Thursday, 15 April 2010

Questions For Reading West Candidates From A Family

This must be the most comprehensive set of questions I have yet received. So I thought I would post it on here.

> I hope that you will be able to help us as a family choose who to vote for in the forthcoming elections.  We have together thought of queries that we would appreciate your opinions and answers on to help us decide the best candidate to represent each of us.  We look forward to your replies.
> ·   What personal experiences have you had that will prepare you for office?
> ·   Where do you stand on the free computer/broadband package for families on benefits?
> ·   How would you deal with unruly pupils in schools?
> ·   What priorities are there for transport in Reading?
> ·   What part of the constituency are you most familiar with and why?
> ·   Have you any personal beliefs and how are they helpful for doing an MPs job?
> ·   What would you class as Reading’s biggest asset and its biggest problem?
> ·   Following the expense revelations, how can you convince us to trust you as an MP?
> ·   Do you think it’s right that MPs voted to give themselves a pay rise when the rest of the country are getting pay freezes, cuts or losing their jobs?
> ·   Why are your party leaflets (Conservative and Labour as we have not had any other party leaflets) just condemning and belittling the other parties more than focussing on your policies?
>  I trust that you will be able to answer these questions openly and honestly so that we can each make up our minds if and who to vote for.
So to answer the questions.

1. My experience. I have worked as a manager and as an employee, and a charity volunteer and trustee and director of a charity. I also have academic qualifications, an MSc in Engineering for Developing Countries, an BEng in civil engineering, various A and O levels. I have worked in a factory, as a mini cab driver, but mostly as an engineer in construction, so have a wide variety of experience.

I think we need MPs who have experience as employers, team workers & as volunteers. They should have applied for jobs and hired other people. Too many have very limited backgrounds, and are hopelessly out of their depth. We also need more women, and people from different backgrounds and with a wide variety of skills.

2. It would be great if everyone has access to broadband, but the cost would be huge, particularly outside of the big towns and cities. We are in a recession, now is not the time to increase spending. At the moment many libraries have free internet, though time limited. This is great for those without a home connection, otherwise they would be cut off from many services. This Library service could be extended. I wouldn't offer a different service to those with families and those who are single.

3. Politicians love to sound tough on bad behaviour and crime, but that isn't the answer. I think a better diet would help, fast food and fizzy drinks are full of chemicals that alter children's behaviour. Children can get board, we need to keep them busy, active and interested. I am not a parent, and no expert on this, so I would be interested in the opinions of parents, as well as teachers.

4. Transport in Reading gets worse every year, buses and trains get more expensive, car numbers increase. I would invest in cycle paths (linking up the bits we have) and parking, its healthier and better for the environment. I would make public transport cheaper than driving, to encourage people to drive less. Its noticeable that during term time the traffic is worse, I want a school bus to reduce parents having to drop their children off to school in cars.

5. I lived for 9 years near the Oxford Road, so I know that area the best. I have been involved with the Oxford Road Community Garden for 6 years. I have been a candidate in local elections in Battle Ward and Tilehurst.

6. I am not religious. I believe that the other parties are not responding as they should to the climate crisis facing us, that we have increasing levels of unfairness that need to be addressed.

7. Readings biggest asset is its closeness and good transport links to London. So we have lots of people commuting to work in London, having good jobs. And pressure on housing as people in London come to live here.

8. We need a drastic change to the rules, lets have transparency. Also a mechanism to get rid of them outside of general elections, a certain number of people sign a petition trigger a by election. I can point out that the Greens are the only party not to be involved in these scandals, but we are human beings and so fallible. We need to change the rules so we can regain trust.

9. Its immoral to give that bunch a pay rise, they should be treated as other civil servants who are expecting cuts. And those who broke the rules should be prosecuted as criminals.

10. Unfortunately many leaflets are negative, the big parties think it works. I have made a pledge for a clean campaign. clean campaign pledge I have recently been attacked by the LibDems Gareth EppsPPC for Reading East wrote 'The fact is that anyone our LD members select to fight Reading West will have much firmer green credentials than Lab and the Tories could muster between them and the credibility lacked by the maverick Green candidate there.' Now I think being called a Maverick could be a compliment, suggesting I have no credibility isn't. In the past Labour have claimed we were linked to terrorists or the BNP, but thats so ridiculous it made them look bad. So far I have managed not to sink to that level and respond in kind. has lots of of leaflets to look at.

I write a blog, in 3 years and over 800 posts perhaps a dozen have been about the Tories or LD. I write more often about the Government, commenting on what they are doing, and what I think they should do. I try and keep it positive though.

Best Wishes
Regards Adrian Windisch, Green PPC Reading West

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