Husting meeting in Aston – chilling effect on free speech?

I went to a husting meeting in Aston on Saturday, I wont bore you with all the details but there was some thing either sinister or interesting depending on how you view it.
A question was aimed at Kevin Barron, aka Sir Nutkin, about Child Sexual Exploitation and what he knew and would he condemn the Labour Councillors for their lack of action.
He did his usual, I have had only one case come to my surgery in 2003 and South Yorkshire Police refused to talk to me. Now being the ego maniac he is one would have thought, as I have heard him do on many occasions, I am an M.P. you have to talk to me.
What makes it more disingenuous is the fact it was still a Labour government with a Labour home secretary.
Later in the meeting he was pressed further by another questioner on the same subject and what he knew, This questioning was more robust, and a strange thing happened Barron changed tack; he said I am already taking some one to court for accusing me of knowing more than I am letting on.
I am not saying any more and neither should you; and he clammed up. Now I would have taken that as a veiled threat; or was he using the court case to hide behind; and by the way he would not condemn the councillors.
Dave Smith

19 thoughts on “Husting meeting in Aston – chilling effect on free speech?

      • I too was at that hustings, from Barron’s body language he appeared nervous for some time, possibly worried that he now has some real competition to fight.
        A very poor and not acceptable excuse re his only one case of CSE, I wonder how that family felt looking to an MP who can’t even get a meeting with the police, which I don’t believe for one minute and hope voters will see him for what he is, a let down.


  1. How did he perform otherwise and how did the other candidates do?

    There’s a hustings tonight in Rotherham at 6.30 if anyone’s interested. I’ve not seen it publiucised on here. Apologies if I’ve missed it.


  2. I was there too and Kevin’s answer about the police not wanting to meet with him begged the question, did he not smell a rat when the police we’re avoiding him ? Why didn’t that alone make him more curious as to what was happening ? I must say also that the comment he made about the court case sounded very much like an implicit threat.


  3. He did better than the Lib Dem who is more right wing than the tories and by some miracle he claimed he could live on zero hours contract. The Tory certainly let the audience know that he was a christian how does he live with his conscience and tory policies. The UKIP candidate read from his manifesto. On the night it left me wondering if any of them were worth my vote


      • The Rotherham hustings was interesting. It had been organised by Rotherham for Global Justice. The size of the audience was disappointing as was the no show of the UKIP candidate Jane Collins.

        Ms Collins sent a substitute who introduced himself as the “confidential assistant to Mike Hookem and Jane Collins”. His name was Eric Richards, a pleasant elderly gentleman, who seemingly had little if any knowledge of UKIP policy. His ‘answers’ to the questions were random and well…when asked about the renewal of trident he went on to tell us that one of the benefits of nuclear submarines is that submariners are able to enjoy beautiful fresh lettuce thanks to nuclear energy. He often mentioned that he’d been to the Harrogate flower show today and we established that he once knew where every b us stop was in Syria.

        I actually felt sorry for Eric Richards. I think it was cruel of Jane Collins to put him up as her substitute. He was entertaining but utterly out of his depth and frankly on another planet.

        There were some excellent questions and the meeting was good-natured. The TUSC candidate Pat McLaughlin spoke with conviction but was heckled by a Tory plant with a jumper draped around his shoulders, who reckoned to be a Rotherham lad from a working class background. I wasn’t convinced; he had an accent that I didn’t recognise as English let alone Rotherham. The obvious plum in his gob meant that poor old Pat couldn’t understand his heckles.

        The Tory candidate, Sebastian Lowe, told us how he came from a workless Manchester family. Again, I wasn’t convinced.

        The Lib Dem, Janice Middleton, spoke well as did Labour’s Sarah Champion. The meeting was ably chaired by Rev Alistair Sharp.

        I enjoyed the debate but was disappointed by Jane Collins’ no show. I wonder if her libel hearing is imminent and that’s why she dipped out.


    • I’m just glad I didn’t go – an afternoon of tests at Royal Hallamshire had left me fairly exhausted. .
      Did the English Democrat turn up/say anything… ?


  4. All sounds very depressing. The claims by the outgoing MP that the police would not talk to him are curious. Firstly, in such circumstances why did he not refer the matter to his colleague the Home Secretary? Secondly, if that had not produced co-operation then why did he not raise the issue in the Commons where he had the protection of Parliamentary Privilege?


  5. The English Democrats had some thing more important to do apparently, I also was left feeling is this the best we can do for our area; not one of them showed any spirit. I was left feeling that the lot of them did not want to be there. Sir Nutkin has left more questions unanswered than answered. Why did he not condemn the council for not only letting CSE go on unchallenged but were found to be totally incompetent. Why is he surrounding himself with not fit for purpose councillors whilst out campaigning, are they the only ones who will help him? If he wont condemn Rotherham councillors then he is also culpable for their wrong doings. What worries me more than anything is that if what I saw on Saturday was the best that the other parties can do for candidates we may as well ready our selves for Nutkin to carry on squirrelling our money away.
    Dave Smith


      • Regular reader i attended the hustings in Maltby on Friday 24th it was interesting that no new policies were forthcoming from labour just covering old ground. Kevin Barron did tell a member of the audience to shut up not very good from an mp of 32yrs standing the question at the time was about the flat he had sold but it was “in the rules”. I asked a question if it was morally right for mp’s to accept an 11% raise while we are in austerity measures. This is when the heckler who knew kevin barron when he was growing up let rip kevin barron then told him to shut up it seems questions on financial matters seem to rile him my answer was an independant body chose to offer that amount could the mp’s not have taken half of that amount just to show some respect for the electorate oh no the pigs just took everything going


  6. Part of my motivation for asking the church to organise the hustings at Aston was because looking at the parties & candidates on offer I was seriously considering spoiling my ballot paper (something I have never done before). The English Democrat pulled out by email with less than two hours notice. As Dave says the remaining four did little to inspire. So may be on the day the metaphorical “None of the above thank you” box might be “ticked” after all. Sad state of affairs indeed.


  7. The sitting MP knows about the grooming gangs now as it’s been in all the papers since 2012 so you’d think he might mention what he intends to do about the issue on his leaflets.


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