There have been six hustings during this campaign, and at each one, the candidates were asked to prepare something slightly different, to a fixed time. I wrote out what I intended to say in each case, so for anyone who wasn’t there, here they are, in reverse order.
In Ashburton, on 6 June, we were asked to speak for two minutes on the two issues we felt were most important in this election. Here’s what I said:
“I’ve chosen two things which are over-arching, and which cut to the very core of what is wrong with Theresa May’s Conservative government, and where I believe The Green party, and others offer so much more. These things are RESPONSIBILITY and LEADERSHIP.
The Tories are desperate to absolve themselves in government of responsibility for everything – they think it’s ‘efficient’ for prisons to be run by G4S, for Hospitals to be run by Virgin, or Circle (who gave it back when they couldn’t make a profit), or schools to be run by anyone with a cheque book and a logo. But people who work for those businesses don’t ‘love’ them, the way people once loyally served the NHS, or Schools, or even British Rail – and as a patient or passenger, I want to feel proud of a great public service, not just a share price.
They appoint ATOS to assess disabled people as ‘fit for work’, thousands of whom have then died within weeks. ‘I Daniel Blake’ shows a Kafkaesque, inhuman nightmare. Now the home office is, VERY DELIBERATELY telling people who’ve lived here for years to get ‘ready to leave’ the country. Responsible? My Arse!
The EU referendum and what’s happened since is, I believe the most monumental, destructive, incompetent failure of leadership that I have ever seen. The will of the people? A Democratic sham! Even after the result, the Tories seem determined, to turn it into the biggest British tragedy since the bubonic plague! Never mind Trump, it almost looks like it’s Theresa May and Boris Johnson who are working for Russia.
This particular leadership failure started with David Cameron’s fear of the UKIP bullies. It continued with Boris and Gove – who were clearly horrified when they found themselves on the winning side, accused by Michael Heseltine of creating the “biggest constitutional crisis of modern times”! And now we have in Theresa May, a ‘leader’ who refuses to engage with any issue – at all! Instead she just lies, and lies, and lies. It’s absolutely outrageous – and SHAME ON THEM.”
We were also asked to speak for a minute about ourselves, without mentioning politics:
One minute – no politics!
Scottish dad, American mum – both teachers in Nigeria. Biafran war. To Glasgow, I was born. 1967.
Four years in Deal, Kent, then to County Durham. Local primary, two comprehensives. Free viola, clarinet and singing lessons on the county music service – singing in the national youth choir, playing in loads of orchestras.
Got two As at A level so to Oxford to study physics, which I loved, but not as much as all the music. More choirs, orchestras and Jazz sax with some Honkin’ Hep Cats.
Married. Worked in London for Dorling Kindersley – hi-tech new media. Moved to Bristol – web, and interactive TV.
Divorced. Went travelling, Shetland, Cuba, Corsica, Mozambique, Russia, America.
Met eco-warrior on a train from Bristol.
Kidneys failed – Polycystic Kidney Disease. Dialysis and two transplants from living donors, so far so good.
Married eco-warrior. Moved to Ashburton. Daughter. Love food, cooking and making music.
Wouldn’t it be great to turn Ashburton Methodist Church into an Arts Centre? Time’s running out for that! And for me.
[More to come]