We hosted a hustings for the candidates in the area. It was great. I had previously really liked the idea of such meetings but did wonder if anyone would turn out for it given the apathy round all things political. In the event, it was brilliant. Folk came from all sorts of places and presented their questions and challenged answers.
Most of the brilliant moments came from the Conservative candidate Alex Storey. His expounding of the 'might is right' policy with regard to Trident whilst sat in front of a crucifix was not lost on people. His closing statement, that he'd forgotten he was supposed to attend the evening as he was putting up posters, went down really well. Mary Creagh however, did have a moment when she stood up just after the lib Dem guy and announced it was really just a race between her, for labour and the conservatives, the room just laughed at her.
I have no idea how the vote will go on the 6th but the hustings was a moment when the church was assisting things that really matter for our community. That felt real good. It felt good that an opportunity to meet those who may represent us was provided in a welcoming space. It was heartening to see people engage politically, being interested in what happens to them.
The next televised leaders debate will be interesting. Nick Clegg has been given a credibility through this that must be like all his dreams having come true. The televised debates have taken him from a protest vote that won't get in, to a level player, the TV debate has put him on an equal footing, it's up to him to maintain that footing or not. Yes, the national voting system is rigged but even so, who would have thought this situation would be occurring now?
As for us here in Wakefield more calling to account, engagement and questioning will be the order of the day