Election Special: Hall Green Hustings


Richard Lutz attends the election hustings and loses the will to live.


Elizabeth Tower - Parliament Photo: Jeannie Shapiro

Elizabeth Tower – Parliament Photo: Jeannie Shapiro

Oh boy.

The six main candidates for Hall Green arrived to tell the voters in the Moseley area just what they feel about, well, everything from Trident to the Trojan Horse affair to those tricky immigrants.

Actually five appeared because the UKIP politician Rashpal Mondar didn’t show up. He decided it was in his best interests not to let voters consider his opinions. His place was taken by an empty chair.

The two hour affair was chaired haphazardly by Moseley Forum with a loose and ineffectual hand. The moderator seemed to think his role was to let candidates ramble on without a leash despite time constraints.

On to the runners and riders and habitually verbous.

Labour’s Roger Godsiff, sitting MP with a majority of 3,799, seemed languid, bored. He slouched at the end of the dias. Someone should take him aside and talk about posture. But he knew his brief and handled questions about education, the economy and immigration with a considered grasp of facts and Parliamentary experience which he let everyone know about.

Strangely, he would not deal with a question over his opposition to gay marriage. He referred to his leaflet at the back of the room. Isn’t the aim of the hustings is to hear the voice of the candidate? Not read a carefully penned essay? Ahh, well.

To his right was the UKIP man Rashpal Mondar – or rather his weird absence from Planet Earth.

To the absent one’s right was Green’s Elly Stanton, who seemed to have just stepped off her bike and sighed deeply every time a query was thrown her way. She was simply out of her league referring to chunks of the garbled Green manifesto as if short of an idea or two. She will help lose wavering Green voters in this constituency, which runs from Sparkbrook to Moseley High Street.

To her right was Libdem Jerry Evans. He has some nice ideas but they are unfortunately wrapped in a confused hurricane of words. He is, many times, simply un-understandable and should be put out to pasture come the 2020 bunfight.

To his right was Tory James Bird. Obviously, this 29 year old youngblood was thrown to the dogs by Conservative HQ to get a good blooding, He acquitted himself well, wrapped in right wing dogma and defence of the rich. My guess, despite his city roots, is that he may be handed a tastier seat next election.

And to his right (in a physical sense only) was Respect’s Shiraz Peer. He is a city lawyer with a specialty in immigration law (which he never let you forget) and bounced back with an articulate argument for most subjects. But a bit dry and not a spot on his sparky predecessor Salma Yaqoob, who has left Respect after a barney with barmy boss George Galloway.

Q&As descended into grumpy shouting matches from the audience (especially about the inscrutable Trojan Horse schools affair) and inchoate ramblings from such political illuminaries as Libdem Jerry Evans and Green’s Ms Stanton, helped no thanks to the inadequate chair who managed to grasp chaos from the jaws of order and let things get out of control towards the bedraggled end, which led dozens to leave early.

Opinion: Godsiff, despite looking as he was falling asleep, ahead on points. Peer in second.

7 thoughts on “Election Special: Hall Green Hustings

  1. “The moderator seemed to think his role was to let candidates ramble on without a leash despite time constraints.”

    It was in Moseley so what else would you expect?

    “the UKIP politician Rashpal Mondar decided it was in his best interests to let voters consider his opinions. His place was taken by an empty chair.”

    So you learnt of this decision of his how exactly? Because he sent a message saying “it’s in my best interests to let the voters consider in my absence”? Or more accurately you are being untruthful here and your account loses all credibility in consequence as we now wonder what else may be untruthful in it. In all honesty there are any number of perfectly sound reasons why a candidate even of a rubbish party might be unable to attend a meeting, some major tragedy in their family, or being ill themselves being just two categories.

    “And to his right (in a physical sense only) was Respect’s Shiraz Peer.”

    Why “in a physical sense only”? The “respect” demanded by this “Respect” party is respect for a “perfect” book which insists that the testimony of women is only half that of men (verse 2:282), which insists it is perfectly halal to rape women who aren’t followers of that book (verses 4:24 and 33:50), it’s ok for men to beat their wives (verse 4:24), women get only half the inheritance of men (4:11), that non-Muslims are the vilest of animals (verse 8:55), and commands its followers not to take non-Muslims as friends (3:28), and so on and on. (And I haven’t even begun to mention a tendency to stoning of adulterers, crucifying of homosexuals, mobs burning of books other than Allah’s own perfect miraculous Final Testament, let alone the numerous commands to wage aggressive war and terrorise and kill those “vilest of animals” (“till the religion is all for Allah”), as I expect Shiraz Peer will be reluctant to say anything about them either.)

    I question how even a Conservative Party candidate could be as “far right-wing extremist” as that.

    • Correction – The verse of Allah’s perfect book which says ok to beat your wife is 4:34, not 4:24.

  2. Even though I wasn’t there, from previous experience, it seems spot
    on. The earlier Kings Heath hustings, also chaired by David Isgrove (?),
    included the TUSC candidate who was even worse than the Green’s Ellie
    Stanton. Interesting how the Green’s are ignoring issues like selective
    economic growth & socially useful jobs (Red Greens) for trad left policies +
    stuff on climate change. As the man said, “if you don’t like my
    principles….I’ve got other ones”.

  3. Has anyone heard of the 18 yr old kid called Luke Holland who’s standing as an independent councillor in Moseley.I like his style

  4. I’m only going to vote for Russell Brand for President. All the rest can sod off.

  5. I live in this Constituency. I’m thinking of spoiling my ballot paper by writing: ‘I wanted to vote Green, but then they elected Natalie Bennett as Leader’.

  6. I will vote for Paula Smith (Lib Dem) for BCC. She was a superb and committed local councillor who lost her old seat last year to Labour and Hall Green is poorer for her defeat

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