Friday, April 20, 2012
The Putney Debate
Last night, our Wandsworth & Merton hustings in St. Mary's church Putney, scene of the historic Putney debates during the English revolution.It was a fairly standard affair, the candidates were nice and chatty to each other before hand, and the chairing was a bit disorganised (people these days are generally out of the practise). A bit too much time/deference was given to the incubent Tory and his Labour challenger, perhaps partly explained by the fact that, as usual, most of the audience were partisans who lobbed brickbats at each of those sides.We'd been informed that the debate was being filmed by documentary makers doing a series on the history of England. We decided I should cunningly use the quote from Colonel Rich previously mentioned here, to perhaps maximise our chances of getting onto the screen later (plus it is such a good line).Of course, l'espirit d'escalier dominated the evening, I should have kicked comments about people keeping warm by wearing jumpers rather than turning the heating into touch. The risk for the elderly of getting respiratory illness remains if the air is cold. Every year tens of thousands of excess winter deaths can be accounted to the cold.Elsewhere, it was hard to crow bar our case in to some of the debates. On cycling I noted that if we could feed clothe and house every man woman and child on Earth for two days work a week each (which we can) then our roads could be much less busy, and we could spread out a bit and make our communities the focus of our lives rather than living for business. Bit of a stretch, but at least I got to make the point. I also noted that our roads are socialist, we own them in common and have free access.On the other candidates, Thamilini Kulendran turned up: his case seemed to be that he is independent (and he's a bit anti-war). I suspect, looking at his leaflet, his main purpose is to promote the Tamil case. Either that, or he had a thousand pounds going spare he fancied wasting. The UKIP candidate was hopeless, and he stuck to his talking point that UKIP are third in the polls. "Vote for me, I'm third". The Green was a real puritan (he was the one who brought up wearing jumpers instead of heating, with which the Tory agreed).