One of my photos

Hustings #2

April 30th, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 2 Comments · Politics

This is what happens when students get their hands on Photoshop

In the Horsham part of this general election hustings are like buses: you wait ages and ages and then three turn up at once.

Yesterday we had the event in Crawley Down and at lunchtime today it was Collyer’s school in Horsham, where the audience was not only younger but also considerably larger.I’m really glad we had the debate yesterday.  It would have been a bit scary to make my debut with a crowd that must have been 180-strong at least.

The view from the stage

As you might have expected, the question of student loans and tuition fees cropped up, but there were also questions about all sorts of other things too, which I would list if my mind wasn’t still so much of a blur.

I was encouraged to see three members of Horsham Labour party in the audience – four if you count our party secretary, who came along as moral support/minder.

Politics really does need to change and it is not people like me who are going to change it, it is those who are currently in their teens and I would love to see more of them joining all political parties and dragging them into the 21st century – and joining while they still have the energy and desire to see things shook up.

One question was about the gender gap in pay and representation in politics.  A good question to ask a panel of three middle-aged white blokes – a shining example of the diversity in contemporary politics. Not.

The extremely diverse and representative collection of candidates

It was a good question though, and on a topic where I am very confident that Labour has a good record.

At the end we were asked to sum up and tell the audience why they should vote for us.  I just said that they should vote for me if they agree with what I had been saying or thought my party had the better policies – but if they didn’t then they shouldn’t.

Which is not exactly what I meant, not entirely anyway.  I had meant to add that if they did agree with me or my party then they should vote for me rather than not voting because ‘there’s no point’ or voting for somebody else for tactical reasons.

In the end it came out more like a poor attempt at trying to do a Dead Poet’s Society carpe diem sort of thing, but it seemed to go down OK.  In truth I am not a great public speaker and certainly nowhere near as smooth as Francis Maude, but some people actually appreciate that.

I did get more than a little wound up at the end though.  Maude had made some little joke about my predecessor defecting to the Tories after the last election and how he hoped to see me in Westminster on his benches one day.  He wasn’t to know that the sole reason I am standing is because I was so appalled at that defection, so I may have ‘gone into one’ a bit.

All good fun though. I wish all hustings could be in schools.

Two down, one to go.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Hazel Lamb

    Hello Andrew!
    Thought you might like to see this page:

    Personally, despite having been driven out of public sector Children’s Services after a career of 30 years, by crippling bureaucracy, I have first hand experience of the government promoting public/private partnerships, which they have done generously.

    I succeeded in getting a £63,000 grant for the family centre I ran for an Anglican charity in Croydon between 2004 & 2006 – from the Parenting Fund. Faith-based organisations don’t get refused money for their faith – unless it is for specifically proselytising purposes. They get money refused for the same reasons other bodies do – for having too much money in reserves or for not adequately satisfying criteria.

    Thought you might be able to use this info!

    God bless you!