We now know the names of the candidates standing for election in Oxford East.
To give the candidates a chance to put their cases to the voters some hustings have been arranged. At the time of writing I know of:
- Oxford East Brexit Hustings organised by by Oxford For Europe, Tues 16 May 7.00 – 9.00pm, Cowley Road Methodist Church. Anneliese Dodds (Labour), Kirsten Johnson (Libdem) and Larry Sanders (Green) have confirmed they plan to attend.
- Oxford East Hustings organised by Oxford University Student Union, Mon 5 June 6.00 – 7.30 pm, Sheldonian Theatre. No confirmations as yet.
- Oxford Hustings organised by Cyclox, Friday 2nd June 7.30pm, St Michael’s in the Northgate. No confirmations as yet.
Of course not everyone interested in hearing the candidates will be able to get to one of these meetings. So I thought I’d try something new – an online hustings. Here’s how it works. At the end of this post I ask four questions about issues that are critical to our lives over the coming years, nationally and locally. Each question is repeated as a stand-alone post to be the start of a thread. I invite all the candidates to post their answers as comments on these threads; please use the individual threads rather than adding comments on this one. Anyone else can respond and ask questions too – just post a comment. If you have a suggestion for a new question send it to me as a comment on this post and I will consider making a new thread for it. I will moderate comments in accordance with my standard practice (see the About page). You can also reach me through my twitter @TonyOX3 and by email on the address on the About page.
You can also join in the conversations on twitter. Independent candidate Chaka Artwell is not on twitter but the other four are. I’ve listed their their twitter handles here. All four have been invited to take part in this experiment, and I will happily invite Mr Artwell too if anyone can tell me how to contact him.
Let’s see if we can get a conversation going!
Questions to candidates – follow the links to the individual thread pages. The comments box only appears when you are viewing a single post.
- Brexit – another referendum? Oxford East voted roughly 2:1 for ‘Remain’1. Would you vote for there to be a second EU referendum before the UK leaves the EU a) whatever the outcome of the negotiations, b) depending on the outcome of the negotiations, or c) you would not support a second referendum in any circumstances?
1. Oxford City referendum vote 70.3%; Oxford East 67% (est.)
- Brexit – would you pull the plug? If as negotiations with the EU proceed it becomes clear that leaving the EU, with all the other implications that will emerge, would seriously damage the country’s economy and the well-being of its citizens and non-UK residents, would you ever be prepared to join other MPs who might combine to oppose Brexit?
- How to end austerity? Since 2010 first the coalition and then the Conservative government have followed a policy of ‘austerity’. The annual budget deficit has fallen but is still higher than before the financial crisis of 2008, and total government debt has increased2. This has led to significant cuts in public services and there is no sign of this ending. How do you (and your party) intend to move the country out of this unsustainable position?
2. Public sector current budget deficit (excluding public sector banks): 2010 = 97.124bn; 2016 = 22.431bn. Public sector net debt (excluding public sector banks): 2010 = 1136.0bn; 2016 = 1710.8bn
- The future government of Oxfordshire. The Oxford city region has a thriving economy and is one of the few parts of the country to make a net positive contribution to the national economy. Oxford City is at the region’s heart and is world-famous both as a tourist destination and as a centre for learning and research. Under restructuring proposals put forward by Oxfordshire County Council and two local District Councils the City’s status would be similar to that of a Parish Council. In your role as a local MP what model of governance for Oxford and Oxfordshire would you advocate and support?