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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...

slug Tue 24-Aug-10 10:23:41

Have any of you ever had a real job. By that I mean one that does not involve politics on one level or another (no consultancy work for think tanks etc), pays less than the median wage and is subject to the whims of the market (i.e. facing the real possibility of redundancy)? If so, for how long? If not, how can the public trust you to have any real, visceral understanding of how life is actually lived for the vast majority of the population outside the westminster bubble?

anothabubbla Tue 24-Aug-10 12:27:44

Leadership candidates SHOULD be the best of the best so hich of the other candidates would you NOT put in your Cabinet and why?

sarah293 Tue 24-Aug-10 12:33:25

Message withdrawn

Litchick Tue 24-Aug-10 13:13:15

It's my view that Labour lost its appeal not to the left, who will surely never vote other than Labour, but to the centre.

So do you accept that your administration under Brown became ever more left leaning and state centric?
Do you accept that this was unpopular with many Labour voters who defected or abstained?
What would you do to bring the party back to the centre and appeal to middle income, middle class voters?

Highlander Tue 24-Aug-10 17:12:55

excellent Q, slug.

Should all donations to a leadership constest be deposited into a communal pot, thus all candidates campaign on an equal footing?

drosophila Tue 24-Aug-10 22:03:33

What do you regret most about the labour years?

What would you have done differently if you had your time again?

Which politician do you most admire and why?

How do you feel deep down when you hear stats that say there are fewer people in Oxbridge from the state system than there were 40 years ago. Does it send a bullet through your heart?

Quantitativeteasing Wed 25-Aug-10 00:02:49

Which is more morally defensible:

- to lead a party which claims to represent the interests of the working class (aka “hard-working families”) but which actually sells it down the river every day and in every way – not least by instructing its children to live for success via shows like The X Factor;


- to lead a party which defends capitalism, openly represents the interests of the middle and upper classes, and is extremely relaxed about people from privileged backgrounds getting very much richer?

huddspur Wed 25-Aug-10 01:05:12

Why did you think it was a good idea to rack up a record deficit that is going to take years of pain and hardship to pay off and why did you start a disasatorous war in Iraq that has a military and civilian death toll of around 500,000 and left Iran as the superpower of the region.

bullethead Wed 25-Aug-10 20:31:44

Sorry to pee on your chips, but I echo abr1de's view that this all seems a bit partisan. They lost the election; they're not even in power, so it's not very high on my political agenda at the moment. Besides which, Labour have done so much damage to education that they lost my support at the election. Not to mention increasing centralisation, control over our every move, ID cards,pointless and ever growing numbers of quangos and overpaid consultants in the public sector. Plus the 'green' tax that's constantly being levied on ordinary people. Let'em get on with it -hard-working people will always be the perfect whipping boys for any elected party anyway.

Jux Wed 25-Aug-10 22:05:27

Agree bullethead. I don't care who leads them - they're all chancers and liars - but I'd like to know what they think is going to go down well with The Great British Public (even though they'll never have to actually do any of it anyway).

bullethead Wed 25-Aug-10 23:08:21

Did I miss something folks? Is it somehow shameful to openly represent the interests of the middle classes? Now I understand why Labour hasn't represented me for 13 years despite the fact I voted for them!!

champagnesupernova Wed 25-Aug-10 23:20:25

What's the biggest mistake you've ever made in politics?

Quantitativeteasing Wed 25-Aug-10 23:34:29

"Is it somehow shameful to openly represent the interests of the middle classes?"

See now, that is the question.

crazyhayz Thu 26-Aug-10 01:23:39

I have two questions PLEASE ask them:

1) It has recently been reported that George Osbournes Budget has hit the poorest people the hardest, for lone parents like me who are struggling every day to make ends meet, what could you do to make these effects less damaging for us?

2) - I want to start University when I finish college as a mature student, but I am worried that I am not going to get a place at University due to the recent cuts, is there anything you can do to give people like me a bit of peace of mind?

Labour all the way, david miliband for leadership.

hildathebuilder Thu 26-Aug-10 11:58:56

why is everyone so afraid of talking abour raising taxes which is clearly part of the way to tackle the deficit.

(and I say this from a fortunate position as someone who will be much worse off with tax rises than benefit cuts)

nowit Thu 26-Aug-10 12:55:42

Would you serve in the cabinet/shadow cabinet of each of the other candidates?

If not, which ones would you not work for?

duffy Thu 26-Aug-10 13:15:45

If you could be one historical figure, who would you be?

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 26-Aug-10 13:20:09

Thank you to everybody who has posted a question.

We're now going to send over a selection of your best questions to all the candidates and we'll post their answers before they come on Mumsnet on Monday 6 Sept.

If you still have any burning questions, please hold on to them until the 6th and join in then.

Thanks again

lealealea Thu 26-Aug-10 16:08:12

Currently, a woman requesting an abortion within 24 weeks must first obtain the permission of two doctors. This is completely out of synchronisation with current clinical practice in the NHS, which operates a system of patients giving ‘informed consent’. The only other procedure that two doctors’ permission is required for is if a patient is committed for insanity. Also, abortion can still only be performed by a doctor, however, the Royal College of Nursing agree that suitably trained nurses should be able to do this too. Do you think that laws governing abortion should be modernised in line with modern healthcare and medical practices?

Noraginz Fri 27-Aug-10 10:03:28

HerBeatitude's point about Working Tax Credit (I'm sorry I didn't realise this point), just goes to prove my original question 'How would you build fairness into the Free School Meals and other benefits qualifying??'

geniemummy Fri 27-Aug-10 11:07:47

We are facing the most catastrophic cuts in public spending i have ever seen. How on earth did Labour leave us with this legacy? What would you now do to put things right?

sfxmum Sun 29-Aug-10 16:22:03

- personally I feel that dependency on benefits is detrimental to self esteem but I believe in a fair welfare state which is there to support all in an hour of need
- how do you propose making benefits flexible enough to make working worthwhile?
- how do you propose funding the rest?

- how to you propose monitoring quality in public services which does not involve creating a class of pen pushers who have no concept of the day to day realities and propose absurd solutions and whose sole purpose is to hit artificial preposterous targets (PI)
PI's with no base in reality and by its very own lack of flexibility can create more problems than they solve

<got that off my chest>

also how do you see The Left and how best, in your view, should it define itself?

many thanks

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