Mary Macleod is inspired by Hounslow FoodBox

John Dale's Brentford TV looks at the election candidates

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John Dale spent 20 years editing Take A Break before picking up a camcorder and learning how to edit digitally. He's produced a series of videos about Brentford from the serious to the sublime which can be seen on his Facebook page and his YouTube channel called Brentford TV.

In the run up to Christmas he posted two about Hounslow FoodBox and is now directing his attention to the run up to the General Election.

“Like all good ideas, it was something of an incremental process,” says Dale. “I realised that Brentford and Isleworth was a swing constituency and that local media – both print and online – were constrained by limited resources.

“So I thought I’d give voters the chance to know more about candidates. People who’ve seen the first reports have been astonished. They can see a candidate in an entirely new way by watching them being scrutinised as never before”.

Dale’s first interviewee is Brentford’s Conservative MP, Mary Macleod. He confronted her at a local food bank by asking how “a Tory MP who votes for slashing welfare benefits” copes with visiting a place that “feeds the poorest of her constituents?”

He says: “Mary Macleod has never been shown to her constituents in this manner. She’d never been questioned like this. In the past, all people got were a few shiny leaflets and photo-shopped pictures.

“Brentford TV offers much more than that, a new form of hyperlocal journalism. It is a big step for local democracy”.

He stresses that he will be non-partisan. His next plan is to accompany Macleod and her Labour rival, Ruth Cadbury, on a visit to shops along Brentford High Street. Daniel Goldsmith for the Greens is the only other declared candidate.

January 22, 2015

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