Karen Allen

I fought South Shields at the May 2010 General Election for the Conservatives, gaining a 6.4% swing which was a 4% vote increase. The Conservatives polled 7,886 up from 5,207 in 2005. I was born in the North East and grew up in South Shields. I currently live in London and am employed as a Director at Lloyd's Broker Howden International.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hustings Round Up

There were seven candidates speaking last night at St Hilda's Church at the Hustings organised by Faiths Together:

Labour David Miliband
Conservative Karen Allen
LibDem Stephen Psallidas
Green Shirley Ford
Independent Siamek Kaikavooski
Anti War Roger Nettleton
Independent Victor Thompson

Missing candidates were:

Sam Navabi Independent
Donna Watson BNP

I understand the above two were missing because no address was submitted on their nomination and organisers could not find anyway to contact the above candidates. A fairly interesting stance to occupy if you are standing for public office - that the electors are unable to contact you.

I enjoyed the evening on the whole, although due to the large number of candidates it was difficult to have enough time to say what you wanted to - my speech was cut down by more than three quarters to fit into the time frame available. We were given two minutes to address the audience and then a further one or two minutes question dependent to answer each question posed by members of the audience.

Needless to say the Anti War candidate and the Green candidate wanted out of Afghanistan immediately. One of the Independent candidates thought the war in Afghanistan was manufactured on CIA intelligence. Miliband boasted of how he represents South Shields internationally. I'm wondering exactly what this means. Did he perhaps tell Hilary about Coleman's Fish & Chips?

It was a shame the Hustings had not been widely promoted. There must have been 30 or 40 people present. I am not sure there was one person in that audience who was not closely affiliated with a political party already. Anyway, after the Hustings and over a glass of wine a member of the audience commented I had been "quite hard line" so I hope that I was able to give a snapshot of some of my beliefs and conviction and dispel the myth all politicians are about PR and fluff.


Blogger Rogue Economist said...

Hi Karen,

I wasn't able to make it but you mention getting across your beliefs etc in limited time frame.

Do you have your personal manifesto for South Shields listed anywhere by chance? Or could you write a bullet point of the main points again what you would do for South shields?

Apologies if you already have this somewhere being new to your blog I may well have missed it, but would certainly be an interesting read to know what all parties are offering for Shields rather than the country as a whole.

My main concern is the North East is currently the second highest unemployment rate!!

Thanks for reading :)


3:48 pm  
Blogger Karen Allen said...

These are my three main manifesto points (the Gazette are running all candidates manifestos this week):

"- Looking at ways to rebuild industry in South Shields. Karen believes we have a unique positioning, located on the mouth of the Tyne and the North Sea, close to Newcastle and Sunderland we need to work together to encourage business to the Port of Tyne.

- Support for the South Tyneside Marine and Technical College. Karen strongly supports this first class and world renowned. She wants to see it receives the funding required to ensure learning continues, but equally as important is to ensure there are jobs in the town and region for its graduates. South Shields is losing too many young people, because of the shortage of work in the town.

- Karen is extremely worried about South Shields's town centre. There are shops closing every month. The lack of choice on our high street means shoppers have to travel to Newcastle and Sunderland. This is not only inconvenient, particularly for the elderly and those with children, but by sending shoppers away to spend their pounds elsewhere it leads to King Street’s further downward spiral."

5:59 pm  
Blogger McMurdo said...

I can vouch for the fact that not everyone there was a supporter of a particular candidate. The meeting was mentioned on the homepage of the Council website and I helped to spread news of the event quite widely among churches. Having said that, it was arranged at short notice because one of the main candidates (who I will not name!) did not reply to invitations asking if he could attend, and they got fed up waiting.

I'm afraid many people did not go simply because of apathy and I'm sad about that.

The questions tended to be on the main issues discussed in the media anyway (the economy, defense, public services etc).

I would have liked some questions of particular interest at the moment to Christians (e.g. euthanasia, abortion, upholding the family and marriage, free speech, Christian education, sexualisation of children etc). My own question was on free speech and it was not asked.

I have e-mailed you separately with some specific questions in any case.

Kind Regards

11:19 pm  

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