Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Is this the way forward?

David Cameron as Prime Minister, Nick Clegg as deputy PM isn't quite what I had in mind during the campaign up to May 6th. I still await the detail tonight but it seems that our Parliamentary party and our Federal Executive are about to endorse a deal which falls short of what I wanted in terms of the reform of our voting system. However, I shan't comment any further on the details till they're known, unlike the media commentators who seem to regard no news as a licence to print stories they like.
Instead, I'll draw attention to something completely outside party politics, but very political none the less: free speech. Over the centuries in this country free speech has been greatly prized and from time to time threatened. Tomorrow and on Saturday for a few hours Stockton Market will have a true celebration of free speech - the Stockton Soapbox. I'm old enough to remember the Market Cross being used as a place for speeches, some interesting and some downright strange but mostly preaching salvation. The idea of a soapbox as a platform isn't new, but hasn't been used in Stockton for many a long year. Suzanne Fletcher had the idea of bringing it back into life as part of the 700th anniversary celebrations of the market charter being granted. So tomorrow and Saturday will see a range of people from MPs to refugees, young and old, rich and poor, speaking about their experience of Stockton, their hopes and dreams. It should be a great event and will complement the other celebrations perfectly.

1 comment:

phil said...

If you don't think its the way forward to prop up a Tory government you can always www.labour.org.uk/join