Source: Evening News, Norwich

Pub date: Tuesday, May 10 2005

Pub LTE:  Waffle at city racism hustings

Author: Alun Buffry,  http://www.ccguide.org.uk/ab_lte.php

Web: http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/

Cited: Legalise Cannabis Alliance http://www.lca-uk.org/

         Don Barnard  http://www.ccguide.org.uk/donbarnard.php


I attended an election Hustings meeting in Blackfriars Hall on Tuesday 3 May on the issue of racism - I was appalled.  


First I noticed an absence of Tory, English Democrats and UKippers, and wonder whether they had been invited as neither had the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, although our candidate, Don Barnard, was there.  


Also present were Ian Gibson (Charles Clarke had a previous appointment in London), Adrian Ramsey for the Greens, Roger Blackwell from the Revolutionary Workers ("The only Socialist party standing" as he explained), and two Lib Dem candidates one of whom drove all the way from Southend.


As I say, the issue of the evening was racism - and what a lot of waffle was given in response to the very serious issues raised from the floor.


On most issues such as the invasion of Iraq, all the candidates agreed. 


I feel they would have also all agreed with abolishing tuition fees, scrapping plans for ID cards, freeing up procedures for genuine immigration applications and treatment of immigrants,  and legalising cannabis (although I'm not sure if that applied to Roger) and of course all were anti-racism.


A hustings where all the candidates agreed! 


My greatest disappointment came in response to a question on how would candidates, whether elected or not, work after the election to help businesses run by immigrants or people from different ethnic backgrounds and how they would personally combat racism in Norfolk. 


Neither the chap whop asked the question, nor I, were happy with the waffle given in response.


The LCA regards this as a very serious question and we do not know the answer, so I would like to use this page to invite to get in touch with the organisers and the professional bodies and campaign groups present, to arrange a meeting so that they can advise us of how to help and what to do.


It is indeed a great shame that this issue has to be raised

- that there is such a problem

- here in Norfolk. 

It is a problem that needs to be tackled. 


We need to work together to bring an end to all forms of prejudice and bigotry.


Alun Buffry

Legalise Cannabis Alliance

PO Box 198




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