I didn’t go to the Mayoral debate this year. I felt that it was a set-up. They way it was run, as reported to me, confirmed my fears. I was informed by people before the event that they had applied for tickets, and had been declined. Yet some of their friends who applied at the same time received them easily. That made me suspicious.
However, this wasn’t my key concern. It was that it was labelled the key Mayoral debate in the campaign. Yet it was run by a business lobby group. The Chamber of Commerce issued its manifesto the day before the debate. The question I wondered about, is did all of the candidates receive the manifesto at the same time?
In the past the Mayoral debate has, for as long as I can remember, been sponsored by the Press. As it should be. They are part of the Fourth Estate and its part of their responsibility to hold politicians to account. Not a lobby group. Like the Chamber of Commerce.
This “debate” is yet another example of the sad state the Fourth Estate is now in. I feel sorry for those who have to deny things are bad and pretend that what happened in this debate is fine. I guess these days the Press just don’t have the money to sponsor this sort of event.
I have no problem with the Chamber of Commerce hosting a debate. I participated at many public meetings hosted by them when I was Mayor. Many of those leading the Chamber are very public-spirited individuals. However, I fear that this was not a “debate” it was a set up to push a particular political position.
Our Mayoral debate was sponsored by a lobby group:I will analyse the Chamber of Commerce’s manifesto next week. I agree with many of the items they raise, and totally disagree with others. Some of what they are promoting is just straight out of the Business Roundtable dogma manual, and is financial rubbish in my opinion.