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Parliamentary Election Hustings
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michael


Posts: 3,198
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
09-04-2015 10:00 AM

The Forest Hill Society and Sydenham Society have arranged a Parliamentary election hustings for Lewisham West and Penge on Friday 24th April at 7pm. This meeting is free and open to all.

Candidates from the five largest political parties in the area (Conservatives, Greens, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP) have agreed to speak and answer your questions on local and national issues.

This event will take place at Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Path, off Sydenham Park, London SE26 4EA. Map available from http://www.foresthillsociety.com/2015/04...-24th.html

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152047


Posts: 127
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #2
09-04-2015 12:50 PM

Thanks for the update.

Without wishing to be too cynical won't this be a walkover for Jim Dowd just as it has been so many time before?

I am so bored of the election already and the fact that the Jim has been my MP for the last twenty three years is one of the reasons.

Please tell me how to vote tactically if my sole aim is to get a fresh face representing Lewisham West and Penge.

Are there any local polls on which way the vote may be going?

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Andrew1976


Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2014
Post: #3
17-04-2015 09:08 PM

I recently moved to Forest Hill. I like it here but know nothing of the politics in the area or what the various candidates stand for. I'm researching online and have a twitter feed but am a bit frustrated as there isnt a great deal being said. I have sent messages to the candidates too and none of them have bothered responding.

Aside from the manifestos which are all about the bigger picture, can anyone point me in the right direction of what the candidates are saying aside from sound bites designed to gather votes; rather than actually demonstrate willingness to do something valuable for the community.

I am particularly unimpressed with the Green Candidate which is a shame because I'd really like to vote Green, but living anywhere other than Brighton I think it's a wasted vote.

The UKIP and Liberty candidates are really disgusting. It does seem like Labour is the only vote, but I just don't know!!!!

Thoughts? I'm thinking of going to the next hustings and will no doubt ask them questions there as they're all too ignorant to respond to emails etc.

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BamptonRoad


Posts: 44
Joined: Dec 2014
Post: #4
20-04-2015 03:09 PM

Sadly we live in a safe seat so our votes are pretty much wasted. I don't know about you but I have received no campaigning literature at all. Doesn't seem like the parties can be bothered as it is a foregone conclusion. Very few posters and placards in houses either. We really need a better voting system. Following the attempt to shut A+E at Lewisham Hopsital I can see the Tory vote falling locally.

I have been considering voting Green but that would mean ignoring a number of policies that I completely disagree with. Might go for Labour on the basis that vote count may mean something when it comes to forming a Government. Will not relish voting for Dowd though.

The only campaigning I have seen locally has been from the TUSC. They were outside Sainsbury's on Saturday. At least they want to earn my vote.

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sandy


Posts: 189
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #5
20-04-2015 03:47 PM

We've had material from Labour and Lib Dems. In such a tight contest you can't really blame parties for focusing their efforts in marginals and this is all done by volunteers/members who are not as numerous as they once were. Votes are not wasted as turnout and majorities will be examined in any results discussions. I think it is more about looking at the bigger picture than the local MP - austerity, NHS etc. Proportional representation might be the way to go, judging by the seeming failure of the former main parties to mop up previously secure voting populations. It is important to exercise one's right to vote and if all in this area who could did so, maybe it wouldn't be such a foregone conclusion. If it will always come out in one particular way, even with a higher turnout, then that suggests a large number of people in the constituency have similar priorities.

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Erekose


Posts: 528
Joined: May 2010
Post: #6
20-04-2015 09:05 PM

We have had leaflets from the Lib dems and UkIP so it will have to be a flip of the coin between them unless others bother to contact us....

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,349
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
21-04-2015 08:07 AM

All 3 Lewisham seats are safe labour seats. The fight is in the marginals. Most of the Lewisham activists will be elsewhere, e.g. Croydon.

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BamptonRoad


Posts: 44
Joined: Dec 2014
Post: #8
21-04-2015 10:21 AM

I agree that we can't really blame the parties as it is the system that is to blame. People in marginals are being bombarded with literature. Of course it is largely the two main parties that are responsible for maintaining the old-fashioned first past the post system. The mayoral single transferable vote system is much better. Perhaps this election will result in such a mess that we will end up with a better voting system.

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michael


Posts: 3,198
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
21-04-2015 02:00 PM

I can announce that the Forest Hill Society and Sydenham Society have extended invitation to the hustings to all candidates standing in the Lewisham West and Penge constituency (I can't say whether they will all accept but we have 6 confirmed at present).

No doubt this will limit the number of questions that can be asked from the floor but we will try to cover as many questions as we can in the time available.

I hope forum regulars can make it to the hustings with good questions for the candidates.

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Mr_Numbers


Posts: 510
Joined: May 2012
Post: #10
21-04-2015 02:28 PM

Here's Lewisham West & Penge's results from 2010:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewisham_We...on_results

Alex Feakes, the Lib-Dem candidate, looks like the only one who has any chance at all of unseating Dowd. Good on him for having another go in the same constituency, though I would struggle to bring myself to vote Lib-Dem in normal circumstances.

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BamptonRoad


Posts: 44
Joined: Dec 2014
Post: #11
21-04-2015 04:18 PM

Following the Lib Dems stint in coalition and the Conservatives attempts to close Lewisham A+E I can only see the seat becoming safer for Labour.

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Scatterfold


Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #12
21-04-2015 07:22 PM

I found a leaflet from the 'Liberty GB' party on my doorstep today. I'm all for a wider spectrum of politics outside of the Dowd camp, but would prefer if it wasn't on the 'alarmingly racist/fascist' end of the spectrum...

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Thorners


Posts: 50
Joined: Oct 2013
Post: #13
22-04-2015 06:41 AM

Same Scatterfold. I was astounded to read that thing when I got home last night.

Bordering on inciting racial hatred!

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Mr_Numbers


Posts: 510
Joined: May 2012
Post: #14
22-04-2015 01:56 PM

One hopes that such ridiculous views are so much in the minority these days that this truly pathetic leaflet can be treated with the contempt it deserves: derisive laughter and then non-ceremoniously crumpling it up and throwing it in the recycling bin.

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michael


Posts: 3,198
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
22-04-2015 08:26 PM

Unfortunately we have to announce the cancellation of the hustings on Friday 24th April. This is due to difficulty getting agreement from the candidates regarding who should be included and excluded from the panel.

Initially we had invited only the five candidates representing parties with more than 1% at the last general election to take part. We were pressured by a number of the candidates to extend this invitation to all candidates. Having done this, it then proved impossible to get all eight candidates to agree to attend the hustings due to the presence of a candidate from Liberty GB.

In addition we did not wish to place the local church and vicar in the situation of hosting and chairing an event with a speaker from a party that does not accept religious freedom.

We wish to apologise to all members of the public who were looking forward to attending the event.

Issued by Michael Abrahams, chair of the Forest Hill Society and Annabel McLaren, chair of the Sydenham Society.

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Scatterfold


Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #16
22-04-2015 09:02 PM

Michael,

Who decides the rules for the Hustings? Are you bound by some external body or are you entirely autonomous in being able to create the framework?

If it's the latter, what is preventing you from simply stating that all parties are able to attend, besides those from the very Far Right, for that reason in and of itself?

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Mr_Numbers


Posts: 510
Joined: May 2012
Post: #17
22-04-2015 09:15 PM

I think it's a real shame that all the effort that Michael, Annabel and others who were involved have gone to to arrange an informative, intelligent, public political discussion have come to nought because of one idiotic f***wit.

While I can understand that many of our local candidates don't wish to share a platform with such a d***head as the person from what is laughingly called Liberty GB (is there a ration on asterisks here?), the fact of the matter is that he is actually entitled to stand as a candidate.

It would be wrong to have a discussion platform that was (say for sake of argument) just made up of Labour, Tories, Lib Dem and 'Captain Moron for PM'. But if the platform comprises all candidates, then - as I rather jokingly said above - let such ridiculous views be exposed for what they are and treated with the contempt they deserve: derisive laughter. (Are we allowed to throw rotten tomatoes at politicians these days or was that outlawed by the most recent Representation of the Peoples Act?)

There's a saying that it's better to say nothing and look like a fool than to start talking and prove it. We've just lost the opportunity to let Liberty GB prove how foolish it is.

This upsets me because it's not many months since the 'Je suis Charlie' protests championed the right of freedom of speech even at the price of political incorrectness bordering on racism. Now our politicians are throwing away not only Liberty GB's right to speak (and thereby to prove its own stupidity) but they are also surrendering their own right - and indeed, their obligation - to free speech on the altar of political correctness. Voters in our constituency are the poorer for this.

But to reiterate, I'm sure we're all grateful to Michael and Annabel for doing everything they could to help democratic debate in our constituency.

This post was last modified: 22-04-2015 09:19 PM by Mr_Numbers.

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Erekose


Posts: 528
Joined: May 2010
Post: #18
22-04-2015 10:20 PM

What is Liberty GB? New party? Old party rebranded?
Still nothing from either of the 'major' parties unless our dog eats them.

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shaman


Posts: 71
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #19
23-04-2015 01:03 AM

Shame about the meeting.

On the note of the safe seat issue here, I've heard about this a lot and echoed the sentiment to others when talking about how pointless my vote is here.

But recently I decided to have a look and although Labour got 41.1% of the vote in 2010, that was a percentage of all votes actually cast. With an overall turnout of 65.2%, there were still more eligible voters who abstained than those who voted for any single party.

Labour got 26.8% of the eligible voters to vote for them. 34.8% didn't even vote. That's 24,033 people compared to Labour's 18,501 votes. Less than 6000 votes separated Labour and the Lib Dems, in second place.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2...cy/c61.stm

If these non-voters participated, they'd have the ability and opportunity to bring about change.

I'm not suggesting this will happen and I don't know what could bring this about (though I'm sure I could suggest many, many ideas), but it would be a shame if some people didn't vote because they believed it was a completely pointless exercise in a safe seat.

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Mr_Numbers


Posts: 510
Joined: May 2012
Post: #20
23-04-2015 06:06 AM

Amazing statistics, Shaman. Quite an eye-opener about the number of non-voters.

This constituency quiz on the BBC website is fun and very informative. Give it a try! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/const.../E14000788

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