Caroline Lucas tells Durham: ‘Young people are absolutely critical’

She spoke to us about the importance of youth, accessible education and what she thinks of Durham


Last week, Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party, spoke to the Durham Union. Topics discussed in her speech included promoting green issues, accessible education and Trumps recent election.

Speaking to The Tab afterwards, she had much to say about the importance of young people in helping the Green Party’s mission:

“Young people are absolutely critical to our political process. In terms of the Green Party, we have a very strong youth wing, they are one of the strongest groups.

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“To get young people interested in politics is very important to do but it is also very much in the Green Party’s own interest because young people tend to be more open to green ideas.

“Interestingly sometimes the older as well will come to the Greens possibly because they’re more from a background of remembering thrift, which comes with an environmentalist perspective. But in terms of where our votes are coming from now, it’s very much young people.”

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Education was another issue which was raised in her speech, especially in reforming the way we would fund tuition costs:

“One of the policies we’re very interested in is a business education tax, which would be an alternative way of funding higher education. At the moment the responsibility is on the student.

“Higher education at the moment is seen as some kind of commodity to be bought by an individual rather than an investment by society.

“Given that we all benefit by having well educated students, including businesses, then that’s a reason to challenge higher education as a private commodity.

“One way to pay for that would be a small level of tax on the 4 per cent largest companies, which is an alternative way of funding which wouldn’t need the student fees.”

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Although joint leader of one of the biggest parties in Britain, she is still the Greens only MP, and had much to say about life in Westminster:

“The tribal nature of party politics right now is corrosive and holds us all back. Especially the idea right now that on the left we spend so much time fighting each other, the only beneficiary of that is the right.

“Saying that, behind the Punch and Judy politics of PMQs there is a great willingness to work together cross party, which is just as well. With all parties I can point to common areas where we have been able to work together.”

She also had much to say about Durham:

“This is only my second time in the city and the first time I’ve seen it at night. It’s absolutely beautiful, I’m looking forward to seeing it in the daytime tomorrow.

“Just coming over that bridge and seeing the Castle and the Cathedral was just stunning.”

If you missed this event at The Durham Union, there are more events coming up next week:

14th December: Bishop of Durham at the Durham Union

You can sign up to the DUS here: dus.org.uk/join/Join