Nine days ago (before we even knew who all the candidates in the Princes Ward by-election would be), I sent out a series of questions, to be answered by all Princes Ward Council candidates. The questions and answers are intended to help SE11 voters choose who to vote for by ensuring the candidates speak about their policies, rather than focusing on name calling campaigns.
I now have nearly all responses (English Democrat has promised his are to come) and now intend to publish the results one question at a time. Anything in square brackets or in bold, I've added to standarise the format of responses across the parties or as summaries. I've not changed any of the text that I was sent by email, but I've had to move certain answers across to different questions in order to keep the answers similar (I've indicated in all cases where I've made any adjustments, so tell me if you object). I'll probably save my personal comments for a post at a later stage as I want these questions to represent the candidates as best possible. I've put responses in alphabetical order, depending on the name of the party, and I've colour coded them for your ease:
Conservative = Michael Poole-Wilson = Blue
English Democrats = Janus Polenceus = Purple
Green Party = Joseph Healy = Green
Labour = Mark Harrison = Red
Lib Dem = John Roberts = Orange
Name one issue that your political party advocates with which you strongly agree. (To demonstrate fidelity to your party and show why you are a member of your chosen political party)
I oppose the government's ID card scheme. I think the scheme is both an affront to civil liberties and impractical. Reports have indicated it could cost in the region of £20 billion; a clear waste of money.
I strongly agree that my party is campaigning that this country needs an English Parliament on the same lines as the Scottish Parliament.
I strongly support the concept of a Citizen's Income, which would guarantee all citizens, whether waged or not, a basic standard of living. I took voluntary redundancy in September and was signing on at Kennington Job Centre for four months. Fortunately I had savings as it would have been impossible to live on £60 per week. The treatment of unemployed people and their ritual humiliation is shameful and many people are experiencing this for the first time. The Labour government's Welfare Reform Bill is one of the most pernicious pieces of legislation ever enacted and is, of course, supported by the Tories. It would make unemployed people work for less than the minimum wage and hand over control of the Job Centres to private companies who would make a killing on the misery of some of the most vulnerable people in society.
Labour's commitment to high-quality, properly-funded public services is the primary reason I am a member of the party. At the national, London-wide, and Lambeth levels Labour has shown itself to be serious about rescuing our public services from neglect and investing properly in the future. The results can be seen in brand new school buildings and hospitals, better-paid staff, lower waiting times for operations, falling crime and increased police numbers, and a real commitment to improving and expanding social housing.
Many different reasons, I think the Liberal Democrats have a strong commitment to equal rights for all members of Lambeth’s diverse community and I was proud to have been awarded the Scarman Award by Lambeth Council recently for increasing equality and inclusion in the borough.
But I am especially proud of how my party led the campaign for the Gurkhas to be given full rights to come and settle in the UK if they wish – after all they have put their lives on the line for our country, so it is only fair we welcome them to these shores!
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