After the ‘jog’ yesterday, the pace quickened up and we joined the feeding frenzy at Willerby Manor, being interviewed by a series of journos – with reports all over today’s press. the Telegraph, Mail and Hull Daily Mail all encouraged us – still silence from the others. Late last night I made notes of what followed…
Civil liberties suddenly became an immediate issue in the constituency today! We were excluded from a meeting that David Cameron and David Davis had set up with members of the East Riding of Yorkshire Youth Assembly and a number of Conservative supporters.
I had previously been emailed by the Youth Assembly organiser to ask if I would attend an Assembly meeting to discuss the issues with David Davis. I had replied saying I would be delighted. I have attended several Assembly meetings – which are usually held in Beverley where I live. I had also requested David Davis to include us in meetings to debate the issues to which he had agreed.We turned up at the school and were kept out. First we were refused entrance to the site, then, after great debate with the Head, we were allowed into a side room with the promise that we could meet the young people after the Tory meeting. Chris Abbott, the head teacher, was very helpful, but had little control over arrangements for the ‘private hire’ of a room in the school premises. We were horrified at the high degree of police presence and the fact that our promised discussion with the young people had been hijacked and turned into a one party PR event for the Tories with no opportunity for legitimate debate.
I tried to tackle the Dave Duo on this when they came out of the building (a friendly journalist had lent me a mike), but they had clearly been made aware of my intention and dived into their car (whilst a policeman held me back) as if they were in some sort of danger. Obviously even they realise they have a lot to hide. So much for civil liberties!
After the ‘dignitaries’ had departed the Youth Assembly came to meet us. We had a great discussion about what had just happened: they could see this was unfair – ‘That’s not democracy!’ said one representative.