Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Campaign Diary - Day Sixteen

Today was mad and I found myself criss-crossing the City. This morning I spent time writing personal letters to all those people who had written, especially for policy information. I am keen to write my own views to local people and not just a standard template response so this always takes some time to do. In addition I wanted to carry on my phone calls to party members to thank them for their support. This afternoon it was back to the classroom, and then onto the South Park area of the City where a big team of Tory canvassers took to the streets. There was a good response and people seemed keen on talking about issues.

Then tonight all the main candidates were at the UEA for a debate hosted by the BMA - there were some very detailed questions but again we found ourselves, except perhaps the Greens, in agreement about the fundamentals of the NHS if not the specifics of policy! The audience was small but lively!

And now I'm just watching the complete demolishion of Vince Cable by the BBCs Stephanie Flanders and Andrew Neill; good to see Ken Clarke back in the frontline taking the lead in warning against a Hung Parliament.


UEA student voter said...

As a UEA student (who sadly missed the debate) I would like to know what your stance is on student tuition fees.
In particular would you vote against any increase in student tuition fees?

I am also dependent on part time work to fund my cost of living and have been grateful for the minimum wage to pay for my rent and so on. Would you vote in a future parliament to raise the minimum wage in accordance with inflation or perhaps higher?

Antony said...

At the moment I would vote against an increase in tuition fees and if any increase were likely (and I would still vote against it but) I think we ought to have a contract regarding quality of education.

With regards to the minimum wage I would support inflation based rises, but the biggest thing is about the lack of under-18s minimum wage which is something we may wish to look at,


Left Libertarian said...

So Antony, have you signed the commitment that both Lib Dems and Greens have to not raise tuition fees? From what I have read in the local press, you have not done so. Or is it the case the Evening News have got it wrong?

Unknown said...

Hello, I was present at this debate but could not ask you a question. You say you support removing some power from central government and handing power back to the communities, so how come your party will remove the unitary status we will soon be getting? This is ridiculous and does exactly the opposite of what you are saying... Norwich needs to be run by itself, a great example of this is the Tories on the county council refusing the closure of Westlegate...

Red Star said...

Exactly Paul. I couldn't put it better myself.

This is a brilliant example of the the disjointed thinking of the Conservatives in terms of policy.
The Conservatives say one thing in rhetoric and another in policy.

No wonder there is a credibility gap.

Paul - in further supplementing your answer, the County Council has on numerous occasions defied the wishes of the people of Norwich with things like plans for the light switch off, day centre closures, cutting special educational needs funding, refusing to implement the Quality Bus Contract, and to forget to mention the Icelandic banks. The Tory cutting machine is hard at work.

A Unitary Norwich will listen to the people of Norwich and represent them accordingly. I have no faith in the County Council to deliver any value for money.

Don't forget this is the County Council Antony Little thinks is doing such a fabulous job.

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree. As a Norwich resident; I'm for Unitary, cutting layers, increasing service access. Unitary popularity is increasing in Norwich so this election should also be a referendum confirming Unitary.

Red Star said...

Anonymous, I totally agree. I think that we should treat the general election as also a referendum confirming unitary. It is a local issue with national significance. Both are interconnected.

Look at it like this - We could have a Conservative government who wants to derail and cancel the unitary process in Norwich. It is a fact that if Antony Little is elected as an MP for Norwich South he would vote in a future bill which would cancel the unitary process.

This is where the Conservative policy is contradictory - they want to devolve power in their 'Big Society' template but do not want the people of Norwich to run their own affairs. Its scandalous.

I doubt that any future Labour, Green and Lib Dem MP for Norwich South would do the same.

Red Star said...

Don't forget who was against the minimum wage back in the 1990s.
The Conservative Party.