Exeposé Features online (23 March 2015)
Diana Moore, Exeter’s Green Party candidate, was the fourth panellist to speak to Exeposé’s Hannah Butler, News Editor, and Emily Marsay after DebSoc and PolSoc’s MP Candidate Question Time.
“That’s an interesting one,” replied Moore when asked which opinion or comment she had most passionately disagreed with in the debate. However, she then pointed out Ben Bradshaw’s suggestions that, to prevent a Conservative victory, the only option was to vote Labour.
“I think that was pretty disappointing, particularly because in 1997 Labour had the opportunity to introduce proportional representation, which would have led to a fairer voting system,” she commented. “They had 15 years to do it and nothing happened.”
“We do need to actually enable people to vote for what they believe in,” Moore stressed, adding that this would “help address this issue of disengagement from politics.”
Asked whether she thought students liked what she had to say, Moore answered: “there were quite a few claps, so maybe they did.” However, while noting that the debate was a “good event” with “challenging feedback from people who were attending,” Moore commented: “there wasn’t an opportunity for much challenge between the candidates.”
“I was really impressed by the numbers who turned up,” she said. “It’s really inspiring to see, and it’s really a great credit to the University and all the societies who’ve been working hard to get young people to register to vote.”
In terms of which policies aimed to make students feel represented by the Green Party, Moore explained: “obviously our key policy for students is ending tuition fees, because we believe that education is an entitlement and a right.”
“Education policy is something that we will all benefit from,” she continued. “If we have skilled, informed young people who are also able to think critically, they will have a huge amount to contribute.”
When asked her views on Exeter’s rising student numbers, Moore commented that such growth would be “good if there’s a wide range of courses on offer and it’s enabling [students] to do the things they want to do.”
However, she continued: “many people see students as an investment opportunity, so we need affordable places for students to live, we need them to be across town, and we need to be able to maintain our bus services so that students can travel to university.”
“It will change the dynamic,” she added. “Exeter is going to grow by 50 per cent in the next ten years, and students are part of that picture, but they need to be able to feel part of the town and have decent places to live.”