We're not entirely sure why this is, but we'll posit some possibilities:
- The interviewer didn't ask. So, far, the only other candidate who has not been asked about it is the Nazi David Jones, but you would have thought it was the ideal question to ask a Green candidate. But it's a strong possibility.
- The interviewer did ask, but Ruth refused to answer and/or asked to have her words deleted from the interview. Seems highly unlikely, but a possibility.
- Ruth thought it was best not to mention it. Although there were chances to raise the issue herself, in relation to transport for example, Ruth thought better of it for fear of 'losing votes'. This is also a strong possibility.
- Ruth thinks it's irrelevant - she simply doesn't think it's an issue in Stalybridge and Hyde. Inconceivable.
Historically, Green candidates in Tameside - and even Tameside Green Party itself - have been fainthearts in relation to this issue: it's simply not been an issue that they have taken up at a political level in the area. Indeed, at the Public Inquiry, a representative from Friends of the Earth in Stockport was the only person from a mainstream Green organisation to be combative about the issue and subject the promoters to scrutiny. In her local election address in this week's local papers, the prospective Green Party Council candidate for Longdendale - Melanie Roberts - makes absolutely no reference whatsoever to Bypass 2.0.
Politicians of all stripes are usually more than keen to tell us both what they are for and what they are against. You would have thought that the issue of a road scarring the beautiful landscape of Longdendale & Glossopdale, promoting more traffic and attendant pollution would be something a Green candidate would have something to say about. But not in the case of Ruth Bergan and Tameside Green Party.
UPDATE 5th May 2010: Ruth Bergan has responded personally to this blog post, and you can follow the discussion by going to the comments. We have offered her an opportunity to make clear her opposition to Bypass 2.0, and she has now taken us up on the offer - you can read the blog post about it here.