This is the chat I had with Alistair Forrest, the UKIP candidate for the Livingston Constiuency. You can find him on Facebook here.
"Sorry to hear that you are not happy with all the candidates I myself am a working man and have been asked to stand for UKIP in the Livingston constituency I am a lorry driver and have a family so I am hard at work trying to support my family and as my wife works shifts in an operating theatre time as you can imagine is a premium. If you wish to find out more about me im on facebook (Alistair Forrest) I have a web site on the UKIP home page http://candidates.ukip.org/ or yahoo messenger and last email email@example.com if there is any thing else you need to ask policy wise or local please do get in touch"
I then emailed:
I was really driving towards the idea that we want to know what you're thinking about. Help us connect with you as a person.Also, using these channels let's you ask questions of the audience too.However, I totally get that you're not able to commit your days to that level of interaction - we've gotta earn a living after all!?What's your view on the budget cuts for the Scottish Government?
And Alistair said:
"Im trying to do this campaing on a shoe string no expenses to try and get people to belive in an honest person can do the constituency a good service plus its not nice when people come knocking on your door at tea time or when you settle down to watch something on tv that you like so im trying to do it slightly different.As for connecting with me in person if I had the time available I would but as I said before need to earn the pennies I have two sons who bleed me and my wife dry with games clothes school trips BB camps and the like
"Policies are a guide to what a party wants to do and I feel that some only do this so you hear what they want you to hear.UKIPS main policy is to get a referendum on the EU as it costs us 40-45 million pounds per day for that priviledge and as we have seen over the past few days it may cost us more if Portugal follows Greece into money troubles other items on policy include a flat rate tax get a curb on immigration so as we get a more level playing field of people coming to the UK who have skills we need others can be seen on the web site link below .As for a lot of the local issues these come under the control of the Scottish parliament not Westminster any more the likes of Policing and Health Care
"hope that this helps in some way towards answering some of the questions dont hesitate to get intouch if you need to ask anything else.
I then asked:
It's always interesting how we think of meeting people "in person" as being face-to-face. I've got some really great friends who I've yet to meet in the flesh, but we connect through networks like Twitter & Facebook.It's great that you messaged me here, for example.I think the opportunity is for you (and the other candidates) to reach out to people in the constituency by sharing what you're doing online.I've learned more about you in this interaction than I have from the UKIP site. I might not agree with all your policies, but I begin to get a feel for who you are.That matters (to more people than just me!).And it can be very quick (and easy) to share yourself with us.My question about the funding of the Scottish Government was more about the Barnett Formula and how UKIP view the cuts needed to bring the economy back into balance - are you for huge cuts now & lots of (possibly unrealistic) efficiency savings, or are you all for a more measured approach?
Alistair replied with:
"I myself would like to see a measured approach wether or not this would happen would be another thing, in principal I agree this would be the best for the country as a whole and not the old four way split between North South East & West which causes enough division as it is. I do not agree with all the UKIP policies because I fel that if we all toed the party line we would all be just robots of the autonimous state
machine, and the one thing as they all say is that I am the typical working man but I feel I am anything but that pigeon holed individual"
And you gotta admire the guys honesty, don't you?!
You can contact him here if you've got any questions.