COUNTDOWN TO NORWICH NORTH BY-ELECTION - 4 DAYS
'Alice in Wonderland'
Most contributions are welcomed by HOPE not hate, Norfolk. Blog editor may change some parts for clarity and brevity where necessary.
The hall where we sat last Thursday was the Council Chambers of City Hall, old-fashioned and with humungous oil paintings from olden times, in semi-circle shape with about 75 - 100 of us 'citizens' sitting in the curved wooden benches with shabby velvet cushions, facing where the stage was raised up.
In front of each of us in the audience was a microphone and this box of glowing/flashing lights. so we could speak up when it was question time (except that they did not ask my question because I forgot to put it in).
Supposed to be twelve candidates but at the 'hustings' I counted the six. So six missing! Verdict - missing = not fit.
(LATER: one missing was a fake priest, ALLEGEDLY, one Conservative, so they are not fit in any way in any case in any time.)
BUT I was gutted to miss the Raving Looney and None of the Above candidates. Cool parties, but no policies. How can I rate fitness if they don't turn up? So = not fit.
Can't remember the other one = not fit. Oh yah, Libertarian, so at liberty not to meet people of Norwich and people of Norwich (well, Norwich North) at liberty not to vote for you. NEXT.
Sitting right to left on this wooden stage were Craig Murray (Independent); Rupert Read (Green); Chris O (Labour); then there was a sort of throne with pale green material going up the wall behind and over the throne where the PCS chairman sat; Bill Holden (Independent); Glenn Tingle (UKIP); and April Pond (Lib/Dem).
Craig Murray - floppy white hair, glasses, oldish, not bad-looking in a way, but when he stood up - pot belly. Best bit was when he shouted the reason our troops were in Afghanistan was because they were guarding an oil pipe-line for the Americans, then he went red and sat down exhausted, but most passion of the evening.
Fitness = heart attack waiting. Work out. Really.
Rupert Read - posh, nice bod, not too shabby, hair, not too old. Best bit was when he said Greens have been around for twenty years, I was like 'say what?' but I only heard about them from about 2006. He made me want to recycle, he says the Greens can make jobs in self-sufficiancy, he came across somewhat cold, like a really clever maths teacher, but you could get a schoolgirl crush. Smart.
Fitness = high factor
Chris O - the Peter Crouch of candidates, lanky, almost ginger, sadly. He was at UEA and still looks like a student, best bit was when he said it was good Labour took over the banks, how we laughed at that, because we the tax-payer then paid bankers' bonuses, oh the irony. I felt SOMEWHAT sorry for him, people were so angry against Labour for expenses scandal, he was getting it, but Conservatives and LIB/Dems guilty too.
Fitness = highish, because youngest, but
Bill Holden - fattish, baldish, but is like your best friend's Dad, he had good stories and was friendliest of all. Best bit was when he said "millions of Brits live abroad, so it's alright for them, but if foreigners want to live here, why is it not alright?" He said we should not buy stuff made in China but support local made stuff, which is cool IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT.
Fitness = I like him but I don't fancy my best mate's Dad.
Glenn Tingle - oldish, tensed-up, wearing suit really tight, so packing it on since you left the Forces eh Glenn? I mention the Forces because he did, a few times, he was a medic. Collar looked like it was strangling him, totally fascinating to watch when he spoke, would he pass out? was it auto-erotic? so didn't get much about policies etc, cos he didn't explain well. Best bit was when he said he was the only one born locally and with local connections, then the others all jumped on him, LOL, because he wasn't the only local AT ALL.
Fitness = too intense. Also he fetched supporters in, and they were all calling out = NOT COOL
April Pond - like best mate's Mum, she has a daughter at City College and I liked her for recommending that, down-to-earth and the most 'local' of all.
Fitness = see Bill Holden comment but make it 'Mum', but fitter
Verdict overall - Surprise! the candidates agreed on so much, and they all agreed time for change. They agreed BNP was poo, and that Chloe Smith should have 'faced the music' about local service cuts. They agreed to pull troops out of Afghanistan, or at least to give them all they needed. They agreed MP's expenses was a scandal even fraudulent, cross party, they all agreed EU needed reform back to 'common market' rather than making so many rules, and they agreed to scrap Trdent and ID cards.
Audience - people were so ANGRY but POLITE. Only about 9 questions addressed in the end. Questions were mainly about jobs, pensions etc.
UKIP brought in supporters who formed a block and seemed to think that Glenn Tingle represented a young voice, hard to pull off when he was so vastly older than at least three other candidates. One had a go at HOPE not hate for throwing eggs, but I must have missed that. Pity.
It was a good meeting, but what did it really achieve?
Well, I suppose when you see the candidates up close and personal you can make a better decision when it's time to vote.
Remember the fitness factor.