Ben Stevenson, the Communist Party candidate for the Croydon North by-election, delivered a cracking contribution to yesterday’s by-election debate on Croydon Radio. It was a great boost to the campaign and his points were well-received by listeners. During the show, one listener commented via the Shoutbox that he “was pleasantly surprised by communist party policies and their practical solutions”.
Mr Stevenson was the first candidate to speak. He attacked the Conservative-led Government’s misguided and totally unnecessary cuts, which were making ordinary people pay for a crisis which is not of their making and directly leading to unemployment in Croydon North. He said, ‘This is a government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich.’
He went to say, ‘Croydon North needs investment in jobs, manufacturing and green technologies. We need to challenge the power of Tesco, Vodafone and the other transnational corporations, who have the resources to ride out the recession, and support local businesses, including cooperative enterprises. Young people now have an awful choice: they can go on the dole or they can rack up huge debts by going to university. This needs to change.’
In response to a question from a listener, about how to avoid a recurrence of the Croydon riots, Mr Stevenson said, “The important thing is to understand why the riots happened. Lack of police accountability was clearly an issue. But it’s no coincidence that the riots occurred across the country in areas of high deprivation and significant unemployment. The key to preventing future unrest is to tackle these problems and offer young people hope through proper access to decent, affordable education.”
Following the programme, Mr Stevenson said, “It was great to have the opportunity to get Communist Party policies across to Croydon Radio listeners. Our campaign is steadily building momentum and I look forward to talking to Croydon North residents over the next few weeks.
“And it’s always good to hear what other candidates have to say. Steve Reed talked a lot but actually said very little. He’s still rooted in a Blairite dead-end and has little to offer Croydon North voters.”
Mr Stevenson concluded, “I was happy not just to put forward our policies in Croydon but also to demonstrate my support for community radio. Communists in Croydon have a long history of involvement in supporting local community initiatives and if Croydon is to be a vibrant borough, both culturally and economically, we need more of these kind of initiatives.”
Listen to the podcast at: http://www.croydonradio.com/podcast/library.php?CatID=7 (click on the ‘Lee, Robin and Ben’ download).