The third episode of Portsmouth’s favourite party-political podcast – hosted by Ian ‘Tiny’ Morris and Simon Sansbury – sees our hosts welcome three guests: Dave Ashmore (Liberal Democrats), Cal Corkery (Labour), and Scott Payter-Harris (Conservative). All three were elected as councillors for Portsmouth City Council on 2nd May 2019.
Each guest chose four questions at random from fourteen questions contained in the Pompey Politics Podcast Pot of Pondering, with some interesting results.
‘We wanted to speak to a winning councillor from each of the main parties,’ said Ian. ‘Cal Corkery had already offered to come on the show to represent Labour. Scott Payter-Harris also got in touch for the Conservatives, and we spoke to Dave Ashmore for the Lib Dems who was more than happy to join in. We’re just a little podcast of two guys prattling on about politics, recorded in someone’s front room so this was good to see’.
The pair created a list of fourteen questions.
1. Why did you get into local politics?
2. What would you say to someone who feels none of the parties represent them?
3. What do you dislike the most about local politics?
4. In what way was your campaign this year different from your previous one(s)?
5. What’s the strangest conversation you’ve had on the doorstep?
6. Why did you win?
7. Which councillor from another party, currently on the council do you respect the most, and why?
8. How do you think your party did in the local elections, compared to the nationals?
9. Which is the biggest challenge facing Portsmouth in the next 18 months?
10. Proportional representation, fairer system, or hands balance of power to extremists?
11. What do you think makes Portsmouth a great city?
12. Should PCC ditch the current cabinet system in favour of greater cross party co-operation?
13. The Australian system of compulsory voting: a good idea?
14. If you could guarantee success for one big, green initiative for Portsmouth what would it be?
Simon said, ‘We came up with seven questions each, but we didn’t want to chose ourselves which questions to ask which of our guests. We needed a way for the guests to pick the questions themselves’.
That mechanism turned out to be the ‘Pompey Politics Pot of Pondering’.
‘With each question written onto a post-it note and placed into the pot, the guests reach in, pick out a piece of paper, unwrap it and answer the question,’ said Simon.
‘A spitefully folded question,’ interrupts Ian. ‘As you will hear from the episode, I have over-engineered the question folding, unintentionally making them particularly fiddly for the guests to open’.
Despite presenting their usual ‘unashamedly biased’ blue and yellow perspectives, the presenters found a benefit to meeting up with some local councillors for the first time.’My grudging admiration for Dave was present in previous episodes,’ said Ian, ‘but I’d never met Cal before. We’ve had disagreements online over policy and viewpoint, but having met the guy, I’ve got a better understanding of what he’s about, where he comes from and why he cares so deeply about the circumstances of the people in Charles Dickens [ward].’
Finally, our hosts conclude there may be hope locally for more focus on policy and finding solutions to the many problems faced by the city and its inhabitants, instead of political point scoring that frustrates the public no end.