Saturday 17 April 2010

My Local Candidates On Creationism

On Wednesday I decided to ask my local candidates for Brentford And Isleworth their views on a subject close to my heart. Since all three candidates have Twitter accounts it seemed like a good forum:
Question for @Ann_Keen, @MaryMacleod4MP and @andrewdakers: should creationism be on the science curriculum alongside evolution? #GE2010
The first response came from - you've guessed it - my Lib Dem PPC, Andrew Dakers, who sent me a public response thus:
I think it is reasonable for creationism to be on the curriculum but I would not advocate it being on the 'science' curriculum.
Good - nice clear response and it is clear he would not be in favour of it being on the science curriculum. This makes me happy.

A day later, the Conservative PPC Mary Macleod sent me a DM (not sure why she didn't feel this was something she could @reply):
I think we should discuss different views within the curriculum including creationism, although this is down to faith perhaps not science.
Really not that clear what she'd be in favour of - do I need to "teach the controversy" or would she be happy enough for me not discussing any supernatural ideas in my science class? As she won't follow me back I can't DM her and ask for further clarification.

And what of our current MP, Ann Keen? Here's her response:
Yeah, that'd be no acknowledgement whatsoever. It would appear from her Twitter feed that she's plenty busy enough metaphorically fellating Gordon Brown and making out that the Labour Party are going to win, but this is by no means the first direct question she has ignored from myself and my husband (Paul has been in touch about the impending closure of the Tropical Zoo).

For the people who are reading the manifestos, who are watching the televised debates and engaging with their local candidates, most are finding that the Lib Dems are doing incredibly well - in some post-debate surveys from Thursday night Nick Clegg had over 60% of the votes. However, there will be problems with likely low voter turnout numbers, along with the "I've voted for X all my life and I'm going to continue to vote for X" lot.


  1. Gawd, I hate it when candidates won't give a straight answer to a question. I consider dodgy answers (or answering the question one wishes had been asked instead of the one that was) to be serious black marks on a campaign record.

    The moment that Joe Biden stood out to me as a candidate to pay closer attention came in one of the presidential nomination "debates" in early 2008. He was asked a simple yes-no question, and answered, "Yes." The moderator waited a moment, then said, "You have 90 seconds to respond. Would you like to expand on that?" Biden leaned back to the microphone and said, "No."

    Granted, there's plenty of regrettable things that come out of his mouth, but I have to admire a candidate that answers honestly and clearly. And I basically agree with Dakers' answer. It's the same response I give to creationists and IDer's I've had to deal with in the classroom: No one's requiring you to believe it, but you are expected to understand it.

  2. Yes, I'm far happier with a straight answer, but we so rarely get one from politicians. I'm hoping to meet Dakers tomorrow - he's coming to talk to my husband's Quaker meeting. And there are hustings and open meetings coming up in the next week or two. Neither Paul nor I intend to give any of the PPCs an easy time!


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