MP Candidate Question Time: An interview with Edmund Potts

Exeposé Features online (23 March 2015)

Edmund Potts was the third panellist to share his views with Exeposé’s Hannah Butler, News Editor, and Emily Marsay, after DebSoc and PolSoc’s MP Candidate Question Time. Potts represents Left Unity – Trade Unionists and Socialists, and was initially excluded from the panel. However, after an open letter was issued to PolSoc on 16 March, he was formally invited to the debate.

Exeposé asked Potts which remark he had most passionately disagreed with in the debate. “It was Keith Crawford of UKIP suggesting that the single issue he wanted to focus on in terms of the housing crisis was that a Polish couple had managed to get a house,” he replied, adding: “I think that was just absolutely disgraceful.”

Potts said that the event had gone “really well” overall, adding: “it was really impressive to see so many people in the audience… It’s a big change from where I went to university, which really felt much more apolitical.”

And did students like what he had to say during the debate? “I hope I introduced something that was a bit different for them,” he said, “that even if they didn’t agree with everything I said, it introduced a new perspective.”

When asked which of his party’s policies showed students hadn’t been forgotten, Potts replied: “definitely our policy for free education,” as this not only affects current students, “but also their younger siblings, who might want to join them at university [and] people who are working now but might want to go back to studying later in life. It’s a massive issue.”

In terms of encouraging more students to engage in politics, Potts said: “it’s always really important, especially on a campus university like Exeter, to build links between them and the wider community.” He added: “I’m really keen to have links with Socialist Students: I think they’re a great bunch of people, and I’m looking forward to working with them more.”

Exeposé asked Potts his view on Exeter’s growing student numbers. “People get side-lined into higher education when actually there are a lot more productive things they could be doing,” he replied. Stressing “this is not to disparage anyone who’s studying a particular course,” he explained that in today’s “low wage, low jobs recovery,” people often “find themselves studying by default.”

“Studying because it’s something you have a passion for will ultimately be more productive,” he concluded. “You’ll feel like you’ve achieved more.”

>>View original Exeposé Features interview>>

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