Monday, 3 May 2010

The debates

Last week was also pretty busy. Four debates, a number of Council meetings and plenty of leafleting.

The first debate was for Radio Cornwall. It was recorded at the Eden Project on Monday and broadcast the following Wednesday. I was happy with how it went and I was treated as an equal with the other candidates. There was only one question that the UKIP candidate and I were not asked to answer, though sadly, other MK candidates feel they were not treated as well in the constituency debates which took place elsewhere in Cornwall.

At Eden, the politically-balanced audience was very active. Sitting to my left was a phalanx of about ten Conservatives with a similar-sized Lib Dem phalanx to the right. Each time their candidates spoke they bellowed out their approval, while their opponents sat silent. At times, the pantomime jeering and cheering merged into one noise. All great fun.

On Tuesday, I took part in a live television ‘town hall debate’ for the St Austell and Newquay seat, which was broadcast on BBC News 24. Initially, I was not invited to take part and had to lobby hard to be allowed to participate. I was allowed to play a full part in the debate and, from the feedback I have received, it appears that the debate went well for me.

Sadly, I was not treated with the same respect by BBC Spotlight. They also did a feature from Newquay that same day, but only included the candidates from the three main London parties. I have received numerous comments from people about how unfair this was.

Surely by co-incidence, it was at this point that William Hill cut my odds to 12/1.

Debate three was arranged by Churches Together in St Austell. Another enjoyable affair, it featured a wide range of topics such as the economy, housing and education, covered in the earlier debates. There was a large audience of about 70 or 80, who took an active role in the proceedings.

Debate four was at the Keay Theatre and organised by the PCS Union. Caroline Righton was not present, though the BNP candidate did turn up (without an invitation). The meeting was delayed until the Police arrived and, at the Union’s request, the BNP candidate was escorted off the premises.

I thoroughly enjoyed this final debate and found myself in agreement with the audience of about 30 who were very concerned about the need to protect public services.

All in all a good week for the campaign. It was a great pleasure to visit many places across the Constituency, including own Parish, St Dennis, Quintrell Downs, Newquay and St Austell. It was also pleasing to meet many people who were supportive of my campaign, some of whom had already voted by post and many others who were still considering voting for MK.


Alwyn ap Huw said...

All the best for Thursday Dick, it would be fantastic if you and some of your colleagues could strengthen the SNP/Plaid parliamentary group on Friday by making it an MK/SNP/Plaid group.

Gwen An Naer said...

Yes I agree with Alwyn, here in Brittany we are looking forward such news.