As Labour roll into town for their annual Party Conference, Brighton Lite look at the views of the people…
By Matt Squires and Rhiannon Pulling
The focus of the British political system was placed firmly on Brighton and Hove this past week as Ed Miliband and his Labour Party hosted their annual conference at several venues across the city. With the main forums occurring at the Brighton Centre and additional fringe events taking in such settings as the prestigious Thistle Hotel, the past four days have seen several key debates taking place.
Throughout the conference, senior Labour ministers such as Ed Balls and Harriett Harman took every opportunity to have their opinions heard on such diverse subjects as the immigration issue and the freezing of the ever-increasing energy prices. However, what is significantly more important is the view of the people. With the conference taking place in their city, several Brighton residents have made their thoughts clear.
As expected, views regarding the Labour Party differ from person to person.
Cameron, 27, from Horsham, is generally praising of Miliband’s new ideas, particularly for the proposed energy freezes, adding that “they definitely need to be regulated”, whilst Brody Fitzgibbon, 35, of Brighton, is less optimistic, claiming that he wants “plans rather than hollow promises”.
Labour supporter Tori Davey, 37, of Baxter Street, agrees that “the energy freezes will probably be a pulling point”, whereas others – such as Riley Paterson, 68, from Brighton – were supportive of Labour’s policies largely due to their lack of faith in the opposition, arguing that the likes of David Cameron and the Tory Party are guilty of using misleading policies.
Interestingly, some individuals dispute Labour’s projected image of being in touch with the public.
Sam Jepson, 26, from Rottingdean, said: “a lot of what they say doesn’t represent my life”, a controversial sentiment that will be particularly alarming for Miliband and co. This is echoed by 66-year-old Anne Ronicle who believes that Labour will retract their statements and ultimately “break their promises” to the public.
Despite the conflicting views, the general consensus amongst the battle of UK politics is that the 2013 Labour Party Conference was a resounding success for Ed Miliband and his supporters; however the fact remains that public opinion on Labour policies remains as divided as ever. As Labour MPs may be relaxing with a hard-earned pint at The King & Queens, it’s fair to say that this “race to the top” has only just begun.