This is an open letter from Will Scobie, the Labour candidate for South Thanet, to his rival Nigel Farage.
Why Are You Afraid to Debate?
April 22 2015
Dear Mr Farage,
We have just learned that, once again, you will not join us for the election hustings this Friday, at St George’s School in Broadstairs.
Apparently you have decided to ignore the public debate and have your own ticketed meeting that evening. Your no-shows at the last three hustings mean this was not a surprise. You clearly don’t think much of local people or their opinions. But this is the biggest debate yet, and one of the last chances members of the public will get to ask you questions before polling day on May 7th.
The fact you’ve repeatedly ducked these hustings doesn’t bode well for the people of Thanet if you become our next MP. Would your constituency surgeries be ticketed events? Would your casework be vetted and the problems of non-Ukip supporters ignored? You claim to be the candidate fighting for change, but actually what you’re doing is rolling the clock back to the days of absentee MPs and rotten borough politics, when well-off people from London like you made decisions for everyone else. You have been a truant MEP for the area for the last 16 years, and now you want to take us back to the days when ordinary people did not have Westminster representation.
I’m not frightened of speaking to those I disagree with, and if I was elected I’d fight as hard for those people as for the ones that did vote for me. My only priority is sticking up for Thanet. Can you say the same?
If you can answer yes to this question then I ask you to reschedule your ticketed event this Friday and come to listen to the opinions of the several hundred Thanet residents who will be at the election hustings. Some will agree with you and some will disagree with you. But that is democracy Mr Farage, and it’s something we need more of – not less.
Labour candidate for South Thanet