Natalie Bennett, Leader Of The Green Party, Did A Reddit AMA. And Here Are The Most Important Bits.
The Debrief: It wants to reduce tuition fees to zero, and legalise marijuana. Bold.
Now we're steadily approaching the ABO section of the election race (that's All Balls Out aka When It Gets Serious), so it's unsurprising that Natalie Bennett, the head of the Green Party, decided to do a Reddit AMA.
As ever, a brave decision considering how vehement the responses can be, but it felt like Natalie Bennett's free-for-all question-and-answer sesh with the anonymous Reddit users went pretty well. While many disagreed, many also agreed and she certainly didn't get torn a new one, as the saying goes.
It's just a shame that it's pretty much impossible they'll win the election and get into power unless, of course, a minority government is formed. Or a coalition, and one of the bigger parties gets high and decides to pick them as their fave. Which is unlikely to happen, guys. Even so, votes count and, who knows, soon our bizarre way of picking who gets into power might change to reflect the amount of votes and who actually votes for who – we can dream, right?
If you don't fancy reading the entire AMA because it'll take about three days, then here are three important (and interesting) bits we picked out:
The Green Party believes that tuition fees should be ZERO
Before you start hard-partying and buying VOTE GREEN T-shirts, it's not as simple as it sounds. One redditor points out that tuition is free in Austria, and it's caused overcrowding and a whole host of other problems – including the nosediving of quality teaching. There's often not even space for people to revise or sit their exams, and many have to do an extra couple of years if they want to complete a normal three-year degree. Someone also points out, that people tend to forget, the current system for tuition fees means nobody has to pay anything back until they're earning over £21k (way better than the £3k years – and we can speak from experience) and if they're not paid off after a certain amount of time, they get written off.
On the other hand, free uni would mean free education and the smashing of class boundaries when it comes to the Ivy League - but, as one redditor pointed out, how would we maintain the quality of English universities if it was a free-for-all? It's certainly an issue that's not quite as black and white as we first thought.
Natalie Bennett will free the weed
Yeah, guys, it will decriminalise marijuana, which you'd think they'd shout about more, considering the amount of stoners who would be moved to put on trousers and get to a polling station.
The Green Party thinks we can run off tidal, wind and solar power
Natalie stated how the party believes the UK can be run off renewables such as hydroelectricity, solar and wind power – something a lot of people called out as being a bit utopian. She said: 'Solar energy is taking off and costs are plummeting, there’s exciting developments in tidal power, e.g. starting with the Swansea Bay lagoon proposal that’s part of a scheme set to provide 9% of the UK’s electricity demand via tidal in ten years – and hopefully we’ll soon get serious about energy conservation, which would also tackle fuel poverty.' The thing is, while it's easy to dismiss nuclear power because of how fucking awful it is to get rid of (this stuff hangs around for 250,000 years, and governments still haven't figured out how to safely store it until it becomes harmless. One option proposed was firing it into the sun ffs), it's the most efficient way to produce energy in terms of how much it damages the environment. As in, it doesn't as much as other forms of energy. But then it's expensive and costly in ways that we can't really comprehend right now - who wants to live on a planet that buries radioactve waste in the ground? Er.
While Natalie Bennett's hopes for the future of energy are, well, hopeful, many can't see how the grid can be run off such inconsistent sources. Sun needs sun. Wind needs wind. Tides are reliable, but the force of a tide is unpredictable. It's a risk, and a bit of a leap, and nobody can make up their minds about the best way forward.
It believes in the four-day working week
'In Britain we have some of the longest working hours in Europe and that’s really unhealthy for individuals, families and communities,' wrote Natalie, in response to being asked about the party's stance on working for four days. 'Many people are working too many hours, and a lot of people are under or unemployed.' Again, this is one of those deceptively awesome things that actually comes with a big problem – if UK businesses want to compete on an international scale, how will the fact they're working one day less than everyone else affect this? Won't other countries prefer to work with the superpowers who go the whole five days? On a personal level, though – OMG, COME ON LET'S TOTALLY DO IT. AHHHHHHHH, WE WANT MONDAYS OFF.
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