Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Jane Dodds highlights the three Es

In an inspiring speech in Caewern boosting Sheila Kingston-Jones' by-election campaign in Bryncoch South [polling on Thursday 23rd November], the newly-elected Welsh Liberal Democrat party leader spoke movingly about her Welshness and the other passions in her life.

She highlighted the environment, Europe and equality as key concerns. More had to be done to combat climate change and she singled out the Trump administration for its retreat from Obama’s pro-environment policies. She felt that Wales could show the way.

She criticised the Conservative government, with the support of the Labour opposition, for embarking on the Article 50 process on the basis of what was, at bottom, a protest vote. Something had to be done about those people who felt they had no future. There had been a failure to inform them about what the European Union had done and could do for them, and the party had a duty to fill that gap.

As a social worker, she daily saw the effects of Conservative government policies, in particular the way that Universal Credit had been applied. There was an increase in what she thought we had once seen the back of, the “working poor” - people stuck in poorly-paid dead end jobs - which, thanks to zero-hours contracts, may not be permanent anyway. We should not be afraid to talk of the use of tax to foster equality – to take more people out of tax at the lower end and increase it on the wealthiest. We should be ashamed that the gap between rich and poor was widening again for the first time since the Thatcher era.

Jane also spoke feelingly about her dedication to Wales, regretting the failure to provide the infrastructure to enable the whole of the nation to fulfil its potential. 

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