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GENERAL ELECTION SPECIAL 2024

Introduction


By Brian Pain


In a couple of weeks after publication of this issue we will have the long-anticipated election and for many people in this and many other constituencies, the dilemma will be whether to make a head or heart decision when voting.


Without proportional representation, under our first past the post system, we often have to decide whether to vote tactically or for a favourite candidate. 


Sometimes the person who has the most integrity and has demonstrated the greatest commitment to helping and supporting local people and causes, has little chance of being selected because of the uncritical loyalty of the majority of the voters to the two major national parties.


This is certainly the case with our Green Party candidate Hannah Temple and the Lib Dem candidate Councillor Hannah Perkin.  Both have demonstrated commitment to our Town supporting and participating in local good causes. 


The incumbent  MP Helen Whately, has won the previous three elections largely because she represents the Conservative Party in a traditional tory stronghold and not because of any notable achievements or particular commitment to Faversham beyond her clear love of photo-opportunities in front of local back drops.


We have invited those who have announced they are standing in the Faversham constituency to send us a brief statement of why they deserve to be elected as our Parliamentary representative.


Below we have printed their full responses along with our own commentary.  (Because of space limitations in the paper copy we had to edit their replies.)


We have also included an analysis of the possible effects of voting tactically in Faversham.


 

Faversham and mid-Kent Constituency and Tactical Voting


By Peter Spring


National Results Polls


The most recent You Gov poll (23/24 May 2024) shows the very low level of national Conservative support.


2024 – May

You Gov poll

Conservative and Unionist

22%

Labour

44%

Liberal Democrat

9%

Reform

14%

Green

6%

Other

6%


Faversham and Mid-Kent constituency


The collapse in the Conservative vote raises questions as to whether what had seemed an unchallengeable Conservative majority in Faversham and Mid-Kent is actually now vulnerable to tactical voting – particularly focused on the Faversham area?


Faversham and Mid-Kent in recent polls


The sharp fall in the Conservative vote and the rise in that for Labour are reflected at the local level. A January YouGov polls was unusual in giving a breakdown for every constituency.  (The poll itself was controversial as its financiers were undisclosed and its objective was to destabilise Rishi Sunak’s prime ministership.) Its findings, however, seem accurate. A recent Electoral Calculus largely confirmed the You Gov poll.


2019 

General election

2024 - January

You Gov poll

2024 - April

Electoral Calculus

Conservative and Unionist

63%

35%

36%

Labour

20%

27%

34%

Liberal Democrat

12%

16%

6%

Reform

0%

11%

15%

Green

4%

9%

8%

Other

1%

2%

2%

The polls showed that Conservatives would retain the Faversham and mid-Kent seat but with a much reduced majority. Labour emerges, at constituency level, as the closest to the Conservatives in second place. 


Possible factors affecting voting


Recent polls indicate:

  • Reform is taking votes across the country largely from the Conservative party.

  • Labour is increasing its share of the rural vote. The poll this year, carried out by Survation on behalf of The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), found Conservative support had fallen by 25 points since the 2019 election, with just 34% of voters in the 100 most rural constituencies in England saying they would vote for the party. Labour support has risen from 20% in 2019 to 37%.


Factors indicating that Faversham and Swale wards could have a disproportionate impact in the overall constituency


1) There is already evidence of tactical alliances in and around Faversham


In 2023 St Ann’s Ward in Faversham where the Greens did not stand, Labour won. In Boughton and Courtenay, and East Downs Wards, where Labour did not stand, the Greens won. There may indicate a tactical alliance has already existed within the constituency.


2) Ward changes


Since the last general election the Faversham and mid-Kent constituency has seen significant boundary changes which changed the character of the constituency making it more Faversham-centric. Faversham and mid-Kent constituency is made of wards from Swale Borough Council and Maidstone Borough Council. As the result of the boundary changes two wards have been removed from Maidstone. These are Headcorn and Sutton Valence and Langley. Also, two wards have been added from Swale: Teynham and Lynsted and West Downs. In terms of voting patterns at the most recent local elections these changes might not seem to have had a very significant impact.


2023 elections

Conservative

Labour

LibDem

Green

Swale Independent

Other 

Independent

Reform

Swale wards

47%

10%

9%

15%

0%

19%

0

Maidstone wards

50%

9%

10%

29%

0%

0%

2%


The Conservative, Labour and LibDem votes are very similar. The Green vote is lower and that of Other Independents is higher. What, however, the changes do is shift the constituency more to Swale without Sittingbourne, so Faversham becomes a more significant centre of gravity compared to Maidstone. The electorate is now divided roughly 60% Maidstone and 40% Swale where 52% of the electorate is from Faversham.  Thus, voting patterns in Faversham and its environs can have more impact in the constituency.


3) Higher voter turn out in Swale than in Maidstone wards in Faversham and Mid-Kent


Faversham and Mid-Kent consists of wards in Swale and Maidstone. Recent votes indicate that voters are more likely to turn out and vote in the Swale wards. 


Summarising


  • In 2019 the Conservatives got over 60% of the vote in Faversham and Mid-Kent making tactical voting pointless.

  • In 2024 the Conservatives are polling about 25 points less than in 2019 and well under 40%. Thus, there is everything to play for with tactical voting unlike in 2019. (This has nothing to do with the quality of non-Conservative candidates.)

  • Polls in 2024 that drill down to constituency level show Labour in second place behind the Conservatives in Faversham and Mid-Kent.

  • Faversham and the surrounding area could have a disproportionate impact on the Faversham and Mid-Kent 2024 constituency election due to: a possible record already of tactical alliances; boundary changes that increase the number of Swale wards and reduce the number of Maidstone wards in the constituency; and a possible predilection to higher voter turnout in Swale than Maidstone wards. 


Voters can do their own calculations and rightly make their own decisions but, whereas in 2019 tactical voting was pointless, there is everything to play for in 2024.


 

THE CANDIDATES:





MEL DAWKINS - LABOUR



My name is Mel Dawkins and I want to be your MP for Faversham and Mid Kent.

 

Its time for change. The country has been let down by the Conservatives and it has left people feeling fed up, struggling and despondent to the political system.

 

I want to change this and with Labour we will make sure we fix it! We will cut waiting times in the NHS, improve our care services, better public transport with a model for Local Authorities' to take back control of bus services, proper protection of our environment, more affordable, social rent housing with the infrastructure there to support our communities and grow our economy, create opportunities, and make sure our streets are safer with police on the beat.

 

I got involved in politics because I was tired of having to fight for my family to get the support and care they needed and deserved. I was born with a hearing impairment and I have constantly had to fight to be heard, but it has not held me back. It has led to my commitment to social justice and my passion for environmental causes.

 

I've spent the last five years in local government and am a well -respected councillor in the community, having set up Friends group for local open space, community action groups and litter picks. I have also been working with partners to get a much needed youth hub opened. I am the cabinet member for the climate change and environment and a Kent County Councillor. I have a been a teacher for many years and have worked in local schools in and around Mid Kent. I have all the skills and experience to hit the ground running.

 

Climate change is one of our biggest challenges we face and we have all experience the impacts such as flooding, drought , fire or heard of stories in the news or from friends or family. Protecting our countryside, clearing up or seas and rivers and clean air is essential to our changing our world.

Labour will put failing water companies under tough special measures to force them to clean up their toxic mess and protect people’s health and regulating powers to block bosses bonuses till they clean up their mess. Labour will ensure a proper windfall tax on oil and gas companies so we can support families with the cost of living.

 

Everyone should have the opportunity in life to eventually own their own home, if they wish. I will make sure we have more social and affordable homes, give first time buyers first dibs on new homes in the their area and a government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme so people can get on the property ladder. We need all housing to be Passivhaus standard and fit for the future.

 

Labour's housebuilding targets will ensure that new affordable homes are built in a way that protects naturally green spaces and doesn’t put pressure undue pressure on public services and infrastructure. Brownfield first, grey belt second and plans that must target at least 50% affordable housing delivery when land released. As a Cooperative party member, I am also very keen to promote and raise awareness of cooperative and community-led housing initiatives that offer an alternative way to provide good homes.

 

The Cleve hill farm proposal for storage batteries has rightly caused a lot of concern amongst local residents. It is a very important safety issue and we cannot expect town planners to have a good depth of knowledge on the possible dangers involved, especially as the technology evolves. The government must have experts in this field to help. Safety has to be of paramount importance, which has been somewhat ignored up to now. In an ideal world and location we need renewable energy and more energy resource to meet the demand, as people move away from fossil fuels, such as EV cars and heat pumps. Feeding back into the grid is an issue, as the capability is not always there to accept it, which is why a lot of times the solar farms are built near sub stations.

 

There is currently no end of life policy for batteries, so therefore no guidance of how to dispose of them safely. We have all read about domestic fires from batteries or using the wrong charger and the danger here is on a much larger scale. Leakage of lithium and other metals into the water table has to be considered as an argument against them and gambling with peoples lives is not on.

 

Even if developers say it will only be for X number of years, we all know in reality that this does not happen.

There are other places more appropriate. Plenty of under used industrial sites where with proper infrastructure these types of areas could be utilized. I will be making sure that the residents of Faversham are listened to and are safe from dangerous batteries being placed in Cleve Hill.

 

I am a great supporter of other renewable sources and making more use of our seas and empty rooftops. More needs to be done to also support communities to set up their own community energy resource with collective rooftop solar, air source heat pumps, for example. Labour and Cooperative party have ideas on community renewable energy as well.

 

Labour has plans for a new publicity owned GB energy company which will provide renewable clean energy to all British residents bringing down bills. It will invest in clean energy across our country- for example by making the UK a world leader in floating offshore wind.

 

I am here to listen and represent your needs, work hard and stand up for you. I here to be the chance for real change this country needs. I will be the constituency MP you deserve!

 

Vote for Mel, for FMK!


 

Hannah Perkin - Liberal Democrats 


It has been an absolute privilege to have been a Councillor on both Faversham Town Council and Swale Borough Council for the past 5 years. Faversham is my home, it is a really special place full of history, community spirit and hope for the future, but we have all been badly let down by almost a decade of this Conservative Government.


The numbers speak for themselves, 7 million people on NHS waiting lists, 2 million people on mental health waiting lists, the Trussel trust has given out 3 million food parcels to struggling families and there are 4 million children living in poverty, 1 million of whom do not have a home to call their own.  We are living with the Highest tax burden since WW2 and in the last 12 months there have been 4 million hours of raw sewage discharged into our streams, rivers and seas. Housing development is put in with no supporting infrastructure and we are seeing people feeling the sharp end of the affordable housing crisis. Young people forced to move back in with their parents or having to leave the area completely. People on the doorsteps tell me that they have had enough and are ready for change, even life long Conservatives tell me that they can’t vote for them this time around. I hear it all the time, people can see and feel their services crumbling and remember those lock down parties when they weren’t able to visit their loved ones or attend their funerals. They are furious and so am I. 


 So much damage has been done to the public trust in politicians, it is almost impossible to see how we start to repair that but I would like to try. I believe that it will take hard work and patience and that it starts at grass roots level. Knocking on people’s doors, listening and understanding their vision for their community and doing things to support them in achieving those goals. It is also holding those in power to account and standing up for residents when you need to.


I am proud to be part of a team that actually rolls up its sleeves and does the work. Local people trust the Lib Dems to be able to get things done for them and we have all spent the last 5 years fighting for better for the people that live here. Together and alongside some incredible local volunteer groups and community activists we have worked on projects that have put the Town at the forefront of environmental delivery in the County. We have delivered a permanent museum to house our Magna Carta, funded Faversham’s first ever Town Council youth service provider and launched a community bus scheme to reduce loneliness and isolation in Faversham, connecting it to our nearby villages. We have fought KCC on their planned closures or our tips and on their woeful cuts to Children’s centres and youth services, spoken out against the potential dangers posed by the Cleve Hill battery unit, held the Government and Peel ports to account on failing to deliver our swing bridge and as a community we are six years into and well on the way to having delivered our Neighbourhood plan which will protect our town for the future. 


I am a passionate advocate for diversity in Government at all levels. So often the voices of people that are most impacted by decisions that are made in chambers across the country are completely absent in discussions. At Swale Borough Council I have worked hard to increase accessibility to local Government including introducing maternity / paternity leave for Councillors, passing motions in support of training frontline staff to become “Dementia Friends” and dedicating the Council to ongoing work to reduce and prevent domestic violence, violence against women and girls and tackling the abuse against councillors that keeps so many great people away from local politics. Some of this work led me to be awarded the Local Government Information Unit’s National 2023 Community Champion of the year award, which was both a surprise and an honour to receive.   


Every vote for the Lib Dems locally is a vote for a fair deal and a commitment to work hard to represent everyone to the absolute best of my ability. Alongside being a candidate here, I will be doing everything that I can to beat Conservatives across other key parts of the Country and look forward to playing my part in what is sure to be a momentous election. 


I would love to opportunity to take all my learning and my love for our community to Westminster. I hope over the past five years I have proven myself to be hard working and a dedicated public servant. Win or lose, I am dedicated to this town and whoever crosses the line on polling day, I hope that they will give Faversham and Mid Kent the true local representation that it has so badly lacked for too long and that we all wake up on July 5th (if you can sleep at all) to witness the demise of this appalling Conservative Government. 


 


HANNAH TEMPLE – GREEN PARTY



Your Green Party candidate in Faversham and Mid Kent is Hannah Temple. Hannah Temple lives and works in Faversham. She is a sustainability and human rights expert who runs her own business helping organisations to become more sustainable. Hannah Temple is passionate about creating a society that prioritises the wellbeing of people and planet. She does this through volunteering in the local community - from planting trees and litter picking to monitoring water quality and fighting to protect our libraries. Hannah is committed to being an example of a different kind of politics - a politics of decency, honesty and bravery.


“Hannah Temple will be a brilliant Member of Parliament who will always put the interests of our area first. She is diligent, honest, positive and caring, just the kind of person we need in Parliament”  Stuart Jeffery, leader of Maidstone Borough Council


“I am proud to endorse Hannah Temple. Her honesty and integrity make her a strong, ethical leader. I trust that Hannah will work hard to create a fair future for everyone.”  Rich Lehmann, Swale Borough and Kent County Council


Hannah says “I am ready for change. I am ready for a principled government, for bold action to restore our health services and clean our waterways, for an ambitious vision to tackle our broken housing system and for leadership on nature and climate. That is why I am standing for the Green Party”


The Green Party is the only Party that:

  • is independent and free to stand up for what is right, not what private donors want

  • can be trusted to restore the NHS and public services

  • will reform our planning system to stop inappropriate and unaffordable housing development in the countryside

  • has a practical, costed plan to restore nature and respond to the climate emergency

  • is democratic to the core – local parties are free to do what is right for their area


Hannah Temple and the Green Party stand for:


Restoring public services

Hannah and the Green Party will restore vital local services like buses, libraries and youth clubs by funding councils properly. We will reduce waiting times for GP and dentist appointments by significantly increasing funding for the NHS.

Hannah Temple has already:

  • Forced Kent County Council to backtrack on their plans to close public libraries by organising a series of Kent-wide petitions and peaceful protests

  • Pressured Stagecoach to reverse bus timetable changes that have had negative impacts on schoolchildren and concessionary pass users

  • Successfully campaigned to protect household waste and recycling centres from closure


Clean water

Hannah and the Green Party will bring water companies back into public ownership to ensure we have pure water to drink, and clean rivers and seas. We will reform business laws to ensure water companies prioritise people and planet and significantly strengthen Ofwat’s power and resourcing.


Hannah Temple has already:

  • Been monitoring the health of Faversham creek with Faversham Water Quality group (FAVWAT)

  • Protested against Southern Water’s record on sewage outflows and lack of investment in infrastructure

  • Organised a public meeting on water quality attended by SOS Whitstable and environmental toxicology experts


Affordable, green housing

Hannah and the Green Party will overhaul our planning system to free up empty properties and ensure that housing developments meet local needs, protect nature and enable people to live healthy lives. We will ensure that at least 150,000 social rent homes are made available per year, end the damaging Right to Buy scheme and halt no-fault evictions.

Hannah Temple has already:

  • Been working with local groups such as Save Ham Farm and Save Our Heathlands to resist housing developments that do not serve local needs

  • Organised and hosted a public meeting on housing development attended by the Campaign to Protect Rural England


The Duchy development: Hannah and the Green Party are against the Duchy of Cornwall’s proposed development of 2,500 houses to the South-East of Faversham. The proposed site is on best and most versatile agricultural land needed for food security; has an inadequate plan for managing increased traffic; does not meet local needs for social rent homes and is not necessary - Swale Borough Council has already exceeded its five year targets for new homes.


Real action on nature and climate

Hannah and the Green Party will implement a bold, cross-sector Green New Deal invigorating how we approach energy, housing, farming and much more. We will implement a carbon tax on greenhouse gas emissions, undertake a vast home insulation programme, decarbonise the energy system, remove legislative loopholes that allow for wildlife destruction and improve nature connection and education in schools.


Hannah Temple has already:

  • Regularly protested against the government’s lack of action on the climate and nature emergencies

  • Organised and hosted a public meeting on green living attended by Invicta Energy and Future Food Forests

  • Committed to put forward the pioneering Climate and Nature bill if elected to Parliament

  • Organised and led regular local litter picks, planted native trees and hedgerows, and monitored European Eels in Faversham creek


Cleve Hill: Hannah and the Green Party want to see a massive expansion in renewable energy and are clear that these investments will never be perfect. However, we campaigned strongly against Cleve Hill Solar Park due to the lack of health and safety provision, particularly regarding a battery fire and the serious consequences for local communities and ecosystems. We believe that this project is prioritising profit over safety and have been pressuring the developers to answer questions and improve health and safety plans.

 

Why you should vote Green

It looks likely that Labour will form the next government, but many people are feeling uninspired and worried that we will just end up with a different version of the same problems.


By voting for the Green Party you are pushing the other parties to be more ambitious and amplifying the Green message - every Green vote gets the Green Party more financial support and more coverage in the media. There is no such thing as a wasted vote!

We need real change, now. Tinkering at the edges will not do the job. We need principled, effective politicians in Parliament with the bold ideas necessary to tackle the urgent challenges we face.


If you want to learn more about Hannah Temple, her campaign or the Green Party’s policies please visit swale.greenparty.org.uk or email Hannah on hannah.temple@swale.greenparty.org.uk


 


Helen Whately - Conservative

By Brian Pain


It was perhaps predictable that of all the candidates standing in the forthcoming general election for Faversham and Mid Kent, Helen Whately was the only one not to reply to our request for a short statement for inclusion in this issue of the Eye. Therefore, all we can do is look at her Parliamentary record over the past nine years.


Following public school and the almost inevitable PPE * at Oxford, the route followed by many of our most inadequate politicians, Whately worked for McKinsey & Company in its healthcare division (see Faversham Eye 8). She was first elected as MP for Faversham and Mid Kent in 2015.

*PPE:  Philosophy, Politics and Economics, a sort of posh general studies degree which seems to leave many graduates of the course uniquely unqualified for positions of responsibility in government.


Despite showing no ability beyond self-promotion, and contrary to the Peter Principal*, she rose rapidly through the Conservative Party ranks and ended up as Minister of State for Social Care under Rishi Sunak. 

* The Peter Principal is a concept in management that observes that employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent. Our Helen continued to rise beyond that point.


Her first spell as Minister of State for Health and Social Care under Health Secretary Matt Hancock coincided with the Covid pandemic and the disastrous policy which saw untested patients being shunted into care homes from hospitals. The care home sector subsequently experienced over 40,000 Covid 19 related deaths.


Throughout the past five years Whately has been an internet sensation and a great favourite of parliamentary sketch writers because of her many lamentable and vacuous performances during appearances on radio and television as a government spokesperson.


Her parliamentary voting record shows a slavish loyalty to the Conservative Government under all its recent prime ministers.  Up to the end of 2023 she has voted 1,765 times in support of the party line has dissented on only three occasions.


Particularly depressing is her voting record on environmental issues.


 She has almost always voted against measures to prevent climate change, measures to improve air quality, biodiversity and environmental water quality.


She has voted against greater regulation of fracking to extract shale gas, against financial incentives for low carbon emission electricity generation and the preservation of environmental protections after withdrawal from the EU.


This is in stark contrast to her often repeated love of the countryside and concern for the environment.   Currently on her website, helenwhately.org.uk, she has announced her 5 local priorities for Faversham and Mid Kent. One of the priorities concerns environmental improvements. She says: 

Here in the garden of England we’re blessed with some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.

But like the rest of the UK, we’ve seen a worrying decline in biodiversity and nature in recent years. Reversing it, and creating a greener, cleaner place to live is one of the most important things we’ll ever do.”


As in many other areas including housing policy her local statements are the opposite of the measures she votes for nationally.


Locally her interventions rarely amount to anything more than a photo opportunity. Memorably her appearance at a Guildhall meeting, called by those concerned about the Cleve Hill development, her contribution amounted to little beyond telling the hall how excited she was about her latest government promotion.


Finally in this brief synopsis of some of her greatest ‘achievements’ it only seems reasonable to mention that in 2021, she featured in much of the national press as being the MP who claimed the highest housing allowance, around £40,000 a year, despite living only an hour’s journey from London.  Also in July 2017, Whately was criticised for accepting several thousand pounds’ worth of hospitality from the Saudi Arabian government before going on to defend its record in a parliamentary debate. The Labour Party called her a “serial apologist for the regime”.



 

Maxwell Harrison - Reform UK Candidate  -



Despite Rishi Sunak’s best efforts to catch the British people off guard, it’s safe to say that this snap election is a foregone conclusion and whether we like it or not, Sir Keir Starmer will almost certainly be the next Prime Minister. It might seem unusual to hear such candid speak from a political candidate – however – this election is different. The Conservative Party had the chance to revolutionise this country – instead they wasted those 14 years with incompetence, failed promises, and sleaze. 14 years that have made the people of Faversham and Mid Kent worse off.


That is why I am running to become YOUR Member of Parliament. I enter this race, not as a ‘wannabe career politician’, but as a fellow citizen concerned about the direction of our great country. I was born and bred in Kingswood. This constituency is in my blood. That is why I write to you, so determined to gain your trust. Sadly, the Conservatives have broken Britian and I like many others, fear Labour will bankrupt it again! Britain therefore needs an alternative. I truly believe that with hard work and your support, we can be that change and beat both Labour and the Torries. With your support we can finally give this constituency and its wonderful people, the care and attention YOU deserve.


I’m the only candidate in Faversham and Mid Kent seeking to raise the income tax start point, and reform social housing law. I will also fight to give our incredible front-line health and social care staff a fairer deal – and fight to make those earning less than £20,000 exempt from basic rate income tax.


People are rightly worried about the rise in illegal migration on Kent’s shores. The Tories have failed in their attempts to stem the tide and Labour refuse to address the issues directly caused by uncontrolled illegal immigration. I am the only candidate seeking to freeze immigration, leave the ECHR, and enforce real, effective deterrents that will stop the criminal gangs.


I unapologetically love our constituency, county, and country and after 14 years of bringing this country down, a vote for the Conservatives is just a vote for Labour. On July 4th, vote for something you genuinely believe in – and it would be the honour of my lifetime to champion you, the people of Faversham and Mid Kent as your Member of Parliament. Vote for Reform UK!


 

Election Conclusion

By Brian Pain


In deciding who to vote for in this constituency requires a difficult decision to be made.

As the previous article on tactical voting indicated, if one’s main aim is to unseat Whately, then a vote for Labour and Mel Dawkins in July seems to be the logical conclusion to reach. It is hard to imagine the popularity of the Conservative Party sinking much lower than it is at present as there will always be a hard core of the electorate who will vote for Whately and the Conservative Party however dire, incompetent and corrupt.


Looking at the individual candidates:


Mel Dawkins

Mel is a likeable person, clearly a committed member of the Labour and Cooperative Party and she has recent experience in Canterbury local government.


However, one cannot help being left with the impression that she was very recently catapulted into the role of candidate by a Labour party that didn’t think Faversham and Mid Kent was a winnable seat.


Her knowledge of our area was, until a couple of weeks ago, pretty sketchy at best. 

The statement she provided to us reads more like a wish list of things most of us would love to see being achieved, but much of it seems destined to remain only as aspiration only.

Unfortunately, she also displays a propensity to waffle.


However, it seems very likely she would work hard for her constituency albeit largely following the party line.


Hannah Perkins

A proven hardworking person committed to Faversham with some years of experience as a Town and Swale councillor.


She is friendly, approachable and always prepared to promptly reply to messages or questions.


There is nothing in her statement that would in any way offends and she has shown admirable loyalty to the Lib Dems.


She would make a decent local MP.


Maxwell Harrison

Little is known about Maxwell Stanley Harrison’s political activities apart from the fact he seems to have stood for the Reform or possibly the Brexit Party once before.


His statement to us appears to be relatively benign but he has played down the nastier policies of Reform UK.


One can’t help feeling that his candidature is more to do with getting work experience than a serious attempt at getting elected.  At least there is the distinct possibility that he will be able to strip away some of Whately’s more right-wing supporters.


I imagine that on July 5th he will waltz back into the obscurity from whence he came.


Hannah Temple

Over the past six years I have been impressed with the tenacity with which she has campaigned for the Green Party.


She is both committed environmentalist and very knowledgeable of the issues involved.

The only criticism of her statement is the somewhat populist rejection of the Duchy housing proposals for Faversham without acknowledging that it is the Swale Local Plan, which dumped the necessity to build 3,500 new houses on Faversham, which is where the real problem lies.


At the last election she clearly excelled when debating the other candidates. She is clearly the only candidate who has all the attributes and sincerity to represent our constituency responsibility as an MP.


It is to be hoped that one day soon, when more people come to accept how existentially urgent the need to tackle the climate crisis has become, the Green Party and its policies become the central focus of National Politics.


Helen Whately

Ideally, she should take the next month as an opportunity to defect to Reform UK and join Maxwell Harrison in his imminent obscurity.


Conclusion


Voting with the Heart:

The Eye selects Hannah Temple with Hannah Perkin as second choice.


Voting with the Head:

Very reluctantly Mel Dawkins


The Faversham Eye Election Panel has chosen the Heart Option.


1 Comment


Tim Hopper
Tim Hopper
Jun 17

Mostly a well written article, but your bias is writ clear at the end. "Very reluctantly" and choosing the "Heart option". You want Helen Whately to remain our MP.


A Green Party supporter, enthusiastically voting Labour on the 4th of July, as the only way to oust our current waste of space Tory/Reform MP.

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