Tuesday 27 April 2010

Political Candidates and Election hustings at Settle

Today - 27 April - Churches Together in Settle oganised an election forum for our three main candidates and it was held in St John's Methodist Church.
Here they are - thirsty - and the questioning has not even started!
Father Tony Boylan (second from left) was in the chair and he chaired it efficiently.
We had had to submit our questions by yesterday, and this morning he and Sally Waterson and another lady (C) sorted the questions. C sat in the front row with a clock and a very large green card saying "30 seconds" and a red card saying "Time", which she held up after each candidate had spoken for about 2 minutes.
Third from the left above, is Helen Flynn, the Liberal Candidate. The man on the right was standing in for the Labour Candidate who could not come, and the man on the left is the Conservative Candidate, Julian Smith.
 The question they allowed me to ask (out of the three I submitted), and which I was able to present as the penultimate question was:

"The main wildlife charities in the UK have drawn up a pledge saying "I pledge that if I am elected, I will do all I can to help to stop and reverse the decline in wildlife", and the list includes 10 ways/pledges .

Nine of the sub pledges are about British Wildlife. The tenth is:
'I pledge to reduce our damaging impacts overseas by working to end the destruction of tropical rainforests and protecting the wildlife of the UK Overseas Territories.'
On the website that describes these pledges I notice that the Liberal candidate has signed the pledge, but that the Labout and conservative candidates have not sidgned the pledge. I wonder if the Labout and conservative candidates will read and sign this pledge of at least sections of it."

Both Conservative and Labour people said what a lot of emails they were getting asking them to sign so very many pledges but yes they would look at it and would most very probably sign once they had read it.
In the foyer afterwards I talked to Robert who had had a much stronger question about biodiversity he would have liked to ask.  But he was then able to ask Julian Smith a question which I had also submitted but which I had not been able to put:
"What should we be doing about population?. The world population and our population is increasing, it cannot do this forever..."
Julian Smith threw the question back at us and genuinely wanted an answer.  (The Liberal Lady had mentioned in one of her answers, in challenging capitalism - that we needed to rethink "Growth")
"At least we need to discuss it more" I said. People don't even discuss it.

I have been on the internet and see from this page that we actually have 8 candidates in our Skipton and Ripon constituency http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/election2010/results/constituency/e03.stm
Bernard Allen British National Party
Roger Bell Independent
Helen Flynn Liberal Democrat
Dylan Gilligan Youth Party [The] - age 17
Claire Hazelgrove Labour - age 21
Robert Leakey Virtue Currency Cognitive Appraisal Party
- age 95
Rodney Mills UK Independence Party
Julian Smith Conservative

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