Labour (Huw Jones) and the Lib Dems (Lucy Nethsingha) were present but there was no Tory. Rumour has it she (Lucy Frazer) was elsewhere in the constituency handing out leaflets.
Many thoughts come to mind. Here’s a couple.
Histon & Impington is a centre/centre-left liberal community, a Tory colleague at the County Council referred to it as the ‘home of liberal democracy’, and the audience and its questions last night reflected it. So maybe she was just scared.
But that’s the simplistic, populist thought. More seriously ‘how dare she?’. It’s democracy, there’s an election on, people came out for a hustings. She should have been there. Her absence devalued the evening and turned what should have been an election debate into a political meeting with the two candidates that did turn up largely agreeing with themselves and empathising with the audience.
It was fun but it was not politics and it was not what the voters of Histon & Impington expected and deserved. They have a right to have the opportunity to challenge all the candidates, and especially you might say the encumbent MP, on their policies and their rights to represent them in Parliament. Not good Ms Frazer.
As it was we all basically agreed on the EU, on security, on the NHS and on school funding. There were gentle barbs about Labour’s Iraq war and support for the privatisation of Hinchingbrooke Hospital, and about the Lib Dems role in the Coalition but they were just that: gentle. It was more like the branch meeting of a political movement working out its (common) strategy.
Now that’s a good idea! Why didn’t we all think like that a few weeks ago and then we might have been able to take on the absent Ms Frazer and beat her?