Parliamentary candidates listened…
…and responded to questions and opinions from 60+ community members at Reading Quakers’ election hustings on 28 November. We focused on three topics:
Our future relationship with Europe – including how long it takes to complete a trade deal, and what are the most positive values associated with the EU;
- A fairer society – including making tax and benefits fairer and giving mental illness equivalent support to physical illness;
- The climate emergency – including whether UK international aid money should support fossil fuel use (a clear ‘no’ from all), and how individuals can avoid being overwhelmed by the scale of the emergency.
Candidates shared the platform with courtesy and good humour. Audience feedback was appreciative of the respectful atmosphere, the time given to contributions from the floor, and the opportunity to meet candidates afterwards.
Section 2.12 of Quaker faith and practice (our Quaker guidebook!) says “… The right to speak is a call to the duty of listening. Speech has no meaning unless there are attentive minds and silent hearts…..” (Pierre Lacout, 1969). We hope that the evening gave space for listening, within the clamour of the run-up to the general election.