South Wales East AM Delyth Jewell’s blog: May 21, 2019
News, Opinion | | Published: 13:03, Tuesday May 21st, 2019.
I can’t recall an election campaign quite like this one. An election that wasn’t meant to happen, parties without policies, one unprecedented poll after another. The only certainty at the moment is uncertainty.
Tensions are running high. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s faced intimidation when out campaigning. But I won’t let that stop me. Even in perilous times like these, it’s absolutely essential that politicians get out and actually speak to people. Our democracy depends on honesty, and that’s sadly lacking in some quarters.
Many people tell me they’ve decided to use the election as a chance to protest against actions they don’t agree with.
There is real anger at the shambles the UK Government is presiding over. But some people are more vexed with local issues such as the ongoing scandal of executive officers being suspended on full pay from Caerphilly Council.
I would caution those considering voting for the Brexit Party in order to show their discontent, especially since they’ve refused to announce their policies until after the election.
This sets a very dangerous precedent indeed. What is to stop them, once elected, from then revealing they want to dismantle the NHS, something their Leader has advocated in the past?
While people on both sides of the Brexit divide are understandably upset, one of the main messages on the doorstep is that people are fed up with being misled.
That’s why my party, Plaid Cymru, is being completely open about our policies in this election: we believe that the only way of resolving the Brexit mess is through another public vote. Even people who don’t agree tell me that they appreciate the honesty so they can decide whether or not to support us based on facts. Our manifesto is available on our website for anyone to be able to scrutinise.
Once this election is over there is a big job facing all politicians to restore faith in democracy. We simply can’t go on like this much longer, with the uncertainty around our future relationship with the EU clouding every single day.
And this has to be done democratically, it would be simply unacceptable for a Tory leadership contest to be used to determine all our futures, with a handful of MPs and Tory party members having all the power.
Everyone deserves to have a vote on where we go from here.
We need Brexit to be resolved so that we can get back to the bread and butter issues that affect people’s day to day lives – the NHS, the economy, education and climate change.
The entire Brexit debate has threatened to test the patience of everyone. I am acutely aware of this and am keen to talk to constituents on all sides of the debate about how we can move on constructively.
But this election is important, and I hope that, come Thursday, people all over Wales will use their vote to express their hope for what our country can be. Too much is at stake to stay at home.