I live due west of a city called Leicester, the 10th largest city in the UK. On Thursday, May 6th across the country there will be a general election as the government has been in power for 5 years. Apparently they can get a bit mouldy and smelly if you leave them locked up in the Houses of Parliament longer than that….
In my neck of the woods there are 10 fresh (never been an MP before) candidates standing for election, would you like to see some of them?
During the 1980’s a really strict and bomb-proof Conservative women named Thatcher was elected to privatise almost everything, provide a military presence at various locations halfway round the world just incase there might be oil around, end the cold war, destroy the power of unions and the coal mines and eventually resign in 1990. There then followed a massive recession in the early 1990’s with a change of flavour to Labour in 1997.
The turnout in general elections throughout the 1980’s under the reign of Baroness Thatcher was around 75%, but in the late 1990’s as Labour returned to power and with the continuation of the economic cycle and an economic recovery, turnout fell to around 60%. It appears to be the case that people don’t care who is running the country – just as long as they are running it well.
But then there was a recession so big it was global. Last year, the UK unemployment rate went up from 5% to 8%, but locally the unemployment rate went up to almost 14%. House prices crashed and mortgage availability dissapeared. People are beginning to find their voices again and for the first time in almost 40 years there is enough political noise to suggest that there may be a hung parliament this time next month.
There are 10 candidates standing for election in my area. Unfortunately a suitable location for a meeting could not be found with one, busy schedules for the second, the third pulled out after suggesting that I was affilated with an organisation from which that candidate was forbidden to interact and at the time of filming I was unaware the fourth candidate was standing. But I did manage to meet up with 6 of the candidates. Instead of interviewing them about their specific policies, I decided to ask them all exactly the same questions figuring it would be easier to compare their motivations. The candidates were all interviewed in isolation from each other – so hopefully were answering the questions as freely as possible (unlike the environment in a husting). So what are their responses to the following questions? (There are responses from all 6 participating candidates in each short film)
What is the right amount of money to spend on a campaign? What is the best method of communicating with potential constituents?
What is the Robin Hood tax? Does it have support from the candidates? How should the revenue raised from such a tax be spent?
Does age add experience that is essential to a member of parliament?
Do the candidates have any roles that ensure direct contact with members of the community?
What percentage of the Leicester West population have no qualifications? What are the best methods to improve the education of a community? Do the candidates support the introduction of top-up fees / tutition fees?
What is the population of the consituency that the candidates are standing for? What was the unemployment rate for this area last year? Could consitiuents use the internet to increase their chances of finding employment? What are the levels of private internet access in this area?
Can an immigrant population contribute towards a stable economy?
What is more essential in controlling crime? More Police Officers walking the streets or the use of more technology?
Uncut versions of each interview can be found by clicking on the links below:
Peter Coley – Liberal Democrat candidate
Shaun Dyer – Pirate Party UK candidate
Geoff Forse – Green Party candidate
Steven Huggins – Independent
Liz Kendall – Labour Party candidate
Steve Score – Trade Unionist & Socialist candidate
Thank you to those listed above, for their participation & time during this important part of their lives.
Hopefully this post has helped to inform the decisions made by residents of Leicester West on May 6th. But who would you vote for?
If you don’t live in Leicester West, then pick up your camera and arrange to meet the candidates standing in your own area! Help all the candidates to get equal coverage!! Good Luck!