I watched the Conservatives’ manifesto launch today. Their inherent mistrust of the State came across as a central theme again. Here are two graphics taken from the manifesto:
I have real sympathy with this doctrine of this State. To me the state is just a modern political-administrative system which makes it different from many other organic entities within our society such the family, community, nation and faith communities. The role of the state should be to serve these other entities and not to control them so in this respect I can support the Conservatives vision to some extent.
Although R. Tudur Jones was definitely not a Tory, when it comes to the doctrine of the state one could argue that he would have some sympathy with the Conservatives critique of big government. I base my argument on this vision he spelled out in a letter to Gwynfor Evans around 1980:
To me, the old emphasis on cooperation, strengthening neighbourhood and local responsibility, to strive to create a poly-central society, with the State taking its place as one social form among many others, and together through it all enabling people to live free and prosperous – for me, this doctrine is still relevant. And this is also a doctrine which, in my view, lies most comfortable on the conscience of the Christian.
I agree with Tudur Jones on this matter, I do not believe in a big state. And that explains why I have some sympathy with the Conservatives position on the state.
However there are plenty of things in the Conservatives manifesto I’m not so comfortable with. For example, there is no mention at all about the Welsh language. Unfortunately there remains some responsibility over the language in London, so they have some responsibility over it. It is also clear from the manifesto that the Conservatives, on the whole, continue to be opposed to devolution.They go out of the way to clearly state they are a unionist party. I have respect for Welsh nationalists who say that they’re on the right, people like Simon Brooks. But I don’t have much respect for nationalists who have joined the Conservative Party (or the Labour Party for that matter) because it makes no sense for a Welsh nationalist to belong to a British unionist party.
Finally, to my knowledge the manifesto is not available in Welsh. This is not acceptable at all.
Download Manifesto (PDF)