:: Friday, April 22, 2005 ::

Move Over Darling

Move Over Darling, originally uploaded by alister.

In my experience it is rare for all the candidates to actually show for a hustings. But for some reason they did for this one, an 'environmental' hustings in my local community centre called by what a cynic would regard as various Green Party front groups (sorry Mark).

So how did they fare?
As is not unusual the best speaker was the SSP candidate Pat Smith. Active campaigning socialists actually have more experience in public speaking and communicating with people than most politicians and would-be politicians. A polished and eloquent performance.

That said, Alastair Darling was fairly slick. He has all the requisite political skills of dodging the question, answering a different question and passing the blame. When he was pinned down he always managed to wriggle out. An eloquent denounciation of him by an anti-war campaigner (of the middle class women-in-black type rather than, well, my type) was evaded as the questioner heckled him throughout his answer, so he effectively got off the hook as no one could hear his mealy-mouthed response. When pinned down over the M74 motorway he just said it was a matter for the Scottish Executive, yeah but what do you think Mr Darling?

He was also helped by the UKIP candidate who was such a space cadet that attention started to be focused on him as he declared his support for nuclear power and our "nuclear deterrent". He was against the EU but in favour of a world government. Right. As we all laughed at him we forgot that New Labour are also in favour of our own WMD's at Faslane. Off the hook again.

The rest were a mixed bunch. The Lib-Dem seemed unaware of his own manifesto and constantly pledged himself to stuff that wasn't in it, he was a nervous fidgety character too and the audience began to scent blood. Stand-in Tory Lord James Douglas-Hamilton did his usual patrician charmer act. The SNP dude (who to the SNP's credit, was English) mumbled so much that the audience revolted and began to give him quite a hard time. I felt a bit sorry for him myself, he was terrified and seemed like quite a nice guy. The Green (another stand-in) was on home turf and knew his stuff on the environment, but you would expect him to. There was something of a suppressed chuckle around the room when he announced his occupation...recycling cycles.

The biggest idiot of the night though was a tory councillor who declared that public transport was bad for the environment as buses pollute more than cars. It was none-too-gently explained to him that you can get more people in a bus than a car.

But a turnout of 50 people can't be too bad, and not all of them were party hacks.

:: Alister | 12:11 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


Great report. My shackles were rising when you first mention the UKIP candidate being a loonie. If they stuck to what they are supposed to be about - withdrawal from the EU - I would have a lot of time for them (although a single-issue would not get my vote at a general election). But... my hackles went right down again at your mention that he supported world government - yes, a certifiable lunatic. But, funnily enough, it being an environmentalist hustings...George Monbiot, that supposed "progressive" writer, also proposed such an idea in one of his tomes. At hearing of this one, I thought of him as an absolute certifiable loonie also!

By Blogger Reidski, at 6:24 pm  

Update! I bumped into the UKIP candidate outside a local supermarket. He had a home made megaphone made out of cardboard, with UKIP written on it in pen. He was playing a tape of 1940's Glen Miller swing music, which might say something about the period he is most nostalgic for - the war (although this was the end of British power and the independence of British imperialism). I felt a bit sorry for him so I said hello. I wouldn't feel very sorry for him if they stood any chance of getting votes around here though.

By Blogger Alister, at 8:56 pm  

These are the things that make this election entertaining. Otherwise, what a load of pish.
The other exception being Gorgeous Bonkers Galloway against the pro-war pro-EU nutter Oona King just over the Thames from me. If ever there was an argument for voting Green, then those two fruitcakes are it!
I have thought their skirmishes to be entertaining, but I've also thought that the only folks not getting a look in here are the working class.

By Blogger Reidski, at 11:14 pm  

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