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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 April 2005, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Wales voters' panel: John Thorne on week 1

MEET THE PANEL
John Thorne
Name: John Thorne
Age: 58
Lives: Neath
Works: Administration officer
Original voting intention: Plaid Cymru
In 10 words or less:
"Left-leaning, pro-European"

I was interested to see the "main" party leaders begin their travels. I wonder how many voters are impressed by this kind of thing?

Apparently one of them conducted a "visit" in an airport lounge with members of the local press before leaving immediately for the next stop.

I note that 200 job losses have been announced at the Llangadog Creamery. This is in marked contrast to Peter Hain's description of a "booming" Wales.

As Plaid's Rhodri Glyn Thomas pointed out: "200 jobs in a village like Llangadog is the equivalent of 2,000 jobs in a large urban area".

This is an important comment, but it seems that a perception of scale is foreign to the London parties. A similar situation arises when local schools are threatened with closure.

JOHN'S PREVIOUS THOUGHTS

Labour's bogey-man tactics were predictable.

Whilst the much-hyped poll returns suggest that the Conservatives are closing the gap, the nature of the system is such that "level pegging" statistics still give a Labour majority of about a hundred. One for every 1000 people who are now dead because of the attack on Iraq.

Seeing Peter Hain's "thumbs up" gesture in Downing Street brought to mind the little boy whose hands were blown off in the night of "shock and awe". Remember him?

The Tories can't win. That liberates the rest of us to vote out of conscience, not out of fear.





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