By David Coffey
I always think it’s nice when politicians actually make an effort to be in contact with the public. That’s why I was very excited when Lindsay Hoyle, a British politician belonging to Labour Party, came to visit UCLan last Friday. Hoyle represents Chorley, a Parliament constituency in southern Lancashire-which is not far from Preston (the city in which UCLan is located).
The event unfolded with Hoyle giving a speech about the work he does for his constituency. He touched upon a variety of subjects, varying from bank bailouts, to starting his political career, to his love of Lancashire. After his speech there was a chance to ask questions, and I had the pleasure of asking both the first and last questions of the session. My first question I asked addressed the rise of extreme politicians/parties and how people can and/or should handle them.
Britain has been confronted recently with the UK Independence Party-better known as “UKIP.” One of the main focuses of this right-wing party is their anti-immigration stance. The United Kingdom, like the United States, is a country full of immigrants (all the delicious Middle Eastern food I’ve seen and eaten here in Preston is evidence of that). Based on this, it doesn’t take much to imagine the controversy of a political movement dedicated to denouncing immigration.
Hoyle summed up his strategy on how to combat extreme politics in one word, “vote.” He described it as the people’s best weapon to preserving their interests, to make sure the right people get into power. It doesn’t stop there though, he mentioned actually getting up and mobilizing oneself and others. Sitting around and complaining won’t do much… So perhaps I should rethink posting a link from a Facebook Page and actually get up and act next time…
The last question I asked Hoyle was about the financial crisis. He mentioned earlier in his speech how much he detested bankers. Yet, despite that, he still said that bailing them out most logical thing to do. I assumed that he was hoping that his country wouldn’t have to bail out any more banks. So, I asked him how he might try to avoid another financial crash.
We entertained the idea of nationalizing banks so that they wouldn’t be so influenced by market forces. Ideally, the nationalized banks would offer a competitive alternative to private banks. I wanted to speak more about this idea with Hoyle but unfortunately time was growing short and he needed to leave.
Before leaving though, I did meet with this member of Parliament one-on-one for a photo. We also ended up speaking of the possibility of having me meet with him again at his London office. Hopefully this was not the last I see of Lindsay Hoyle, maybe I’ll get another chance to talk to him about bankers