'POLITICIANS NEED TO LISTEN TO US MORE' AS Gordon Brown Stood on the Steps of Number 10 to Announce the Date of This Year's General Election and the Major Political Parties Rushed to Weigh Anchor on Their Official Campaigns, CLARE HUTCHINSON Went into the Capital's Coffee Shops to Find out Which Issues Were Closest to Voters' Hearts
Byline: CLARE HUTCHINSON
FOR the students, shoppers and workers who crowded into Cardiff's cafes yesterday lunchtime, each had different issues on their mind when it came to the election.
But they all had one in common - disenchantment.
Amy Davies, 25, and her boyfriend Rhys Williams, 25, were sipping cappuccinos upstairs in the city centre's Coffee#1. Amy, a masters student studying psychology, and Rhys, a supervisor in a city centre bar, both said they found it hard to believe politicians who were engaging in party politics.
"They all say the same thing," said Rhys. "I want a bit of refreshing honesty, somebody to say 'we have got this wrong' and then talk about how to tackle it.
"I'd also like to see them collaborating a bit more. It's hard to take them seriously when you see them all bickering during Prime Minister's Questions."
The pair added they weren't sure what each party stood for and felt there was not enough information directed at their generation.
Rhys said: "I don't hear much that is aimed at me, and people younger than me, which isn't dumbed down.
"I listen to Radio 4 and watch E4 and I feel a bit left out because the issues I hear being highlighted are issues which don't affect me.
"It's all about heating allowances and pensions, which I know will affect me in the future but right now that seems a long way off."
For Amy, petrol prices and public transport fares were top of her list.
She said: "I have to get to the university and to hospital for my course and I'm not earning enough in my part-time job to even cover my petrol. The politicians themselves are not that accessible - they're just a bunch of older men surrounded by lots of bad publicity." Rhys agreed. "It's basically a load of Old Etonians running the world."
Meanwhile Jan Gartside, 76, of Morganstown, said she was hoping for a hung parliament where the Liberal Democrats could flex some muscle.
The grandmother, who is retired, said she had seen her nest-egg investments drop by two thirds in the last decade.
She said: "I care very much about the lack of purchasing power I now have.
"I have a private pension and five, six, or seven years ago I was living quite a comfortable life but now I feel like the poor relative.
"I think the problem is worldwide and I don't hold any one person responsible.
"I'm not a Conservative but I really think they are right when they say it's time for a change. …