Sunday, 31 May 2009

PCS Hustings - Thursday May 28th

Back to a more traditional hustings on the Thursday organised by the PCS trade union in Edinburgh. Colin was doing the tv debate so I came through for it. There were 10 candidates ! So each of us got 2 mins to speak and the questions came from the floor. Because of responses we only managed to get 4 or 5 questions in the time we had. So a lot less inclusive than the Wednesday one.

And pretty shockingly every candidate was male. The Labour and Green guys were the same ones as the night before. Surprisingly, I thought, UKIP were invited. Their candidate was outrageously right wing but he mumbled quite a lot so I dont think people picked up on what he was saying. He started his speech claiming to be a climate change denier, thought the BNP should have a platform and that Griffin's Nazis were "too left wing"! because they stood for troops out of Iraq, scrapping Council Tax etc. I was sitting quite near him so I heard it all dont think the audience did!

Tommy Sheridan was there for no2eu - he's the second on their list. I thought his opening speech seemed pretty stilted as he was referring to a lot of detailed legislation -European directives from 1989 for example! He got into a bit of flow later on during the questions but only when he moved away from focusing on the EU and went into general propaganda. It shows the limits of the narrowness of the no2eu agenda though. He had quite a few supporters in the audience maybe about a dozen who were looking for some rousing stuff but they didnt really get it. He was referring quite heavily to a CWI journal Socialism Today in front of him for the detail.

Jim McDaid from Scargill's Socialist Labour Party was there he did the withdrawal from EU from a left wing perspective bit much more fluently. Mind you they have been arguing that since they were formed in 1995 and Scargill has been arguing that since 1975!
Again showed the tragedy of having such a splintered left in this election.
Questions focused on privatisation, pensions, public sector pay and the BNP (which doesnt begin with P!). I managed to bring my own experience in working in a new uni and of course the battle against INTO.

New Labour guy got a bit of a hard time though he answered the question on no platform for the BNP quite well. He left at the same time as me and said he couldnt believe the hostility of the left to New Labour! Where had he been for the last 12 years I wondered. Well the answer is not here - he works in Brussels for the EU and lives in Sweden a lot. You can tell he was a bit of an outsider to the battles of Scottish politics. He thought the Tories would win the next election and then people would regret attacking Labour.

Friday morning and did a photo shoot for the STUC against the BNP - most of the parties were there :us, Greens, Liberal, NuLabour, Tories and the SNP. It was the big names that were there for most of the parties apart from the Tories and of course the SSP :-). Rikki R came along and took some photies one of which is on here.
Last week of campaign beckons...

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