Croydon North: Official Monster Raving Loony Party's John Cartwright answers your questions
JOHN Cartwright, candidate for the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, answers questions submitted by readers for the Advertiser's public debate ahead of the Croydon North by-election on Thursday.
Richard Atkins, of South Norwood asked: "What would each candidate do to continue Malcolm Wicks' legacy?"
Mr Cartwright said: "No candidate in this election has the capacity to match the depth of Malcolm's commitment to the people of Croydon North.
"I would try to listen to people's ideas and address their concerns, and not be restricted too much by rigid ideology."
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Eileen Gale, of Thornton Heath, and a number of other people asked: "What are your views on the proposed incinerator on the Croydon/Sutton border?"
JC: "I am against it. It will pollute Croydon North with toxic pollutants and particles, will be inefficient and expensive to run, and will only be viable if it brings rubbish in from all over the south east of England."
Steve Turner, of South Norwood, and Ryan Earl from Thornton Heath both asked: "What actions would you take to address high youth unemployment in Croydon North?"
JC: "Allow people and entrepreneurs to invest in businesses and companies according to what the customer wants. Investment or schemes from central government would be wasteful in the long term because they depend on paying middle-men to second-guess (usually inefficiently) what they think should be the recipient of investment."
Jonathan Cope, from South Norwood, asked: "What approach would you take to reducing crime in Croydon North?"
JC: "The judges who sentenced last year's rioters and looters to substantial sentences had the right idea. People who choose to commit crimes need to learn to understand they will not improve their own community by stealing, robbing, cheating or mugging people. Immediate prison sentences for all burglars, for example, will make others think before committing crimes."
Liam Fretwell, from South Norwood, asked: "What have you done, prior to this election, to help Croydon North and the people who live there?"
JC: "I was a candidate in three ward by-elections in Bensham Manor in 1996, 2004 and 2007, during which I enlightened the voters with several thousand leaflets explaining my brilliant policies and uplifting them with my charismatic leadership qualities."
A number of readers asked: "What will you do to address the shortage of school places in the north of the borough?"
JC: "This is primarily a question for the local authority. I would look carefully at the formula and regulations on how places are allocated. But remember – there is no magic wand and we can't conjure up lots of new places at zero extra cost."
One of the key questions was: "If you had control of the £23 million pledged to Croydon following last summer's riots, how would you spend the money."
JC: "Go to the supermarket in London Road and buy 936 million chocolate biscuits."
Vipul Dudhaiy, of Norbury, asked: "What would the candidates do to improve Croydon's negative image problem?"
JC: "The only people who have a negative view of Croydon are the people from outside Croydon who are jealous of the fact that Croydon is culturally, intellectually, historically, and in every other way, vastly superior to anywhere else. Such people need to be cured of their delusions with enlightening and uplifting propaganda."
Anne Viney, of Norbury, asked: "If elected, what would you do to ensure young people growing up had a decent chance of owning a home in the area?"
JC: "Ensure a thriving, successful market economy in which prosperity and efficiency will gradually improve. Above all, that means avoiding the return of the catastrophic Labour government which spent and borrowed too much and which we couldn't afford. Keep calm, carry on, and vote Loony."