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Mark Eric Griffiths, Torfaen candidate for the Communist Party, answers ten questions from Cwmbran Life readers

Mark Griffiths
Mark Griffiths

Readers of Cwmbran Life were asked to come up with questions for candidates standing for Torfaen. Around 40 questions were submitted on the Facebook page .

You can see all the questions in their original format here. Ten questions were shared with the candidates and here are the answers from Mark Eric Griffiths, Torfaen candidate for the Communist Party.

1. Before you tell me what you intend to do, please tell me what or how you have already, individually accomplished something positive for the people?

I was employed as a Supervisor and Development Officer for MIND.I worked hard to develop Cwmbran Mind Interest Group as part of my remit.They managed to progress from meeting at Assembly Rooms to proper charity premises in Old Cwmbran (where they still are).

2. What would you do in Parliament to help people struggling to find employment and working families who can’t afford expensive childcare?

I would help put people in touch with relevant agencies, as well as campaigning for more jobs, apprenticeships and college places in and around the constituency.Also I would make employers pay the living wage.It is necessary to proactively create worthwhile jobs.I oppose the threatened closure of the university campus at Caerleon. There needs to be more investment in renewable energy and public transport locally. Big employers should fund free or low-cost nursery and child-care places, with more funding from taxes on the rich and big business for local authorities to do the same.

3. The NHS waiting lists in Wales are a disgrace compared to England. People waiting nearly 18 months to have cataract surgery. What are you going to do to protect our NHS and improve waiting times?

I oppose any privatisation or outsourcing of NHS services and facilities. The unfair cuts in the central government block grant to the Welsh Assembly – on top of the unfair Barnett funding formula which the Labour Party leadership supports – is making the position on waiting and ambulance response times worse. We need more investment in training doctors and other medical staff – again, financed from progressive taxation.

4. We only see you out and about at election time. You should be talking to people day in day out to see what problems they face in daily life. What have you been doing since the last election to help people? 

I attended the People`s Assembly in London and took part in the Anti-NATO march in Newport.

5. Would you support the legalisation of assisted dying for people who are terminally ill or are permanently and incurably suffering, in order to protect their right to autonomy and self-determination?

In reality, medical staff exercise a lot of professional judgment in the most difficult circumstances. There is a danger that official facilities to allow assisted dying would put improper pressure on seriously or terminally ill people (from greedy relatives, for example), but ways should be investigated about how best to allow people to choose freely to end a life of unbearable pain. Under public ownership,the pharmaceutical industry would have different priorities to PR promotion and shareholder
profits, carrying out much more R&D on the treatment of life-ending illness and associated pain relief.

6.  If you could change only one thing as the MP for Torfaen, what would it be?

I would abolish the huge inequality in our society which condemns millions of people to poverty,fewer opportunites and a shorter life.

7. I’m a young, first time voter who’s unsure who to vote for. With this election so wide open why should I vote for you?

Do you want a future disfigured by gross inequality, periodic mass unemployment, social and environmental insecurity, militarism and war – or do you want to help build a society based on co-operation, solidarity, tolerance and the peaceful resolution of conflict wherever possible? If the latter, show it in the clearest possible way,by voting Communist.

8.  With a chronic shortage of affordable housing in Torfaen and nationally, what hope can you give to the next generation that they will ever be able to set up a home for their family?

Build more council and social housing, put empty property and idle development land to good use, not privatise existing housing stock and rely on “market forces” – which put profits before people – to meet a fundamental human need.

9. Local Government funding has been cut beyond recognition over the past few years.What will you do to protect local services in local government? 

Restore powers and resources to local government, encouraging cooperation between councils wherever possible and ending the Barnett formula which discriminates against Wales when it comes to Welsh Assembly and local authority funding.

10. Why are you willing to spend £100bn on a weapon system that kills indiscriminately rather than on education, social welfare and the NHS? Scrap trident and you won’t need to make any cuts. In fact you could make an improvement.

We are Opposed to nuclear weapons/further spending thereon and would scrap trident.

Contact Mark Eric Griffiths-

Click here to see the full list of candidates standing for the Torfaen seat

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Mark Eric Griffiths, Torfaen candidate for the Communist Party, answers ten questions from Cwmbran Life readers

Mark Eric Griffiths
Mark Eric Griffiths

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