Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Plaid's Liz Saville Roberts does more in a week than some MPs in a year.

Plaid recently made play of figures that revealed that Plaid Cymru MPs were the hardest working Welsh MPs in the UK Parliament in 2016, asking more questions and making more speeches than their Labour, Tory and Lib Dem opponents.

Plaid Cymru MPs spoke, on average, 163 times each in 2016, significantly more than Labour and Tory MPs at 128 and 119 respectively, and the Liberal Democrat MP at 96.

The House of Commons Library’s figures also show that the Plaid Cymru MPs submitted more written questions on average than the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats combined.

The Conservative party was narrowly ahead of Plaid Cymru on voting record, although Plaid Cymru MPs do not vote on England-only matters.

An MP is making a bid to raise the age of army recruitment from 16 to 18 over concerns about the long-term impact on young recruits.

Certainly Liz Saville Roberts has made an impressive part in Westminster since being elected  in 2015
Liz Saville Roberts MP Yesterday she lead a debate in Westminster Hall urging the UK Government to review the minimum age at which a person can be enlisted to the armed forces.
Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Liz Saville Roberts, wil argued that the Ministry of Defence has failed to answer concerns relating to “fundamental standards of welfare and protection”.
A report published by health charity, Medact, in October found that child recruits are more vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol abuse, self-harm, suicide and death and injury during an armed forces career when compared to either their demographically-matched civilian peers or adult recruits.
Ms Saville Roberts  criticised the Ministry of Defence for offering qualifications to young recruits that the Department for Education considers to “suffer from major and fundamental flaws”, arguing that young soldiers deserve the same educational opportunities as their civilian friends.
Numerous international bodies have condemned the United Kingdom for its policy of enlisting children including the United Nations, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and UNICEF.

The Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Liz Saville Roberts,said the debate:

“I have sought this debate because I am concerned about the welfare of young people who join the armed forces. Some believe that any questioning of armed forces’ or Ministry of Defence policy is somehow an “attack” on the institution as a whole. Nothing could be further from the truth.“It is not ‘attacking the army’ to express a desire that soldiers be treated well, and treated fairly, and that their short and long-term welfare is considered a priority in the recruitment and training process.“Dozens of religious, military, legal and policy organisations alongside unions and trusted military professionals have expressed concerns about this policy, including the United Nations, UNICEF and others.“Often the argument is made by those who themselves were recruited as a child, that they had a happy experience of military service decades ago and although I respect the insight that the personal experiences of many can give to this debate, the plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘facts’.“The UK is almost unique in the developed world in enlisting 16 year olds into its armed forces. It is the only member of the UN Security Council, the only member of NATO and the only member of the European Union that recruits children. This is not standard practice, it is not a necessity, and it is not a policy shared by our military allies and peers. Our contemporaries when it comes to this practice are North Korea and Iran.“A 16 year old cannot buy a kitchen knife in a shop, but they can be taught to kill with a bayonet. They can enlist and train in the Army, but the law states that they cannot play ‘Call of Duty’ on a games console.“The Ministry of Defence likes to advertise the fact that it offers an education to young people. They claim that the qualifications it offers - Functional Skills – are equivalent to GCSEs, but in fact they were described as ‘suffering from major and fundamental flaws’ by the Department for Education’s own expert review on vocational education. Young soldiers deserve at the very minimum the same educational opportunities as their civilian friends, and certainly not less.“Research clearly shows that child recruits are more vulnerable than either their demographically-matched civilian peers or adult recruits, to suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol abuse and even committing suicide.“It must now become a matter of urgency for the UK to review its policy on enlisting children.”
Today she will s private member’s bill to protect rape victims from being cross-examined in court about their sexual history is to be introduced to the House of Commons.
The introduction  of the US-style “rape shield law” by the Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts has attracted strong cross-party support, including from two Conservative former ministers.
The sexual offences (amendment) bill 2017 also contains measures to protect sexual assault victims who are attending school or college, place limits on the disclosure of a victim’s name by police to a rapist the victim does not know, and extend the range of offences that can be referred to the court of appeal for unduly lenient sentences.
Ms Saville Roberts said: 

“It is neither right nor just that a victim of rape can be questioned in court on matters not relevant to the case in hand. Yet in the recent past, victims have been humiliated by lawyers asking questions about their sexual partners, their clothing and appearance.
“Such practices will undoubtedly make victims reluctant to come forward and more likely to drop complaints, and there is already anecdotal evidence that high-profile cases involving such evidence being used has led to a drop in the number of women who are coming forward.”
Even if you disagree with Md Saville Roberts on one or the both above , I don't think that you can not agree that she has done more work in one week than some MPs have done in a year.
Plaid are certainly lucky to have  her in Westminster  and  if the argument that one Plaid MP is  worth more than ten Labour ones may be a bit much, certainly Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Arfon and  Carmarthen East and Dinefwr.
Its just a pity that their energy and that of all Welsh MPs  are sometimes wasted 
The recent "debate" on the effect on Brexit  resulted in this response from SNP Tommy Sheppard.

The voice of Wales would be stifled even  Plaid held every Welsh seat in Westminster.
Time to bring our stars home.

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