The race for Leicester South is hotting up with, at present, five candidates contesting the Parliamentary seat. So far I have yet to hear a peep from them, which is odd as you usually can hear a politician coming a mile off, so possibly they are under the impression that the student vote is one that isn’t worth winning.
Having a trawl around their respective websites (though for the BNP candidate all I found was a photo of a rudimentary cave painting with a chalk stick figure and an arrow pointing to it saying “good” – though that basically is their whole manifesto. They actually give them out on slabs of granite, which helpfully transforms into a weapon for when they feel like clubbing immigrants) it pains me to say that the Conservatives have put up a good show. It is ‘branded’ very well, not amateurish in the least, constantly updated and linked very well to Twitter. Just goes to show that Lord Ashcroft has spent his money rather well.
The Tory candidate, Ross Grant has grabbed the bull by the horns and wrestled the digital behemoth to the floor and is the only candidate running who is using the power of social networking to show their human side. A tweet a day takes about 20 seconds to do, spend 2 minutes a day doing it and it really is time well spent. Granted this election will not reach the dizzying New Media heights as the 2008 US election but we really should be further ahead than this.
But searching through his website, you begin to understand that he cut from the same old Tory cloth (the once expensive material that has been patched up to appear new). He opposes Trade Unions, possibly because of the smell they leave when he meets them, or because the Conservative Party don’t care about the working class. As much as they try to hide behind the inclusive banner when it comes down to real social change they run to the hills of privatisation in search of a cure. To stand against Trade Unions is a clear-cut sign of where your priorities lay, as TUs are for the workers who exist because time after time ordinary people have been silenced by the very people who back the Tories: tax dodging aristocrats.
Mr Grant also doesn’t know what to say about climate change. In his world, scientists should no longer publish papers for fear of getting drawn into a debate surrounding their findings. No scientist will say that what they have found represents cold, hard 100% pure fact, instead they say science is the quest for knowledge and regarding climate change the knowledge seems to be pointing in one clear direction. Why should one group of people cease and desist talking about their evidence (of which there is a lot) purely because some people disagree? To use another example, say the Holocaust; the vast majority of people are aware that this horrible event existed, yet because there are a few that don’t (*cough* BNP *cough*), does that mean we should forget about it? This is an illogical position and one that leaves those with the evidence held at ransom by those acting with special interests.
But again credit to Ross Grant as at least he is making an effort via new media to reach out to people. I’ll do another one of these once more information from other candidates comes my way.