London Tory candidate Alex Deane on the youth vote, student issues and campus protests

‘The voice that is missing in the debate is younger people’

Alex Deane is the running to be MP for Finchley and Golders Green in the upcoming July 4th general election. He has previously worked for David Cameron, as a barrister and as a director of Big Brother watch.

Previous MP, Mike Freer is not seeking re-election in Finchley following death threats and an arson attack on his constituency office.

Alex is running despite a large lead for Labour in national polling and accepts in terms of representing the party that “it’s easy for people when times are good to be involved,” but that it is “when the chips are down that you really know when people are on side or not, and I saw my party was in trouble, so I felt it was probably time.”

Speaking to The London Tab, Alex also referenced the attack on the office of Mike Freer and death threats to the outgoing MP as a significant reason for stepping up this election.

The Conservative party is currently polling at eight per cent with 18 to 24-year-olds, but Alex challenges young people to get out and make themselves heard.

He told The London Tab: “If young people want to be heard in society, the first thing they have to do is be voters because your generation is being comprehensively out-voted by older people.

“One of the things I’m campaigning for in my patch is more development, I believe in more housebuilding, I believe in more flexible systems of building homes. The older generation tend to oppose it, they tend to say ‘not in my backyard’.

“The voice that is missing in that debate is younger people, people who want to have a home when they graduate from university.

“We’ve spent generations telling younger people that’s how you get ahead in society, to get hold of property, and now we’re making it harder and harder for people to own their own home.” 

He added: “Some people leaving university now will feel like they’re never going to be able to own a home” but the inaction by politicians is because they “don’t get punished for it, younger people aren’t voting in the same quantities as older people.”

Encampments demanding support for Palestinian students, ending partnerships with Israeli institutions and cutting ties with arms manufacturers, have appeared on campuses across the UK. Alex also told The London Tab  his message to students involved in pro-Palestine protests and encampments.

“What do you think you are going to achieve by stopping up and making life more difficult for your university administrators and fellow students? The university administration has zero impact on what happens in the Middle East, your fellow students have zero impact on what happens in the Middle East.”

He continued his criticism saying that: “You have fellow students who are now being made to feel like they’re no longer welcome on campus. You have British-Jewish people who grew up in Britain, who are in British homes, represented by a British parliament, who have nothing to do with the decision-making process of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government, who are being told they can’t go into buildings or being shouted at and being abused because they are, using that famous phrase, visibly Jewish or openly Jewish.”

He referenced Harvard blocking the graduation of students involved in encampments and warned students that: “In the end that’s where people are going to wind up and it’ll be at great cost to their education”

The government currently counts international students in the net migration figures they promised to cut. 

However this is a key point of disagreement for Alex, whilst he prioritises “stopping people being able to bring over loads of dependants and disappearing into the grey economy” he maintains that “Students per se are a vibrant part of British import-export culture,

“If you think about what student life really is, it should be the easiest and best way to come to the UK for a set period of time. It’s at an accredited institution for a stated purpose that has a start date and an end date.

“International students aren’t just people who provide money or provide extra culture and dynamism to our education system, although they do those things, they also are the easiest cohort of people to monitor for migration, and if we can’t get that right then were not going to get any of migration right.”

He added that he thinks “we’ve got the debate completely wrong.”

Register here by June 18th to vote in the general election. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• New encampments spring up at LSE and Queen Mary as Palestine protests spread across London

• UCL students set up encampment on campus in solidarity with Palestine

• Pregnant UCL alumna in Gaza sets up GoFundMe in order to evacuate and give birth safely

Featured image via YouTube.