Hustings was a waste of time

Today David Dimbleby told us that the most exciting election campaign was drawing to a close on Thursday and the BBC were covering the action from 10pm right through the night.

So after enduring weeks of boring coverage, with the exception of the BBC Politics show, hearing party slanging matches,“experts” analysing daily opinion polls, computerised graphics including a map of the UK twice the size of our dining room with the presenter walking all over it and others all seeming to be looking at all possible what-ifs, John Snow’s Swingometer was bad enough.

Maybe there was hope. A hustings was to be held at King’s Church with the six party candidates for the Lewes constituency appearing.

So there they were seated on the platform together with a chairman who introduced them by name and party. They each gave a short speech remaining seated behind their microphones and then the show started.

The chairman looked at his notes and said “the first question is from -----” and there was the said person already standing to receive the microphone and pop a question to the candidates who replied in order of seating Green Party first with the present incumbent Norman Baker last.

I had learned nothing different from the many leaflets and letters put through our door. Now I thought here comes the time for questions and challenges from the hall, but no, the chairman announced “the next question is from----“and so this was the format for the “hustings”. Presumably all the questions had been submitted prior to the meeting, whether the candidates knew what was coming I know not.

None of the major topics were discussed so unless you were a committed supporter of a party it was a complete waste of time. As for boring, I admit I took 15 minutes time out and slipped round to Tesco to get a couple of shopping items I had forgotten in my excitement of looking forward to the evening event. I will therefore vote for the for party I dislike the least and makes the fewest promises “cast in stone” and reforms.

Brian Beck

Lewes