Saturday 6 December 2014

Saturday Interview: Candi Chetwynd

Candi Chetwynd is a Stoke-on-Trent Labour activist who stood last year in the contest to succeed Joan Walley as Labour's parliamentary candidate in Stoke-on-Trent North. She is also hoping to contest a seat for Labour in 2015's local council elections. You can follow Candi on Twitter here, or if you live in Stoke-on-Trent expect to see her on a doorstep near you.

Why do you want to be a Labour councillor?

To fight for social justice locally. I am tired of seeing inequality, low pay, and lowered aspirations distributed according to post code. People deserve better.

Have you ever been tempted to take up blogging?

I have thought of blogging quite a few times but can never find the time.

Do you find social media useful for Labour things?

Yes. Social media is the second most effective tool to campaign. Nothing beats face to face political discussions though.

Who are your biggest intellectual influences?

My good friend Phil BC, Neil Thompson and Stephen Hawking.

What are you reading at the moment?

I enjoy reading about the life of Saints each day but I'm sorry to say I'm not a huge reader. I try to on holiday. I like facts, figures, statistics and maps. I read online and follow news feeds and articles.

Do you have a favourite novel?

Erm ... Fantastic Mr Fox!

Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major influence on how you think about the world?

Not a book, but most recently watching Prof Brian Cox talk about the universe is amazing and makes me appreciate how miraculous life really is.

What was the last film you saw?

Immortals. I have seen it before. 7/10.

How many political organisations have you been a member of?

Just the Labour Party!

What set of ideas do you think it most important to disseminate?

Hate crimes, stereotypes and discrimination. Education is needed to ensure these are made history. Questions of standard of living, quality of life, human rights and respect need to be put at the forefront.

What set of ideas do you think it most important to combat?

Racism, sexism, fundamentalism and greed.

Who are your political heroes?

Dennis Skinner and anyone else who is unafraid to say exactly what they think is right regardless.

How about political villains?

Anyone who is in politics for the wrong reasons. Greedy people who enjoy fame at others' expense.

What do you think is the most pressing political task of the day?

Saving the NHS and increasing funding.

If you could affect a major policy change, what would it be?

I would significantly raise the payment of Carers Allowance as it is at an unbelievably low rate considering the amount of work, care, dedication and selflessness it demands. Caring is a vocation.

What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world?

Nuclear weapons. The fear of global life as we know it ending on a split second decision. We should be at a point in our history of civilisation where weapons are mere historical artefacts.

What would be your most important piece of advice about life?

Live everyday to the full, making sure you are true to yourself and others. Appreciate the small things. Smile and say thank you.

What is your favourite song?

MC Hammer, U Can't Touch This.

Do you have a favourite video game?

Super Marioland 2 on my Gameboy from when I was 10.

What do you consider the most important personal quality in others?


What personal fault in others do you most dislike?


What, if anything, do you worry about?

The fact that younger people are less likely to vote. I am trying to encourage as many people as possible and if I am elected I will make this a personal campaign.

And any pet peeves?

How processed food is getting.

What piece of advice would you give to your much younger self?


What do you like doing in your spare time?

Socialising with family and friends. Cooking and eating Italian food. Looking at beautiful landscapes.

What is your most treasured possession(s)?

A medallion and necklace that my maternal great grandmother gave to me.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

I eat a lot of cakes and desserts but it's all part of a balanced healthy diet and lifestyle!

What talent would you most like to have?

The ability to eat more pizza on a buffet! No, really to be able to speak more languages.

If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true - apart from getting loads of money - what would you wish for?


Speaking of cash, how, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money?

Regardless of how much cash I had, I'd always support the Labour Party. I would help as many people as possible out of poverty, donate to charity and carry on campaigning.

If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be?

Julius Caesar, Boudica and Florence Nightingale.

You've been a very active campaigner since you joined the party. Would you recommend it?

Absolutely!!! No need for a gym membership anymore! If you want to be active in the community, really know what politics means to other people and fight for justice then campaigning is just the tonic. Campaigning can inspire and encourage more people to vote and get involved, and you get the chance to meet people who have been waiting for an opportunity to talk about what matters to them. It can be very humbling, but is also character building - it's absolutely essential if you're passionate about politics.