Tuesday, 24 May 2011

This Coalition Government Is The Best Yet At PR

Out of sight out of mind is the Prime Minister's policy for Afghanistan where yesterday a soldier from 1st Battalion the Rifles was killed in an IED explosion.

I doubt if the soldier was comforted in his last days by Liam Fox's announcement that the Military Covenant is to be 'enshrined in law'.  For the past week I've read and re-read this (16 pages) and this (80pages) document, only to arrive at the conclusion that it's all a PR exercise to brainwash the public.

There are a few long overdue clauses such as the reduction on council tax for those on overseas deployments, but does Liam Fox seriously think that by giving English local councils £200 for every Service child on their roll, (the Service pupil premium), the children's education will be improved?

Service life today differs greatly from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Back then when a member of the services was posted the families had to move with them. Personnel had to live in barracks if they were single and live on camp if married.  They were not permitted to live in private accommodation unless they had authority from the MoD and therefore many were discouraged from purchasing their own homes.  That situation has now changed, thankfully, and many families have put down roots in areas and therefore the Service member now goes unaccompanied on postings while the remainder of the family stay based in the home they purchased.

Yet my complaints about the Military Covenant should not dwarf the fact that another member of our military has been killed in Afghanistan, where the government is corrupt and using aid money provided by DFID - perhaps the most incompetent and unaccountable government department in Westminster - to enhance the bank accounts of those who need it least.

The number of British military killed in this war now totals 366.  Thousands more suffer injuries and a percentage of those will do so for the rest of their lives.  The families and friends of all these people should not be forgotten.  Often it's harder to be witness to physical suffering than to be the receiver.


Nikostratos said...


Afghanistan was a Blair/Labour war screw them (Cameron says)
The coalition has got a brand new war of their very own whoopee!.

Its off to Libya for the Boys and girls now and all the credit goes to Cameron (its what he has alway wanted his very own war).
One of the perks of being prime minister.

'Military Covenant' not worth a bucket of warm spit
So much easier for the politicians in the olden days
when old soldiers just faded away
and everybody could just forget about them.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "
But it's " Saviour of 'is country " when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An 'Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

'Ministers have agreed to step up the scale and intensity of military action against Libya while privately admitting there is now a danger the conflict could drag on for months'

subrosa said...

I know Afghanistan was Labour's stupid, stupid war Niko but Cameron could have taken the bull by the horns and changed our presence there. He didn't.

Very much like your prose. :)

petem130 said...

If there is a war to be fought it's neither in Afghanistan nor Libya. The Arab spring is not a reality as yet and time will tell if it ever will be.

Soldiers know the dangers when they sign up and the greatest danger is being killed. The worst scenario is being killed carrying out an action required of politicians who at best are poorly informed and at worst ignorant of the truth of it or willfully acting in a way which they deem to improve their standing and mention in history.

As with all things we, the voters, sit quietly by and watch it all unfold. We pay for it. We condone it by our inaction and in our mitigation we cite our democratic right being inadequate.

Doing nothing is our worst guilt and shame.

Oldrightie said...

petem130,spot on. It is worth noting that our education was dumbed down from the 60s onwards for a reason, control. It's working and we have an inadequately informed electorate,.

subrosa said...

All part of the reason why many are leaving the armed services petem. In another 10 years our military will be unrecognisable because the best will be happily ensconced in civilian jobs with a salary they could only dream of when they were military personnel.

subrosa said...

It's certainly working OR.

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