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I wholeheartedly agree.
Whatever one's view's on the particular conflicts to which politicians may send them, these should never be allowed to affect one's regard for our armed forces.

Absolutely. I was against the war in Iraq for political reasons. However I have nothing but respect for the bravery of those that have served in that conflict. Do the public believe that every soldier was itching to get out to Iraq? Of course not. Our sevicemen/women went there out of a sense of duty. Many will have questioned the motives but as soldiers they have sworn an oath of loyalty to the crown and won't break it.

I think its very sad that servicemen/women are treated with contempt. In my opinion being a soldier is one of the most important jobs in the country. Our armed services deserve our respect. Always.

OK, the talk's talked. Let's walk. We can show initiative and start something, surely, instead of waiting for government sanction and funding?

Yes. Of course we should. It may be unfashionable today to say anything positive about America, but their respect for their armed forces puts us Brits to shame.

'Honour the Covenant': The British Legion's campaign for a fair deal for service personnel and their families.


From medical aftercare to post-army career advice, our returning troops get a raw deal from our government.

It is truly sad if returning service personnel do receive indifferent responses from the public. As has been pointed out, our troops do not decide where they are sent. The scorn should be reserved for the politicians....

Thank you for that link, UK Daily Pundit.

Frances Done of the Royal British Legion wrote for Platform on that subject last week.

It's unfortunate, but inevitable.

If everybody, and I mean everybody in the pub is opposed to these murderous and pointless wars, and somebody walks in who is prepared to defend the indefensible, it's not surprising that this sort of thing blows up, heroes or no heroes.

Had I been a serviceman I would have resigned my commission sooner than take part in these atrocious conflicts.

I completely agree, Tim.

Which Tory councils have army bases in their areas? Hopefully they will take the lead in organising parades and other steps to ensure the armed forces start to receive the reconition they deserve.

Hopefully they will take the lead in organising parades and other steps to ensure the armed forces start to receive the reconition they deserve.

Can't you see that any such parades would be needlessly provocative and would inevitably result in demonstrations of public opinion which would produce an effect directly contrary to that intended.

Only in the Conservative Party (and presumably the military) can we find any substantial body of opinion that endorses these hated wars.

You should get out more and find out how much support they comand in the wider world. You'll be in for a shock.

Totally agree with this article.

Are there still restrictions on servicemen and women wearing their uniforms in public? Certainly members of the armed forces seem largely invisible around my area.

Notwithstanding Traditional Tory's rather skewed view of Service life, no one enlists with a view to resigning once a politically-unacceptable conflict begins. And on a point of detail, only Officers may "resign their commissions": for the average Serviceman it is a matter of giving notice and serving it out (probably) on the front line.
It is a few years since my time in the Service but most of my contemporaries would have found the proposed ""discounts for soldiers from businesses, free tickets for sporting events, homecoming events organised by local councils and a general willingness from passers-by to shake the hands of soldiers in uniform"" fairly embarrassing and not very British.
Decent Quarters at home (privatised and wrecked by the Conservative party), Military Hospitals (run down and stopped under the leadership of Malcolm Rifkind), the correct equipment (vide 'snatch Landrovers still in use, for example) and acceptable pay would do wonders for morale.
Most of all, the existence a Shadow Defence secretary who bangs-on incessantly about these issues until they are put right, instead of the narcoleptic presently in office, would be immensely good for morale.

Having served in the Royal Navy for 16 years I can see exactly where Sir Richard is coming from. I visited America a couple of times and I was treated like an home-grown hero. I was given large discounts in hotels, restaurants and amusement parks to name a few, just for showing a Royal Navy ID Card. I was treated with a warm respect by all on discovering my occupation.

In contrast, on returning to the UK I always felt that my service meant nothing. I didn't expect flag waving or parades, but it would have been nice to feel a little of the respect my American colleagues received.

When I joined the R.A.F. in the early eighties, I did so because there was very little else on offer. My twin brother joined on the same day.

My father worked the Durham Coalfield and my mother worked in a Coal Board canteen. Both Grandfathers and six uncles toiled the same route. My mother made it plain that we would not follow them and we must take a different path.

To this day I will always state that lads (and lasses) from those hard areas of Britain make the best service personnel from around the globe.

Fourteen of the eighteen in my room during training were from North East England - the furthest most of us had been was to Blackpool on holiday, a foreigner was someone that lived two streets away...or for the more liberal, the next village.

Fishing, ferrets, football and fighting the above named foreigners was our (simple) way of life. We cheered aged 12 when we got an inside toilet and our first plumbed-in bath, albeit placed in the (already cramped) kitchen.

The point I'm making is that for many, service life is a chance to try and make something of yourself, where you will be treated as equally as some posh kid from a semi in Surrey. Not that we'd always be so kind to the posh kids. If playing any sport, the Northern lads played to win (at all costs) and kicking southerners up a height during football was all in a days work.

If you are from that background you can bet your life they will give their all, and expect very little in return. They will adapt, bond and be fiercely proud of their unit, battalion, regiment and to that end, the village, town or county from which they hail. Many will have had an extremely poor education and will have attained very little academically.

I left the R.A.F. a few years back, my brother stayed on and left last year. When he returned from the gulf, he said the hardest thing was arriving home (to Britain) and there's no real welcome.

I'm proud to have served my country, for I come from one of the above and I took the opportunity service life offered.

If you wish to help, then perhaps replicate what our Conservative Association (I'm also a working class Tory!) did this year and organise an event with the specific aim of raising awareness and money for service charities. Invite, for example, representatives from the Royal British Legion or S.S.A.F.A. and perhaps a local Regimental Commander. We had a splendid day, with 1940's singers, a BBQ and a speech from both service charities and a OC from a battalion that had recently returned from the gulf region. We also raised a decent sum of money, and minus expenses, all given to the service charity S.S.A.F.A.

Aside from that, if you meet a returning serviceman, buy him (or her) a drink and say "thank you" it will mean much more than the writings of many a politician.


Forces personnel have received dismissive and indifferent treatment and will continue to. What can we expect when we hear of Corporal Scott Garthley's order to remove his uniform in case of offending someone. This not being asked in Basra or Baghdad but in Birmingham. With this Anti-British government whittling down our greatest institution, they are destroying it from within which is seeing loyal, experienced service personnel leave and too few recruits willing to join. Adding to Jim's comments above, there still remains high unemployment in the North East but this government's handout mentality has given the youth an alternative to serving their country.

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation" --George Washington--

And that is why recruitment figures are so poor.

Peter Laws | September 22, 12:51
"What can we expect when we hear of Corporal Scott Garthley's order to remove his uniform in case of offending someone... in Birmingham."

That would seem to constitute a very good reason for an anti-discrimination law!

'Traditonal Tory' clearly isn't very traditional at all, as the Conservative Party has a long history of support for our armed forces, which has obviously bypassed him.

Our forces are not 'armchair theorists' like so many politicians. They don't question or debate the merits of this or that conflict, they simply do their duty and put their lives on the line in the process. We should be proud of them.

Whatever the rights or wrongs of the conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan, we should always, ALWAYS, support our armed forces, both when they are serving and when they come home.

I declare an interest: my stepson goes to serve next month. It's what you sign up to, but a finer, braver bunch of people than Her Majesty's Armed Forces do not exist. The army, in particular, deserve recognition, support and respect.

Obviously agree wholeheartedly with this editorial. British servicemen do not have the luxury of only serving where it is politically popular.They can in no way be blamed for any of the lies of this government nor the failures within the MOD.
Part of the reason for the indifference in this country ( which I agree is inexcusable) is the lack of television coverage in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In both Gulf War 1 and the Falklands TV journalists were everywhere including often being close to contacts with the enemy. Now there are only a (very) few print journalists in Basra and Helmand.
I wonder why? I don't think it has anything to do with bravery of the journalists or the camera teams, many British TV journalists have reported from hairy situations elsewhere. I strongly suspect that it is the MOD wanting things to be kept quiet.Many soldiers in Iraq would tell the cameras what we already know. They can achieve little or nothing from Basra airport. Our troops have not been defeated in Basra but they have given up.
In Afghanistan the situation is very serious and I believe that the MOD would prefer it if people in Britain were not really aware of how hard or against what odds and in what conditions are troops are having to fight. This is an absolute scandal for which Des Browne should be regularly humiliated. I do not understand why Liam Fox appears completely incapable of achieving this.
If the British people were aware of what is happening I believe their pride in our armed services would rocket upward. The Conservative party should ensure this happens.
On a more minor note the Royal British Legion are often looking for volunteers to sell Poppies around now.Everyone reading this blog could help them. It is an extremely worthwhile thing to do.

MHDH, you are so right. I owe my life to the British army. My parents are from opposite ends of the country and met at an army dance while my dad was stationed with the Royal Army Service Corps. Aside from that though I'd respect the army anyway. What a great institution with a history that just shines with glory. I can't think of any profession that has such an amazing tradition.

At the risk of sounding like a one-issue obsessive, I must point out that the British public has been told for years by politicians, civil servants, senior policemen and the press that anyone interested in firearms must be a psycho and dangerously unbalanced. It's hardly surprising that this attitude should start spilling over into suspicion of servicemen.

Here is an issue that should unite the whole party. We do not have to support our government's decision to go to war to support our servicemen. They are willing to give their lives to defend us. We should give them our full support.

We should campaign to give them the best equipment and they should be given the best care if they are badly injured in battle.

With one Son who has served in Iraq with the TA, and another in Afghanistan, I feel our armed forces could do more to promote themselves. While PR at the moment isnt maybe the highest priority, it is important, because you can win the war, and yet totally fail to win over your own public, a dangerous situation.

I'm not sure what Traditional Tosser's point is, but it's possible that I agree with it, albeit for the wrong reasons. There's a strange mental disconnect going on here, it seems, with people who are "pro-military" but "anti-war". I'm just a civilian nancy-boy with no exerience of either, but as it happens I'm pro-both, given that we live in a fallen world and provided that the wars this country fights are just. (Most of the time they are.) But I wouldn't put money on most of my fellow subjects thinking and feeling the same way. The reason most people are anti-war has got nothing to do with Blair's "lies" or Bush's tongue-twisters. It's just basically that they don't like discipline and order and tradition, and the idea of a traditional oraganisation like HM Armed Forces disciplining young men and then deploying them around the world to maintain international order is completely anathema to the liberated spirit of modern Britain.

I've published your comment Oliver but please don't use words like "Tosser" again to describe other CH readers. We leave that sort of expression to those who run the party's official campaigns!

I wonder what percentage of the Public would want a Parade, I certainly would go and take my Kids....I think significant members of the Public would too....you only have to look at the comments on this link :-


To know that significant numbers of People would turn out...

Maybe the Army should forget local councills and Organise these events between itself and its public...If the Local Councillors and their Plastic PCSO's want to arrest those involved well....

Dear Sir / Madam

I am writing to inform you of a New Defence and Security Organisation, The UK National Defence Association recently established in the Uk and headed by Senior Members of the Armed Forces, the aim of said Organisation is to Lobby for Better funding for our Armed Services so that they may better be able to Protect this country and Its People.

Would you be willing to Link to this Organisations website (details Below) and would you be wiling to forward the Link on to any / all of your contacts.

Membership is Open to ALL Uk Citizens, concerned about matters of security.

Thank you

Founding Paper.


UKNDA Chairmans Column


Home Page


Within the context of school activiities, baseball, etc. his son has earned a reputation for being "strange". Another word which could be used is "disturbed".
I'm afraid one day he's going to "snap".
Soldier has been told in no uncertain terms to "keep your son away from my child".
They tell me some of these concerned parents have called Child Protective Services regarding this issue.
Dad has showed his 7 year old son hard pornography in an attempt to ensure he doesn't become gay. Ironically, now the boy has a fascination with penis. Appropriate, because they say dad gets excited with trannys::::He wants to lift her skirt and fondle her penis.
He sure married the right girl.
Parenting classes would be in order. And a little psychoanalysis.
The Gods tested his attraction to transsexuals by sending people by, likely during the period where he felt he had to prove he was a "real man", ironically.

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