The frontman of legendary Oldham band Inspiral Carpets has urged local people to support Labour in tomorrow’s by-election. Tom Hingley was joined by two well-known soap actors in backing candidate Debbie Abrahams.
Speaking to Saddleworth News at a Labour event at Tesco on Huddersfield Road yesterday, Mr Hingley, who teaches at Salford University, said he was particularly concerned about the coalition government’s policy on higher education.
He said: “If you look at tuition fees of £6,000 or £9,000 a year. It’s all very well getting out equations and saying in ten years time somebody who stands on one leg and points eastwards might not pay more, but it’s going to put people off from poorer backgrounds.”
Mr Hingley added: “It won’t work, it’ll be a disaster, and we’ll end up losing 30% of higher education capacity in the UK. The parts of it that don’t disappear, say that you’re charging £6,000 a year, £2,000 will be used to tart up the foyer of the colleges to make them look like the set of Ugly Betty, because teaching won’t be important.”
He continued: “We’re being run by total philistines. Everywhere you look, libraries are being closed down. That’s a really serious threat to the knowledge-based economy in the UK.”
Urging local voters to support Labour, Mr Hingley commented: “Alright it’s just (Oldham East and) Saddleworth, but every election matters. And really the other two parties have got no idea of how to deal with the present, they’ve got no idea how to deal with the future.”
He added: “We have to afford education, we have no choice, we have to fund it. And it’s not a matter for idiots who don’t know how to run a higher education system to deputise and make decisions over, because they’re just not right… people had better vote Labour, because it’s the only party who’ve got a song in town at the moment.”
Also announcing their support for Labour yesterday were David Neilson, who plays Roy Cropper in Coronation Street, and John Middleton, better known as Ashley Thomas from Emmerdale.
You can hear Tom Hingley’s thoughts in full here.
Full coverage of the by-election from Saddleworth News, including interviews with candidates and other senior political figures, can be found here.