Saturday, December 05, 2009

UK PM Brown Snubbed By Wounded Brit Soldiers

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is decidedly unpopular among Britain's wounded warriors, and apparently many of them have no problems showing it:

Gordon Brown was snubbed by badly injured Afghan veterans when they closed curtains round their beds during a hospital visit and refused to speak to him.

More than half the soldiers being treated at the Selly Oak hospital ward in Birmingham either asked for the curtains to be closed or deliberately avoided the prime minister, according to several of those present.

The soldiers, who have sustained some of the worst injuries seen in Afghanistan, described his visit as “opportunistic” and a “waste of time”.

Furious about equipment shortages and poor compensation for their injuries, one soldier said: “It is almost as if we are the product of an unwanted affair ... The straight fact is this: we don’t like the man, he has done nothing for us and continues to kick us in the teeth over equipment and compensation.”

Morale in the British military in general is said to be extremely low under Brown's tenure. Aside from accomplishing what Napoleon, Hitler and the Japanese were unable to do, the virtual destruction of the Royal Navy, Brown has slashed military spending in general to the bone, starting from when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. And that has meant less training time and less equipment for troops in the field.

The cuts have even extended to attempts to cut compensation and pensions to wounded or retired British soldiers, two of whom Brown's government took to court in a test case a month ago that would have slashed compensation payments to injured soldiers if it had been successful.

That sounds very much like someone else I know on this side of the pond.

None of this is particularly surprising. Labour, like the Democratic Party in America has always had a distinctly anti-military slant, whatever cheap verbiage they've spouted off.Many of them can't or won't understand that the warriors who keep the rest of us safe and enable buffoons like Gordon Brown to play politics are, at their essence, also working men deeply representative of their country doing a dangerous job.

Playing them cheap is not only morally disgraceful,but inherently dangerous.

And if they react to that kind of treatment accordingly when they're used as a political photo-op, it's understandable if disturbing.

1 comment:

Ziggy said...

Mr Kipling said it, long time back....


I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

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!