70 attend European hustings event in Kendal

The Westmorland Gazette: Euro debate in Kendal Euro debate in Kendal

THREE prospective Euro MEPs held forth on their views on social justice and environment at a meeting last night.

The event was organised by the World Development Movement (WDM) and South Lakes Action on Climate Change - Towards Transition (SLACC-tt).

The two organisations brought a panel of prospective MEPs together with 70 people in the audience.

The candidates taking part were Peter Cranie of The Green Party, Julie Ward representing Labour and sitting MEP Chris Davies representing the Liberal Democrats.

Tory Euro candidate Kevin Beattie had been due to attend but excused himself on the basis that he was double booked, and UKIP declined to attend, said organisers.

Chris Davies for the Lib Dems noted that the event was the second hustings held in Kendal - something to be applauded as disappointingly few meetings of this kind are taking place in the North West region despite 5.2 million being eligible to vote.

Questions from the floor ranged from party policies on fossil fuel divestment, trade agreements to car dependency, voting age, biodiversity loss and human rights.

First up was a question about the Transatlantic trade agreement (TTIP), currently being negotiated between the European Commission and the US, which could give corporations control over health and environmental protection legislation in Europe.

Julie Ward for Labour highlighted the opportunity the public has to comment on the proposals, while Mr Davies (Lib Dem) emphasised the potential financial benefits of global trade agreements.

Peter Cranie for the Green Party agreed that trade is important but stressed the need for 'democratic oversight' - arguing that elected representatives, not corporations, should have the power to determine legislation. 

The youngest member of the audience, Lana Willis, asked whether the voting age should be reduced to 16 to encourage more youth participation in politics.

All three candidates supported this, although Chris Davies was uncertain whether such a move would increase youth engagement in practice.

When asked where the responsibility for educating the public on 'climate change lies', Julie Ward for Labour suggested we had a collective responsibility. 

Mr Davies noted that on most issues the scientific consensus was accepted but that when it comes to climate change it is not - arguing that the media has a responsibility to acknowledge the scientific consensus. 

The Green Party candidate Mr Cranie agreed; adding that our 'consumerist culture', and the endless pursuit of economic growth on a finite planet must change.

Another question from the floor was about Kendal’s dependence on the car - despite 25 per cent of households not said to own one.

Chris Davies (Lib Dem) argued that transport design needs to be undertaken at a local level, not by the EU.

And Julie Ward for Labour argued for the relocalisation of services, with Peter Cranie for the Greens saying there should be a sustainable transport vision that prioritises pedestrians, bicycles, trains and buses over the private car.

He highlighted the Green Party’s proposals to renationalise the Railways and increase goods transport via canals and sea.

Audience members were encouraged to visit www.votematch.eu – an online election quiz that matches users to the political parties that best represent their views.

Comments (2)

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2:08am Fri 2 May 14

Simonzee1 says...

Just as I said it would happen. Who got rid of Gadaffi...the North African proclaimed "King of Kings?" It is the following Coalition including the U.N and NATO led by America, Britain and France. The dumb **** Republicans still do not know what damage these illiberal Democrats are doing in the U.S administration. But then they represent the big corporations as well. Forhet the relational.Tgis same Coalition did so because of their plans for Northern and Central Africa. It is clear now with this E.U presence along with the French. Of course you had the initial propaganda that countries were reluctant to commit troops but we know from the coup in Ukraine that everything is being organised to exploit these countries as in Libya. Germany will commit soon as they did late in the piece in Libya. Remember they cannot be seen to take any leads after WWII. The trouble is the control of circumstances like Libya being a current disaster taken from a first world to a third world country and 4000 illegal immigrants passing through Libya every two days to Europe. It must be hard given the current circumstances to put a puppet in place for the West. Meanwhile troops are just the servants to the big corporations as usual.It used to be that these corporations moved behind missionaries of genuine concern for the spiritual welfare of men and women. Now we have a E.U...and U.N led by the U.S which is full of left wing illiberals that hate religion..tradition and culture. No wonder we are seeing a backlash from Egypt to Uganda...Kenya and Brunei. Can someone tell the West that the days of neo- colonial left wing extremism is a failed model. Pumping 500 million dollars of illegal weapons into Libya through NATO partners to get rid of Gadaffi is part of that failure as is the Ukraine. A big "F" for the illiberal West who hates religion...tradition and culture. This is the post Christian West on full display as being an absolute disaster. It revolves around corporations exploiting the self and radical individualism at the expense of family and community.
Just as I said it would happen. Who got rid of Gadaffi...the North African proclaimed "King of Kings?" It is the following Coalition including the U.N and NATO led by America, Britain and France. The dumb **** Republicans still do not know what damage these illiberal Democrats are doing in the U.S administration. But then they represent the big corporations as well. Forhet the relational.Tgis same Coalition did so because of their plans for Northern and Central Africa. It is clear now with this E.U presence along with the French. Of course you had the initial propaganda that countries were reluctant to commit troops but we know from the coup in Ukraine that everything is being organised to exploit these countries as in Libya. Germany will commit soon as they did late in the piece in Libya. Remember they cannot be seen to take any leads after WWII. The trouble is the control of circumstances like Libya being a current disaster taken from a first world to a third world country and 4000 illegal immigrants passing through Libya every two days to Europe. It must be hard given the current circumstances to put a puppet in place for the West. Meanwhile troops are just the servants to the big corporations as usual.It used to be that these corporations moved behind missionaries of genuine concern for the spiritual welfare of men and women. Now we have a E.U...and U.N led by the U.S which is full of left wing illiberals that hate religion..tradition and culture. No wonder we are seeing a backlash from Egypt to Uganda...Kenya and Brunei. Can someone tell the West that the days of neo- colonial left wing extremism is a failed model. Pumping 500 million dollars of illegal weapons into Libya through NATO partners to get rid of Gadaffi is part of that failure as is the Ukraine. A big "F" for the illiberal West who hates religion...tradition and culture. This is the post Christian West on full display as being an absolute disaster. It revolves around corporations exploiting the self and radical individualism at the expense of family and community. Simonzee1
  • Score: 0

12:35am Sun 4 May 14

English Democrats says...

Why was the English Democrats candidate not invited to the hustings? The English Democrats are 1 of only 8 party's with a full party list and the only party campaigning for English Independence, with the Scottish vote in September this is an extremely relevant topic on the future of these Isles
Why was the English Democrats candidate not invited to the hustings? The English Democrats are 1 of only 8 party's with a full party list and the only party campaigning for English Independence, with the Scottish vote in September this is an extremely relevant topic on the future of these Isles English Democrats
  • Score: 0

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