Oxford West & Abingdon Hustings 2019

Oxford West & Abingdon Hustings
The candidates for the Oxford West & Abingdon constituency in 2019 are:
James Fredrickson – Conservative
Layla Moran – Liberal Democrat
Rosie Sourbut – Labour
Allison Wild – Brexit Party.
Oxford West & Abingdon Hustings
All four were there to answer questions put by people from Abingdon. The event was organised by Abingdon-on-Thames Chamber of Commerce, and the Church in Abingdon. There was a retiring collection for the Church in Abingdon to pay for putting on the event. Like the previous hustings in May 2017, the event was chaired by Chris Bryan who welcomed the four candidates and said “Here we are again.”
Oxford West & Abingdon Hustings
The evening began with each candidate saying how they came to be standing for parliament. This provided a personal introduction before we got into the politics.

Layla Moran had got into politics because, as a teacher, she could see the educational system was not being run to get the best outcomes for children.

James Fredrickson had come from an IT background and recognised that with better connectivity and use of technology care services could be run better. Carers could spent more time with people and less on the road.

Rosie Sourbut had volunteered at a foodbank and saw the effect of Universal Credit on people in desperate need.

Allison Wild was a businesswoman, and ended by saying she was inspired by Brexit and being able to trade with the world on good terms and not just Europe.
Oxford West & Abingdon Hustings
There were 7 questions asked during the evening. They were:

  • What would your government do to make the world a safer place?
  • How would your party’s policies help and support Abingdon Town Centre?
  • There is a Climate Emergency. How would you fight to bring it to the top of the government agenda?
  • Brexit could lead to the break up of the UK. Is the breakup of the UK more important than economic arguments?
  • How would you improve the supply of affordable homes, help the homeless, and support people in private rental housing?
  • What are your views on Abortion?
  • How will your party pay for all its promises to the electorate, or are they impossible promises?

Oxford West & Abingdon Hustings
There were not many party activists in the hustings from what I could tell and there was not the usual partisan cheering or booing of candidates. Only the best answers got applause.

With just over a week remaining to the election activists are probably busy trying to reach people, not just in the hall, with leaflets and phone calls. The hall itself was only half full.
Oxford West & Abingdon Hustings
The big question about the Oxford-Cambridge expressway was not asked, and there was not a full-on Brexit question. No questions on the NHS or education either.

Abingdon is a marginal so your vote can make a difference between these four candidates.

27 thoughts on “Oxford West & Abingdon Hustings 2019

  1. AbiMarina

    What is your view on abortion? Is that really relevant especially when there are so many other pressing topics?

  2. Andrew

    Abortion is the killing of an unborn human being. It is the policy of the Labour and Lib Dem parties to ‘decriminalise’ it so that unborn babies can be killed right up to birth for any reason whatever. If you’ve ever seen a film of abortion being done, you’ll know that it is appallingly cruel, as well as immoral. So, yes, this is a highly relevant issue if we want to live in a humane and decent society where the rights of the most vulnerable are respected.

  3. John

    It was a really good evening with three out of the four candidates showing real quality, and brilliant chairing by Chris Bryan. Well done all.

  4. Janet

    As to the question on how Brtain could make the world a safer place. Britain has little influence in conflicts around the world. Why should Britain have to police the world? According to reports we are around the 23 country in the world in wealth ratings, coming behind Germany and France. People are surprised to see how many people are homeless and sleeping rough in our streets. We should concentrate on our poor social care and growing numbers of homeless before we throw millions abroad. Britain is mocked for our ideas about our self importance. A Russian spokesman said Britain is a little country no one listens to. China said that Britain was a litte ex colonial country with no influence in the world. I think that people have a grandoise sense of Britain and it;s influence.

  5. moan again

    yesterday received my first labour leaflet, today I received my 24th liberal undemocratic leaflet, they must be churning up some forests

  6. Ben

    Does nobody else want to call out Andrew for just making things up?
    Andrew, I do appreciate that abortion is an emotive subject and I suspect you and I are on opposite sides of the debate, but could you point me to where either party says they want abortions up to full term?

  7. Kelly Simpson

    A friend submitted a question that was accepted to be asked, but on the day it was ‘modified’ which failed to raise the relevant issue. She was then uncomfortable asking it, so it wasn’t used at all. Am wondering on what criteria these questions were chosen. Only one was about a local issue. National issues are covered by manifestos/leaders. Surely what we need to know is how they would support and act for the local area.

  8. Andrew

    The Labour manifesto says the party will “decriminalise abortions” with no guarantee to retain the existing time limit.The Liberal Democrat manifesto says that it will “decriminalise abortion across the UK while retaining the existing 24-week limit” but this means that if abortion is carried out beyond the 24-week limit, it won’t be a crime – so its effect would be to allow abortion up to birth with no criminal sanction.

  9. Bookman

    The Labour manifesto says that ““We will uphold women’s reproductive rights and decriminalise abortions.” Pro-life groups, the Catholic Herald and the Tories are spreading the story that this will legalise abortion up to full term

  10. Janet

    We were told that the E U was a peace initiative. We were lied to when we were asked if we wanted to join. We were told that it was purely a trading organisation. Not a Federation of Europe where Germany and France through non elected people could dictate to the UK.

  11. Andrew

    To decriminalise something means that it is no longer an offence and no-one can be prosecuted for doing it. Imagine, for instance, that a government announced that it was abolishing the offence of speeding – this would mean that you couldn’t be prosecuted if you broke the 70 mph speed limit. If a future Labour or Lib-Dem government decriminalised abortion, no-one could be prosecuted for aborting a baby, whether it was after the 24-week limit or not.

    If you want to see the effect of decriminalising abortion, look at Canada which did just that. It has meant that even a baby in the birth canal is not recognised as having human rights. Abortion is permitted throughout all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason, up to the moment of birth. There is nothing to prevent sex-selective abortion – as a result more baby girls are now being aborted there.

    When abortion was first legalised in the UK, the pro-abortion argued that an unborn baby is ‘just a blob of jelly’ and ‘isn’t a human being’. Advances in ultrasound technology have since enabled us to see what a baby in the womb really is – a live human baby. So abortion advocates have now switched to the ‘decriminalise’ argument which sounds as if it’s something positive. Don’t be fooled – it’s a way of removing the last vestiges of legal protection for unborn babies so that they can be aborted at any time for any reason.

  12. Daniel

    Andrew, whilst I am uncertain yet of my thoughts on the whole issue you are raising; does it not seem erudite to perhaps (in your specific Canadian example) legislate against “sex-selective abortions”?

    Removing the 70mph speed limit means you will not be prosecuted if, for example, at 5am on a barmy, dry, clear summer morning, on a totally empty motorway you drive at 75, 80, 90…or 100mph.

    If however at any point, you cause an accident, you can still be prosecuted for dangerous driving….no matter what speed you are doing.

    **I am not sure what point I am trying to make here, but I think there’s one in there somewhere…

  13. PPJS

    The EU was (and is) a peace initiative; it works by trade. Of course, it has developed from the original Common Market. That was inevitable; you adapt or die.

    How were we lied to when we joined in 1975? The world changed in over 40 years and membership of the EU has grown from fewer that 10 states to nearly 30. We may (or may not ) want to get out now (fewer than 40% of the electorate voted Leave in 2016); the big lie was telling us it would be easy.

  14. Daniel

    just to be picky…

    I think that that little snippet could be a little misleading; as it suggests that more than 60% of the electorate voted to remain. Whereas that is not the case. To be on the safe side it is surely best to say “more people voted to leave than to remain”; because that is a) a fact and b) true.

    I do think it is interesting that we voted to leave the EU – which is a perfect system.

  15. Andrew

    Legislating against sex-selective abortions won’t work once abortion is decriminalised because it becomes a ‘right’ which overrides everything else. That’s why pro-abortion lobbyists like to refer to women’s ‘reproductive rights’ by which they mean the absolute right to abort your child for any reason and right up to birth. It is in fact illegal in the UK, but we know it goes on. However, no-one has ever been prosecuted for it, so unborn baby girls are already being aborted here just because they’re girls. In Canada, sex-selective abortion has become so popular that the Canadian Medical Association Journal has described Canada as ‘a haven’ for those seeking to abort their unborn baby girls.

    I’m not sure – as Daniel also isn’t sure! – how his ‘dangerous driving’ analogy could apply to abortion. In abortion you have either killed an unborn baby or you haven’t.

    Those people who, like Daniel, are uncertain about the abortion issue, or are open to thinking more about it, might like to start by seeing what abortion actually does to the unborn baby by watching this video of an abortion taking place, as revealed by ultrasound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fiNH70Glmo Then ask yourself if what you have seen is humane. And please don’t vote for anyone wants it to be decriminalised and so able to be done right up to birth.

  16. PPJS

    Daniel: I agree that the majority of those who voted in the 2016 voted Leave; but a majority of the electorate did not. Non-voters may forfeit the right to complain about the result, but their silence should not be taken to mean consent. Yet this is what happens whenever we are told that the majority of the country voted to leave and that “the people” have spoken. About 25% said nothing!

    The EU is not perfect, but Britain post-Brexit won’t be either. We have to make the best of things.

    And just to be picky … 😉

    If something is a fact, it is (by definition) true. An untruth or half-truth is not a fact.

  17. Daniel

    Yes, all facts are equal, bit some are more equal than others ????.

    And, just to be picky, non voters silence does indeed not indicate consent; but that does not in itself mean their silence indicate dissent.

    I think that, as voting in this country is optional, then the best our system can hope for is an indication from a few what the feelings are of the whole.

    I would tentatively suggest that, roughly 52% of those that didn’t vote wanted to leave and 48% wanted to remain. That’s the best we can say …

    The game and rules we have are that; the winner of the vote wins. It’s up to you if you want to vote or not. The principle stands whether 65million people cast their vote or if 100 people cast their vote.

    No one has to like the rules. And everyone has the chance (in some degree) to try and change them. But the rules are the rules.

    What is probably saddest, and this holds whatever side of the BREXIT argument one may be on, is that ‘Gina Miller’ has broken our system.

    The system relies(ied) upon the consent of the loser. That sentiment has now been eroded and forever more we will always have to, or people will opt to ‘represent the loser’ and in that way, with catch22, we will never be able to have a decision made again as ‘the others’ will always need to be listened to.

    Ah well…it was only democracy; it was fun while it lasted….

  18. Abfab123

    Whilst abortion is a hugely sensitive subject, I would just like to point out that according to the Department of Health and Social Care,in 2018, 0.1% of abortions carried out in the UK happened after 24 weeks.

  19. Iain

    To extend your argument Daniel, Gina Miller has not broken anything, she is (Successfully) seeking to clarify what ‘the rules’ actually are.

    In the same way that our system doesnt ensure everyone votes, disenfranchises people who are young, disenfranchises people who werent born here, and doesnt give representation to minority parties, it also doesnt have binding referenda. Parliament is sovereign – and as you say ‘the rules are the rules’ and ‘no one has to like them’

  20. Ben

    This is challenging to keep track of, isn’t it, with the entwined arguments.

    Andrew, I did find the line you’re talking about in the Labour manifesto and you’re correct that they say it. I think they should have made clear that the reference is to last year’s bill from a Labour MP which was to decriminalise abortion but then also included the line “and to create offences of termination of a pregnancy after its twenty-fourth week and non-consensual termination of a pregnancy”.

    The objective was to define in law that this is a medical procedure, that should be covered by existing laws around medicine. It was supported by the BMA, who have a very good synopsis here:

  21. Lyle Lanley

    My mother always told me that you should never talk about politics, religion or money, for fear of offence, but…

    The only clear thing that has come out of the whole brexit debarcle is that our current MPs are not fit for purpose, and that they only ‘represent’ our views when they happen to align with their own.

  22. Andrew

    Abfab123 – 0.1 % sounds like a small amount, but it’s not. Since the Abortion Act came into force in 1968 there have been around 8.7 million abortions. 0.1% of that is 8,700. That’s a very large number of unborn babies killed when they were more than 24 weeks old. But in any case the whole point is that if abortion were decriminalised, there wouldn’t be any way of stopping abortionists from killing post-24 weeks unborn babies. So that 0.1% figure would undoubtedly rise.

    Ben – You say that the Labour manifesto ‘should’ have referred to the M.P.’s bill which proposed decriminalising abortion with apparent protection for post-24 week babies, but it doesn’t. It just says it will decriminalise abortion, full stop. There is no guarantee to retain the existing time limit. And, as I’ve said, it also includes the catch-all phrase about ‘reproductive rights’. Once abortion is a ‘right’, no legislation could prevent anyone having an abortion at any stage.

    Your link to the BMA’s statement shows exactly what’s so worrying about decriminalisation. They want to turn abortion into just another medical procedure, and leave it entirely to doctors to decide whether it’s ethical or not. But abortion, as everyone knows, means destroying a human life. This is not the same kind of ethical decision as having your appendix out or a hip operation.

    Abortion is currently increasing in this country: 218,581 last year, up from 201,870 five years ago. Any government should be working to reduce this number of unborn babies killed, not allowing it to increase by decriminalising abortion.

    I think we had perhaps better end our debate on this, as most people on this blog want to discuss Brexit and other matters. I hope, however, that I have been able to answer the original objection to asking candidates their views on abortion. It is an issue which concerns many of us and which has more moral implications than matters of economics or politics.

  23. newcomer

    Mps are appointed by a small local committee of Party nabobs and, if elected, are never more than the local franchise holders for their parties … they represent, or should, their parties and only the local electorate if personally prudent and convenient . This is why the poor electorate end up with fools and grand-standers who spend most of their time in London trying to get their faces in the media.

    One swallow might not make a Spring, but a local MP saying that they will put a special, special effort into getting the diamond interchange constructed definitely means that there’s a General Election on the way.

  24. Daniel

    Why does Gina Miller want tactical voting to bring about another referendum. I thought referenda aren’t supposed to be binding?

    Or are all referendums non binding, but some are more non binding than others? ????


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