Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Argyle Road Hustings, West Reading

Argyl Rd Hustings

Naz LearnerLearner Naz Sarkar (Lab)

Alok Alok Sharma (Cons)

New Daisy New DangerDaisy Benson (LD) Red Eye

Shifty AdrianAdrian Windisch (Green)

So the last Hustings for Reading West, last night from Battle Ward. Its near the huge Tesco which was my first campaign (not supported by any other party). Unfortunately because the other parties disagreed with me Tesco won and built their huge superstore. Since then many small shops have closed, now we are near the 11th Tesco in Reading, finally some other parties have started to agree with me.

Many of the questions were the same as previous hustings, GREN, Denefield School, FSB. And the hustings where I was excluded on BBC politics show, BBC Radio Berkshire and the faith hustings in Tilehurst. So I'm going to report on what was new.

Q1 Whats the first thing you would do as MP?
Daisy spoke of housing,
Naz education,
Alok crime.
I talked about transport; traffic gets worse every year, bus prises rise, perhaps the two are linked. I would make the bus fare £1, build cycle paths, starting with one down Oxford Road.

Q2 was on first past the post or proportional representation, which we have heard before.

Q3 was on strategic planning, we all opposed Pincents Hill and Bath Road developments.
Naz praised Martin Salter.
Alok spoke up for local decisions.
Daisy would scrap national planning as local more democratic.
I spoke against this, regional planning was needed as we have some geographical problems with bits of West Berkshire and Wokingham in Reading. The problem with over development was down to Gordon Brown and the Barker review, instead they should look at regional planning. Some regions have declining populations, others overcrowding.

Q4 What values inspired you to enter politics, was it belief in God.
Daisy entered politics by accident, inspired by inequality. Athiest.
I was inspired by the poor response from Martin Salter, then Labour MP, to my letter on collecting waste oil. My local Cllrs didn't respond. One was at the meeting, which was a mite embarrassing. I then went to a Green Party meeting and got involved, met Caroline Lucas MEP at a march to Aldermaston nuclear bomb factory. Not religious, but respect those who are. (I defended Catholics when Martin Salter recently attacked them)
Naz got involved to make a difference. Secular.
Alok used to shout at the TV, his wife told him to get involved, he became PPC. Respects Christian values.

Q5 Erosion of freedom of speech, anti Christian values, Catholic adoption agencies, persecution of Christians.
G Labour were right to introduce laws against homophobia, though in the cases you mentioned could have been more sensitively handled. Yes freedom of speech has been eroded, but for those protesting against wars (arrested on anti terrorist laws) not against Christians.
Naz My father was discriminated against in 1966, proud of Labour on equality.
Alok; Tolerance s key, Adrian was right to say you can express your views, the Catholic adoption agency should have been given 3 years to find a way round the problems.
Daisy; Tolerance, Lab have done well, need to work on age discrimination.
Comment from the floor; Christians arrested for freedom of speech, Nurse lost job after praying for a patient, Christians discriminated against. And some other examples, including banned from wearing a cross.
Alok; people offer to pray for me, or other PPCs, thats fine. In some cases health and safety reasons for not wearing jewellery, otherwise should be able to wear cross.
I spoke about Muslims who will feel persecuted, Islamophobia rose (under Blair) but not so bad now, more than Christians. Muslims arrested then released quietly (on anti terrorism laws). (No time to mention de Menezes or this case or this.)
Naz wanted details of the cases, refuted my description of Labour Islamophobia.
Daisy spoke of anti terror legislation (which helped me as I hadn't explained that in detail)

Q6 Crime drugs and prostitution high near the Oxford Road, car broken into 3 times in 5 years, needles left.
Naz; spoke of more police visibility.
Alok; more police out there, less paperwork
Daisy; what an awful situation, questioned person on reporting crime, 80% unreported.
From the floor; drugs policy isn't working
I said yes, and legalise prostitution, keep it off the streets, away from residents like this one who is in a terrible position. Other countries do it.
Daisy; leagalise more drugs
Naz; ASBOs work, ringfence police budget.
Alok; prostitutions need help, RSHP working well. Get them off hard drugs. Keep hard drugs illegal.

Q7 Legalise euthanasia,
Daisy; yes
I said yes if we can protect vulnerable, such as senile people
Naz; difficult balance, Adrian has pointed out how it can be abused

Q8 Protect local economy,
Adrian; Tesco takeover of town damaged local shops
Naz; difficult as Tesco provide cheap food that helps people,
Alok; use local shops to support them, I've been doing that in the campaign,
Daisy; Tories not honest, tax hikes, massive deficit,

Q9 MP expenses, second homes
Alok; no second homes anymore as the rules have changed,
Naz defended Martin Salter,
I pointed out Martin said one thing to us, then voted the other way in Parliament. Reputation of politicians very bad.

Q10 we were asked who else we would vote for if not ourselves,
Alok said unfair question,
the others hinted at Howard Thomas as an Independent, but I know him as having Ukip like policies, would prefer a genuine independent.

1 comment:

Adrian Windisch said...

The Argyle Community Church have released an audio of this.

for the whole thing,