I???ve just got back from seeing David Milliband at Blends, the University of Derby coffee shop. This is part of a series of presentations from political figures that UoD have organised in the run up to the election. These have been excellent and really speaks to one of the unique selling points of UoD. The fact that the University is small makes it feel like a community and people seem willing to come together to discuss these kind of issues on the basis of an all staff email.
We drank coffee, asked questions and gave Milliband a bit of a tough time. He dealt with it very well. He avoided my question about the Labour Manifesto chapter called ???crime and immigration??? and did a few other bits of nifty political footwork. On the whole however he did his best to answer the questions and like a lot of politicians came across as much nicer and less reactionary than when grandstanding on the TV. I can see why people are talking about him as the next Labour leader.
I think that the #leadersdebate have generally had a good influence on politics this time but you still can???t beat a genuine hustings for helping you to think through the issues and put the politicians on the spot. Next time someone should try and co-ordinate a national series of big debates in Town Halls up and down the country. #leadersdebate has turned the whole thing into a sporting event, so lets build on that to help reinvigorate politics.
What are we all going to do with ourselves after Thursday?