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Cardiff South & Penarth

Cardiff South & Penarth is located in south Wales. The seat was created in 1983 and has been held by Labour ever since.

The current member of parliament is the Labour party’s Stephen Doughty who has served since the by-election in 2012.

2010 General Election Results (Adjusted for non-voters)
Cardiff South & Penarth 2010
2012 By-Election Results (Adjusted for non-voters)
Cardiff South & Penarth 2012

For more information, click here to visit the Wikipedia article.

Candidates

Ross Saunders

Background
I am Secretary of Cardiff Against the Cuts and the Socialist Party. I believe in standing up for a fair deal for ordinary people. I have campaigned alongside the communities of Cardiff against the closure of Splott pool, Grangetown play centre, Rumney library, the STAR centre and Channel View leisure centre by the Labour council and against the closure of the Eastern leisure centre by the Liberals and Plaid Cymru.

While we have won most of those battles so far it has become clear to me that they will return to attack all these facilities again. So we need a real fight at national level against all these parties to prevent further devastating cuts.

And Thatcher-loving UKIP are even worse – their leaders want even greater cuts and the privatisation of the NHS. If elected I pledge not to accept an MP’s inflated salary and expenses and I will live on an average workers’ wage, giving the rest back to community and workers’ struggles.

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
Politicians are out of touch with us, but completely in touch with big business! Their incomes sky-rocket with the rest of the rich while we get cuts to our income and cuts to the services we rely on as well. I will take no more than a third of the inflated MP’s salary – an average workers’ wage, and donate the rest back to campaigns. I will hold regular meetings locally and surgeries for people to come along and report their issues. We need a complete change of politics – run for ordinary people and where their representatives only rise in the world alongside the people they represent.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
The reason politicians like Cardiff’s Labour councillors are trying to slash services in the south of Cardiff to ribbons is that none of the existing parties are willing to stand up and fight for them. They support the austerity agenda and try and convince us that cuts are necessary, or they promise to fight, only to give up at the first obstacle. I think I’ve demonstrated, in my anti-cuts campaigning and, before that, as the schools convenor for the Unison union at Cardiff Council, that I’m willing to do what it takes to fight for jobs and services. The best things about me, though, isn’t me – it’s the organisation I’m a part of. We pledge to stand up for the millions, not the millionaires. Unlike the other parties, TUSC won’t be representing the failing free market and ultra neo-liberal austerity merchants.
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
Unfortunately, Steve Doughty has not used the short time that he’s been Cardiff South and Penarth’s MP to build up support for an alternative to the cuts consensus that is seeing our NHS and other services ripped to shreds. Like all but five Labour MPs, he voted in favour of continuing Tory austerity if his party forms the next government. Locally, he tried to help out his party colleagues in the Labour Council by passing off as “brilliant news” the Council’s plans to close leisure facilities in the STAR area and replace them with a cut-price hub with no sports hall. Barely 12% of registered voters supported him in 2012. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but the big-business domination of the party he’s a part of will mean that it will impossible for him to do what’s necessary to fight to defend the jobs and services ordinary people rely on.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
Yes. Austerity is working very well…for the rich! It’s a massive con – a way of transferring wealth from the pockets of the poor into the bank accounts of the rich. We need public ownership of the banks and finance houses that have made billions out of poverty and despair and for all the main necessary services to be publicly owned and controlled by ordinary people. Public anger is starting to turn the tide, so many of the parties are now saying they’re against austerity, but they are planning in fact to implement another round of austerity by another name.
5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
To the pound-shop Enoch Powell’s of UKIP or the Sun I say ‘Stop blaming migrants for the crisis in Britain – a crisis created by the economic system and the bankers at the top’. To bosses I say ‘we’ll stop you seeking ever cheaper, easy to exploit labour as a way of pushing down all our wages’. We’ll build homes and pay decent wages to all workers. The establishment want cheap labour but they don’t want the bill to provide decent homes and jobs for all. I oppose racist immigration controls but think it is crucial all workers are paid the rate for the job, to stop the wages race to the bottom. Migrants are often super-exploited and pay more into the economy than they take out. But it’s also true that government cuts means there’s insufficient public services, schools and homes in many, often poorer, communities and that must stop now.

Or another possibility: Britain today is a society run in the interests of the 1% not the majority. Fat cat employers hire the workers they can get away with paying the least, and then try to lower all our wages in a ‘race to the bottom’. That is why Paul Sykes – who has bankrolled UKIP! – and many others have employed migrant workers. As a trade unionist I think we can stop the employers dividing us by getting organised to fight for decent wages and conditions for all.

Migrant workers play a crucial role keeping our public services running. At the same time government cuts are destroying our public services, schools and homes while more and more people are using them, leading to inevitable resentment. That is why we need a united campaign for homes, public services and jobs for all.

6. Many people are concerned about the cost of living in the UK, with wages having failed to rise in line with the price of food, energy and rent in recent years. How can this be corrected?
A £10 an hour minimum age is needed NOW, not the pitiful £8 in 2020 planned by Labour. Nationalising the energy companies is a no-brainer. I think that should be extended to the other big monopolies as well, including the supermarket giants. We could decide democratically what a fair price is, and what a fair salary for management and the workforce would be.
7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
Stop the downgrading of A&E and Maternity services in South Wales, starting with reversing plans to cut the services at Royal Glamorgan in Llantrisant, which will put even more pressure on the over-burdened Heath. To have featured in a national newspaper with a queue of TWELVE ambulances waiting to unload their patients is a scandal. We need more medical staff trained up, including paramedics and nurses, and they deserve a decent pay rise too! We need a corresponding huge investment in social care to alleviate the pressure on beds due to patients not being able to leave hospital due to no support in the community or at home. They say there’s no money left in the country to pay for all this but how is it, then that the income of Britain’s 100 billionaires could skyocker last year by 20%? Nationalising the pharmaceutical industry (whose bills make up 25% of NHS costs) would also save money – no profit-making out of illness.
8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
There’s enough building material lying idle to build a city the size of Cardiff, thousands of construction workers out of work or scraping by, and an acute shortage of housing that is seeing people in Cardiff setting up home in somebody’s garage. The government should step in and create the jobs necessary to combine these elements, build council housing and cut the housing shortage. That’s just an example: we need a programme of public works to get the 2 million unemployed and the millions more who are “underemployed” back to work. I’m in favour of a shorter working week as well for all workers to allow people to work and live a little, with the extra cash needed for wages coming out of the bosses’ pockets.
9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
There certainly aren’t enough socialists in parliament! Working class women and men are not sufficiently represented. Parliament and the government should reflect the communities represented but the electoral system we have doesn’t and we think that we need to look at how the system can be changed so that it can more fairly reflect different politics and types of people that make up the population.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
I’d say ‘Out of the bosses’ EU,’ and let’s build a socialist Wales, Britain and Europe. We reject the narrow nationalism of Tory and UKIP opposition to the EU. The establishment parties are only arguing over how best for the wealthy to rule, in or out of Europe.

In a previous answer I said that the ultra-free market is failing. The EU is the free market gone mad and it’s messing up the European economy because it’s designed for big companies, not the working peoples of Europe. That’s why it’s also an undemocratic stitch up – for instance if any of its people vote to reject an EU policy they’re ignored and told to vote again until they get the ‘right’ answer

We’re for uniting Europe, but on an equal and socialist basis; the existing system is impoverishing many and breaking up Europe.

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