UKIP wins 'election' at academy's Big Question Day on Politics The UKIP Cambs & SE Cambs branch was kindly invited by the Cambridge Academy for Science & Technology to represent UKIP in March at its Big Question Day for students. This is when a whole day is set aside for the academy's students to look at some of the important issues in life so they get a chance to think about the world around them, their role within it and how they can make a difference by getting involved. The Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology (formerly UTC Cambridge) is a university technical college opened in 2014 and is located on the Biomedical Campus.
The format of the session involved members from all the parties (Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens and UKIP) where members talked to students about their party's values and policies. Following a presentation from each party, there was a Q&A session with students, followed by a mini-election. The session follows an earlier one where students heard from a Life Peer, an MP and a councillor about the voting process and how it works.
Our branch member Ian Cooper went along to represent us and below is his summary of the event:
On Friday 22nd March I went to represent UKIP at The Cambridge Academy of Science and Technology - a superbly equipped 'science' school for 14-18 year olds. Reps from all the main political parties were there including Heidi Allen, ex-Tory MP and now a TIGer (Independent Group MP).
The 6th form students were having a day on politics and the format for the session was that the reps were put at tables and the students came round in groups to hear the blurb from each rep and briefly ask questions.
Having previously taught history at a Grammar School, I was comfortable with this scenario. I presented UKIP to the students as being nationalist (committed to the civic nation state and controlling our borders and therefore against an undemocratic supra national EU), populist (and therefore concerned with ordinary people's interests like the NHS, Grammar Schools and Technical education - they liked the idea of free tuition for STEM subjects at uni), and radical (e.g. scrap the antiquated House of Lords and the BBC licence fee.)
On immigration I pointed out no party was for entirely open borders and therefore all agreed on restrictions in principle. UKIP however, would be tougher in practice. No one demurred. Somebody asked about Tommy Robinson and I suggested to them that Corbyn was the extremist and suggested that they watch TR's presentation at the Oxford Union, available on YouTube.
At the end, the students held a mock election, as part of learning how to vote, and to everyone's surprise, and I think chagrin, UKIP came top. The results were as follows: UKIP 10, Lib Dems 6, Greens 5, Labour 3, Conservative 6 and Independent 3 (Heidi Allen spoke for both). So be encouraged, fellow Kippers - this is 'Remainer', liberal Cambridge, although to be fair I believe the Academy has a wide catchment area.