26 November 2019 – 6-7.30pm
I had the pleasure and good fortune to attend the Moulsecoomb School Education Hustings last night at the Moulsecoomb Primary School (MPS)
The Brexit Party candidate Graham Cushway, and the Green Party representative Hannah Clare, sitting in for MEP Alexandra Phillips (who was in Strasburg), were the first to arrive, followed by baby faced Conservative candidate Joe Miller who rocked up at 5.57pm, followed by the sitting MP for Brighton Kemptown, bad boy Lloyd Russell-Moyle (LRM) who made the hustings just in time, walking through the doors at approximately 5.59.55 seconds, with the last to arrive, 4 minutes late; Ben Thomas, the Lib Dem candidate.
At 6.05pm the panel were complete and sitting, with the chair, Craig Arden, from the National Education Union (NEU), kicking of proceeding, reminding the audience that this is an “Education Only” hustings.
“What will you do for the ‘Hands off Moulsecoomb’ campaign, if you become MP?
Joe Miller – Conservative Party
Having already ignited the wrath of the Moulsecoomb community by stating at a previous husting that MPS was failing it’s pupils, inexperienced Miller maintained his unfair and defiant stance, (causing a gasp of disbelief from the audience), when he repeated his mantra, “I think that the school should become an academy.”
“Well I think that the school should become an academy. I think for too long, (boos and jeers from the crowd), for too long the children at this school have been failed.”
‘How to lose an election and alienate your voters’ by Joe Miller!
“The outcomes for children is the most important thing,” he states, defiant in front of a hostile audience, passionate about rejecting the academy status currently being enforced upon them.
“Only academies will rise the standards,” he said against a further barrage of boos and jeers.
A stark difference to Labour Party’s Lloyd Russell-Moyle‘s (RLM) response, up next.
“I will continue to support you,” (which brought an immediate and rapturous round of applause from an audience fully aware of his support which has been shown since day one,) “I was at that public meeting we had here and actually I’m getting almost emotional thinking about it. It was a fantastic strength of feeling about the school here.”
Close to tears and filled with emotion, LRM was the first to articulate the feeling in the room towards Miller, “But I am actually quite surprised about Joe Miller, because the Conservative at the city council have taken a much more pragmatic approach to this. The Conservatives at the city council have decided to continue to support the parents in their ballot and they said they’ll support the parents on the outcome of that ballet. So I’m surprised that Joe has broken with his city councillors and decided to take a more extreme version that even the Conservatives in this city and I wonder if that’s because he’s had a phone call from head office in London saying that’s the position he has to take or not.”
With Miller shaking his head, LRM finished off, “But it’s rather bizarre!”
“You don’t mess with Moulsecoomb!”
Set to retain his position as the MP for Brighton Kemptown, LRM clearly understands the importance of following the community’s example, when it comes to community issues. He rightly stated, “You don’t mess with Mouslecoomb.”
LRM clearly recognized the level of passion and dedication in the Moulsecoomb community towards the academy threat, and as such is set to win the Brighton Kemptown Christmas General Election by a landslide.
The first to give his opinion on baby faced Miller’s statement, that MPS was failing it’s pupils, year 4 MPS teacher Mr Cumiskey said, “I find it highly offensive that you say we are failing our pupils.”
“I am disgusted by your comments towards our school and teaching staff. You are wrong.”
Hannah Clare – The Green Party
“I’ve worked in an academy and know how bad they are.”
Graham Cushway – Brexit Party
“It should be up to the parents who decide if it wants academisation.”
Ben Thomas – Lib Dems
“This is something new to me!”
Acknowledging the Lib Dems were responsible for bringing in academies while in coalition with the Tories, Ben continued, “We admitted we didn’t get everything right.”
Getting used to hearing that from Lib Dem politicians, I for one am reluctant to trust in a political party, who readily confess to getting things wrong in the past, but assuring us to get it right in the future.
Hannah Clare – The Green Party
“It won’t happen!”
Graham Cushway – Brexit Party
“The key is democracy. 96% are against and that’s the end of the matter.”
Lloyd Russell-Moyle – Labour Party
“Academies have not been proved to improve school performance.”
Joe Miller – Conservative Party
“It was Tony Blair who introduced academy and I praise him for it.”
Giving Miller credit where credit is due, and taking a leaf out of Prince Andrew’s book, Miller is standing firm in his belief that MPS is failing its pupils by reeling of a bagful of local statistics, compared nationally.
“So for example in the Key Stage One stats; Reading – 64% compared to 75% nationally. Writing – 49% compared to 69% nationally.”
Nasty party representative Miller wants the best for our pupils, but comes across as knowing better than the parents of MPS, as to how to get the best for the pupils.
With comments coming from the audience thick and fast, Warren Carter who’s on the MPS Governor Board and mentioned as one of the 100 most influential people in Brighton and Hove, said, “We’ve been financially crippled by the Tory government, and now you say academies is the answer.”
Mr Cumiskey shouts out, “tell him off, tell him off.”
“The issue of academies needs to be reviewed,” said Ben Thomas, to which Hannah Clare promised the Green’s would, “Increase funding by 4 billion a year.”
“Give Mouslecoomb a chance. Ofsted needs to give us a chance,” pleads a member from the audience.
“Personally I’m very offended by your arrogant,” Cumiskey slams Miller, “You’ve wound me up!”
“You are trying to get a reaction from us, so we’ll write about you.”
“You were out of order.”
Miller comes across as knowing best, as he babbles shit for 10 minutes.
Local councillor Daniel Yates corrects Miller for an incorrect statement that he was leader of the council when something or another, did or didn’t happen!!!
Here we have LRM making the important distinction that money makes anything a success, not academies.
- Academy + Money = Works
- Academy + No Money = Fails
Falling back into the mantra of any politician, LRM promises, “Labour will give £5.5 billion above the Tories into education.”
Special Education Needs (SEN)
Concern from the parents and staff towards the ability of an academy run school to address the high-end needs of their pupils, MPS head Teacher let it be known in no uncertain terms, “Moulsecoomb has a voice but it isn’t being heard.”
Hannah Clare, “Greens will scrap Ofsted”, “it’s a very binary system and it needs to go.”
With a passionate speech by LRM, banging the table to drive home his point, “Sometimes the things we promise in manifesto do come true.”
Bold promises and bold plans from LRM.
“We aim to get rid of poverty.”
“Ofsted changes measurements and we get punished,” says Warren Carter.
“Joe is digging a few holes here,”-“Get the facts of the situation,” says Hannah Clare
Drawing to a close, aware of the promise to Headmaster Mr Sutton to finish on time, and acknowledging MPS high level of SEN’s, the next question went to the very heart of the unique situation facing MPS.
Moulsecoomb has a higher than normal quota of special needs pupils; how will you ensure it continues?
“I’m not up to answering your question,” confesses Graham Cushway.
A former pupil of an academy stood up at the back of the room and said, “academies would dump SEN children to ensure their figures don’t look bad.”
LRM reminds us, “Private school don’t get Ofsted’ed.”
Talking about anxiety and depression treatment, Ben Thomas adds, “I can afford it, but many people cannot.”
Nasty Party provocateur Joe Miller causes further uproar from the audience when he said, “Labour politician,” pointing to LRM, “has jumped on it as a bandwagon.”
Having reached the end of his tether, “I’m leaving because of you and your rudeness,” shouted Mr Cumiskey, storming out of the hustings in disgust at Miller.
A member of the audience lambasted Miller further, “You’re telling us we are all wrong, and you’re right.”
“Shame on you,” shouts another member of the audience.
Coming to the last question of the night:
How will you stop pupils coming to school hungry and not properly clothed?
LRM – “Free school meals and stop poverty”; to which got a healthy round of applause.
Graham Cushway – “Reform Universal Credit.”
Joe Miller – “Cutting income tax and raising the national living wage to £10 an hour.”
Ben Thomas – “Free school meals.”
Hannah Clare – “Increase personal income.”
A member of the audience summed up, “The Brexit Party have no policies.”
And finally onto the last )and most important) question of the evening, Why should we vote for you?
Baby faced Joe Miller, “I say what I believe. I may be wrong.”
Warmonger Graham Cushway, “I know more how to wage war, than I do about education.”
Hanna Clare, “Alexandra is in Strasburg voting and can’t be here. She will work so hard for you.”
Ben Thomas, “Devolution will be key.”
LRM, “Its an election about the future of our country. Labour have done it before and will do it again. Labour will leave no child behind. Vote Labour for hope.”
The clear winner of the evening (by a landslide) was LRM. While the obvious loser was Joe Miller.
- LRM: For his support of MPS and as the sitting MP
- Hannah Clare: For her support of MPS
- Cushway: For being honest enough to admit he didn’t know enough
- Thomas: A poor performance, left on the margins
- Miller: Dug himself into a hole and alienated himself by his own arrogance
My prediction for the Brighton Kemptown Christmas general Election is that Lloyd Russell-Moyle will retain the Brighton Kemptown constituency with a landslide.
Baby faced and inexperienced Joe Miller will score the lowest number of votes of any Conservative candidate in a Brighton Kemptown general election.
Clearly out of this depth, Miller recounted a bizarre example of his experience of poverty, by telling us about the time he had to sleep in his mum’s bed when he was 12 years old, desperate to convince the audience that he was once poor.
As LRM mentioned at the start of the hustings, “it’s rather bizarre.”