The Hebden Bridge Web invites you to join its experiment in online democracy. This Election Forum is designed to let the cyber community have their say about the coming general election. If you have a point of view click just here to add your comments and they should immediately be added to the page.
As an ex-Cragg Vale resident I was delighted that Thompson got the kicking he and his ilk deserved. Great web-site - look forward to more such initiatives for the coming elections.
Robin St.Clair <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Huddersfield, UK - Wednesday, September 03, 1997 at 14:47:52 (BST)
It seems to me that Tony Blair has changed the Labour Party into a sort of public relations agency, the main task of which is rather to provide good feeling than to establish social justice. What counts is the appearance in the media. Call it Neoliberalism, call it Thatcherism, call it New Labour or Blairism - capitalism will go on.Capitalism forever. To hell with social justice. Any questions left? No. The worst is not as long as we can say "This is the worst".
Munich, Germany - Tuesday, May 13, 1997 at 11:47:20 (BST)
Sort of to do with the election: Anybody notice in Friday's Bridge Times, Bernard Inghams' reference to the (now sucessful) Labour candidate Chris McCafferty as "he". Just shows the degree of involvement the 'professional Yorkshireman' really has with the area...
Andy Carter <email@example.com>
Heptonstall, UK - Tuesday, May 06, 1997 at 13:08:25 (BST)
One of the stong messages in the Bible is that those in power, the leaders of the people (nation) should look after the widdows, the orphans and the aliens in the community. This was exemplified by Jesus of Nazareth in his lifetime and later by his followers. Today, we could add, the jobless, the disposessed and those at the bottom of the heap. I voted for the Labour Party as I have done for the last 5 elections because I believe New Labour are the party who will redress the ballance. Don't get me wrong, the Tory party have not been entirely lacking in this department. But you shouldn't need me to tell you that their sympathys have always been with the have's, rather than the have not's. Someone once said to me, as long as the Tory party is in power, you will have unemployment! That's the way they work. I won't bore you with complaints about FAT CATS, but you know what I mean. I am not expecting miracles from the New Labour government, just fairness and compassion for the underdog. I know ther're not going to let me, or anyone else, down. Terry Dewhirst, Member of the Labour Party and Methodist Local Preacher.
Terry Dewhirst <Terry@tdgraphics.demon.co.uk>
Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge., West Yorkshire. UK - Friday, May 02, 1997 at 23:43:47 (BST)
Last night Calder Valley Voices, the choir which meets in Central St School every Thursday 7-9p.m., was singing a new song "We'll have a May Day my O My, We'll have a May Day then, We'll have a May Day MY O My, We'll have a May Day then. THey were never ever satisfied, though million they have made, But still they think that you asnd I are grossly overpaid, There's nothing that they would not steal, They even grudged your kids a meal, But very soon you'll hear them squeal, and we'll have a May Day then. We'll join in jubilation and the big brass band you'll hear As we march on in triumph to the future with a cheer, But as we greet the new born day, the piper she'll have a tune to play- A lament for the sharks that are on their way, and we'll have a May Day then.
Chris Green <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hebden Bridge, UK - Friday, May 02, 1997 at 12:01:27 (BST)
To counter the expected plaudits for the new Labour government, and the imminent blood-letting by a decimated Tory party, I’d like to offer my hearty congratulations to the outgoing Conservatives. For this bunch of incompetents, crooks and shysters to have held public office in a civilised democracy for nigh-on twenty years is truly one of the modern wonders of the world. In trying to create their ‘share-owning democracy’, the Tories were hoping to exploit our most anti-social feelings of greed and self-interest. If everyone had a portfolio of shares, the reasoning went, then they’d be Tory voters for life. This wasn’t merely politics, it was social engineering of a particularly cynical kind. I’m not overly concerned about the minutiae of Labour policy; I just want a government that pays more than lip-service to the notions of fairness and justice, and looks after the interests of the many rather than the few.
John Morrison <email@example.com>
UK - Friday, May 02, 1997 at 10:04:10 (BST)
About time England can now get on with some programs that seek to support the developmemt of a just and equal society
Alan Storey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
South Caulfield, Victoria au - Friday, May 02, 1997 at 01:04:07 (BST)
The polls could be wrong, but it looks as if we're heading for a nightmare. We could have a "New Labour" government which apes the worst of the Tories' ideas in a desperate attempt to appear credible, or the old Labour socialists will come out of the woodwork and cause havoc like they did in the GLC. I foresee a new line in car stickers: "Don't blame me, I voted for the other lying buggers."
Paul Hudson <Paul_Hudson@msn.com>
Winewall, Lancashire UK - Thursday, May 01, 1997 at 21:16:42 (BST)
This election is one of the most important in the last fifty years, despite the prevailing apathy and negative campaigning. We can use our votes positively and in an optimistic way. For many of us, this means the creation of a change of government. The last 18 years have seen an increase in divisions between rich and poor, more poverty and unemployment, increased crime rate, reduced resources for education and health; and for the benefit of our communities it is important to put a brake on this. If the Conservatives win again, there will be less public investment in Health, Education, Social Services, increased isolation from each other in this country and within Europe and internationally. The thought, quite literally, terrifies me. In this constituency for those people who want to see a change, the way forward is to vote for Chris McCafferty, the Labour Party candidate.
Hebden Bridge, UK - Tuesday, April 29, 1997 at 20:20:41 (BST)
At the last election John Major promised to create "a classless society" and "a nation at ease with itself". But all I see is an ever-widening gap between rich and poor, with many peoples' working lives reduced to a series of short-term contracts on low pay, with few opportunities to plan for the future. Others - the undeserving rich - are receiving hugely inflated salaries, ‘golden handshakes’ and stock options, merely for doing their jobs properly. Far from being a nation at ease with itself, we seem demoralised and impotent.
Where are the long-term strategies that will, for example, safeguard the environment and create a truly integrated transport system, now that the motor car is starting to be seen as an experiment that failed? I don't like the short-term expediency that makes politicians unable or unwilling to plan ahead further than the next election, or the 'dumbing down' of politics and newsgathering into meaningless soundbites and slogans.
The level of debate is peurile, with personal attacks being substituted for genuine argument. The rudeness of the interviewers is matched only by the practised evasiveness of the candidates: the result is usually stalemate. Politicians consistently confuse 'standard of living' with 'quality of life', and fail to inject any kind of spiritual dimension into their policies. I will vote Labour - as always - but with little enthusiasm and limited expectations.
We are wasting our nation’s potential and paying the cost in money, quality of life and ultimately in influence and standing. Yet our aspirations remain the same. We want to raise a family with decent pay and prospects; a home that is affordable and secure; schools of quality for our children; to be able to walk down the street at night without fear; to know that if we are ill we will be treated on the basis of need not wealth. We want security and dignity when we grow old.
There are major challenges ahead, to repair the economic and social damage of the last 18 years and I want to help implement the policies necessary to bring about change. Unless we do the social conflict we are seeing, and the disintegration of our community will' continue, especially among the young.
We must have creative policies that will transform our environment and safeguard our children's future. Because it isn't just what sort of society we want to live in - it's what sort of society we want to hand on to our children and grandchildren. I want a fair society where economic progress and social justice go hand in hand, where output is not just measured by profit and loss and where wealth is created and shared by everyone.
Now is the time for fresh ideas to give new direction, leadership and purpose.
With opinion polls showing a narrowing the narrowing of the gap, it’s time for all the waverers and cynics (I include myself here) to make a definite decision. The Labour Party might not have the reforming zeal it once had, but what’s the alternative? Let’s give Labour the benefit of the doubt and vote for change. Nothing could be worse than the nightmare of another five Tory years, which is what could very easily happen.
Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire UK - Wednesday, April 23, 1997 at 09:49:09 (BST)
Oh dear! Stephen Pearson is dressing up like a Conservative! How low will the Liberals stoop to try to con a few votes out of people? For those who have not seen it, he has just issued some election propaganda in BLUE ink with the heading CONSERVATIVES. You have to look closely to find out that he is actually a Liberal. Shame on you Mr. Pearson - you've just lost my vote.
Cragg Vale Voter
UK - Friday, April 18, 1997 at 21:42:45 (BST)
I'm fed up with all the electioneering hype now. Can we not just get on and do the voting bit, so it can go quiet again for another few years. Basically, whatever each party says now, its all out of the window once they're in power. Call me Mr. Cynic if you like, but its true! Ah well, 12 days 18 hrs 22 mins to go...
Andy Carter <email@example.com>
Heptonstall, W. Yorks. UK - Friday, April 18, 1997 at 12:35:31 (BST)
Is anyone else as fed up as me that the Liberals can sound so santimonious when they are just as bad as the other parties at the name calling and personal attacks - and sometimes worse? And how is it that Paddy Ashdown claims to have "moved the liberals" closer to Labour, whilst the liberals in Calderdale always attack Labour and never seem to have anything to say about the Tories?
Hebden Bridge, UK - Thursday, April 17, 1997 at 21:58:16 (BST)
It's intersting to see the Guardian's constituency profile for the Calder Valley. To quote :- Job indicators % Unemployed 7.2 (9.5) Part-time 15.9 (15.1) Self-employed 12.4 (11.2) Full-time 63.3 (62.9) Why don't they have a category for long-haired youths sitting outside pubs all day drinking cans of Kestrel Super Strength ? Surely this is something at which Calder Valley excels and we should ensure that the rest of the world knows about it. PS has anyone heard Billy Braggs election song "From Red to Blue" ? Check it out..
Ivor Thomas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hebden Bridge, Calderdale UK - Tuesday, April 15, 1997 at 05:12:02 (BST)
I am delighted to see that Labour's rating in the polls has plummeted. These people should be ashamed of themselves for the summersaults they have jumped on every socialist policy they have ever held. I would have voted Labout, but I could no vote for New Labour as it has no principles at all.
A Hebden Bridge Resident <->
UK - Sunday, April 13, 1997 at 15:21:48 (BST)
When will people like Anthony King and the other pollsters realise that they are continually underestimating the support for the Liberal Democrats by not taking into account the fact that we are ruthlessly targeting 50-150 seats such as this one in Colchester. We are going to win here, but you wouldn't know it from the polls. At least the latest one is getting the message at 17 per cent. No doubt there will be another wringing of hands after the elction when they get it wrong again. Bet on the Lib Dems for 32-50 seats and you'll make a mint!
martin hunt <user @ inter.net>
colchester, essex UK - Sunday, April 13, 1997 at 12:12:29 (BST)
I am amazed at the two main parties when it comes to giving a straight answer to any question they are asked. They appear to find it mpossible to do so. The worst of the politicians at doing this is Michael Portillo. He seems to take great pride in avoiding answering any question put to him without deliberate obfuscation, and always falls back on the collective responsibility theme. Are the politicians are so in fear of their 'jobs' that they daren't say anything they truly believe in? Looking after numero uno, if you ask me. I think I will vote LibDem solely on the fact that at least they appear to answer questions put to them with some degree of honesty and integrity.
Simon Mitchell <email@example.com>
Thornaby-on-Tees ex Luddenden Foot, UK - Saturday, April 12, 1997 at 21:13:12 (BST)
I believe Labour's srategy - which seems to me to be to moving to the right of what was "the middle ground" - in order to win over the disaffected tory vote - is a high risk one. If they're not offering anything which is substantially different from the Tories, what possible reason is there for anyone to vote for them. You can't justify it because they're not the Tories when everything they do and say is striving to sound like them. In order to win convincingly, they must convince natural Labour voters that there's something positive to vote for. I don't think it's in the bag for Labour and I don't think any amount of leafletting etc. will make the slightest difference. And I'm not impressed with their front bench - Cunningham and Blunkett in particular should be put out to grass..
Lee Comer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hebden Bridge, yorks UK - Thursday, April 10, 1997 at 23:56:44 (BST)
Well, I'll be voting SNP, but then I have the choice. It strikes me that Yorkshire could do with a few SNP candidates. I've been won round by meeting our local councillor who is a Green who thought he might get something done. Despite rumours it has nothing to do with the drinks he may have bought me. I admit, I am voting tactically as last time the SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party) came second and I want the tories out. However, as the local butcher said, it's not nationalism so much as self-respectism, and I think I can agree with that. I realise this is a little obscure and rambling but vote for those who you respect and are respected by, sorry to be so ponderous.
Ian Wood <email@example.com>
Wigtown, Dumfries & Galloway UK (just) - Thursday, April 10, 1997 at 00:13:37 (BST)
This evening (Tuesday 8th April) there is another Election Forum when the canidates have been invited to an Open Meeting to discuss development issues. Unfortunately Donald Thompson has been unable to confirm whether he can attend. Be interesting to see if he shows up to try to justify this Government's appalling record on development aid I think the Election Forum on line is a superb initiative Congratulations
Chris Green <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hebden Bridge, UK - Tuesday, April 08, 1997 at 15:14:12 (BST)
Can we really trust Labour to keep all the radiculous promises they have made to us? All we have to do is look at the mess they made last time to see why they have not been leeding the contry for the past 18 years! Do we really want this party back into power? I'll tell you I don't!
B. Hill <email@example.com>
UK - Monday, April 07, 1997 at 20:41:35 (BST)
After 18 years of Conservative Government how can anyone dream of voting for them again. They’ve given us parliamentary corruption, higher taxes, prolonged unemployment, hypocrisy on sexual standards, an increasing division between rich and poor which threatens social stability and a blind eye to the pollution which endangers the health of people and planet. Yes, it’s TIME FOR A CHANGE!
Joseph Hill <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire UK - Monday, April 07, 1997 at 19:57:57 (BST)
A question for the Socialists. If small class sizes are the key to sucessful education why is it that Japan and Korea, two of the most successful state-funded education systems in the world, also have the largest class sizes? I think we should be told.
Heptonstall, UK - Sunday, April 06, 1997 at 14:39:33 (BST)
Chris McCafferty says that Labour would "... get the economy back into working order." This is a strange comment for a Labour Party spokesperson to make. It is a well-known fact that Labour knows not the first thing about economics. Let's face it - look at the mess they've created at Calderdale!
Peter Symcox <email@example.com>
Halifax, West Yorkshire UK - Sunday, April 06, 1997 at 14:38:18 (BST)
*Question for all candidates Why do we only hear from you and see you only at general and local ellection time? Are we expected to bielive the promises of that one visit at ellection time? Or do you feel the Hebden Bridge folk are like the sheep on our surrounding hills, easily led into the pennine pasture that is always greener over the fence?
Hebden Bridge, West Yorks UK - Friday, April 04, 1997 at 21:16:22 (BST)
You have forgotton the Socialist party!! they will be standing in the election. with alot more candidates than third way!!!
Corringham, Thurrock, Essex UK - Friday, April 04, 1997 at 00:33:05 (BST) (Send us their url and we'll add a link - webmaster)
Found your website while browsing & it seems well layed out. I was looking for some comments with reference to the General Election which I found here . I am definately out of touch here in Borneo. Thanks to technology I can even get a say. I am not a member of a political party , but I think is time for a change.This Government, I think have failed miserably in many aspects, law & order ,education , industrial investment, Training etc ,etc . The City has done well, so what, what good has that done for the ordinary man?. Our health service, Another term for the Tories & the N.H.S will be written off. Its high time for a change For the better.
Roger Hill <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Miri , Sarawak BORNEO Malaysia - Thursday, April 03, 1997 at 14:04:34 (BST)
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to send you some comments and hope that this will encourage people to make use of the Hebden Bridge Web. I had actually heard of the existence of this Web through one of my friends who makes use of the Internet on a regular basis. Clearly, over the next few weeks there is going to be a larger than ever interest in political matters and I am grateful that people in Hebden Bridge are taking the lead in making information available. As you know the Liberal Democrats in Calderdale have been campaigning to reverse the £1.1m or so of cuts in the Primary School Budget which the Labour Group has pushed through Council.
We are particularly concerned about these cuts as their Leader Mr Blair has called for 'education, education and education' as his three priorities. The only way that education can be improved is if it is properly resourced and financed and to that extent the Liberal Democrats locally as well as nationally are the party which has taken the lead in recognising that you do not get anything for nothing. We are clearly determined to pursue our policies of raising taxation to ensure that people are able to obtain the highest quality education and this is something which makes us clearly distinctive from other political parties.
Also here in Calderdale we have been making every effort to ensure that the issue of Europe is brought to the fore and again we are the only party that encourages the wholehearted participation in Europe of the UK and of its regions and of its Local Authorities such as Calderdale through the various grant aiding functions and through the various representative channels that exist in both the European Commission and the European Parliament.
With regard to matters of the environment we are particularly keen that there should be a strong emphasis on the development of competitive and high quality public transport and in order to aid this we have considered the introduction of a carbon tax which will not only assist with this but will also ensure that there are proper and due attention given to the earth's scant resources.
So no comment from the Greens then?
Andy Carter <email@example.com>
Heptonstall, West Yorkshire UK - Tuesday, March 25, 1997 at 13:57:46 (GMT)
Labour will reduce class sizes, get 250,000 young people into education and training, reduce VAT on fuel to five percent, fast-track young offenders through the criminal justice system and get the economy back into working order.
Chris McCafferty <Labour>
UK - Friday, March 21, 1997 at 21:11:29 (GMT)
The main issues will be to draw attention to the competence of Calderdale Labour Council and to show what a contrast that is to the Conservative Government whose policies the Labour Party intend to mimic exactly, but not as well
Sir Donald Thompson <Conservative>
UK - Friday, March 21, 1997 at 20:55:52 (GMT)
I wonder if any of the candidates know what the Internet is.
UK - Tuesday, March 18, 1997 at 14:45:01 (GMT)
This will be the first General Election with the World Wide Web. How much influence will the Internet have? Will forums like this have any effect on the candidates or voters?
Elaine Connell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire UK - Sunday, March 16, 1997 at 21:24:17 (GMT)
The pages of the Hebden Bridge Web are prepared