The Howling at the Hustings in Hastings

Katabasis, Going Postal
Hastings Promenade
SLR JesterLicence CC BY 2.0

As some of you already know I attended the hustings for the Hastings and Rye constituency this week. I was not originally planning to write up a post on the matter. However, given the truly appalling behaviour of the bussed in attendees and the fact they and the worthless media have apparently operated in cahoots to unjustifiably smear the Conservative candidate, Sally-Ann Hart, I wanted to put on record what was actually said and what actually happened at the hustings from an eyewitness point of view.

The event took place at Hastings Sixth Form College, next to the main railway station. Contrary to what many might suppose this did not mean it was packed full of students. There were a few visibly in attendance but mostly volunteers from what I could gather.

The largest bloc in attendance by far was the Momentum and Extinction Rebellion activists. There were so many of them, they must have bussed them in from all over East Sussex. They took over several of the seating rows towards the back and quite a few seats on the front row. I’m sure we’ll find this tactical arrangement in some idiotic Momentum strategy leaflet somewhere. Whatever their strategy they had sufficient numbers to completely and utterly dominate the proceedings. More on that shortly.

Extinction Rebellion also had a presence and many of the young adult faces present who weren’t student volunteers seemed to be involved (Momentum by the way had a distinct “Gammon” look). I dodged one of them attempting to hand me a leaflet on the way in only to find they had put one on every single seat inside. How environmentally conscious.

The candidates present were as follows:

Peter Chowney (Labour)
Nick Perry (Liberal Democrats)
Peter Crosland (Independent – but technically a Green)
Sally Ann-Hart (Conservative)

The candidates were individually announced and led to the stage, each to a smattering of applause. I thought this augured well initially until Sally-Ann Hart was introduced. It was then I realised just how many Momentum attendees there were. Boos, groans, hisses, incoherent grumbling greeted her. What applause she did get was drowned out.

Peter Chowney, the Labour candidate was announced last and there was a deafening eruption of cheers, clapping and hooting. Anyone attending the event with no knowledge of Hastings and its local politics would be forgiven for thinking Hastings was an overwhelmingly Labour seat. It would be more accurate to say that it was in fact a gerry-mandered Momentum audience.

Most of the questions, thankfully, focused primarily on local issues. Many had been received by the organisers beforehand so there were limited opportunities for questions from the audience. I had my hand up regularly but alas was not picked. A shame as I was planning to trigger the activists present by opening with “There is NO climate emergency”.

It was at this point the Momentum Mong Mob really got into their stride. Almost every single attempt by Hart to respond was drowned out by the howling bladder bursting conniptions of the arrayed wankerati. Any neutral attendees, especially those sat towards the centre would have been unable to tell you what was actually said that night.

I had serendipitously picked a seat towards the front and on the edge where acoustics were perfect. I could hear what the candidates were saying even above the hysterical din from the hard-of-thinking, even with several of them sat in the row in front of me.

Sally-Ann Hart was not the only victim of the mob’s mewling. Any time either the chair or one of the other candidates went off-message (which was surprisingly often), they were subjected to the same treatment. Chowney was the only person on stage who did not receive a single heckle, or was not shouted down at some point.

A particularly interesting exchange occurred when the issue of how funds had been irresponsibly spent on developments in Hastings came up. Chowney as the head of the council was in the picture for this, despite washing his hands of it. Both the Lib Dem candidate Perry and the chair held him to account on this. Cue immediate howling from the mob trying to drown the both out.

The Independent candidate, Crosland was a pleasant surprise. He said up front he was a member of the Green Party but was not representing them. I could see why after some of his answers. He believed in “the Climate Emergency” of course but was refreshingly off message and free-thinking on a number of issues. One example was when the issue of defence at the EU came up. There was a stunned silence when Crosland stated he thought the UK needs to have an independent military and foreign policy and should have nothing to do with any EU defence union.

I also warmed to Crosland as he genuinely seemed to care about Hastings and, by all appearances, is one of the very few Greens I have encountered who literally put his money where his mouth is. He inherited a substantial fortune at some point and apparently used it to help sixty people in Hastings with housing costs. He also said he opposed any high speed line from Hastings into London because he didn’t want the soul ripped out of the town. Interesting. Out of the four candidates up there I genuinely though he would be the one I could most likely go for an affable pint with in spite of our myriad of political differences.

Even the Lib Dem candidate came across well. Obviously we couldn’t be more opposed politically, however he gave off an air of confidence and competence I haven’t seen in a Lib Dem since Nick Clegg and Paddy Ashdown. He was also very well informed regarding local issues.

At a personal level, I think Sally-Ann Hart’s cut-glass English diction and accent would put a number of Hastings people off. That’s the only thing I could fault her with though, and of course it’s not a fault just a sad fact in our increasingly divided nation. She handled herself very well, was very on top of her brief and utterly unafraid to state “unpopular” opinions in spite of the overwhelming hostility from the rent-a-mob. She expressed unambiguous support for Brexit, for the Fishing industry, for free markets and a small state. She also brought up how much damage mass immigration has done to the UK infrastructure (to screeches of “Waycist” from the usual suspects). All in all I was very impressed and I think she will be a very good MP for Hastings and Rye.

Then there was Chowney. Obviously used to having things his own way, he gave off the kind of smugness that comes naturally to someone who already believes themselves to be in an unassailable position. Not least because he had a couple of hundred footsoldiers there with him. If he had an ounce of integrity he would have asked his followers to kindly STFU and let the other candidates speak. He didn’t. He’s also been accused by a Hastings ex Labour councillor of definitively being part of Labour’s anti-semitism problem. Thanks to the mob, Chowney had an unopposed run from the audience.

And thanks to the hacks in the audience and in our worthless media, the smearing of Sally-Ann Hart as a result of out-of-context misquotes from last night have now gone viral and it is just about the only thing most people will now “know” about her.

Both the Metro and the BBC have accused Hart of claiming that disabled people should be paid less and that people with learning disabilities. Cue another tedious 48 hour news and social media cycle of the Wankerati wanking themselves into an outrage frenzy.

The only problem – of course – is that what you have heard isn’t true.

Here – is Sally-Ann Hart’s position as I understood it:

The wider context of the discussion taking place at that moment in time was the welfare system. Hart stated that she thought Universal Credit was a good idea in theory but that in practice it had been poorly executed. A question was then put to her about her expressing support for this article in the Spectator. She then did her best to develop a subtle argument that is broadly in line with that piece – to wit: that the opportunity to work brings dignity, socialisation and happiness to many disabled people that otherwise would be utterly absent from their lives. And it follows from this that the minimum wage legislation is a bit of an obstacle and that exceptions should be made for disabled people who want to work by allowing employers to take them on for lower pay. It’s a perfectly reasonable argument.

But of course Mongmentum and the Outrage Wankerati don’t do subtle. It’s no accident that arguing with them is like arguing with a brick. Inert, dense and immovable.

She DID NOT say that disabled people should be paid less.

She DID argue that if current wage legislation was a barrier to them even getting an opportunity, this should be reviewed.

She DID NOT say that people with learning difficulties don’t understand money  (note the implied “all”).

She DID argue that SOME people with learning difficulties don’t understand money. A fact that is simply, manifestly true. I have a close relative with severe mental difficulties and I can tell you after many years of helping to care for her that she doesn’t understand money. I can also tell you that she would love sorting through cans that are to be recycled and taking the openers off them for a handful of quid an hour. Even more so if she got to tell other people to take them off.

You wouldn’t be able to get any of this from the clip a Momentum muppet sent to the Metro though, as the cacophony of outrage is drowning out what she’s saying anyway.

I find it utterly appalling that no one outside that room knows what was actually said and instead we see the construction of yet another ‘Tory monster’. It’s despicable. As many of you know I’m happy to put the boot in when the Conservatives deserve it but only if it’s a matter of fact. This kind of institutionalised grief-wanking in the media, with no regard for the truth, is one of the major factors that is steadily disintegrating what is left of civil society and discourse.

However, the evening did have an utterly spectacular finish and will keep me warm with laughter for a long time to come…..

The final victim of the mob was some poor kid – and he was a kid – who had just completed his PhD studying methods of measuring public opinion. His first post PhD project was to carry out a poll of the people of Hastings and Rye on their voting intentions. He was attempting to explain the methodology of his survey team but – you guessed it – the mob shouted over this poor young, bespectacled wall-flower and finally had to be reigned in by the chair. One of the outraged shouts I heard was “why weren’t WE asked?”.

I had a feeling this was going to be good…..It was.

You can see my screenshot below.

The travelling Momentum circus think that because they’re all gobshites and believe in mob rule they can determine what people will do in the last safe space left to the rest of us – the ballot box.

Not only did the poll show – and this is probably the single most accurate poll you will see for this ward – a ten point lead for the tories but it was also nearly a ten point swing TO the tories from the last election.

The the howls – and I mean HOWLS – of outrage began. I stood up and much to the irritation of the mongmentards nearby,  surveyed them, laughing hard. Laughing loud. Laughing long.

Electoral Calculus – Hastings and Rye: Seat, Ward and Prediction Details

© Katabasis 2019

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