Saturday 17 April 2010

Hustings #4

Last night was the fourth round of hustings in the constituency. With another four booked - three of them next week - it means we're about half way through that element of the campaign. Last night's event was in Narberth, organised by Friends of the Earth, and concentrating on matters environmental (although the Lib Dem did at one point launch into a complicated lecture on global economics. Didn't really go down too well, I must say.).

John Gossage, the Lib Dem, produced another surprise as well - it was the first time I'd understood that they are now in favour of replacing Trident with a new generation of nuclear weapons, only not on a 'like for like basis'. No, I don't understand what that actually means either, but apparently it's what Clegg said in THAT debate - which I didn't watch. Better things to do with my time at the moment.

There was another surprise to see Simon Hart, the Tory, nodding vigorously in apparent agreement with me when I talked about us needing to allocate resources on the basis of co-operation and agreement rather than competition, and for more equal access to resources across the world. It's so far removed from core Conservative philosophy that I could only conclude that he didn't really understand what I was saying. Hopefully, most of the audience did.

Simon somehow omitted to mention one key aspect of his party's energy policy - the one Cameron announced last week of building a new generation of coal-fired power stations. I wondered why, but didn't find the right opportunity to challenge him on that. He surely wasn't choosing his message to try and match the audience?

Overall, it was a good session - and I was pleased to be able to draw some very clear lines between Plaid on the one hand and the three London parties on the other. They all seemed to be saying much the same thing on most issues. And that's something which THOSE debates are apparently sadly missing as a result of the exclusion of Plaid and others. There's just no real challenge to the cosy London consensus. It's a stitch-up which is encouraging people to treat the election as an air-brushed beauty contest, rather than a serious debate about all our futures.


Cibwr said...

How many were at this hustings John? From my experience hustings are usually very well attended - somewhat going against the idea that people aren't interested in politics.

Anonymous said...

hart is absoltely clueless when it comes to the environment
can remeber talking to him about planting trees to take the carbon ot of the atmosphere, he had no clue what i was talking about

John Dixon said...


Didn't count, I'm afraid - but my guess would be 40-50. WE've had similar numbers at the last two hustings sessions, and there were more like 150 at the session in Saundersfoot in January.

Dave Edwards said...


when are the other hustings taking place; if more people knew you would get a bigger turnout

John Dixon said...


Penuel Chapel Carmarthen, Monday 19th April 7:00pm

Westgate Chapel, Pembroke, Weds 21st 7:30pm

Halliwell Centre, Carmarthen, Thursday 22nd April (RSPB - Ask the Climate Change Question) 7:30pm

St Mary's Church, Tenby, Tues 27th. 7:30pm.

The advertising has largely been done by the organisations themselves through their own members, and through other neighbouring churches. I know that the RSPB has done extensive advertising as well.