A Biased Review Of Last Night’s Hustings




Chris Black writes:

Last night’s hustings was a pretty boisterous affair. The chairman allowed some of the audience to make some brief comments during the debate , which sometimes got quite heated. But the event was fundamentally good-natured.

The clear loser on the night was UKIP. Their candidate didn’t come and crucially didn’t have anyone deputising for him.

The other four candidates – Tory, Green, Labour and Lib Dem – could all go home reasonably satisfied,. None of them did badly. But I thought the Lib Dem and Labour guys (Ron Tindall and Mark Daniels) did a little better than the Conservative and Green (Mark Francois and Paul Hill).

Ron Tindall is an experienced campaigner and that showed last night. He didn’t give any weak answers, he was comfortable on the local issues and confident and combative on the national ones. He had the audience laughing with him once or twice , and one independent observer that I spoke to afterwards seemed reasonably impressed by him. Hec also said more about green issues that the Green party candidate.

Mark Daniels did very well for what was apparently his first hustings. He struck an early rapport with the audience, and although he wasn’t particularly convincing on Labour’s financial programme, overall he had a good night.

It was also Paul Hill’s first hustings , and he did a decent job, coming over as sincere and intelligent. He hinted that he would like to stand again in further elections, and I look forward to seeing him again in the future.

Mark Francois had the advantage of being an experienced MP , and the disadvantage of having to defend the government’s record. He wasn’t helped by one prominent Tory councillor standing up and saying “We don’t want to hear what the public think”. Probably his best moment of the night was when he was explaining how foreign aid included sending British troops to Sierra Leone to help hospitals cope with the Ebola virus. That had me applauding. But his responses on the downgrading of Southend A&E (he’s basically waiting for more information) and on fox hunting (he would vote to bring it back) were not well received by the audience.

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  • Hi Chris – thanks for the update – it was my first hustings and it was ‘interesting’.

    I came home enlightened about certain aspects – but also terribly saddened by the apparent inability of the people who purport to lead us in challenging times to simply answer a question.

    From my perspective all candidates were similar in a tendency to drift wildly from the question raised. And in this drift would add (1) aspects that had little bearing on the question raised, (2) whatever chance they could take to have a pop at their opponents and (3) offer wonderfully espoused statements of how they want the world to be a magical place where all problems are solved and people are happy.

    I am old enough in the tooth to believe that – No 1 does their desire to look a leader no favours and also is quite insulting to the questioner. No 2 looks childish, is not really nice to hear and sets a poor example for the younger people who we need to step up into a leadership role. And no 3 would be nice – but as a parent, pensioner and ex proud owner of my own business – the truth is that we all have to manage the incomes and costs that life throw at us. And we elect politicians to take the tough choices about how best to manage our budgets, create the necessary legal frameworks and maintain a fair democratic model that is the envy of the world. We can all wish for a happy wonderland world tomorrow – but today it is about making tough choices here and now.

    The hustings gave me little opportunity to gauge what choices each of the candidates would make and thus facilitate the choice on where to place my X

    Thanks again for the update.

  • I would applaud even louder if he said that we are going to stop wasting 12 BILLION pounds overseas and instead spend the money on increasing police numbers in the U.K. So, I think, would most of the population..,

  • Mick, simples, it’s a straight choice between continued sound and prudent management of the UK or a loony leftie rag bag of incompetent half wits. You can’t really include Tiny Tim and the Flower Pot men who’s answer to everything is another Brexit vote. ( why do I see Tiny Tim on the TV and wonder why he hasn’t got his school uniform on )

    So, just say these words out loud, Prime Minister Corbyn and Home Secretary Abbott….yes, if that doesn’t scare you nothing will..

    • “Sound and prudent” ? Sound ? Prudent? You are kidding ?

      Oh Oz, Brexit can be considered as being many things, and there were points in favour and points against, but BRexit certainly isn’t “sound and prudent” . It’s fraught with uncertainties. Hopefully it will turn out OK in the end but it isn’t a prudent thing to do…

      Meanwhile the government “soundly and prudently” doesn’t provide enough funding for schools, the NHS, the police… and we cosy up to Saudi Arabia… I don’t see THAT lasting.

      Let’s just say that Theresa May has been lucky in the weakness of the opposition she faces this election – and she’s still making a dogs dinner of it.

  • Admin : your last sentence sums up what I said on another thread – “we are faced with a least worse choice scenario”,
    and as demonstrated above Oz has chosen the apparently least worst choice ( only Tory or Labour can win it ) , a sad
    incitement of the decline of our country. WHY – because I have no confidence in Theresa May , she looks average at best , her ‘strong purposeful ‘ image has been exposed for what it really is over the last few weeks , worrying…..

  • And she did’nt look any more ‘strong and purposeful’ in her ” sorry for those who lost their seats – they did’nt deserve it” speech this afternoon , in fact she repeatly avoided answering the questions with a rehersed mantra ‘ what is important is……. ‘. As in WW1 we are a nation of lions led by donkeys – nothing has changed…..

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