On 16 May, Plaid Cymru launched its election manifesto Action Plan 2017, under the heading ‘Defending Wales.’ The 51-page document is broken down into 11 different sections, covering themes such as health, the economy, caring for those in need, giving every child a chance, rural Wales and Wales on the global stage. A summary of the key points can be found via the BBC website
What does it say about love, freedom, justice and truth?
Plaid highlights a number of policies which could foster a more loving society. In the Healthier and happier Wales section, Plaid promises to “train and recruit an additional 1,000 doctors and 5,000 nurses” and calls for increased funding into mental health services. In Caring for those in need, they pledge to improve the benefits system and policies around housing, to make them fairer, increase support for veterans and create a living pension.
The theme of freedom is found chiefly in Plaid’s commitment to human rights, for example in their pledge to publish a human rights charter for Wales. Religion is not explicitly mentioned (which was also the case in the 2015 manifesto), but only the protected characteristics of gender, race and sexual orientation. Support for international religious freedom can perhaps be inferred.
Plaid’s perspective is that Wales has suffered as a result of UK government neglect and underinvestment. Rectifying this injustice is a central priority. Plaid is usually at the forefront of calls for further devolution to Wales, which is not surprising, bearing in mind its long-term goal of Welsh independence.
On criminal justice specifically, Plaid call for the creation of a Welsh legal jurisdiction that reflects the needs of Wales. Plaid also pledge to improve access to justice and offer greater support for victims. Plaid opposes the super prison that has been earmarked for Port Talbot, which it says “will become a dumping ground for criminals from all over the UK”. The need for prison places in Wales for women and youth offenders – currently housed in prisons in the Bristol area – from south Wales is also cited by Plaid.
What will be of particular interest to evangelical Christians?
- Action Plan 2017 isn’t as broad in its scope as some of the other party manifestos. This reflects both a pragmatism on Plaid’s behalf and a decision to focus energies on policy areas where Plaid can make a difference. There are perhaps less policies mentioned as a result that will be of immediate interest to evangelical Christians.
Where can I find out more?
- The full Plaid Cymru manifesto is accessible here: www2.partyof.wales/actionplan17
- The Christians in Politics page on Plaid Cymru can be found here: www.christiansinpolitics.org.uk/guide-to-plaid-cymru
- CARE’s page on Plaid Cymru’s manifesto can be found here: engage17.org.uk/archives/1756.
Image used under CC 2.0 credit Keith Morris