Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Yeovil Election Hustings

Tues 5th May: Its hustings night tonight in Yeovil, 7.30pm at the Gateway. In case any of the candidates are reading this, here's some advance notice on the questions I'll be submitting.

(on behalf of someone who can't make it to the event)  "What would you do to improve public transport?" If you can't drive, afford the taxi rates, or not able to walk far and rely on public transport (fine during the day, if you're in town, but useless in the evenings, Sundays, or going to and from a village...) then it's very poor.

Why are rates of mental illness increasing, and what are you going to do about it?

76% of young people in custody are from fatherless families, and family breakdown costs the UK £46 bn a year. Is there a conspiracy amongst the political parties not to talk about this, or have you just given up trying to do anything about it?

After getting in to power, every party launches a major new policy that wasn't in their manifesto - VAT rises, independence of the Bank of England, NHS reorganisation etc. What are you not telling us this time?

The CofE bishops pastoral letter on the election argues that we are becoming a society of strangers, rather than a community of communities. Does an election campaign based on fear – of foreigners, scots, or just the other lot – make us a better society, or a worse one?

“The different parties have failed to offer attractive visions of the kind of society and culture they wish to see, or distinctive goals they might pursue. Instead, we are subjected to sterile arguments about who might manage the existing system best. There is no idealism in this manifesto” (from the Bishops letter) please comment

Weds 6th May: update: I ended up asking the a question about mental health, which got half a proper answer from the Libdems and Greens, and the public transport question was asked by the chair. About 12 questions were asked in all, to a packed house at the Gateway (400-450 people?). There must have been getting on for 100 questions submitted on the night, so choosing a representative selection was quite a job in itself. The chair did a great job keeping it civilised and on time, and fair play to all the candidates - answering questions off the cuff in front of a big audience is a real challenge.

I felt a bit sorry for the Labour candidate, who got first go on both the first question (on supporting marriage) and on euthanasia - the other candiates then copied her answer! Interesting to hear Libdem David Laws say he'd vote against assisted dying (good), and the Greens Emily McIvor came across very well, and probably got the most applause from neutrals.

Well done to the Gateway for having us and for all the microphones working well - perhaps the Libdems will do their next manifesto launch here! Good to see lots of people, and lots of Christians, engaging with the election and thinking through the issues. 

No comments:

Post a Comment