Monday, April 25, 2016

A voice from the back...

Rather than my usual ramblings, one of our members sent in a report from the Friends fo the Earth Hustings for the North East Constituency
I attended the hustings meeting yesterday, eventually! I turned up at St. Mark's church just before the advertised time, but there was nothing happening there apart from a Thai wedding. Ciamak turned up shortly after me, and we stood around wondering what to do, when a young fellow came along who was also looking for the meeting. To cut a long story sort, he phoned around and eventually found out that the meeting had been moved to a hall around the corner. We entered the hall to find it well-filled and the meeting in progress. It seems we were the only ones who weren't told about the change. Unfortunately, the acoustics were poor and I was having trouble hearing what some of the candidates were saying even though they spoke into microphones. Bill was OK in this respect, as were the UKIP, Labour and Green candidates. Some of the other candidates were fairly sympathetic to what Bill was saying about dealing with the root causes of environmental damage being down to the seeking of profits. I suspect that they thought socialism was a good idea, but way off in the future, and we have to deal with major problems here and now. The UKIP candidate, Freddy Vachha said the problems of environmental damage in London was caused by too many people living there (which is probably partly true), but offered no solution, other than "pulling up the drawbridge". He didn't address the reasons why so many workers are coming to London, e.g. for economic and political reasons, which would have led him to the conclusion that the solution lies in a worldwide approach, rather than a parochial one. However, he was an impressive speaker who disabused some of the other candidates of their pipe-dreams and solutions which they wouldn't be able to deliver on. The format of the meeting--asking what the candidates would do for them--didn't lend itself to developing the discussion along broader lines. This meant that certain subjects, which didn't necessarily require a political solution weren't discussed, e.g. The use of bottled water and the consequent recycling millions of bottles; The leaving on of lights in large buildings overnight etc. Bill caused a bit of an uproar when he said that if you don't want a classless world of common ownership then he doesn't want your vote! Because I arrived late, I missed the introduction, and wasn't sure who all the candidates were representing--they had their names only on hand-written name-plates. The was a conspicuous lack of black faces in the audience, apart from a colleague of Labour candidate Jeannette Arnold.
Much better than I could have put it. (from here.

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