Congratulations to the St Mary’s Justice and Aid Network who staged last night’s Scottish Election Hustings in church. Speakers from the main political parties were present and there was a good turnout to hear them.

I’ve been in the position of being an election candidate addressing a hustings meeting, so I know what it feels like. I have to admit that it was one of the things that I enjoyed most about being a candidate. There was certainly a degree of creative anticipation and just a tad of nervous anxiety as you prepared yourself for it but the actual events I remember as being great fun. There were always some candidates who didn’t like it though – I can remember people who probably shone on the doorstep doing one-to-one stuff but who found being in front of a crowd very taxing.

People used to help me prepare for a hustings by firing off policy questions at me, to try to make sure I had a coherent answer. I have to say that I thought that none of the candidates last night made me think that they knew their policies very well or were particularly capable of expressing them. The weakest responses were those on higher education and health. How anyone can come to a hustings in the West End of Glasgow at the moment without having a good answer prepared to the Higher Education funding question, I really don’t know.

All in all it was a successful evening. I know that those who organised it will learn lessons for future events and public meetings and there was talk of doing more of this kind of thing. I hope so. It was good to see lots of folk in the building whom we don’t regularly see and it was good to ensure that the candidates themselves got a chance to meet the local folk who get to cast their vote in just a few weeks time.


  1. Alison Peden says

    Iain Gray was very clear on the Labour Party’s policy on education in the ‘Mid Scotland and Fife’ matters brochure they sent out. He said “I want a zero tolerance approach on literacy”. That would solve the problem of demand for Higher Education funding at a stroke.

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