and, just last week, Arder Carson was brutally stabbed to death in his constituency. How will a Government led by you ensure Britons remain safe in their own neighborhoods?

Well first, we will increase airport security. My administration will also impose security services on trains and buses. We will add security technology to thousands of stations across Britain. At the same time, we will station police near major tourist attractions. However, before any of this program is implemented, we will have extensive racial profiling training, with any persons employed in these new security services. However, we must remain open to migrants and refugees. My administration will not turn anyone away, if they do not have weapons on them. We will welcome refugees from Greece, Syria, Libya, and many other places.

Questions for Specific Leaders:

Ms. Swinson, your comments on the campaign trail about allowing Scotland, Wales, and any region that chooses to to remain in the European Union even if the nation as a whole leaves have drawn sharp criticism and created a lot of confusion. Do you agree that such a plan would break up the Union?

I believe that the European Union is just that, a Union. The parts of the United Kingdom, each have their own storied history, and we should respect that. Scotland staying in the EU would not promote disunity, we would still allow free trade and the free movement across borders in my administration, even if “Leave” won the second referendum. So, in essence, Brexit would be extremely soft, if it won the second referendum, if I al elected. Scotland is still a part of Britain, so I would support limited EU membership, for example, Scotland can only deal with EU countries, Britain, as a whole, must deal with non-EU countries. I believe, quite frankly, that this is the best solution.


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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2019, 07:51:38 am »

Opening Statment

Hello, I am Alistair Darling. The leader of the Labour Party, the other candidates on this stage today plank themselves as a different. They are all different, but some not for the good of Britain. I plank myself as someone with a record, I fought long and hard to remain in the EU, as did Mrs.Sturgeon, and many others. I also fought to keep Britain united, I am the only candidate here with a record on putting the people first all across our nation, we need to move away from the failed policies of Prime Minister Leadsom and towards a future of higher wages, better healthcare, and a stronger and more united British Isles.

What is your position on Brexit? If you support Brexit, how will you enact the actual policy of Britain leaving the European Union? If you oppose Brexit, what is your plan to reverse Article 50 being invoked by then-Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom?

We will Remain in the European Union. That is the promise I will make here tonight, I most want the British people to hear. The EU is a part of Britain as Britain is apart of the EU. My plan to reverse Article 50 is to hold a second referendum because the British people believe they have made a mistake. If we truly, want their voices to be heard. Then we need a Second Referendum, as it is the only way to ensure that they have their voices heard, from my home in Scotland to the shores of Dover. We need to be united in this path, as One Britain, and as one nation. A Second Referendum will finally allow us to say once and for all, we are Britain and this is what we want.


More than 300,000 people are homeless in this country and scores more are living in temporary housing. If elected Prime Minister, what will you do to address this crisis?

Thank you for this question, as this issue is currently paramount in the UK, Labour is the only party that addressed this crisis in our manifesto. I'd like to say to the other men and women up here tonight, shame... on... you... This is a national emergency, that is why we will be building 30,000 council homes a year, Refurbishing existing council homes to meet modern standards in regards
to safety, the environment, and quality of life, and introducing a housing first policy for homeless Britains which prioritizes giving rough sleepers a place to live to help address long term issues, and
give those without a home first priority on social housing waiting lists. And unlike Mrs.Swinson we aren't just throwing 250 billion pounds at this crisis, we're doing things in a cost-effective, and efficient manner to keep the burden off every day Britains. We also are creating tens of thousands of new jobs, with our Blue New Deal that will help revitalize the communities hurt the most by the May-Leadsom-Cameron government, those on our coasts. A vote Labour is a vote for new jobs, new homes for the poor, and a stronger future for our children.



Reform of the House of Lords has become a hot-button political issue in this campaign. How would you like to see the Lords reformed, if at all?

I'd like to remind you all Labour is the party that has shepherded through most of the House of Lords reform, we need to continue this reform to make Britain a more Democratic, and more representative nation. That is why under a Labour government we will eliminate Hereditary Peers in the House of Lords. The remaining 92 hereditary peers will be removed, the number of peers will be capped after 10 years at 600 and 120 members to be elected to represent the nations and the regions.
It will include a significant minority of independent members. Its political membership should be broadly representative of the main parties' relative voting strengths as reflected in the previous general election.

Britain has suffered several major terror attacks over the last few years, including the Manchester Arena bombing and the Westminster Bridge attack; Jo Cox was shot to death in 2016, and, just last week, Arder Carson was brutally stabbed to death in his constituency. How will a Government led by you ensure Britons remain safe in their own neighborhoods?

A Labour government fought against terrorism. Jo Cox was a great friend of mine, and every day we are without her is a day our nation is weaker as a whole. We will increase security as the places liable to terrorist incidents, but we will not be a nation living under fear. We will not let these terrorists beat, us Muslim or Christian, Left or Right. I want it to be known, that Britain will never cower in fear of terrorism. We are a strong, nation divided by politics, but agreeing in one message we will not be defeated. We will increase the funding for armed police units, and we will put more police on the streets of our cities, to ensure that none of these incidents repeat themselves and we lose no more friends, mothers, fathers, sisters, or brothers to terrorism. Mrs.Swinson I ask if you are so acceptive of refugees from the Mediterranean then why was it not fit to be mentioned in the Liberal Democratic manifesto? 

Mr. Darling, why didn't Labour mention Brexit in their manifesto? Is Brexit not the largest issue of the campaign?

This is a question I expected, of course. The answer is not simple. The answer is the truth, the British don't need Brexit to be the main issue of this campaign, Brexit does not food on their kitchen tables. Brexit does not pay the electric bill or the water bill. Jobs do... Brexit doesn't house 300,000 Britons that are currently homeless... Council Homes will... and Brexit does not breed the future ideas of our leaders... teachers do... that is why I want every teacher in Britain to have a masters degree and to make it affordable for them to do so. That is why Labour didn't mention Brexit in our Manifesto. Because we mentioned the issues, that the people need. Jobs... Homes... and Teachers.

Closing Statement

I have been Alistair Darling, Labour will be a government that creates new jobs. Labour will be the government that builds new homes so that all Britons can have a place to sleep at night. And Labour will be the Government that ensures our children get the education they deserve and that is the best one in the world. I say this to Mr.Nuttall, your party is one that's sole purpose is to sow discontent among the hardworking people of our nation. You stand for a disaster of policy, and that is the truth, Sir. Mrs.Sturgeon, we have not abandoned our working class roots. Labour is the only party that wants to create new homes for those who don't have them, we are the only government that is proposing a coastal revitalization program, the Blue New Deal. And Labour is the party of the working class, not the SNP, not the Tories, and well sure, not Brexit or UKIP-Lite as I like to say.
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 04:30:19 pm »

David Cameron Debate Answers

1. What is your position on Brexit? If you support Brexit, how will you enact the actual policy of Britain leaving the European Union? If you oppose Brexit, what is your plan to reverse Articel 50 being invoked by then-Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom?

Quote
Well first, thank you for the question. Rarely has an issue been so important as this. And you know, my advisers have told me that I shouldn’t get too far into the weeds on this issue. They’ve said that the British people wouldn’t appreciate candidness on this. Well, you deserve an answer. Not on person on this stage is going to get everything they want on this issue, but the fact of the matter remains that we must carry out the will of the people on this issue.

First and foremost, new trade agreements ensuring that British goods actually have access to the vast European market. The Eurozone, for all its political flaws is a major economic player on the world stage, which should be obvious to the other party leaders. Moreover, an amenable agreement must be reached in Ireland to ensure that the region is not plunged back into large scale unrest. Ease of access between Northern Ireland and Ireland itself is critical. An open border for citizens of both Northern Ireland and Ireland is one of the many options on the table.

Finally, as I am sure you all know is the issue of the so called “divorce bill.” Obviously, we will not allow ourselves to be blackmailed into paying an exorbitant bill. But, again, the fact of the matter remains that we must meet our expectations, we are British for goodness sakes! This is not a Goldilocks situation, but a Conservative government is the only government which can possibly navigate the tides ahead.

Also, if I may, I question the statements made by both Mrs. Swinson and Mr. Darling. How can one be both opposed to Brexit and support a deal to leave the Union? Moreover, Mr. Darling, how many referendums must we have until you get what you want? We are a democracy, and I intend to follow the will of the people on this issue, and I question those who refuse to do so.

2. More than 300,000 people are homeless in this country and scores more are living in temporary housing. If elected Prime Minister, what will you do to address this crisis?

Quote
Homelessness in our country is as you accurately describe as a crisis. The Conservative solution to this is two fold. On the one hand, as your Prime Minister we will allocate 150 million pounds to palliative measures, such as increased funding for social services and shelters. However, the root cause is a dirth in the supply of housing.

As such, my government will support new tax abatements for those companies building affordable, adequate housing. This approach will allow for us to finally get a grasp on this crisis.

3. Reform of the House of Lords has become a hot-button political issue in this campaign. How would you like to see the Lords reformed, if at all.

Quote
While I do appreciate that British constitutional practice has become a topic of debate, I cannot help but feel this is a distraction from the more pressing matters. Reform can best be discussed after the much more practical problems of Brexit, homelessness, and political violence have been addressed.

More on this issue, we also must remember that the House of Lords, for all its faults does serve a purpose. In addition to the speakership, it serves as a useful check on the willfulness of Parliament. I question if those who support reform would truly support it if their political opponents are reelected in a few weeks.

4. Britain has suffered several major terror attacks over the last few years, including the Manchester Arena bombing and the Westminster Bridge attack; Jo Cox was shot to death in 2016, and, just last week, Arder Carson was brutally stabbed to death in his constituency. How will a Government led by you ensure Britons remain safe in their own neighborhoods?

Quote
This is a complex and worthwhile question. On the one hand, all of us on this stage bear some responsibility for the rhetoric which we are our respective parties use. We must be cautious of the means we utilize to win political power.

On a more practical note, new funds can and will be devoted to domestic security under my Prime Ministership. This will include new investments in local police forces to ensure that every British citizen is safe.

1. Mr. Cameron, the Tories have been in Government since 2012. Why should Britain return you to Number 10 as the third Conservative Prime Minister?

Quote
Because quite frankly we are the only ones who can lead the United Kingdom through these trying times. We are the only party whose leadership has actually attempted to negotiate a Brexit and who seems to understand that a perfect deal is not a real possibility.

If you want the chaos of recurring referendums under a Labour ministry or a Liberal Democratic Prime Minister, then so be it, but I can assure you right now, no such antics will take place under my leadership.
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2019, 08:08:26 pm »


Plaid Answers
August 12, 2019

1. What is your position on Brexit? If you support Brexit, how will you enact the actual policy of Britain leaving the European Union? If you oppose Brexit, what is your plan to reverse Articel 50 being invoked by then-Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom?

I support the Liberal Democrats plan on that and I am opposed to Brexit.

2. More than 300,000 people are homeless in this country and scores more are living in temporary housing. If elected Prime Minister, what will you do to address this crisis?

I will promise to build more affordable housing in Wales and help invest more in Affordable housing and help make more jobs in Wales.

3. Reform of the House of Lords has become a hot-button political issue in this campaign. How would you like to see the Lords reformed, if at all.

The House of Lords doesn't affect Wales much and if I could reform it, I would have more diversity in the House of Lords so that the HoL will have the voice of the Welsh, English, Scottish, and Irish or Ulster groups and also minority groups.

4. Britain has suffered several major terror attacks over the last few years, including the Manchester Arena bombing and the Westminster Bridge attack; Jo Cox was shot to death in 2016, and, just last week, Arder Carson was brutally stabbed to death in his constituency. How will a Government led by you ensure Britons remain safe in their own neighborhoods?

We will hire more security for every single MP and local major politician and have something like the American Secret Service in the United Kingdom to protect our politicians.

Questions for Specific Leaders:

9. Mr. Price, will Wales leave the United Kingdom before the next election? If so, how? If not, why not?

If we are in a coalition, we will demand that Wales will be prioritized and invest into Wales, and it will be impractical to have a fully independent Wales if we can have even more autonomy into Wales and invest into Wales, and not next election, but maybe in the future.
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2019, 01:12:08 am »

Mary Lou McDonald
Sinn Féin at the Leaders' Debate

What is your position on Brexit? If you support Brexit, how will you enact the actual policy of Britain leaving the European Union? If you oppose Brexit, what is your plan to reverse Articel 50 being invoked by then-Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom?
There's no denying that Europe needs to change. After a decade of austerity and privatization, imposed by a government in Brussels that is as far from transparency as we are from the moon, the people are hurting, and it's no wonder so many of them voted to Leave. What we've seen in the last three years, is that the chaos of a Tory-led Brexit would compound the evils of our present relationship with Europe, and solve none of the ills that caused the referendum in the first place. Brexit is not the answer. Sinn Féin stands with the majority of the voters in Northern Ireland, who voted to Stay in 2016 and who continue to oppose the disastrous deal negotiated by Andrea Leadsom and David Cameron.

Standing here, listening to the leaders of the major parties tonight, it is clearer than ever that none of them has a serious plan to resolve this crisis and repair our relationship with Europe. While politicians pose and pander, we face the prospect of a hard border across Ireland for the first time since 1998. Never mind the workers whose jobs depend on free movement across the border! Never mind the farmers who rely on European subsidies to keep chin above water! Never mind the violence that is sure to return if Westminster walks away from the Good Friday agreement! These are petty distractions to David Cameron and his lackeys in the DUP, who sold out their neighbors for a seat in Downing Street!

Any deal with the EU must include designated special status for the North to preserve free movement across the border and maintain our access to European markets and European subsidies. If David Cameron and Jo Swinson cannot come to an agreement to protect the interests of the North, the only alternative is unification.

More than 300,000 people are homeless in this country and scores more are living in temporary housing. If elected Prime Minister, what will you do to address this crisis?
We must end the Tory cuts to public services that have pulled out the rug from under the feet of the neediest in our communities. Seven years of the Tory-DUP coalition have bled every penny from the poor to finance Andrea Leadsom and Arlene Foster's massive tax giveaway for the wealthy. We refuse to accept the politics of austerity that suffers those with the least in our society to eke out an existence on the margins while those with the most suffer nothing at all. Sinn Féin speaks for the most vulnerable in our communities when we demand that our vital public services be funded in full, so that all people at every level of society have the support they need to maintain a decent standard of living.

Reform of the House of Lords has become a hot-button political issue in this campaign. How would you like to see the Lords reformed, if at all.
Much as we can marvel to hear a politician like Mr. Cameron, whose government has maintained the brutal austerity measures of the last seven years, speak so eloquently in defense of a smoking lounge for 1,000-odd powdered wigs who take lunch and play backgammon on the public dole, reforming the House of Lords is a superficial solution to a real crisis of confidence in our democratic system. While we stand here this evening, debating another pet project of the privileged political class, the Stormont Executive has been out of session for more than two years, thanks to the self-interested obstructionism of the DUP-Tory government. It's time for Westminster to stop playing coy and put the interests of the Northern people before their own by restoring home rule and the Good Friday Agreement.

Britain has suffered several major terror attacks over the last few years, including the Manchester Arena bombing and the Westminster Bridge attack; Jo Cox was shot to death in 2016, and, just last week, Arder Carson was brutally stabbed to death in his constituency. How will a Government led by you ensure Britons remain safe in their own neighborhoods?
The single greatest threat to the peace in the North is the reimposition of a hard border across Ireland. Any deal with the European Union must include special status for Northern Ireland, to allow the continued free movement of people, goods, and services across the border. The failure of the Tory-DUP government to include this condition in their negotiations shows this government's blatant disregard for the condition of the North, so long as they can continue to reap the benefits of political power. Sinn Féin is the only party committed to full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and preventing a hard border across Ireland.

Ms. McDonald, your manifesto mentions preseving the special relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Is that possible if the UK, with Northern Ireland, leaves the European Union while the Republic of Ireland remains in the European Union?
Without recognition of Northern Ireland's special status in in any deal with the European Union, the only alternative to a hard border across Ireland is unification. Designated special status would allow North to remain part of the Customs Union and the Single Market and, crucially, allow the continued free movement of people, goods, and services between Northern and Southern Ireland. Brussels has repeatedly demonstrated flexibility on this issue: it is now up to the Tory-DUP government in Westminster to end their prideful obstructionism and reach a fair agreement in the best interests of the Northern people.
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2019, 04:31:48 pm »

Change UK:
Debate Answers

Quote
1. What is your position on Brexit? If you support Brexit, how will you enact the actual policy of Britain leaving the European Union? If you oppose Brexit, what is your plan to reverse Articel 50 being invoked by then-Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom?

As we've made it clear again and again we believe Brexit has been an unmitigated disaster which has already divided the United Kingdom, put a major strain on the economy, endangered the union and pushed politics to the brink. Let there be no mistake that Change UK is a party which passionately believes in continued membership of the EU as well as on the dream of cooperation with our European neighbors, all too often demonized by irresponsible politicians who want to win votes by promoting fear and division.

As a result, not only we strongly reject the notion of a no-Deal Brexit and would push to suspend Article 50 if such an outcome appeared imminent, we believe it is time for the people to make an informed decision knowing what we know now. We will push for a People's Vote with Remain on the ballot, we will campaign for Remain as strongly as we can on that vote, and if we lead the next government we will do our best to ensure not only we remain on the EU, but that we become a positive voice for change and reform within the EU.

Quote
2. More than 300,000 people are homeless in this country and scores more are living in temporary housing. If elected Prime Minister, what will you do to address this crisis?

It is indeed a truly staggering number, and a clear example of how badly successive Conservative-led or Labour-led governments have let ordinary, hard-working people down. Anyone who aspires to lead the United Kingdom as Prime Minister should know that the first duty of a government is to work towards the well-being of their citizens, and that does not merely involve being responsible with public spending, it means being humane and compassionate when it comes to situations such as this.

That is why we've insisted on the notion of a "Social Market Economy", an economy that cares about Britons without descending on the usual Labour-Lib Dem mania of throwing money at problems without finding workable solutions or involving the state in what usually ends up being a bureaucratic nightmare. And likewise, without descending on the Conservative or UKIP approach of either cutting public spending to the point in which nothing can be done or merely leaving the situation as it is.

This level of homelessness represents the Economy of Despair, and a Change UK government will seek to tackle this crisis by initiating a new home-building scheme that respects the Green belt, ensuring public spending towards housing and homelessness is reasonably increased and promoting home ownership. 

Quote
3. Reform of the House of Lords has become a hot-button political issue in this campaign. How would you like to see the Lords reformed, if at all.

Oh, it absolutely has to be reformed, no question about it. This is a modern, forward-thinking democracy which needs institutions which are compatible with the present times, and having an un-elected second chamber with hereditary peers or political appointees is not only remarkably undemocratic, it can also mean politicians are too tempted to ensure their friends receive a peerage.

Unlike what Mr. Cameron would have you believe, reforming the House of Lords does not mean ignoring its contributions or the important role of a second chamber. It means ensuring that second house is actually representative of what the people voted for. I find it risible some believe it isn't important to address Lords reform even if it's not the biggest priority of the moment, because this is a part of our political system in desperate need for change.

Our solution is simple, Change UK will reform the House of Lords into a fully elected body - via a proportional voting system - and see to it that elections to the House of Lords are conducted alongside General Elections. This is a modern society and it should be up to the voters to decide, not to the whims of a Prime Minister or due to hereditary reasons.

Quote
4. Britain has suffered several major terror attacks over the last few years, including the Manchester Arena bombing and the Westminster Bridge attack; Jo Cox was shot to death in 2016, and, just last week, Arder Carson was brutally stabbed to death in his constituency. How will a Government led by you ensure Britons remain safe in their own neighborhoods?

It is certainly a very concerning situation that has been developing in terms of terrorism, and one which successive governments have failed to address by constantly cutting funding for security and our national defence, by promoting fear and distrust, by poisoning our politics with messages of hatred, or by trying to appeal to the political extremes in this nation. As politicians we have a duty to keep Britons safe, and Westminster has not been up to the task in the slightest.

Change UK believes in a robust, strong national defence and on ensuring Britons are safe and feel safe as they go about their lives. That is why we must reverse the highly damaging cuts to defence and to the police, as well as maintain our nuclear deterrent. That is why we must introduce new government strategies to tackle extremism, to fight against cyber-crime and cyber-terrorism, to ensure criminals are not only properly sentenced, but actually rehabilitated instead of sent back to the streets to repeat the cycle.

Quote
5. Mrs. Soubry, is Change UK a left-of-center or a right-of-center party? Some have criticized you, a former Conservative MP, for endorsing and campaigning on what many have described as a manifesto of the left. Your response?

I have to say I find this obsession with narrowing a party within such a simplistic description to be rather outdated in this day and age. One of the reasons why we find ourselves in this complicated situation is because several parties have decided to give in to extremism and move away from the political center, whilst at the same time defending some rather outdated ways of thinking for the sake of their own ideologies. They refuse to consider that "the other side" might actually have good ideas as well, and reject those ideas simply because they came from a different source.

The policies in our manifesto are not there because they're center-left or center-right, they're there because to us they feel necessary for the United Kingdom, and the best course to follow for a better future. Some are more aligned with the left, some more aligned with the right, but above all, this is a common sense manifesto which seeks to correct some of the most pressing issues Britain faces today and which seeks to represent mainstream Britain by taking a firm stand on security, protecting the environment, seeking a more compassionate economy, fighting against Brexit and reforming our politics.

If anything, this is a vision of radical centrism. Centrist, because it moves away from unrealistic, bitter extremes in order to represent mainstream Britain and provide ordinary Britons with a voice. And Radical, because we do not believe in keeping things exactly as they are, we believe in change.
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2019, 01:26:08 pm »

Turn Three
August 15 - August 21


Ian King: That was the Sky News Leaders’ Debate. Joining me to talk about what we saw, Lewis Goodall. Lewis, hello.

Lewis Goodall: Hello, Ian.

King: First off, who won the debate?

Goodall: I think that that’s got to go to Nicola Sturgeon. She fought hard on her record as First Minister of Scotland and it played well to her base in Scotland. Her answer on the homeslessness question was a strong answer and a sharp rebuke of the parties in Westminster. She’s been riding a high wave in Scotland and I think it should continue to buoye the nationalist cause.

King: Of the national parties, though, who do you think came out on top?

Goodall: David Cameron and Alistair Darling were pretty evenly matched, staking out the clear differences between them. I guess I’d say Darling came out ahead simply because Cameron’s answer on the House of Lords reform was seen by many who watched the debate as out of touch and representative of the Old Boy’s Club the Tory party has been accused of being. Darling’s best answer was on the Brexit, where he corrected the problem of their manifesto launch and firmly committed Labour as a pro-Remain and a pro-Second Referendum party. Cameron also didn’t provide any concrete answers to the Brexit problems, especially the Irish border.

King: How did Jo Swinson do?

Goodall: Ian, really poorly, if I’m being honest. Her answers were incoherent, especially when pressed on how to Scotland could remain in the EU and the UK at the same time if the UK leaves on October 31. She also said she was opposed to reforming the House of Lords, which did not play well with the Liberal Democrat activist base. Reforming the House of Lords has been a major LibDem policy position for many years, going back to the election of 2010.

King: Nigel Farage didn’t attend the debate, but Paul Nuttall did. How did he do, being the only hard Brexiteer on the stage?

Goodall: He continued to build on the momentum of the first week of the campaign, really. He played to his base, he fired up his supporters, and he made a strong pitch to bring in as many Leave-supporting voters as possible. Solid performance for Paul Nuttall.

King: Mary Lou McDonald and Adam Price; did they do all right?

Goodall: McDonald played well to the Sinn Fein base. She did what she needed to do. With the DUP infrastructure falling apart and their voter-base splintering to other unionist parties, as long as Sinn Fein doesn’t go off the rails they will easily claim half of the seats in Northern Ireland. I think Adam Price was a little overwhelmed by the size of the moment. He seemed shaky, unsure of himself, and lacking in specific policies.

King: Lastly, Anna Soubry. What did we see from the Change UK Leader?

Goodall: Soubry wasn’t bad tonight, Ian, but she still fell a bit flat. She did a decent job of staking out Change UK as more than a single-issue party around Brexit and her jabs on David Cameron were well received. She just didn’t excite any potential new voters for Change UK although fact that Jo Swinson had such a bad night may help Anna Soubry.

King: Lewis Goodall - thank you.
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2019, 07:50:25 pm »

Second Leaders Debate
September 2, 2019

Questions For Each Leader:

1. Do you believe that Britain can, or should, become carbon neutral in its energy production?

2. Based on all polls and projections, no single party will come close to commanding an absolute majority in Westminister. What is your position on coalition building in the Commons? Do you believe coalitions are an advantage or a disadvantage to the proportional, party-list system?

3. If Britain cannot negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the EU by October 31, how would your government proceed? Would you attempt another extension, would you go forward without a deal, or would you end the Brexit process entirely?

4. There are reports that the American Major League Baseball Association is in talks with local business owners about operating a MLB franchise in the United Kingdom. Having seen the success of the MLB's London series earlier this summer, what is your position on an MLB club calling the British Isles their home?

5. Do you support or oppose such projects as the new runway at Heathrow, HS2, and Crossrail?

Questions for Specific Leaders:

1. Mr. Cameron, how do you respond to comments that the Tories are out of touch and built around Old Boys' Clubs? Does the recent scandal around Jacob Rees-Moog, one of your top of the list candidates, reflect the culture of your party?

2. Ms. Swinson, how do you plan to finance some of the claims you have made on the campaign trail? Specifically the promise to build thousands of new schools and spend millions on the NHS?

3. Mr. Darling, has your position on nationalized rail services changed since your time as Transport Secretary in the early 2000s? What is your plan for Britain's rail networks?

4. Ms. Soubry, would your Government support the public spending that was needed to fund the 2012 Olympics in order to host future global sporting events, including a possible 2030 World Cup?

5. Mr. Nuttall, why do you think your party is failing to breakthrough in the polls? Do you think the party focusing on Brexit as their centerpiece is helping or hindering your success?

6. Ms. Lucas, to what do you attribute your party's success in the polls? Are people becoming more aware of, and concerned about, environmental issues or is it, as some have suggested, because of sub-par campaigns by the Liberal Democrats and Labour?

7. Ms. Sturgeon, how do you respond to comments by some, Ms. Soubry included, that the SNP has an obsession with independence and that the party would be better served by becoming a more general left-wing party?

8. Ms. McDonald, do you attribute your success in the polls to a groundswell in the nationalist movement or to the general vacuum left by the collapse of the DUP? What are your thoughts on ChangeUK contesting seats in Northern Ireland?
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2019, 07:48:35 am »

Green Party debate responses

1) Yes, it can, and it shoul. We are facing an environmental crisis, and any and all attempts to tackle it should be put into action. The Green Party's New Energy Plan, which calls for establishing hydrogen plants in northern England and expanding wind and solar power across the country presents this as deasibly as possible, and will fully decarbonise our economy by 2030 through the use of not only sustainable energy production, but nationalising and modernising our rail network and instituting a tax on private aircraft.

People may say that we are going to aggressively and need to be mindful of our economy. I believe we should be honest. Renewable energy is the future, and we can help our minder get ahead of it by funding job training and work relief programs. We can put people to work and decarbonise our economy at the same time; the NEP alone will create milions of new jobs.


2) It allows parties like us, the Scottish National Party and other minor and regional parties to have a say in the governance of the country, rather than just serve as crossbenchers. I believe it is a good thing, and that we should look to further expand representation in the Parliament.

3) We would seek an extension in order to conduct a second referendum. We must remember that the children who must live with the decision-those aged under 18-were forbidden from taking part in the referendum, not to mention a good portion of the country was not represented.

We would hold a second referendum, allow 16 year olds to vote, and make it compulsory. Only this way will we get a full, proper reading of the public opinion


4) If it can be established without harming our environment through the construction of single-use stadiums and they can reach an accomodation with the ECB, then why not? If they were to use our existing sporting venues-which is quite doable-then there is little reason to oppose it. It would encourage investment in the United Kingdom and create hundreds, if not thousands of new jobs.

5) We vehemently oppose the Heathrow expansion. Aviation needs to contract, not expand, which leads to our argument for modernising our rail services. Train travel is far friendlier to the environment than air travel and upgrading our rail services will not only benefit the environemnt, but also cut down on extreme noise pollution.

That said, we oppose HS2 as well. Aside from the fact that 98 ancient forests would face damage or destruction if it were built, as well as the massive amounts of energy a train travelling on such a line would use-which is nearly double that of conventional rail services-and the destruction of wildlife habitats and recreational space, it would also entail the bulldozing of nearly 400 homes in stage 1 alone. 400 families would be without homes, but this is not what you hear from the major parties. When the Green Party says upgrade our rail services, we mean to to do it in a sustainable way, which is possible and detailed under the NEP.

Crossrail is a different beast. We support it fully and believe it is possible to power it purely with renewable energy.


6) People have always been aware of environmental issues, but they are just now starting to realise that while we are in a crisis, we are still capable of fighting climate change. We have the means to fight it, and that has given people hope that we can beat it, because we can beat it. Make no mistake, it will be a hard fight, but it is one that we can win.

The Green Party moreover has been expanding. We have seen a left wing and a working class in this country go unanswered by any of the major parties. We have seen our miners forced out of their jobs as their mines shut down, and then they are left without the means to train for jobs in renewable energy? And that's just one exmaple. I could name a hundred more.
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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2019, 02:58:07 am »
« Edited: August 08, 2019, 03:02:41 am by Suburban New Jersey Conservative »

Second Leaders Debate
September 2, 2019

Questions For Each Leader:

1. Do you believe that Britain can, or should, become carbon neutral in its energy production?

Britain can become carbon neutral and we must. We face the threat of climate change and time is running out. If elected, the Liberal Democrats will pledge to initiate the process to phase out fossil fuels within 10 years. We will also implement strict restrictions on energy production, to ensure that it comes from a renewable source.

2. Based on all polls and projections, no single party will come close to commanding an absolute majority in Westminister. What is your position on coalition building in the Commons? Do you believe coalitions are an advantage or a disadvantage to the proportional, party-list system?

Coalitions are an advantage to the party-list system. Coalitions encourage us to work together and find common ground. It means that we have to listen to each other’s ideas and work together. This type of cooperation is something that is far too rare in modern politics in many countries.

3. If Britain cannot negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the EU by October 31, how would your government proceed? Would you attempt another extension, would you go forward without a deal, or would you end the Brexit process entirely?

I would end the Brexit process entirely. In fact, if elected we will suspend the Brexit process and hold a second referendum, and not let any Brexit process go forward, until the results of that referendum are certified.

4. There are reports that the American Major League Baseball Association is in talks with local business owners about operating a MLB franchise in the United Kingdom. Having seen the success of the MLB's London series earlier this summer, what is your position on an MLB club calling the British Isles their home?

I oppose bringing an MLB team, here. Any MLB team will not follow our tax laws and will likely not be subject to our taxation laws. Plus, in any case, the MLB is a North American league and it shall stay there. Under a Liberal Democrat ministry, we will not allow American teams into Britain, who will dodge our taxes and then send their profits back to America. I steadfastly oppose this idea.

5. Do you support or oppose such projects as the new runway at Heathrow, HS2, and Crossrail?

I support these projects as they will facilitate transportation. The runway at Heathrow will allow even more planes to land there, and it will make our airport even busier. The High Speed 2 will allow quick transport from Birmingham to Leeds and Birmingham to London. It will be a massive convenience for those, who frequently travel. I support the Crossrail project, it will make travel quicker and more convenient for many people living in London and the vicinity.

Questions for Specific Leaders:

Ms. Swinson, how do you plan to finance some of the claims you have made on the campaign trail? Specifically the promise to build thousands of new schools and spend millions on the NHS?

We will pay for these proposals by raising taxes on Britons with an income of over £150,000, currently they pay a tax rate of 45%, under our proposal, they would pay a tax of 70%. Additionally, those with an income over £285,000, will pay a tax of 80%, and those with a income over £500,000, will pay a tax of 90%. Our plan to pay for these proposals is to raise taxes on the richest Britons.
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2019, 11:13:56 am »

Conservative Debate 2 Answers

1. Do you believe that Britain can, or should, become carbon neutral in its energy production?
Quote
Absolutely. There is absolutely no question about it that the United Kingdom must, can, and will become carbon neutral. I will commit today to working towards carbon neutrality by no later than 2050. We have already seen success on tackling this critical policy issues. Since the Conservatives began leading the government in 2010 we have cut carbon emissions by fully one-quarter and nearly ended British dependence on coal powered plants.

There is also a net positive to these efforts. By 2030 more than 2 million new jobs will be available in low emission professions. For two centuries, the United Kingdom has led the way in industrial and technological progress, and we can continue to do so as we advance into the 21st century.

2. Based on all polls and projections, no single party will come close to commanding an absolute majority in Westminister. What is your position on coalition building in the Commons? Do you believe coalitions are an advantage or a disadvantage to the proportional, party-list system?
Quote
Coalition building is one of the great traditions of British politics and the replacement of the first past the post system has further enshrined this tradition. Coalition building is critical to the well being of our democracy. It prevents a small plurality of voters from running roughshod over the will of the entire country.

Each Conservative ministry this decade has been a coalition government. Only we have the experience necessary to craft a government together in these trying times. The last Labour led ministry was a minority government. That is something we cannot afford this time.

3. If Britain cannot negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the EU by October 31, how would your government proceed? Would you attempt another extension, would you go forward without a deal, or would you end the Brexit process entirely?
Quote
Quite frankly I reject the premise of your question. My government will negotiate a deal by October 31st full stop. A no deal Brexit is to disastrous an outcome to realistically fathom, and so no I will not consider that.

I think the better question right now is why do three of the major parties on this stage tonight support overturning the will of the people on this issue? Why do each of you think that you know better than the millions of Britons who made an informed rational decision? Riddle me that.

4. There are reports that the American Major League Baseball Association is in talks with local business owners about operating a MLB franchise in the United Kingdom. Having seen the success of the MLB's London series earlier this summer, what is your position on an MLB club calling the British Isles their home?

Quote
This is perhaps the easiest question all night. New investment in Britain is always welcome. We must be careful of course not to fall into the American trap of subsidizing these stadiums with public funds, while the people receive no real payout for the investment. Even so, tax abatements to encourage the investment can certainly be left on the table.

5. Do you support or oppose such projects as the new runway at Heathrow, HS2, and Crossrail?

Quote
I absolutely support such projects. I find it quite ironic that those same parties which constantly bemoan the lack of government investment into public works suddenly cannot find the backbone to actually support public works! HS2 and Crossrail are both no brainers and both can serve to help accomplish other critically important policy objectives. An expansion of both above and below ground rail would reduce congestion and carbon emissions. Moreover, high speed rail would allow fast travel across the nation without the need to utilize a petrol guzzling automobile.

I do support the Heathrow expansion as well, despite the controversy. Heathrow is one of the great hubs of air travel and it must be allowed to expand and to keep pace with the ever quickening world. No doubt, the expansion will have effects on the community around the airport, but my government will ensure that those affected receive their due.

As a nation we must not back away from confronting the future, but grasp it with both hands.

1. Mr. Cameron, how do you respond to comments that the Tories are out of touch and built around Old Boys' Clubs? Does the recent scandal around Jacob Rees-Moog, one of your top of the list candidates, reflect the culture of your party?

Quote
Absolutely not. Look, Mr. Rees-Moog has already apologized for the unfortunate oversight and is working to rectify the mistake. Our campaign has gone all over Britain and we intend to be the party of every British citizen regardless of class, race, or gender.

As I have said before, I fail to see how we can be out of touch when many of the other leaders on this stage seem perfectly content to simply ignore the will of 17 million Britons. At least the Conservatives seem to actually understand our charge to be representatives of the people and not vessels for whatever whims the party leadership decides to take.
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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2019, 07:55:07 pm »




Nicola Sturgeon's Debate Responses



Opening statement:

The SNP has a positive vision, of an independent Scotland which invests in its people and protects its most vulnerable. Westminster continues to scoff at Scotland. They have been imposing austerity and a hard Brexit on Scotland, the Prime Minister hasn't even visited Scotland since he called this election. They are refusing to offer us a people's vote on Brexit, or independence. Mr. Darling continues to say different things about Brexit to different crowds, Mr. Nuttal continues to use lies to justify a disastrous no deal while Mr. Cameron continues to launch a full scale assault on workers' rights and our public services. Whichever of the Westminster parties comes out of this debate on top, you lose. But there is an alternative. We are the alternative which offers hope for an Independent Scotland, inside the EU. We listen to the Scottish people. We don't want Brexit, austerity or inequality. Scotland can do better than this.



Do you believe that Britain can, or should, become carbon neutral in its energy production?

Yes, we can and should as soon as possible. The climate emergency is an existential crisis which threatens the entire world. More action is urgently needed. The Scottish Government is working very hard on this. In 2018, 75% of Scottish electricity consumption was renewable green energy, up from 54% in 2016. Scotland is the fourth largest green energy consumer in the EU and by 2020, we aim for 100% of electricity needs to be met by renewable sources. Climate change deniers like Mr. Nuttall, who also opposes the existence of the NHS for the record, will talk about climate change being used as a form of fear-mongering. We don't view it that way, not only are we saving the planet from climate change, we are also investing tens of millions in renewable industries, providing new jobs and opportunities, a bright future. There has been a lot of talk about a Green New Deal including much further investment in Green technology, the SNP is fully supportive of this and SNP MPs will consistently vote to protect our environment.



Based on all polls and projections, no single party will come close to commanding an absolute majority in Westminister. What is your position on coalition building in the Commons? Do you believe coalitions are an advantage or a disadvantage to the proportional, party-list system?

Coalitions are a massive advantage to proportional representation. It allows more people to have a say on how the county is run. In Tony Blair's landslides he still only won just over 40% of the vote. In 2005, he won only 35% of the vote, yet won a significant majority in parliament. A system where 35% support is enough to form a stable government is completely unjust. Now, the Tories and Labour will have to consider what other people think before they can form a government. SNP MPs won't back a government which doesn't end austerity and finally allow the people of Scotland a chance to vote on the important question of independence.



If Britain cannot negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the EU by October 31, how would your government proceed? Would you attempt another extension, would you go forward without a deal, or would you end the Brexit process entirely?

First and foremost, we will strongly oppose no deal in all possible scenarios. Any government taking office after this election should immediately ask for a long extension or revoke Article 50 to get no deal completely off the table. Once no deal is off the table and Brexit is delayed, we will have time for a vote on Scottish independence and a people's vote on any negotiated deal, in which the SNP will campaign to remain. We believe the safest way to stop Brexit is for us to have an independent Scotland and any government we back will have to agree to allow us a referendum on this.



There are reports that the American Major League Baseball Association is in talks with local business owners about operating a MLB franchise in the United Kingdom. Having seen the success of the MLB's London series earlier this summer, what is your position on an MLB club calling the British Isles their home?

So long as there are safeguards in place to support environmental standards and workers rights, we are happy to see MLB come to the UK.



Do you support or oppose such projects as the new runway at Heathrow, HS2, and Crossrail?

We have no problem with building better infrastructure, so long as private companies aren't taking millions from the tax payers in profit and the environment is considered as part of development. The Scottish Government has been significantly improving Scotland's infrastructure, following these principles. It is quite telling that the major infrastructure projects being considered are all in the South East of England. SNP MPs will be working to get more support for infrastructure in Scotland. SNP MPs were able to secure some key commitments for Scotland over Heathrow expansion, including 16,000 new jobs and a £200 million investment in Scottish infrastructure. We are concerned about the environmental damage caused by HS2 and will push the next government to take this into consideration. We will also push to speed up plans to connect Scotland to this high speed rail network to bring new jobs and investment into Scotland.



Ms. Sturgeon, how do you respond to comments by some, Ms. Soubry included, that the SNP has an obsession with independence and that the party would be better served by becoming a more general left-wing party?

We have no more of an obsession with independence than other parties have with preserving the Union. In this debate and on the campaign trail, we have spoken not only about independence, but a wider domestic vision of more investment in our public services, infrastructure, opposing austerity and supporting the most vulnerable in our society. We make no secret of the fact that we support independence, we believe it is the right thing for Scotland and argue for it strongly - it would be dishonest for us not to. But, the idea that we can't talk both about our strong domestic agenda and our support for independence is simply absurd.



Rebuttals:

As I have said before, I fail to see how we can be out of touch when many of the other leaders on this stage seem perfectly content to simply ignore the will of 17 million Britons. At least the Conservatives seem to actually understand our charge to be representatives of the people and not vessels for whatever whims the party leadership decides to take.

You say you don't want to ignore the will of millions of Britons, but what about the millions of Scots who want a say on independence? Your party has consistently ignored them.



Closing statement:

The message I've been trying to send today is that Scotland can do better than this. The disregard Westminster shows for Scotland makes the argument for independence better than we could. Brexit threatens
80,000 Scottish jobs. The Tories view Scottish industries as low priority in the Brexit negotiations. They've cut our public services, put our most vulnerable onto the streets. The SNP has significantly cut crime, homelessness, built up Scotland's infrastructure. Labour has continually let Scotland down, it was Mr. Darling's time as Chancellor where these savage cuts stemmed from. What does he offer us? The best he has is that he was born in Scotland. Its not good enough. Vote SNP for positivity and change.
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2019, 09:03:17 pm »

Change UK:
Debate Answers

Quote
Do you believe that Britain can, or should, become carbon neutral in its energy production?

Absolutely, no ifs or buts. The fact is that through the inaction of politicians both in the UK and abroad the environment has been pushed to the brink of disaster, and if we fail in the challenge to correct that before it becomes too late it will be our children and our grandchildren who will pay the price of an inability to properly tackle the climate crisis. As a mother I can tell you the last thing I want is to see the future generations live out in a Britain devastated by the recklessness, denial and greed which has causes so much harm already.

And becoming a carbon neutral nation is a crucial part of that. We need to lead on this issue domestically and on the world stage as an unequivocal voice in favor of preserving the environment and promoting new sources of energy, and it is our firm manifesto commitment to achieve this by 2030 as we promote a diverse base of renewable energies to fuel our economy and our homes. I am very glad most of us on this stage happen to agree on this, but I have to say I’m disappointed that the Prime Minister seems to believe 2050 – thirty more years! – is the proper target for the UK. The time to act is now, Mr. Cameron, not tomorrow.

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Based on all polls and projections, no single party will come close to commanding an absolute majority in Westminster. What is your position on coalition building in the Commons? Do you believe coalitions are an advantage or a disadvantage to the proportional, party-list system?

I think it’s a great advantage for the UK and something which fundamentally works to change politics for the better. It is not easy to transition to a new system for any nation, but we’re starting to learn the value of coalition-building and cross party cooperation and we have seen both extremes that can arise from this: politicians who fail to compromise and decide to divide and rule by fear, like the Coalition of Chaos, and politicians able to work together for the good of the country, like so many of my colleagues have proved by working in Parliament to stop a blind Brexit or a No-Deal Brexit. Our old system discarded the votes of millions of Britons and kept their voices out of Parliament.

As to what will happen after the election, I can say right now that although we recognize the enormity of the challenge caused by the incompetence of the Brexiteers we in Change UK are prepared and willing to lead in the national interest. If we win on this election or we are in a position to form a modern, decisive and forward-thinking government with other parties that will secure a Second Referendum and so many other necessary reforms we will attempt to do so. If we are in a position to support a government that will secure that Referendum, we will also do our best to negotiate and give Britain a better government.

Britain needs a strong government, and regardless of the results I very much hope no leader attempts to rule as a minority government on his own. The stakes are just too high to put partisan self-interest above the needs of the public.

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If Britain cannot negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the EU by October 31, how would your government proceed? Would you attempt another extension, would you go forward without a deal, or would you end the Brexit process entirely?

Under no circumstances will I never consider a blind Brexit or a no-deal Brexit to be acceptable, and frankly I would reject the notion that seems to come out of arsonists like Mr. Farage or Mr. Nuttall regarding the UK willingly committing economic suicide. It seems clear to me we have reached a point in which we need a clear mandate from the people as to where to proceed with this complex process the Coalition of Chaos has handled so badly, so divisively and so narrowly focused on partisan self-interest. This because not only the circumstances have changed, the British people having been explicitly told in the referendum No-Deal was not an option, but because the referendum campaign was won on the basis of outright false promises we now know to be fantasies-

The people deserve to have a second referendum, a people’s vote to make a formal decision between concrete alternatives as opposed to vague statements that fail to address the issue. A Change UK-led government will request an immediate extension from the EU the day after taking office and put a bill for a second referendum before parliament, and we will campaign with all out strength and our passion to Remain in the EU, to keep our seat at the table and to prevent the clear damage Brexit will do to our economy, to the union, and to the people. Such would be the damage coming from a No-Deal Brexit that we would be prepared to revoke Article 50 if it means preventing it.

I do find it risible that the Prime Minister is under the delusion that giving the people a direct vote is to overturn their will, and even more, that he is so confident about the notion of a few deal without giving any details. Which deal will you even negotiate, Mr. Cameron?

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There are reports that the American Major League Baseball Association is in talks with local business owners about operating a MLB franchise in the United Kingdom. Having seen the success of the MLB's London series earlier this summer, what is your position on an MLB club calling the British Isles their home?

I don’t mind it, really, I think we should welcome foreign investment in Britain as long as it follows the appropriate guidelines, laws and regulations, and also welcome the notion of new jobs being created in our country though what seems to be something rather harmless. I do find it rather odd Mrs. Swinson has chosen to scaremonger here by either portraying this as some sort of tax-evasion Trojan horse or trying to score points – I have to imagine that’s the goal here – by playing an anti-American tune she believes might resonate with the audience. Baseball, I might add, is hardly comparable to Mr. Trump, and it’s not helpful nor open minded to fall into stereotypes here.

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Do you support or oppose such projects as the new runway at Heathrow, HS2, and Crossrail?

Generally speaking, I think the state of infrastructure in the UK has deteriorated significantly in the past few years of Labour or Conservative governments, often lacking proper support, consultation and funding for smaller or rural communities that are either left behind or negatively impacted by large-scale projects. That worries me, because instead of pursuing a more sensible approach towards necessary improvements in infrastructure that could actively benefit the economy, create new jobs and benefit transport across the UK; we’re left with an outdated approach which often neglects environmental concerns or the voice of communities.

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Ms. Soubry, would your Government support the public spending that was needed to fund the 2012 Olympics in order to host future global sporting events, including a possible 2030 World Cup?

In one word, yes. Although it is a fact that the Olympic Games did cost far more than it was estimated, the truth is that the London Olympics were a triumph for the United Kingdom and an extremely positive experience for many of our citizens, and an investment that was worth its cost. Studies show the economic boost to London, the South East and other regions significantly outweighed the cost in public spending, thousands of Britons saw a positive impact from the games on health, economic and social terms, and it had a positive impact on our standing and perception in the world, all of them worthy objectives that any responsible government would be pursuing.

I’d be wary from offering a blank cheque because I do not believe in them, but it’s clear to me this instance of public spending was absolutely worth its cost and we should be pursuing further events to be hosted in the UK so the people can directly benefit from them.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2019, 10:15:53 pm »
« Edited: August 11, 2019, 11:43:08 pm by Unconditional Surrender Truman »

Mary Lou McDonald
Sinn Féin at the Second Leaders' Debate

Do you believe that Britain can, or should, become carbon neutral in its energy production?
Absolutely. This is not merely a matter of providing for our own future: every day we fail to take meaningful action to reduce carbon emissions, is a day taken from our children and grandchildren. What the Tory and Unionist government forgets is that we are not alone in this battle: climate change is a global issue, and it demands a global solution. Northerners would do better to look to Dublin, who have just published a bold and ambitious initiative to slash carbon emissions over the next ten years, for leadership on this issue, rather than Westminster, where David Cameron and his Unionist enablers are working to take Northern Ireland out of the EU's own carbon initiative to achieve a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050. The simple fact of the matter is that for all his bluster, David Cameron has no plan to bring us closer to carbon neutrality, and instead is working to further alienate Northern Ireland from serious efforts to cut carbon emissions in the EU and Ireland.

Based on all polls and projections, no single party will come close to commanding an absolute majority in Westminister. What is your position on coalition building in the Commons? Do you believe coalitions are an advantage or a disadvantage to the proportional, party-list system?
I believe in principle the voters made the right decision to adopt a proportional system in 2011; but a coalition is only as strong or dysfunctional as the men and women in it. Whatever David Cameron and Anna Soubry may say, Northern Ireland is hardly better off for the last coalition, which sold its soul to the devil and cut a deal with right-wing obstructionists in the DUP to blow up the Stormont talks and rule the North from Westminster. Their day of reckoning has come: without the old constituencies to divide them, the North has a chance in this election to say "no" to austerity, "no" to a hard border, and "no" to Cameron and Soubry's reactionary crusade. Together, we can send Westminster a message even they cannot ignore, and Sinn Féin is the only party who will carry the fight to the Tories every hour of every day for the next five years.

If Britain cannot negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the EU by October 31, how would your government proceed? Would you attempt another extension, would you go forward without a deal, or would you end the Brexit process entirely?
Let us be clear: the only reason an extension was necessary in the first place, is Westminster's childish demand that they be allowed to have their cake and eat it too. If in two months time, they are still unwilling to come to terms, then it will be incumbent on them to repeal Article 50 and return to Europe. A "No-Deal Brexit" is absolutely unacceptable, and would result in a hard border across Ireland for the first time since the Troubles. If the government in florid incompetence should fail to prevent this outcome, Sinn Féin will demand an immediate referendum on Irish unification to allow the North to preserve the free movement of people and goods across the border on which her peace and prosperity depend.

There are reports that the American Major League Baseball Association is in talks with local business owners about operating a MLB franchise in the United Kingdom. Having seen the success of the MLB's London series earlier this summer, what is your position on an MLB club calling the British Isles their home?
I would be happy to welcome the MLB to Ireland; perhaps it would give Arlene Foster something to do in retirement.

Do you support or oppose such projects as the new runway at Heathrow, HS2, and Crossrail?
Sinn Féin of course supports efforts to build up our infrastructure, provided it is done for the benefit and not at the expense of the working class. While home rule is suspended, however, Northern Ireland has been left behind, as local communities are denied a say in building projects with profound relevance to their daily lives. This is why it is so important to send a message to Westminster by delivering a strong vote for Sinn Féin, to force the DUP back to the negotiating table and reopen the Stormont Executive.

Ms. McDonald, do you attribute your success in the polls to a groundswell in the nationalist movement or to the general vacuum left by the collapse of the DUP? What are your thoughts on ChangeUK contesting seats in Northern Ireland?
In a word, yes. There's no denying that the abject failure of the DUP to advocate for their constituents exposed the Union for what it is—a sham held up by silencing the voices of ordinary, working class people—and led even former Unionist voters to take up the nationalist cause. This moment is important, not merely as the death of a political party, but as a great nationalist awakening, as men and women across Ireland realize their futures lay together as a united republic.

Anna Soubry's sad attempt to cast herself as a liberal hero come to save the people from Brexit when she spent the last seven years proudly serving in the Tory coalition that gave us austerity and betrayed the Good Friday Agreement is frankly comical, and voters should see her party for exactly what it is: dressed-up Thatcherism that will immediately abandon the leftist causes they have cynically trafficked on the campaign trail the moment an offer comes to join David Cameron for another five years in Downing Street. My advice is to do with "ChUK" exactly what it says on the tin, and cast your ballot for the only real alternative to Tory and Unionist the status quo.

Rebuttal
Quote from: Anna Soubry
As to what will happen after the election, I can say right now that although we recognize the enormity of the challenge caused by the incompetence of the Brexiteers we in Change UK are prepared and willing to lead in the national interest. If we win on this election or we are in a position to form a modern, decisive and forward-thinking government with other parties that will secure a Second Referendum and so many other necessary reforms we will attempt to do so. If we are in a position to support a government that will secure that Referendum, we will also do our best to negotiate and give Britain a better government.
You say this —but for seven years you were a willing co-conspirator in the Tory governments that slashed funding for vital public services to fund a massive tax-giveaway for the wealthy. With all due respect, your credibility on this issue is naught. The "Coalition of Chaos" was a coalition you supported —until it no longer served your career to do so. The people of Northern Ireland have no reason to trust someone who was willing to pull the rug from under their feet when it came to education, welfare, and the NHS, but balked at the thought of paying an extra duty on their imported cigars.
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2019, 11:22:26 pm »

BFP ANSWERS
Second Leaders Debate
September 2, 2019

Questions For Each Leader:

1. Do you believe that Britain can, or should, become carbon neutral in its energy production?
We believe that Englands environment must be protected. The way we do this is not by imposing more taxes. We don't need to tax Britons for the plastic they use, we should develop environmentally-friendly packaging. The carbon-neutral debate is important. We need to reach this goal, and we've all seen the science. But we need to also be aware of the cost this will give to our businesses and the damages they are incurring in complying. We need to help businesses, especially small ones.

2. Based on all polls and projections, no single party will come close to commanding an absolute majority in Westminister. What is your position on coalition building in the Commons? Do you believe coalitions are an advantage or a disadvantage to the proportional, party-list system?
We are open to working with different parties who share our goal of separating Britain from the EU. It's important that any potential alliance partner share our vision of the UK which includes the prospering of a UK free of the regulations of the EU.

3. If Britain cannot negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the EU by October 31, how would your government proceed? Would you attempt another extension, would you go forward without a deal, or would you end the Brexit process entirely?
We should still leave. The Government has been preparing for a no-deal Brexit for years and they will be prepared for the contingency. The EU will likely try to push for a harsh deal as a warning for future countries who wish to take their futures into their own hands and leave the EU and we need to show that we are not afraid. When other countries show how industry, small business, fisheries, agriculture, and internal tourism will blossom after we leave the EU they'll want to leave as well.

4. There are reports that the American Major League Baseball Association is in talks with local business owners about operating an MLB franchise in the United Kingdom. Having seen the success of the MLB's London series earlier this summer, what is your position on an MLB club calling the British Isles their home?
An American business franchise would likely not keep the wealth they make in the country. While we cannot stop them, we should make sure the wealth they generate in our country goes towards helping those here. Should that be done we would not be totally opposed to a London Franchise.
5. Do you support or oppose such projects as the new runway at Heathrow, HS2, and Crossrail?
Our infrastructure is important to upkeep and uphold. Our country boasts such a strong infrastructure. We should continue to build upon it. If we want to achieve our carbon goals, we must include the use of rail in our solution to cut down on emissions.
Questions for Specific Leaders:


5. Mr. Nuttall, why do you think your party is failing to breakthrough in the polls? Do you think the party focusing on Brexit as their centerpiece is helping or hindering your success?
Our party is one whose base is united by Brexit. But they come from all parts of the country and all ideological backgrounds. Many voters voted for Brexit while being members of Brexit. If you wish for Brexit to be achieved as I do, if you want our country to dictate its own future, and for Britain's economy to be in the hands of the British rather than Brussels and it's bureaucrats vote for the BFP. The other parties will let you down. They'll stab you in the back as soon as it benefits them. Look at it. There was a referendum, and when Brexit won the elites, they decided that couldn't go through and are now trying to stop it. Vote BFP to give Britain its voice and it's strength back.
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« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2019, 01:03:46 am »


5. Do you support or oppose such projects as the new runway at Heathrow, HS2, and Crossrail?

Quote
I absolutely support such projects. I find it quite ironic that those same parties which constantly bemoan the lack of government investment into public works suddenly cannot find the backbone to actually support public works! HS2 and Crossrail are both no brainers and both can serve to help accomplish other critically important policy objectives. An expansion of both above and below ground rail would reduce congestion and carbon emissions. Moreover, high speed rail would allow fast travel across the nation without the need to utilize a petrol guzzling automobile.

I do support the Heathrow expansion as well, despite the controversy. Heathrow is one of the great hubs of air travel and it must be allowed to expand and to keep pace with the ever quickening world. No doubt, the expansion will have effects on the community around the airport, but my government will ensure that those affected receive their due.

Did you not hear me, Mr Cameron? 98 ancient forests would face damage or destruction if HS2 is built, not to mention the 400 homes that would have to be destroyed. Are you not at all concerned with the damage that forest destruction would cause to our ecosystem? Or that 400 families would be rendered homeless? Because that is what will happen with HS2, make no mistake about it.
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« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2019, 11:56:31 pm »

Quote
1. Do you believe that Britain can, or should, become carbon neutral in its energy production?

I believe that Britain must become carbon neutral in order to combat climate change and ensure a clean future for our children. Today, renewable energy production is at an all time high. Wind, solar, and hydro energy have dramatically lowered our carbon dioxide emissions in the past decade.  Other sources, such as tidal and geothermal energy have come online in recent years. There’s still much work to be done, but we are clearly on the right track.

Under a Labour government, Britain will continue to phase out fossil fuels and replace them with renewables. We will invest in wind farms, in solar output, and in tidal energy.  Where needed, nuclear power can be used to fill the gaps when renewable output is low. A Labour government will also invest in energy storage, to ensure that our energy needs can be met at all times of the day.

By remaining in the EU, we can strengthen our relationship with Europe and combat climate change side by side. Britain already draws from foreign energy output in France and the Netherlands. We must work with these countries in order to make our nation truly carbon neutral.

With time and investment, Britain can set an example in clean, affordable energy for Europe and the rest of the world. It is my goal that Britain will be carbon neutral by 2035 and carbon negative by 2050.

Quote
2. Based on all polls and projections, no single party will come close to commanding an absolute majority in Westminister. What is your position on coalition building in the Commons? Do you believe coalitions are an advantage or a disadvantage to the proportional, party-list system?

Regardless of the results of this coming election, we will work with our allies in Parliament to revoke Article 50 and remain in the European Union. While new challenges may face a coalition government, Labour is ready to work with any party that opposes Brexit. I hope that my colleagues will stand side by side with a Labour government in opposing Brexit and fighting for the workers of this country.

Under proportional representation, coalitions are a fact of life. We should use this opportunity to build closer ties to other parties and deliver solutions for the people of this country, together. When we work with other parties to solve our toughest problems, we create a stronger Britain.

Quote
3. If Britain cannot negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the EU by October 31, how would your government proceed? Would you attempt another extension, would you go forward without a deal, or would you end the Brexit process entirely?

We will end Brexit on day 1. We will not exit the EU without a deal. We will not threaten the people of Northern Ireland with a hard border. We will not sacrifice our workers at the altar of a no deal Brexit. There will be no British exit from the European Union, period. Under Labour, Britain will remain in the EU.

With a Labour government in power, a date will be set for a second referendum on Britain’s membership in the EU. Voters will be given clear options on each choice and the consequences should the electorate decide to make that choice. I will fight for us to remain in the European Union. Let me make that clear.

Should the voters decide to exit the European Union, without a customs union or by staying in the single market, our government shall begin negotiations with Europe before triggering Article 50. Once a suitable deal has been arranged, only then shall Article 50 be triggered. But I will fight to make sure that day never comes again.

Quote
4. There are reports that the American Major League Baseball Association is in talks with local business owners about operating a MLB franchise in the United Kingdom. Having seen the success of the MLB's London series earlier this summer, what is your position on an MLB club calling the British Isles their home?

If American investors and baseball enthusiasts wish to expand into the UK, I wish them the best and hope that they find success here. However, a Labour government will not offer the MLB any special incentives or rewards for moving a club to Britain.

Quote
5. Do you support or oppose such projects as the new runway at Heathrow, HS2, and Crossrail?

I support all three of these projects. A new runway at Heathrow is necessary to manage current congestion and ensure that the airport remains the foremost hub in global transportation. However, I understand why environmental groups are not fully sold on the proposal. A Labour government will open a special inquiry into Heathrow airport and focus on ways to make it more environmentally friendly. We will also look for ways to reduce local noise pollution. In addition, I would invest in ways to make aviation cleaner and more fuel efficient. Our investments will reduce carbon emissions in the coming years, without sacrificing Heathrow as a main travel hub.

In a similar vein, HS2 has my full support. This expansion will finally give Manchester and Leeds access to high speed rail. It will allow the public to make the trip from the North of England to the Midlands and London in record time. We also support measures to expand high speed rail in Scotland and Wales, both of which have lagged behind in public investment from Westminster.

We stand with the Greens in supporting Crossrail, which will be an environmentally friendly way to move more people across London, more efficiently. I believe this program ought to be expanded in the coming years, with more public dollars going to finance similar projects.

Quote
6. Mr. Darling, has your position on nationalized rail services changed since your time as Transport Secretary in the early 2000s? What is your plan for Britain's rail networks?

I think it’s clear now that nationalization is the best way to go for our rail network. Evidence suggests that our private railways are propped up by state subsidies and tax breaks. This is simply robbery! The public has been lied to by these companies, who could not survive or deliver their services without investment from the government. In addition, ticket prices have soared. Many customers are priced out of the market by these companies, which I will remind you use public money.  A Labour government would nationalize railway service, without delay
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« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2019, 11:51:57 pm »

Post-Debate Analysis
Sky News - September 3

Adam Boulton: Last night, the leaders of the eight political parties contesting next week's election met in Manchester to debate their visions for the country. Let's talk to Sky's Beth Rigby about what we saw last night.

Beth Rigby: Yeah, hello, Adam.

Boulton: A clear winner?

Rigby: Jo Swinson came out with a very strong performance. She was able to counter a lot of the criticisms against her in this campaign so far. She presented clear positions and laid out steps to get there. Swinson's debate performance probably saved the Liberal Democrats' campaign from going underwater.

Boulton: How did the Prime Minister do?

Rigby: David Cameron had a very different night from the Leader of the Opposition. Many people have scoffed at the timeline he laid out for Britain becoming carbon neutral. His answer on Brexit left people angry and confused. Throughout this campaign, in both debates and on the trail, the Conservatives have failed to lay out a plan for actually leaving the European Union by October 31.

Boulton: Nicola Sturgeon won the first Leaders' Debate. How did she do last night?

Rigby: Her first debate was a smashing success. Last night was not. She did what she needed to do and she had no flops, but she didn't do anything to bring new voters toward the SNP. I don't think she'll be hurt by the debate, but I can't see her getting much help from it either. There are only so many pro-independence Scots.

Boulton: What about the rest of the field? Darling, Nuttall, Soubry, and Lucas?

Rigby: Alistair Darling had a great night. He probably pulled up second in my opinion, behind Jo Swinson. He came out punching and staked out Labour as the party of ideas and policies against David Cameron's pie in the sky slogans. His change of heart on nationalizing rail service from his time as Transport Secretary also helped him bring some of the more Far Left supporters of former Chancellor Jeremy Corbyn back into the fold.

Paul Nuttall and the BFP, like Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, did what they needed to do. Nuttall's answers were weak on specifics but strong on hammering home the Brexit and independence message. He probably didn't help his cause too much, but he also probably didn't hurt himself in the process either.

In the first debate, Anna Soubry won points for her attacks on David Cameron. In this debate, she picked up right where she left off. In her first answer, she landed sharp blows over the Prime Minister's carbon neutral proposal. She also landed a hit on Jo Swinson over the proposed American baseball franchise in London, which earned her a few votes. What I expect to see out of this debate is ChangeUK gaining some traction with voters who were planning to cast blank ballots or vote for fringe, local parties as opposition votes. Anna Soubry showed she can stand toe-to-toe with the bigger party leaders and not blink.

Caroline Lucas also had a decent night. Some have said that the debate questions set the Greens up for success, but her answers were sharp and clear and her jabs at the Prime Minister played well. I don't know how much of an impact her success will have, though, given that the other parties of left also had good nights themselves.

Boulton: Lastly, Sinn Fein and Mary Lou McDonald. How do things look in Northern Ireland?

Rigby: Mary Lou McDonald is basically running uncontested in Northern Ireland. I expect Sinn Fein to win over 40% of the vote. What she had to do tonight was throw some scraps to her base and bash the unionist cause. She did both of those. Her attacks on Anna Soubry and ChangeUK were well received in Northern Ireland.

Boulton: Beth Rigby, thank you.
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