Thursday, April 21, 2005

Kennedy, Hain, and Darling

I'm pretty interested in politics. I've got google alerts and technorati watchlists set up for news about my constituency. They cover Aberdeen South, Anne Begg (Lab PPC) and Vicki Harris (Lib Dem PPC). I haven't bothered with the other candidates because Aberdeen South is a straight contest between these two, none of the other candidates can win. Given my active interest in the election locally it came as something of a surprise when I learned yesterday evening that there had been a number of key visits earlier in the day. Charles Kennedy was here, and so were Alistair Darling and Peter Hain.

I first discovered this via North Tonight, after it had happened. I've also read about it in this mornings local newspaper, the Press and Journal. These reports can be seen online here for Charles Kennedy and here for Hain and Darling although possibly only for a short time. (That's still a lot better than many local papers who often publish very little online.) What you can't see from these links is that Mr Kennedy is picured on the front page. I had to look for the story about Hain and Darling and only found it on the second attempt. A small victory for Charles. Nice one.

On reading the articles it seems that Mr Kennedy made a speech about his proposed local income tax to Kincorth pensioners. Whether you agree with the policy or not, it is undoubtedly a fresh idea, and a brave one. I like it. Pensioners pay less, people with more disposable income pay more. That seems fair. I know elderly pensioners who have been forced to sell their homes because they couldn't pay their council tax bills. That doesn't seem fair to me.

Hain and Darling made speeches about...
Perhaps the reports have been unkind but there isn't much to say. Darling supports the employment of those over 50 in B&Q and can pull balls from a bingo machine. Hain concurs.
The report in the Herald has a bit more:
Mr Hain cautioned against "having a punt on the LibDems or SNP".
He said: "Our biggest problem is the 'Done Deal'. People feel we are going to win anyway and don't need to help us. They may think they can send us a message by not helping us. Well, we will lose seats like Aberdeen South and other key marginals and that will stop us getting a Labour government."

I've worked out that I must have been less than 10 minutes walk away from Hain at one point in the day. I wish I'd been there when he said this. In real life I'm not normally very forthcoming but I think I'd have managed to let him know he was talking out of his...

Question Time is about to start so I don't have time to post the links which prove the point. There are quite a few in my previous posts if you're not convinced.
Next post will be unrelated to politics. It will be about my favourite subject: ME!

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