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Prospective MP Questions

From Patsy F

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A great idea to pose questions to the candidates.

Two thoughts:

1. Why not ask them where they actually live at the moment?

2. I hope the Hebweb will pose the same questions to the Tory and LibDem candidates.

Thanks for reading, Patsy

From Mick Piggott

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Good idea to put those questions to the four potential candidates.  May I suggest also:

Public transport is extremely important to local residents and the service represents a 'natural monopoly'. Do you agree that public transport should be returned to public ownership - not necessarily the old model of government-controlled nationalisation, but with the maximum possible degree of local control (councils, say)?

Similarly for the essential utilities.  Gas flows through a public network, and so does water.  Why should we have to shop around for the best deal from the various privatised gas companies?  Why should we tolerate massive public subsidies by taxpayers, profit-taking by investers, and massive tax evasion?

Given Ed Balls's flagging up of a Labour policy to make pensioners help pay for a crisis that was created by tax-evading (or avoiding) capitalists and even more so by the banking system - in what way is Labour any more fair, progressive, or indeed left-wing than the coalition?

I could ask more on Labour's reactionary stands on immigration (pandering to racism in the electorate) and welfare (placing more emphasis on the tiny minority of welfare cheats than on the tax swindlers who cost us so much more)  but I guess this is enough to be going on with!

From Lydia P

Thursday, 13 June 2013

This is a great idea!

Shame not to see any questions on LGBT issues asked by Hebweb. The equal marriage bill might still fall at the final hurdle and it might take a future Labour government to get it all the way. I know Simon Young has been very vocal on equal marriage but I have seen nothing from the others! We don't want to replace one Whittaker with another!

Perhaps also ask about press regulation as I know many in the trans community are very concerned after Richard Littlejohn's attacks on Lucy Meadows, and that evil Julie Burchall article in the Observer. Will the candidates speak out for minorities under attack?

From Josh Fenton-Glynn

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Lydia, let me assure you that I fully support equal marriage and have said so in public on a number of occasions. I think Craig Whittaker's position on the subject is appalling and shows contempt for many of his constituents in the upper valley.

Patsy, I currently live in Hebden Bridge having moved back here having been away working in national jobs, fighting poverty and social exclusion.

From Jenny S

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Thanks to all the candidates for responding and to Josh for commenting above. I notice though that he doesn't respond to Mick Piggott?

For us disillusioned Labour voters, the current Labour Party leadership is doing nothing to inspire or encourage us that they will do anything radically different from the Coalition. Just a little bit less of the same (austerity) and a maybe just a weany bit more of temporary borrowing (yawn yawn).

No definite commitment to nurturing its baby the Welfare State. No brave and bold pronouncements on significant green growth or reducing wealth and health inequalities. The elephant in the room is the Labour Party's absolute fear and dread of moving leftwards from the overcrowded centre ground. I would like to ask the candidates what they will do about that?

In the meantime, I'm on the train to the People's Assembly - looking for answers!

From Mick Piggott

Sunday, 30 June 2013

In reply to Jenny S., it may be of interest that I have emailed Josh this:

Hi Josh

If only ... : Here's a quote from the Guardian; you may have already read it:

There are symbolic moments demanding an immediate gut reaction – and (Balls) missed it. There was a chance to boomerang the "welfare" weapon back at Osborne but he dropped it. He should have thumped the chancellor from here to kingdom come with his vile little one-week cut to jobseeker's allowance for the newly unemployed.

Let's get one thing clear: this was pure symbolism. As with the so-called "welfare cap", it has less to do with the real world than politics at its most visceral. Osborne called Labour "the welfare party" and in the panic of the moment Balls ducked when he should have chucked the grenade back across the floor. Here's what he could have said:

"This is a spiteful attack on working people at the moment of their greatest anxiety. As soon as they lose their job, you will plunge them straight into rent arrears, forcing them to take out payday loans just to feed their family and heat their home.

"Since the founding of the welfare state people in Britain know that a safety net of social security will protect any working person unlucky enough to lose their job. Shame on you for breaking that social contract. Shame on you for attacking people in their first week without work, before anyone can call them skivers or scroungers. Enough of your politics of hate: you cut tax credits you said were taken by idlers behind bedroom blinds, but 70% of those cuts fell on working people in jobs, too low paid to keep their families.

"No one tolerates benefit cheats, but you mistake the common decency of the people of this country if you think they want to grind the unemployed into debt-ridden poverty. The welfare party? You are the party waging class war against all who have no jobs because of your growth-killing policies."

Polly Toynbee, The Guardian, last Thursday

I'm sorry to say, Jean and I are rapidly losing any remaining faith we may have had in the leadership of the parliamentary Labour Party.

Given that the PLP is moving rapidly to the right (under Ed's leadership!) by hanging on to the Tories' coat-tails, it's difficult to come up with any good reasons to support the election of a Labour government.

When it comes to the crunch, we probably will vote Labour, if it seems to be the best chance of kicking out this foul government; but I have to say, we are surrounded by non-party-members (friends and relatives) who have traditionally been Labour voters, who say, ''What's the point?'' And the best we can come up with is, ''To keep the Tories out.''

We so hope that, if elected, you will be better than this!



See also

HebWeb News: Calder Valley Labour Party: Questions for the candidates