Nancy Platts is right to avoid the husting debates

There has been some debate on Twitter, on the blogs and in comments on this blog regarding the decision by Nancy Platts to miss hustings so that she can be on the doorstep.

I don’t agree with the criticism of her.  Husting debates have their place, but often they are attended by boring anoraks like me and those who tend to hold firm views.  Yes, there will be some present who are yet to make their decision as to where they will place their cross.  Nancy will have missed an opportunity with them but what she is doing is prioritising where she will be most effective.

While Nancy has debating strengths, it is not her strongest asset whereas Caroline Lucas is a star performer.  Charlotte Vere has struggled but is getting more competent.  Where Nancy excels is on the doorstep, in one to one situations.  Nothing phases her, she comes across as enthusiastic, and is very engaging.  She is more likely to pick up support on the oorstep, and she is highly energetic.

I do hope, however, that she won’t avoid all the hustings, but she is ight to be selective what she does and where she goes.

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16 Responses

  1. Dear Baps,

    Just wondering how you feel about Caroline Lucas missing the big national hustings today – environment and climate change with the minister and opposition. Seems odd that she didn’t feel able to turn up.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/apr/21/climate-change-energy

    Why on earth would she not want to be there?

    Best wishes,

    Charlotte Vere

    • If I’m reading this correctly you’re suggesting that Caroline Lucas is in the running to be the next Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the event of a hung parliament?

      I suppose it’s not out of the question…

  2. Dear steampunk,

    Not at all. I believe she was invited, but declined the invitation. Which I find odd.

    Best wishes,

    Charlotte

  3. And if Caroline went to London you would attack her for not being in Brighton,wouldn’t you Charlotte.
    Are you having to fall back on mud slinging again as your Tory policies are clearly very unpopular with the majority of Brightonians. By the way ,you’re way off the mark if you think it was only Greens who were groaning with disbelief at some of your comments at the Indie debate.

  4. Dear BrightonMike,

    No, I wouldn’t. Caroline Lucas does a huge amount of media as the leader of the Greens – for example, R4 yesterday and I don’t begrudge it – indeed I welcome it. The Guardian Climate Change debate was important and I find it interesting that she chose not to participate.

    Best wishes,

    Charlotte

  5. From a nonpartisan point-of-view, if you can have one, I do think that Caroline Lucas not attending The Guardian Climate Change Debate is a little odd. Great opprortunity for exposure. And it’s a topic that the Green Party champions – one that most parties have put on the backburner to concentrate on the more voter-tangible economy, taxes, public services, education, immigration etc etc.

    Then again, there may be a very plausible excuse. Perhaps she will enlighten us.

  6. Charlotte,

    Why would Caroline attend an event where the majority of voters already know where the Greens stand on the issue? Voters know that the Greens are the only, genuine Green party. In all opinion polling, when voters are asked about which party has the best environmental policies, more often than not they say the Greens.

    The Greens are running the campaign on a whole range of issues and we’re no longer a party just about the environment, we’re a party about fairer taxation, higher minimum wages, regulating renegade sectors of the market and a number of other progressive policies.

    The Greens already have more exposure at this election than at any other. Caroline has an incredibly busy schedule and has to choose her public appearences carefully so that she can spend as much time focussing on the campaign in Brighton, as well as capacity as the leader of the Green Party (she is not our climate change spokesperson).

    Best wishes,

    Luke

    • What’s happening to Caroline’s work in Brussels?

      • Hi Alexander

        Can’t talk for individual parties, but I was actually in the european parliament last week, and heard all the MEPS for the southeast and london were very thin on the ground, all campaigning for the general election apparently. No surprise really.

  7. I do find it odd that Nancy is using hustings as a chance to gain experience. If she is serious about becoming a politician then she has to start debating like one. If debating is her weakest link, how can she seriously become a champion for Brighton voters?

    Whilst she may have strength on the doorstep, Westminster politics is a different kettle of fish and pavement politics will go out of the window.

    Brighton voters would want someone who can hold their own in a debate, go up against seasoned speakers and to put in a credible performance.

    • “Brighton voters would want someone who can hold their own in a debate, go up against seasoned speakers and to put in a credible performance.”

      True, but surely only if they agree with their politics and policies in the first place! Policy comes before personality and debating skill.

      • Policy does come first, but hustings is a chance to talk about policy and scrutinise your opponents in an open and transparent way.

  8. …that’s right…which brings us back to “I do think that Caroline Lucas not attending The Guardian Climate Change Debate is a little odd”.

    “a chance to talk about policy and scrutinise your opponents in an open and transparent way”

    The same horse we came in on.

  9. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/apr/22/climate-debate-miliband-clark-hughes

    There is a report of the Guardian debate, with many comments below.

  10. Is Nancy avoiding the hustings?

    She’s been to hustings called by the Older Peoples’ council and the Uni of Sussex. And today she’s at Bhasvic.

    Next week she’ll be at the Calvary Church hustings. I bet that’s more debates than most candidates do at a General Election.

  11. I am sure that Nancy will make a great local councillor one day, but what we need here in Brighton is someone who is not afraid of ‘giving it some’ in Westminster.

    Caroline Lucas would have the freedom to speak on behalf of the people of Brighton, she clearly stands head and shoulders above the other candidates, and I’d feel really privileged to have her as my MP.

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