What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
51 views
51 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
89 views
89 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
127 views
127 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
107 views
107 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
134 views
134 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
197 views
197 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
137 views
137 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
281 views
281 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
225 views
225 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
227 views
227 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
258 views
258 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
New Aldi Creates Jobs and Traffic Problems
News
4 views
4 views

New Aldi Creates Jobs and Traffic Problems

Jessica Hubbard - October 20, 2018
125 Views

The Badger interviews Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Chris Bowers

Given that your party did not deliver its promises regarding tuition fees, do you think you can win back student trust?

I hope so. I think it’s important people, students, understand the process in which the tuition fees decision was made.

Labour and Conservative both committed themselves to implementing the Browne report before the election, which had not been published at that stage. It was only published after the election and it was grotesque, stating that if universities could charge whatever they want, if that’s £30,000 a year, they should charge £30, 000 a year.

We were faced with a dilemma. We could say no, we promised the abolition of tuition fees and been steamrollered, in which case there would have been no talk of broken promises, just that Liberal Democrats are impotent. But instead we used the support we had through all the people who voted for us for our stance on tuition fees to go into bat for a much better deal. We got a cap on fees, which never would have been put in place otherwise. Originally of £6,000 a year cap that we compromised up to £9000 on the condition that there were mechanisms in place to help poorer families, like scholarships and grants.

The idea of using £9,000 as a short hand for bashing the Liberal Democrats is desperately simplistic and unfair. We also also made sure the pay back threshold went up from earning £15,000 to £21,000. I think we acted with common sense.

Research carried out recently states that children from poorer backgrounds are 70% more likely to go to university now than they were before under the old system.

You can probably sense I’m quite angry about this issue, the reason I’m angry is because I think we’ve done bloody well both by the students and students of the future. It’s not perfect but we were in a ghastly situation in the first place. It has taken me four minutes to explain all this to you and we are normally only given 12 second sound bites. We have still done a lot that is good for society and have made the higher education system fairer.

Students, as the academic elite of this country should really understand the background, when I hear a student saying  ‘those bloody Lib Dems they sold us down the river, they’ve betrayed us they’ve broken their promise’ I find that so fatuities, it makes me wonder what that person is doing as a student, which is aggressive on my part. In this election I am going to be bullish about the tuition fee issue. If students are worthy of their place in the academic elite they ought to know their facts and understand that governing is not easy. If you disagree with what we did that’s fine, but don’t take cheap shots at us based on a couple of headlines and prejudiced newspapers.

Are students still your priority?

We sit on the progressive wing of English politics. We care about the welfare of society not just ourselves and students therefore tend to gravitate toward us and the Green Party, making them a priority.

Do you think the coalition has had an overall positive or negative effect on the Liberal Democrat party?

Although it has had a negative effect on how we are viewed forming coaltion, I think, was still the right thing to do. We have provided a stable government in a difficult context, after an election that immediately saw Greece go bankrupt.

What makes the Liberal Democrats distinct from the other parties, like Labour and Conservative?

We are radical but not extremists, we are for deep-rooted change for things that are not working. We understand that a strong economy is necessary for a fairer society, but you can’t trust Conservatives with promotion of a ‘fair society’ and you equally can’t trust Labour with the economy. We offer a radical anchor in the middle ground. For example, mental health will be a central plank of our manifesto unlike other parties. Patients with mental health issues need just as much care as people with medical illnesses, but because they are “mentally ill” they slip through the net.

The Liberal Democrats have performed poorly in the last 2 by-elections, losing their deposit both times. Do you think this is just a protest vote or does it represent a permanent shift away from liberal democrat support?

People are angry, and using their vote as a weapon. Once you are in government you get your hands dirty, especially in a difficult economic situation and we have been tainted with Conservative policy. Politics is cyclical, if we were an opposition or protest party again we might pick up votes. In retrospect I think people will realize the Lib Dems have not been bad in government.

Brighton having an MP from a party that only has one MP makes it more important to listen to constituents rather than towing the party line, do you feel that you can make a similar commitment to listen to your constituents?

Yes absolutely. You can’t deliver everything because people want conflicting things but you should always listen. Me and Carloline Lucas have little to disagree about, but how you should vote in relation to the environment is tricky. Voting Green is a more open statement but leaves you with a one woman lobby in government where as Lib Dems have actually got things done, we have been running the department of energy and climate change.

Looking at their popularity in recent national polls, do you consider UKIP to be a serious threat?

Nigel Farage is very clever. He has tapped into the feeling of the country and has a way of making what are actually facile arguments sound reasonable, and I’m not just talking about to closet racists (although I’m sure there are some). UKIP also has Conservative running scared. The Conservative party has been split as a result, many people in the party are uncomfortable with the idea of leaving Europe as they recognize its benefits. There comes a moment when you need to stand up for what you believe, in spite of pubic opinion,

UKIP and Conservative are allowing public dislike for Europe drive the country into a very dangerous position. In reality (as the more uncomfortable, what might be called ‘soft’ Conservatives realize), they rely on non-British national work.

Just because you don’t like aspects of the EU doesn’t mean you get rid of it altogether. There are things I dislike about England, but I don’t move! We can make changes to both from within. We gain benefits from the EU like an influence in world affairs we would not otherwise have.

However unfashionable it may be, there comes a point where you need to say, this is just wrong.

I do not think UKIP will be a threat to Brighton Pavillion because their support tends to come from aging men. Brighton has a mixed population, of gender and age meaning UKIP do not have very fertile hunting  ground here.

Do you think the Liberal Democrats are in need of new leadership?

No.

Clegg has given people what they wanted on the run up to the last election, the question is do people see that. What people say they want isn’t necessarily what they respond to when they see it in action. People love voting for change but then hate change when it comes into being. Nick Clegg just got on with it, and thought I’m going to just carry on. Clegg has taken incredible amounts of flack and is still there smiling, a thoroughly decent human being.

We have hopes that despite five years of frustration, people will ultimately think, ‘he’s not such a bad guy, he’s had so much thrown at him and good on y’ mate’- even if this is a grudging kind of respect from people.

It’s time not for a change of leadership, but to put Clegg’s leadership style to the test and see if people are willing to say, ‘I’ve been frustrated with him for five years but actually, he may be the best of the bunch.’

Will the Lib Dems drug policy be a red line issue if there are negotiations to form a coalition at the next general election as a lot of young people that support the decriminalization of drugs might be skeptical about the Lib Dems after the tuition fee pledge?

At the moment it is not clear what are red line policies will be. If we do end up in negotiations again we will push as much of what we stand for as we can.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
51 views
51 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
89 views
89 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
127 views
127 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
107 views
107 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
134 views
134 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
197 views
197 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
137 views
137 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
281 views
281 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
225 views
225 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
227 views
227 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
258 views
258 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
New Aldi Creates Jobs and Traffic Problems
News
4 views
4 views

New Aldi Creates Jobs and Traffic Problems

Jessica Hubbard - October 20, 2018
BCU Black Studies Degree Talk
Campus News
8 views
8 views

BCU Black Studies Degree Talk

Matthew Nicholls - October 20, 2018
Bliss Signal Album Review
Music
38 views
38 views

Bliss Signal Album Review

Ryan Bridgewater - October 18, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

De-Stressing with Rob Cowen’s Common Ground
Arts
60 views
Arts
60 views

De-Stressing with Rob Cowen’s Common Ground

Hal Keelin - October 18, 2018

Upon my transfer to Sussex University, I found Robert Cowen’s Common Ground a particularly comforting read. After nearly a year out from academic study, I was finally…

What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
51 views
Arts
51 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018

  All you need to know about autumn at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts If you have not seen the ACCA’s new autumn programme, you…

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
89 views
Arts
89 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018

In celebration of Black History Month, Sussex Student Union organised a number of interesting talks and events across October. One of these exciting opportunities was a chance…

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA
Film & Theatre
74 views
Film & Theatre
74 views

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA

Anonymous - October 10, 2018

At the outset, Mr Messier’s FIELD at once invoked The Matrix and Daedalus’ Boiler Room set.  The basic concept of this mixed media performance relies on transducer…

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development
Arts
112 views
Arts
112 views

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development

Kate Dennett - October 10, 2018

To commemorate to this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day, I found it increasingly difficult to draw attention to just one book of relevance in recognition of this…

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective
Campus News
101 views
Campus News
101 views

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective

Chris Ahjem - October 9, 2018

Annually, the University of Sussex welcomes thousands of new students to our Falmer campus and every year the Student’s Union and Brighton based clubs and businesses increase…

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known
News
146 views
News
146 views

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known

Chris Ahjem - October 6, 2018

To celebrate National Badger Day here are 10 fun facts about our animal kingdom namesake Badgers can run up to 16-19 miles per hour which is the…

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
127 views
Arts
127 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018

This coming week marks the celebration of Libraries Week, an event solely dedicated to praising the work of libraries across the UK. This annual event is taking…

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
107 views
Interview
107 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018

The young star is often a tricky title to navigate. There are the big names, who explode into the world with noise, bright light, a big record…

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry
Lifestyle
138 views
Lifestyle
138 views

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry

Rachel Badham - October 3, 2018

Fenty Beauty, launched in September last year, is a makeup line created by global superstar Robyn Rihanna Fenty, better known as Rihanna. It’s not uncommon for celebrity…

Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
134 views
Lifestyle
134 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

Once an art form disregarded by many, 2018 bears witness to the continuous rise of drag as a legitimate, celebrated art. Spearheaded by RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag…

In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
197 views
Arts
197 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Alannah Myles, the 1991 Grammy winner for best female rock vocal performance for her outstanding vocal abilities for the…

Brighton Needs You!
News
137 views
News
137 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018

Brighton is a vibrant and thriving city that many students at Sussex are lucky enough to call home. But there are many in the area in need…

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
281 views
Arts
281 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
204 views
Film & Theatre
204 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Olek Młyński - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
225 views
Sports
225 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
227 views
Arts
227 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
258 views
Arts
258 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1321 views1
Campus News
1321 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

New Aldi Creates Jobs and Traffic Problems
News
4 views
News
4 views

New Aldi Creates Jobs and Traffic Problems

Jessica Hubbard - October 20, 2018

The new Lewes Road branch of ALDI has opened to the public. Its first customers received free fruit and vegetables and the store has proved popular since.…

BCU Black Studies Degree Talk
Campus News
8 views
Campus News
8 views

BCU Black Studies Degree Talk

Matthew Nicholls - October 20, 2018

Students are due to give a talk about the UK’s first black studies degree as part of Sussex University’s Black History Month events. The free event, which…

Go See a String Quartet: Globally Renowned Artists Play for Free on Campus
Culture
106 views
Culture
106 views

Go See a String Quartet: Globally Renowned Artists Play for Free on Campus

Ketan Jha - October 19, 2018

Classical music can be obtuse. It is easy, especially at free concerts occupied largely by octogenarians, to get lost between movements and melodies. This is especially true…

Bliss Signal Album Review
Music
38 views
Music
38 views

Bliss Signal Album Review

Ryan Bridgewater - October 18, 2018

  CD/Vinyl/Download At first glance, the worlds of black metal and electronic dance music do not seem to have very much in common. The former is characterised…

New Student Energy Project Launches at Sussex
Campus News
25 views
Campus News
25 views

New Student Energy Project Launches at Sussex

Jessica Hubbard - October 18, 2018

A new Student Energy Project has started at Sussex. The project is run in collaboration with The Student Energy Project, the University Sustainability team and Sussex Students’…

Name Changes Made Easier for Students
Campus News
30 views
Campus News
30 views

Name Changes Made Easier for Students

Matthew Nicholls - October 18, 2018

The University of Sussex will now accept unenrolled deed polls as proof of name change to those who wish, granting more freedom and anonymity to those in…

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
45 views
News
45 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

The court of appeal has quashed sentences handed to 3 fracking protestors calling them "manifestly excessive". Jail sentences of 15- 16 months were given to the three…

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit
News
51 views
News
51 views

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

Veteran human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, gave a talk on campus. Known for his work with the LGBTQ+ community, he spoke about free speech under attack and…

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’
News
32 views
News
32 views

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’

kenyon55 - October 17, 2018

The NUS has expressed its support for a national referendum on the final Brexit deal, also referred to as a ‘People’s Vote’. This came after Labour MPs…

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter
Campus News
34 views
Campus News
34 views

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

An open letter started by Sussex academics has gained over 1,000 signatures. The letter, entitled ‘Open letter from UK academics: The harsh sentencing of anti-fracking campaigners sets…

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes
National News
68 views
National News
68 views

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

Written by Danielle Ball Shocking witness statements have been heard from the fire crew and call handlers involved in the response to the tragedy The Grenfell Tower…

Renting Unaffordable for Young People
National News
50 views
National News
50 views

Renting Unaffordable for Young People

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

South East among the most expensive areas to rent as revealed by BBC research. Research carried out by The BBC has found that renting is unaffordable for…

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns
Music
68 views
Music
68 views

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns

Lara Antoine - October 13, 2018

Photo by Vojta Dvrocek Whether you’ve seen him in Ezra Collective or featuring alongside other breakthrough neo-jazz artists like Mr Jukes. Pianist Joe Armon-Jones is no stranger…

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur
Arts
71 views
Arts
71 views

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur

Olek Młyński - October 11, 2018

The newest film from the notorious Gaspar Noé was so critically acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival that the director himself could not believe it. Climax opens…