Proper Support for War Veterans

I was very impressed with Plaid's video on Channel 4's Political Slot last night:


As with pensions, it is another good example of how Plaid is making a significant contribution not just to politics in Wales but for the benefit of the UK as a whole.

However this video isn't just a soundbite. This is something that I know has concerned Elfyn Llwyd—a barrister with plenty of experience of the problems faced by ex-servicemen—for some years. As he mentioned in the video, the UK is very bad at integrating some of our ex-service personnel back into civilian life.

Even for those fortunate enough to avoid the physical wounds, no one in the services who has seen war can fail to be deeply affected by their experience, and far too many develop behavioural problems because of it. Some are left to cope on their own, for some it is taken out only on their families and friends, but for others it is taken out on society as a whole. A hugely disproportionate 10% of the UK's prison population are ex-servicemen, a figure which required a good deal of investigative work to obtain ... and perhaps unsurprisingly, as it is a terrible indictment both of the lack of support available and of how much the government has wanted to sweep the problem out of the public eye. Our ex-service personnel deserve—and we owe them—much more help than they are getting at present.

Plaid's team at Westminster has produced a detailed background paper on work in support of our veterans: the problems, what is good and bad about the current provision and some concrete suggestions about how to improve the situation. It is available from Plaid's website as a pdf here. However I have to say that the format (since it is set out for printing as a booklet) makes it very difficult to read. So perhaps people will find this version a little easier, especially if you need to print it out:

     Support for Veterans

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