Monday, April 20, 2015
Birtley Hustings Meeting
Last Thursday evening brought us the first hustings meeting of the Blaydon campaign. Held at the St Joseph's Catholic Club in Birtley, it is something of a tradition, having been held at every election since 1992. All 5 candidates were invited but the Greens and UKIP didn't turn up. So it was me, David Anderson (Labour) and Ali Griffiths (Conservative). It was the first time I had met her. She did claim to have a local connection - a "family connections with the area" - though she did not explain what it is. A quick internet search and all I could find was that her brother went to university in Newcastle some decades ago!
All 3 candidates performed creditably. The questions were very much as expected.
I think I won the prize for the best sun tan. Ali won the prize for the most catty remark (she was the "better looking" of the candidates). Dave won the prize for the most absurd claim (graduates won't take jobs paying over £21,000 to avoid paying back their tuition fees!)
The size of the audience was disappointing. About 20 there, 6 of whom were Labour councillors, one was the Mayoress of Gateshead and one was a Labour candidate. They were ready with their questions and I was ready with my answers.