Leader – Dashers and dancers

HC Crest

Mull the wine, mince the pies, decorate the tree, wrap the presents and then… off to the polling station we go! That’s a big ask in December. Voters would rather be with their families, candidates would just as soon not be pounding the pavements after dark, and election officials are struggling to lay on their fourth poll in as many years. Yet the dutiful citizens of Hackney are doing their level best to honour their civic responsibilities.

Would that the same could be said of all our elected representatives. The short notice on which the election was called has meant that hustings have been few and far between. Due to the compressed electoral timetable, the Citizen has been obliged to confine itself to the four-page election pull-out you will find in this issue rather than holding an election debate. Extinction Rebellion valiantly came to the rescue, however, staging hustings in both Hackney North and Hackney South. MP Meg Hillier was there in the South, together with her main opponents. But what of Diane Abbott? On the night of the Hackney North hustings, the local MP was tweeting about canvassing in Westminster.

Local residents will no doubt reflect on what this means for their MP’s commitment to her constituents. The grace of Abbott’s solid majority is that the voters of Hackney North can cast their ballot for what they believe. And if they believe in democracy, they may think twice about voting for someone who cannot even be bothered to turn up and answer their questions.