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Church in Wales
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'Campaigning has begun badly skewed': Archbishop of Wales urges politicians to re-balance agenda

by Tola Mbakwe

Most Rev John Davies released a statement on Thursday ahead of the General Election on 12th December.

He said: "Brexit, which has dominated so much of the country's public discourse and political agenda for so long, does need to be sorted before we all despair.

"But it has all but airbrushed from the scene and taken off the agenda other critical issues which we continue to face, and with which many individuals and groups within society and the wider world, continue to struggle. These issues are much too serious for that to be so."

Archbishop John highlighted climate change, the refugee crisis, modern slavery, trafficking and spending cuts on public services as serious issues that deserve the attention of politicians.  

"In the campaign that has already begun – badly skewed, poorly focused and too noisily some would say - we deserve to, and need to, hear about these issues again," he said.

"We must demand that they are debated honestly and carefully for the sake of our integrity as a country and as a national family. And we must be allowed to hear about them through honest, reasoned and respectful debate, and not by means of a strident, emotive and, frankly, shameful, highly personal style of debate, a style that has both debased and disfigured the scene for too long."

The archbishop encouraged people to vote, to take part in debates and also to help their friends and neighbours who may be reluctant to go out on dark winter days, to get to polling stations.

"The right to vote is a freedom we take for granted, a freedom hard won, and a freedom that is not universally enjoyed throughout the nations of the world. So, I urge you to exercise your right," Archbishop John said.

"God calls us all to live and work for the common good, and Jesus is uncompromising in directing our attention to needs of the poor, the marginalised and the downtrodden.

"The Church has both a right and a duty to maintain that crucial message in the cause of creating a just society, where all have fair play and where all find hope.

"May we all work for, pray for and call for a campaign, conducted with, and characterised by, honesty, integrity, respectful disagreement, and reasoned debate, so that, come the election, we will feel informed rather than bewildered, enthused rather than weary."

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