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Labour leadership hustings - on Mumsnet!

(147 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 11-Aug-10 11:11:51

The Labour leadership election is coming up, so we're putting on our very own Mumsnet hustings. We've invited all five candidates - Diane Abbott, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham, Ed Miliband and David Miliband - to submit to a proper MN grilling.

We want to send the same ten killer questions to all the candidates, so, whether you're a Labour voter or not, please post your killer question of choice here.

They can be as serious or semi-serious as you like, but up to usual MN-piercing-and-incisive standards please - as ex-leader Gordon Brown put it: "You [Mumsnetters] certainly ask more difficult questions than television's Question Time or any other question time that I'm part of."

(To avoid any accusations of favouritism by other politicians, we'll cover the biscuit question as a starter for ten wink).

We'll select the ten questions that seem to be the most recurring/insightful and give each of the candidates a week to respond to them.

We'll then publish all their responses so you can compare and contrast. We're hoping they will come on to Mumsnet on Monday 6th Sept from noon to 1pm to talk about their answers in more detail.

So far, David Miliband and Andy Burnham have said yes; Ed Miliband, Diane Abbott and Ed Balls have said yes in principle. We'll update the thread as soon as we know who else can make it.

BTW, the ballot results for the new Labour leader will be announced on 25th Sept.

Over to you...

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 11-Aug-10 11:21:45

OOH what a cracking idea.

First question - can you lot all stand down, and whilst you're there, Ed, can you ask your wife to stand instead.

I will go away and have a sensible think.

RobynLou Wed 11-Aug-10 11:26:17


sunfunandmum Wed 11-Aug-10 11:28:38

Why did Labour lose and what are you going to do to about it?

Hassled Wed 11-Aug-10 11:34:40

I'd like to ask about Graduate Tax - my understanding is that all candidates bar DM are pro, and I'm struggling to understand why.

Reasons against:
I'm dubious that the revenue will be ring fenced for higher education spending. How can this be ensured?
I'm concerned it will result in a brain drain.
I'm concerned that the £100,000 increased earning potential is based on statistics from the period where just having a degree was something of a novelty, and that since the world and his dog was encouraged to go to Uni, the earning potential differential has actually decreased. Someone with a degree in social work will not necessarily be earning more than someone who left school at 18, but yet we'll always need social workers. How, then, is an additional tax on the social worker fair?
And say, by some quirk of public sector spending, the social worker does end up earning higher than the national average, he/she will already be paying more tax through the standard income tax arrangements. To lob on an additional % hit for the rest of the working life seems very unjust.

My oldest son has just graduated. To my knowledge, he owes around £23,000 - not a good start to a working life. But we know what it is - he can manage and monitor the debt, and at some point it will have disappeared. I'd rather he owed say £30K under these circumstances than that he spent the rest of his working life paying an arbitrary additional tax.

So what are the reasons for?

ButterpieBride Wed 11-Aug-10 11:53:36

How do you plan to re-energise the left to fight against the destruction of our welfare state by the Tories?

gingercat12 Wed 11-Aug-10 12:21:19

Will you support the 50:50 ratio of male and female members of the shadow cabinet (and hopefully later the cabinet)?

MaPrentice Wed 11-Aug-10 13:25:27

Do you think that "allowing" Diane Abbott to stand in the leadership election by DM putting his vote in for her, was in fact the worst kind of tokenism, and was just in fact an attempt to demonstrate that Labour is diverse and inclusive, when in fact the real race is been between 4 white male, 40-something candidates? Diane - how do you feel about being enabled to stand in this way?

abr1de Wed 11-Aug-10 13:29:30

I hope the same publicity advantage would be offered to the LibDems and Tories? I don't rea

abr1de Wed 11-Aug-10 13:30:02

--lly care who leads the Labour party but this does seem a bit partisan!

susiesheep2 Wed 11-Aug-10 13:44:19

I would like to know who would take the hardest line towards peace in the middle east. Why does the Labour party seem to have a softer approach towards the conflicts caused by Israel.

I would also like to know if / how they see the conflicts around Israel effecting the rest of the world in terms of terrorism.

Which of the potential candidates are in the Labour Friends of Israel camp - and which are open to lobbing? and whether they think there membership will have a positive or negative effect on the overall drive towards peace in the middle east and world peace - on the basis they may be seen as biased?

neenz Wed 11-Aug-10 13:47:13

Do you think there is too wide a gap between rich and poor and what effect does that have on our society? What would you do to reduce the gap?

natasha2010 Wed 11-Aug-10 15:28:58

hi i am moving into a new house with my 7month old daughter,her dad and i have bben getting on lately and are thinking of giving things another go but he works self employed doin junk removal bear it in mind he dosent always make money infact the busines is slow he aint earning nothing an when he does its 70 pound a week if that.
well im on sick pay which dosent differ my money (20POUND EXTRA) i gat housing benefit and child tax cred along with child benefit well he cant provide for us as he cant afford for his self so am i making a wrong decision by letting him move in with me or should i let him get his flat which he is bidding on at the moment will this effect me benefits?,it worries me because im doing a course which helps with my anxiety problems and am doin well i dont want to have to loose money as its not alot as it stands but i am willing to loose some benefit also its not wise to work straight away as im working on my issues. thanks for takin the time people.

Alouiseg Wed 11-Aug-10 16:20:21

Why does a Labour Government always leave the country in a worse financial mess than the Conservatives?

Heathcliffscathy Wed 11-Aug-10 16:26:08

what substantive difference is there going to be in a labour party lead by you and the conservative party? Will a labour party under your leadership rescind it's utterly parlous civil liberties track record (yes I'm talking to you David, hang your head in shame) and start to rebuild itself as a truly socialist (don't be shy now, are you going to reclaim that ground?) left of centre party with the protection of the civil liberties of it's most vulnerable citizens at it's heart?

coolfonz are you going to ask a question?

manfrom Wed 11-Aug-10 16:29:22

I would like to ask Diane Abbot if she thinks it's appropriate for Labour mps to send their children to private schools. wink

Oh, and a question for Ed B - if you didn't look like winning, would you accept the Shadow Chancellor's job to give one of the millibands a clear run?

manfrom Wed 11-Aug-10 16:33:08

p.s. vested interest - I've got a tenner on Ed Balls to win at 12/1! Come on Ed!

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 11-Aug-10 16:51:15

abr1de - to my knowledge there isn't a leadership contest going on within the other parties, so the issue of them being invited on to Mumsnet is a non-starter!

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 11-Aug-10 16:51:35

... and what makes you think that they wouldn't be invited?

WreckOfTheHesperus Wed 11-Aug-10 17:46:27

What are the pertinent qualities and experiences that you would you bring to the role of leader of the labour party, and what is your particular USP?

WreckOfTheHesperus Wed 11-Aug-10 17:49:56

As leader, what would you need to do to make the labour party electable again by the time of the next election?

Gigantaur Wed 11-Aug-10 19:33:18

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Gigantaur Wed 11-Aug-10 19:34:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

moondog Wed 11-Aug-10 19:46:53

Yes, I'd like to know why Diane Abbot didn't feel a comprehensive was good enough for her son althoguh obviously it's good enough for everyone else's kids.

mintyfresh Wed 11-Aug-10 19:52:27

The Coalition Government is totally destroying the Careers Service through cuts at a time when young people and adults need advice more than ever before.

My question is - What would the Labour Candidate do to ensure that all young people have access to quality Careers Advice and Guidance?

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