GENERAL ELECTION CALLED IN THE UK AND WE NEED YOUR HELP TO COVER IT

Date:

Share post:

The UK General Election matters for Archaeology and Heritage because the politicians are elected who will shape and vote for, policy towards crucial matters like development [what can be built where], who funds archaeology and heritage and who holds the purse strings for Higher Education and either supply the core funding to support university courses, or increasingly, tell universities to go out and find funding themselves, or to cut courses seen to offer poor value in terms of pay and career progression- like archaeology…

Most of the time these policies are developed behind closed doors in Whitehall or in the various party policy units, and unaccountable think tanks, which means the General Election is the one time when the people making those decisions and punting those policies have to be out in the open, because, if they don’t get votes to form a Government, they don’t get to keep their jobs, let alone implement any policies at all.

To highlight the importance of the General Election to the heritage world, just days, before Rishi Sunak shocked the Westminster lobby, the country and it appears, his own cabinet, MP’s and party organisation, by calling a snap General Election the Heritage Alliance, which is the British umbrella body for groups in Heritage sector, and that’s not just archaeologists, but also museums, galleries, heritage related charities like the National Trust and the operators of historic buildings and attractions, published a report called provocatively “On the Brink”.

- Advertisement -

Comprising more than seventy pages of closely written closely evidenced data, the report describes a sector that is in real trouble, with problems in areas ranging from shortages of subject and craft specialists through spiralling costs and diminishing revenue streams to structural issues such as short-term planning leading to long-term problems it is really required reading for anybody in Archaeology and Heritage.

It can also be read as a manifesto to be placed in front of whoever forms the next UK Government on 5 July.

Essentially the Heritage Alliance is telling a Prime Minister Sunak, or a Prime Minister Starmer, to deal with these issues in the short-term, medium-term and long-term or you will be dealing dealing with a sector that contributes billions to the UK economy either costing more to fix than need be the case, or with parts at least possibly being severely damaged, or even lost altogether.

That is the reason why we at thePipeLine and Archaeosoup are saying to you that for this General Election, if never before and never again, you need to get involved at the very least as a voter, and perhaps even in ways which are more active.

- Advertisement -

Of course, there are many issues that face the UK and its constituent parts, from education, the the NHS and adult social care, to transport infrastructure, pollution and sewage discharges into rivers and even world heritage sites in the Lake District, so no one is suggesting that Heritage is the only issue in play and that people will make the decision on where to place their cross on the ballot paper based on heritage issues alone.

However, there are so many linkages with other areas of policy and life, particularly in the education, cultural and environmental sectors, that we think that this is a really important, and if the polls are to be believed, potentially change, General Election and thus it is vital to have the voice of archaeologists and heritage people heard.

With the campaign only just getting into gear we are not going to endorse any political party at this stage, and may not offer an endorsement by polling day on 4 July.

However, this isn’t about saying go and vote for Starmer, for Sunak, for the Greens or whoever, it’s about getting involved so that the politicians who do get elected, whatever their party allegiance, have heritage and archaeology at least on the periphery of their vision, if not more centrally.

But if you want to vote on 4 July you need to take certain actions.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO VOTE IN THE 2024 GENERAL ELECTION ON 4 JULY

The Electoral Commission, which is the public body which oversees UK General Elections, has published a very useful page of information about what is
required for you to take part as a voter.

Particularly for this General Election what you need to have with you in terms of photo ID because this is the first general election in UK where, to enable you to vote, you have to show approved photo ID at the polling station.

The important dates are really very simple to remember.

You have until one minute to midnight on the 18th of June to register for vote if you’re not already on the Electoral Register.

The deadline for applying for a Postal Vote if you know you’re going to be working away from base on polling day, 4 July, is 17.00 on Wednesday the 19 June.

If you want somebody to vote on your behalf [a proxy vote] you have until 17.00 on the 26th of June to ask for that.

The Electoral Commission has a list of approved photo ID for use at a polling stations. This includes official documents like passports and driving licenses, but if you don’t have any of those you can obtain a free VOTER AUTHORITY CERTIFICATE from your local council, but again you have to apply for that in advance. The deadline is 17.00 on Wednesday 26 June

Finally polling day itself is 4 July 2024 with polling taking place between 07.00 and 22.00.

 

HOW thePipeLine AND #WATCHING BRIEF ARE COVERING THE GENERAL ELECTION AND HOW YOU CAN HELP

Here on thePipeLine and on the Watching Brief we are going to be covering the Heritage related issues as they come up in the General Election all the way through to polling day and afterwards when the new government is formed, whoever gets to form it and you can help.

We are planning a number of features including a special edition of the #WatchingBrief called “Questionable Archaeology”, where you can ask any question you like about the who, what when where and why archaeology happens in the UK and the role of local and national politicians.

We are also asking, if you are an archaeologist who is standing for office, or an archaeologist who is an activist campaigning for for any political party standing for office at the General Election, please tell us about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and how your life in archaeology and heritage are playing into any campaign that you are involved in?

And also if you have somebody knocking you on the door saying “Vote for me” whatever party they belong to, and you ask them and you ask them about a heritage issue, national or local, if they give you a response tell us about it.

Finally, if you have a question you would like to put to parties standing in the General Election, let us know what it is and we will put it to the Party media teams.

To contact us…

DMS are open on eX-Twitter via @pipelinenews

You can also E-mail thePipeLine at <PipeLineNews@protonmail.com>.

Let us know what’s going on out there on the ground, whether archaeology and heritage are cutting through in any way at all, if not why not, and what you think archaeology and heritage could possibly do to make sure that, when that new government is formed on the 5th of July that, the voice of the sector is there to be heard?

And whoever you vote for, and even if you are not sure yet who you will vote for, register to vote and then go out and vote on the 4th of July.

- Advertisement -

Share post:

thePipeLine
thePipeLine
thePipeLine is an independent news publication that investigates the place that heritage, politics, and money meet.
spot_img
spot_img

Related articles

FLINT DIBBLE ON THE EXPERIENCE OF THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE

Why did journalist and pseudo archaeologist Graham Hancock ever agree to appear on the Joe Rogan Experience to...

EGM LEAVES CIfA WITH A PUSHME-PULLYOU PAY PROBLEM

In February a row broke out within the UK's principle membership body for archaeologists, the Chartered Institute for...

CROOKED HOUSE FIRE INSPIRES MP TO INTRODUCE BILL TO PROTECT HERITAGE PUBS

The Conservative MP for the Black Country constituency of Dudley North, Marco Longhi has introduced his Heritage Public...

OSBORNE DEFIES SUNAK OVER APPOINTMENT OF NEW BRITISH MUSEUM DIRECTOR

The dwindling authority of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appears to have been dealt another blow with reports...