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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...

thesecondcoming Wed 11-Aug-10 20:35:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumtoone Wed 11-Aug-10 20:45:20

How would you address the issue of long term welfare dependency?

thefirstmrsDeVere Wed 11-Aug-10 20:58:43

As a life long labour voter and supporter I promise I will vote for someone else if Diane Abbot is elected.

How dare you suggest that non immigrant mothers are less devoted to their children's welfare. You want me to describe what 'going to the wall' for your children is really like?

Rollmops Wed 11-Aug-10 21:00:23

Ed Balls, aren't you ashamed for bringing the standard of the state education in this country down to such an appalling level?

SpringHeeledJack Wed 11-Aug-10 21:49:46

marking my place

(I've got to give this a bit of serious thought/time...rather than picking on the basis of: "ooh I like the look of 'im" or "he's got untrustworthy eyebrows" or "who's done her make up?")


Heathcliffscathy Wed 11-Aug-10 22:15:33

thesecondcoming that is a great question with zero chance of being answered

Shiitake Wed 11-Aug-10 22:17:18

Will the Labour Party ever manage shake of the utter disgrace of Iraq?

Heathcliffscathy Wed 11-Aug-10 22:18:10

or will any of you apologise for iraq?

HerBeatitude Wed 11-Aug-10 22:18:35

What are you going to do about the pornification of our culture? About the 94% non-conviction rate for rape? About the over-sexualisation of children, the grooming them for accepting that women's lives are worth less than those of men and that if they're not sexually attractive, they are worthless? What are you going to do about the fact that we are living through the most enormous backlash against feminism and that your party was at the vanguard of adopting anti-racist, anti-homophobic legislation and attitudes, but looked indulgently on sexist ones? (You denigrated mothering for example, and privileged work in the cash economy over child-rearing. You allowed lap-dancing clubs to be treated as if they were just ordinary pubs.) Why should women who want to be considered as valuable as men on their own terms, not on those of men, vote for you lot?

HerBeatitude Wed 11-Aug-10 22:19:35

oh and btw, I don't care what kind of biscuits you like.

claig Wed 11-Aug-10 22:22:31

What do you think being in opposition for the next 30 years will be like?

How many of you are going to follow Diane Abbott's example and "go to the wall" for their children by sending them to private schools, whilst simulaneously presiding over the dumbing down of education for the rest of the country's children?

Prinnie Wed 11-Aug-10 23:04:23

Will we EVER be able to trust a Labour government not to overspend our money and get us in to catastrophic debt that we then have to rely on the Conservatives to get us out of?

ButterpieBride Thu 12-Aug-10 00:14:03

Where is your line? I mean, at what bit of Tory behaviour do you think we need to actually start the revolution?

I am actually terrified for the next few years. We have young children, we are the working poor and we live in a small former mining town which is so Labour that they took mere minutes to count the votes in the election (our MP was second to be declared, the next door MP was first). We are now under a government that does not like us, and wastes no time in making that clear.

This time next year, the mental health ward and the surestart centre, both of which saved my life in my old town, will be gone. What is next?

purits Thu 12-Aug-10 09:21:15

"I am actually terrified for the next few years ... We are now under a government that does not like us, and wastes no time in making that clear."

What's your point butterpie? I have just lived for 13 years under a Government that does not like people like me, so they diverted funds to their supporters' constituencies instead.hmm At least you had money lavished on your town: now it's 'our turn' we find that there is no money left.

If we are going with the "most recurring" question, can I repeat:
"Why does a Labour Government always leave the country in a worse financial mess than the Conservatives?" and
"Will we EVER be able to trust a Labour government not to overspend our money and get us in to catastrophic debt that we then have to rely on the Conservatives to get us out of?"

WreckOfTheHesperus Thu 12-Aug-10 09:43:03

If the Conservatives transfer power around commissioning health services into the hands of the GPs as planned, would you campaign on changing things back to the current system if elected in 5 years time?

WreckOfTheHesperus Thu 12-Aug-10 09:46:46

In an ideal world, and finances permitting, would you plan on reinstating the public sector jobs and spending that are being lost under the Coalition government?

Or would you be secretly glad that someone else has had to do the dirty work, and aim to maintain the new levels of public spending that you'd inherited?

cleanandclothed Thu 12-Aug-10 10:31:51

I would like to ask Ed Balls why there seems to be a widepsread opinion that he is a bully?

CatPower Thu 12-Aug-10 11:02:15

How different will New-New Labour (Labour v3.0??) be compared to the Blair/Brown era, and how will those differences be shown?

Will any future Labour leader at least address the epic failure that is the invasion of Iraq?

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 12-Aug-10 11:06:51


Thanks for all your qs so far.

We can see that some of you are posting questions directed at one or other of the leadership candidates in particular, so, just to clarify:

Taking inspiration from this thread, we will be drawing up ONE list of 10 questions. We'll then ask ALL the candidates to answer those 10 questions (so we can all compare and contrast, like).

So please only post here a question for all five candidates. (There'll hopefully be a chance to ask 'em specific questions individually during Sept 6th's webchat.)

WhatWillSantaBring Thu 12-Aug-10 11:37:42

Do what extent to you support political funding reform? Specifically, would you ever support restrictions on union funding of your party, and, if not, how do you ensure that you remain objective when dealing with the Unions (e.g. if called into mediate on a strike) if they have funded your party (or, for that matter, your leadership campaign)?

MillieMummy Thu 12-Aug-10 12:17:14

I would like to ask a question about the public sector and what the candidates plan to do to protect the public sector from cuts which will have a negative impact on vulnerable people during the (hopefully short) coalition government.
I agree that there are overpaid local authority chief executives and directors; but they are a tiny, tiny percentage of an authorities work force.
It saddens me that the public sector has been demonised, when the vast majority of local authority staff are low paid and are doing work with the most vulnerable people in society; caring for elderly people, supporting families with children who have learning disabilities and helping homeless families.
The public sector did not cause the current financial crisis - why should it, and the vulnerable people it supports, be made to pay for it?

chegggersplayspop Thu 12-Aug-10 13:11:41

Please can you describe your personal guiding principles (ie what you use to help shape policies you believe in) and how these differentiate you from the other candidates and make you the best person for the job.

Lavitabellissima Thu 12-Aug-10 13:35:40

What do you think of the 48hour working time directive? will we change in line with Europe?

In my contract I sign to opt out of this and regularly work a minimum 50+ hour week. I really wish it was less sad

Rollmops Thu 12-Aug-10 13:37:57

Right then, are you, as representative of 13 years of Labour government, not ashamed for ruining the state education system?

Must sting quite a bit that the official policy of 'keep 'em dumb and thrust bread (welfare state) and circuses (above mentioned lap-dancing clubs etc) upon 'em and they shall deliver their votes...' didn't work this time? hmm

alana39 Thu 12-Aug-10 14:44:40

How are you going to square making the party electable again with keeping your supporters on side. New Labour lost me, and lots of my family and friends, but we never really found anywhere else to go so had to stick around grumbling about it all. I want to feel happy (on the whole) with the party I support, rather than just feeling you are the least bad option.

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