Saturday, October 27, 2007

hustings and hustings part deux

Well, I've now made my mind up following the leadership hustings.
Chris gave by far the better hustings speech in my opinion. He was talking to us in the audience. I felt that Nick was speaking the camera much more.
Clear blue water is also starting to appear between the two of them, today Chris was entirely clear on his position on Trident, while Nick fell back on our current policy position.
Chris also gave by far the better answer to my question, while Nick pretended not to understand it (ie what do you mean by "breaking the mould..."). Chris also appealled to my photography and campaigning side by stressing how we should be looking at ensuring our messages can be summed up with good clear, liberal and appropriate photos. Not jetting off to the north pole to prove that you love the environment, or cycling along with you butler following along with your shoes.
The second part of the day was the hustings that the rules say I'm not allowed to mention in any external forum. Aren't our non-leadership selection rules just a little bit bonkers? I can't tell you that a particular candidate gave a really good performance, or that he had a spontaneous round of applause on his entry to the hall. I can't even tell you who I've voted for, or that I gave a low preference to someone else (that would be an endorsement, and then negative campaigning).

Friday, October 26, 2007

Leader hustings in Rugby tomorrow

As a floating voter in the leadership election, tomorrow could well be the crunch time for me. The hustings is scheduled for about 2 hours, so with only 2 candidates, and only 10mins of speeches, I hope there are plenty of questions.
Without the press there for the question session, I also hope we're able to have some fairly seat of the pants questions that challenge the candidates about the state of the party, and its organisation, and policy setting.
In particular, I'll want to know Nick means about "breaking out of the comfort zone", while from Chris I wont to hear him set his stall out on where he wants to take the party.
Neither have really defined their directions of travel, only indicated that they want to go on a journey. Until I know where they are taking us, I'm not sure I want to jump onto either of their buses, (or bandwagons).

Monday, October 22, 2007


Last week I was able to go to the cinema for the first time in ages (see previous post). We went along to see Control, the biopic of Ian Curtis, the Joy Division singer and lyricist.
I knew it was never going to have a happy ending (as he committed suicide on 18 May 1980), but I wasn't fully aware of how he'd got to that situation, or quite how troubled and disturbed he was (all be it from the perspective of his wife Debbie, who he'd just about left in the days/weeks before his tragic end).
The music of Joy Division was performed by the actors, and they did it very well. The music was also tied into the storyline to punctuate and emphasis events in Curtis' life. Quite whether he did actually pen them at those particular episodes is uncertain.
My one bit of Joy Division trivia is that their last ever gig was performed at Chamberlain Hall, University of Birmingham on 2 May 1980. Not a renowned rock venue, but somewhere I ate my breakfast and dinner for 3 years while a residential tutor in the hall.

back blogging

The last few weeks have been a little bit hectic:
general election preparation
general election stand-down
making offers on a house - and all that that entails (mortgages, surveys etc)
getting current house into a suitable state to put on market (clearing out old leaflets...)

So not too much time for blogging I'm afraid.
I'm not going to write much about the leadership contest, as I'm yet another floating voter. I want to wait and see what both are offering before signing up to either of them.