This is the final candidate profile. I hope you find it informative!
Born and raised in Kidderminster, Mike Parker moved to the area around 15 years ago. He has made a living as a writer and documentary maker. The most famous of his works is probably the “Rough Guide to Wales”, a series of books exploring many parts of the country. It was this, according to Mr Parker, that first led him to falling in love with the area that he later settled in.
In June 2013 Mike Parker was selected as the Plaid Cymru candidate for Ceredigion, his first political role. Of course it would be impossible to write this profile without mentioning the unfortunate incident with the Cambrian News. I’m sure by this point you will all have seen the story so I won’t go into it in detail. The short form is that the Cambrian News wrote an article chastising Mr Parker for a piece he had written 14 years ago about the BNP moving to mid Wales. Any keen followers of Aberystwyth Voice will be aware that I wrote an article which called out the Cambrian News for their poor standard of journalism. That’s all I’ll say about that issue but if you do wish to look into it in more depth you can find my article on the incident here. (https://aberystwythvoice.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/cambrian-news-in-candidate-slur/).
Ceredigion is a parliamentary seat like no other. It has the lowest combined support for Labour and the Conservatives anywhere in Britain (including Scotland). It has however been held by the Labour Party only decades ago. In the 1992 election Ceredigion provided what was possibly the biggest shock out of all 650 constituencies. Plaid Cymru, after forming an alliance with the Green Party, came from fourth place to first and Cynog Dafis was elected as an MP. The alliance between Plaid and the Greens takes a slightly less official form now though they are still co-operating in parliament. It was in 2005 that Plaid lost the seat to the Lib Dems with Simon Thomas, now an Assembly Member, losing by only 200 votes. Ceredigion is classed by most definitions as a Lib Dem safe seat but Plaid are fancying their chances this time. Lib Dem support in Wales is down 75% compared to the last Westminster election and Plaid will believe that with the increased profile they’re enjoying this year they can reclaim the seat they lost ten years ago.
In an interview with the Daily Post, Mr Parker said:
The Lib Dems played a full part in this damaging agenda. Our current MP voted with the Government 97% of the time, and Lib Dem ministers pushed through policies such as privatising Royal Mail and raising tuition fees.
I would offer something different. I truly believe in protecting our public services against another 5 years of damaging cuts, and rejecting the austerity agenda.
We must nurture our small firms and our high streets, and invest in a connected Ceredigion through upgrading transport and broadband. Ceredigion has so much potential – let’s realise it.
So now, as with every candidate profile I will give a brief summary of what Plaid are promising in this election:
- An end to austerity – no more cuts to public services
- Parity with Scotland for Wales – They argue that fair funding would bring an extra £1.2 billion a year to the Welsh budget
- Scrapping the replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system
- 1,000 new doctors for the Welsh NHS
- Scrapping business rates for 70,000 small businesses
- A living wage – meaning a pay rise for 250,000 employees in Wales
Now finally, a little plug for my facebook page. So many more people read the articles than have liked the page so hopefully by including the link at the end of articles now I can start to balance out those numbers.
To read all of the other candidate profiles just go to the home page where they’re all available!