A few snippets from the local political rounds in Rugby:
1) 38 Degrees were in town on Saturday to collect signatures for their petition to Save the NHS – which you can sign here by the way. Three local parliamentary candidates were there to support them: Claire Edwards (Labour), Ed Goncalves (Lib Dem) and Terence White (Green). For some reason TUSC didn’t turn up, and I didn’t expect the UKIP candidate to. But Mark Pawsey was also a no-show.
I have written to him on TTIP and the NHS, and his response is vague and patronising – basically, trust the government and MPs like him to do the right thing.
2) On Saturday evening, there was a hustings event at St Andrews Church. All candidates were there, and they were asked questions on all kinds of subjects, but mainly on the theme of social justice (the church and its active members are a bit keen on that kind of thing, volunteering at the food bank and Hope4 etc.
Mark Pawsey was not happy that his bland answer on food banks was not warmly received by the audience (it wasn’t as offensive as his suggestion last week that the only reason use of foodbanks had gone up in the last 5 years was “more advertising”). Some of the people lightly heckled him and asked questions. Such is the sort of thing politicians (especially those who’ve been MPs for 5 years) have to put up with.
But Mark’s response was not to answer their concerns, or to deal with it with dignity. No. It was to turn to the chair, the vicar in fact, and demand that the hustings be better “managed”.
This was followed on twitter by Hillmorton’s finest example of Tory arrogance, Jim Buckley, sneering at all the”lefties” there and how awful it was to ask questions about foodbanks (and also to attack Rev Nay).
Buckley was later that night stopped from driving the wrong way up a one-way street, clearly he was a bit emotional!
3) This morning was the publishing of the Tories’ “small business letter” – This post details the most idiotic parts of the list of signatories, which was supposedly (and according to Tory minister David Gauke) made up of independent business people. In reality it was organised by Tory central office, pushed by Baroness Karren Brady (Con), and published without any real scrutiny by the Tory mouthpiece the Telegraph. In among the charities (illegal under recent Tory legislation for them to act politically), companies that had not given permission, Tory parliamentary candidates, dozens of duplicates, and fakes was… “Helen Taylor Owner Perfection Beauty West Midlands”. Which would be Councillor Helen Taylor (Con, Coton & Boughton). Nice to see her joining in the astroturfing…
I just wish more people in Rugby could see how arrogant these Tories are.