Another day, another Hustings, this time in Chepstow Comprehensive for the Sixth form at lunchtime today. Before the main event all the candidates present got a quick TV interview from the BBC - who having smelt blood in the water were were hanging about shark-like because of the 'alleged controversy' surrounding the spat between the Tory and the New Labour candidates.
I use the phrase alleged because the whole thing has a faint whiff of manufacture about it. This is an attempt to inject some media interest into a pretty lack lustre New Labour and pretty dire Tory campaign. All in all it's pretty typical for the London based Parties, who would rather squabble amongst themselves rather than engage about the issues that really matter to most people within (and without) the constituency.
On the doorstep - when you catch people a) in and b) with the time to talk, in Monmouth constituency people do raise the issue of immigration, but, they also raise many other issues, including the bankers, the sorry saga of MPs corruption and expenses, recycling, the poor state of public transport (especially buses to and from Monmouth town), the need for better school transport, saving the smaller village and community schools, saving the Cattle Market in Abergavenny and better treatment for our solders, their families and our service veterans, along with other issues.
Today was a well organised and well chaired hustings, which lasted just over a speedy hour - despite its shortness we covered a number of topics including immigration, the banking crisis, the Tobin tax, student loans, further and higher education funding, electoral tactics, electoral reform and how you get people (young or old) interested in politics - it was an interesting focused hour. All in all quite an interesting hour of questions and answers, even with the BBC floating around filming.