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Newport West

Newport West is located in the south of Wales. The seat was created in its current form in 1983 and has been held by Labour since 1987.

The current member of parliament is Labour’s Paul Flynn, who has served since 1987.

2010 General Election Results (Adjusted for non-voters)
Newport West

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

Candidates

Pippa Bartolotti

Background
I have lived in Newport for nearly 30 years, and in that time been saddened at the decline of this once proud city. My political awakening came in 1989 when Margaret Thatcher privatised water. Water is a human right, not to be bought and sold for profit. I studied the offerings mainstream political parties carefully, and finally came upon the open and refreshing transparency of the Green Party. I read the Philosophical Basis, and joined up the same day.

Newport is a polluting city, a garbled mess of architecture with inefficient public transport and poor job prospects. It suffers from a lack of vision. As the MP for Newport West I would apply Green values and Green economics to every vote I would be required to take. I would for example prevent the building of supermarkets on green fields; ensure all new buildings were built to the highest environmental standards; invest in a joined-up public transport system; create jobs in the industries of the future and make sure every child and adult has access to free education and tuition.

My lifetime of running small businesses, working in government, and wide cultural experiences – often backpacking – have brought me a wealth of perspectives which can be applied to political decision making. We are facing unprecedented challenges. Climate change is something we have to face up to and act on without delay. I believe only the Greens are sufficiently detached from the vested interests of big business, and are therefore enabled to act for the common good.

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
One of the things I do is to use the services ordinary residents use. The busses and trains for example. I also go out and about at least once a week to talk to people on the streets of Newport. It’s not enough to do this only at election time, it has to be done year round. The surgery system is good for confidential meetings, but I find people will come up and talk to me at any time. The main thing is being available, approachable, and being visible.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
It is not about me. It is about what I stand for. I truly believe that Green values of social justice and environmental responsibility are the only practical way forwards. We simply cannot let ourselves be steamrollered by multinational corporations into greater inequality and climactic disaster.
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
Paul has been a very successful backbencher. He has been outspoken and sincere. Sadly this approach has changed nothing either within the Labour party, or without.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
Austerity has failed even on its own terms. Penalising the already poor has reduced tax receipts. Squeezing public services has diminished their ability to deliver the resources a modern progressive economy needs. With so many people taking part time and low paid jobs, government has hit the law of diminishing returns – debt has increased as tax receipts have fallen. The coalition government has failed to deliver on its promise to reduce debt, break up the banks and green the economy. Promises to give us more austerity and hardship will not improve matters. It is time to invest in the people and the future.
5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
From the Windrush onwards, recent history tells us that immigration is a necessary part of the planned economy. Most immigrants are of working age, and come here to work hard and earn money. They are in fact net contributors to our economy. By contrast our own population is aging, contributing less and needs more services in the health and social care sectors. In Wales 24% of doctors are immigrants. In fact Wale suffered a net migration loss last year, with 1500 more people leaving than arriving.
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?
The depression of wages hits the poorest hard. There is a simple answer to protect people from poverty, and that is the Citizens Income, and we have put forward a detailed proposal for this in our manifesto. Other ways to protect working people are to lock all wages within a company together so that the highest earners do not earn more than 10 times the wage of the average worker. Top wages can of course go up, but everyone else’s wages must go up in a proportional step. Building energy efficient homes, and properly insulating existing buildings will prevent fuel poverty. Rents should be capped so that landlords cannot take undue profits from tenants. Our social housing programme will make sure everyone has a warm and affordable home in which to live.
7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
The definition of success has to be that all people who need treatment can receive it in good time. Whether that be mental health needs, social care or physical health, Greens would combine these areas and provide a holistic healthcare package centred around every individual. We would also move from having a National Sick Service to a true National Health Service by investing in illness prevention and health and well-being programmes. The NHS as it stands is woefully underfunded for the job it has to do. Greens would inject a one off payment of £12billion pounds to get the NHS on a firm economic footing to face the problems of an ageing population in an increasingly polluted and stressful world.
8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
First of all we need to establish once and for all the principle of a free education for every child and adult in the country. Education is a life-long pursuit, re-training and late learning should be applauded and enabled at every stage of life. We have to face the fact that with increased automation there will not necessarily be enough full time jobs for everyone, but with a Citizens Income to underwrite basic living expenses, and the choices that will bring, there will be enough money to go round, and we will get to the point where people of all ages are not valued for their wealth, but valued to what they can give to society.
9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
In some ways yes. For example having more women in Parliament would encourage more women to take an active part in politics, and bring a different balance to policy formulation and law-making. But the real problem in Parliament is the first past the post electoral system which prevents the true representation which a fairer proportional system would bring. People do not usually vote for a person based on their ethnic background or gender, but on what their values and priorities are. It would be great if Parliament did represent the diversity of the country as a whole, but this should not be a prerequisite for fairness.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
I would guide my constituents to vote for a reformed Europe, and the reforms Greens would like to see would very much include a more bottom up grassroots representation to the European Parliament. Our country has experienced great stability and prosperity from the trading and political partnerships of the EU, and our future is so intrinsically linked to that of our nearest neighbours, that really it would be folly to try and go it alone. Furthermore, the instability made by indecision on this matter is very bad for investors and potential investors in this country. It has been 40 years since the people of Britain voted on the matter. A referendum on a reformed Europe would give a much needed voice to a whole new generation.

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