The hustings meetings went pretty well and I enjoyed them. By the end all the candidates must have got sick of hearing each others repeated lines. I know I did. The Tories fancied their chances and put up Itrat Ali, a young, articulate Muslim woman who put a lot of effort into her campaign and was a good choice by the Huddersfield Conservatives. A number of things let her down. Obviously being a Tory defending her governments record was a big obstacle to overcome which was never going to be easy but she made a fairly good fist of it all things considered. My real concern was the advice and people behind her campaign. An ill thought out leaflet entitled 'A letter from Mehboob' advising Greenhead ward voters to 'Vote for Itrat' was a poor attempt to get people to somehow believe former Labour Council Leader Khan was advising people to vote Tory. Now I can believe Mehboob would do all sorts of things but that's never going to happen. At that point her campaign lost any legitimacy it may have had. If she had have won using those tactics it would have been a shameful victory.
The UKIP Candidate Rob Butler did what you'd expect of a Kipper and blamed most of our woes on immigrants and the EU. I was intrigued as a Science Teacher what his stance would be on the anti science climate change denial policy of UKIP. I had hoped he would be slightly embarrassed by it but unfortunately not. He is a fully paid up climate change sceptic and did come out with some of the dodgy 'evidence' refuting the widely held views of the vast majority of climate scientists.
Barry was as amiable as ever but we never really got into a debate with him on issues such as Labours support for the cuts, fracking, Trident renewal etc To be be fair to him a lot of the hustings didn't lend themselves to 'banter' between the candidates which was to my mind was a mistake. Challenge is important for politicians and sometimes if the challenge isn't coming from the audience we need to challenge each others policies and views.
For a flavour of the hustings here is the one from the University of Huddersfield Students Union. I did bait the UKIP guy a bit but then you have to get your entertainment where you can!