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24th Jun, 2022

MAYOR'S DIARY: Let's debate the issues in West-Worcestershire ahead of election

Malvern Editorial 30th Jan, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

RECENTLY I suggested that the West Worcestershire Parliamentary candidates take part in a public debate.

The national leaders’ debate during the last election engaged a large section of the populace although it’s questionable whether they much affected the outcome.

This time round, even greater column inches have been generated on the subject of whether there should be a debate at all and, if so, who should take part.

So many residents have told me they are fed up of being told by politicians what the major issues for this election are – so often London-centric and of little relevance to them.

They are certainly not interested in hearing what the focus groups in a few marginal constituencies have told the professional pollsters what will affect where they put their ‘X’ on polling day, that is if they vote at all.

Nor do they appreciate highly paid spin doctors coaching candidates about what will ‘play well in the media’.

People have not stopped listening to politicians, too few politicians listen enough to the people.

It is time for a change and for some honest talking (and listening) from all our politicians.

The public must set the agenda and politicians should be learning from what is said, rather than taking their instructions from their media machines – serving the wishes of a self-preserving minority rather than the wider population – and putting themselves more in the public spotlight.

Whether it is housing, jobs, the future of our NHS, the railways or our many other public services that remain threatened by austerity there is a real debate to be had. Everyone will have their own ideas as to what matters to them.

The recent general election in Greece has shown that a significant section of the population want an alternative to the austerity model.

But that debate, as yet, has not happened in the UK.

Let West Worcestershire show the way.

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