Organised by Stop Climate Chaos and RSPB, together with local organisations like Sustaining Dunbar and the SSC, a ‘Climate Cafe’ in Haddington’s Town House brought the four EL candidates plus a Green list candidate together over tea and biscuits to field questions in a kind of musical tables format. This event was one of a half-dozen being held across Scotland.
Although Kelsie Pettit of SCC had clearly put in much work to make it succeed, it was not well attended. But the format worked better than I thought; each candidate hosting a table and being grilled by a group for 15 minutes before the group moved on to the next table. It allowed for different styles of interaction to happen simultaneously.
With the exception of one older gent who clearly had come to lecture, rather than ask, I found the challenge worthwhile. Questions ranged over environment, wildlife, transport, planning, sustainability, agriculture, global warming and power generation. It made me dredge deep for knowledge of party policy. I also felt encouraged by people who cared enough to think up and grill potential MSPs with such questions before casting their vote.
It was so consistently intense that biscuits, generously laid out on the tables, did not get touched. If only the other 99% of the electorate would go to such trouble informing themselves then I’d embrace any subsequent election result as a democratic triumph.
p.s. It was recorded, albeit poorly (wrong aspect ratio and poor sound quality)