Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Thursday, 11 September 2008

In Defence Of Our Defenders

The admirable Nutty Cow has mailed me about a campaign she thought I might be interested in. She was right - I am.

In partnership with Age Concern the Royal British Legion has lauched a crusade against poverty amongst the elderby called Return to Rationing ?

I don't normally go in for State intervention-type activities and to my mind people should be encouraged to set aside as much as they can for the years after their retirement with as little government help as possible. There are, though, some cases where a bit of quid-pro-pro wouldn't go amiss, and the conditions that some of our ex-service personnel are living in suggests that many of them are being let down.

God knows it's hard enough being in the armed forces as it is these days. You get sent into illegal and unpopular wars, serving ridiculously long tours of duty with inadequate respite in between times because you and your colleagues are stretched to the limit by a government that has continually under invested and over committed everybody involved. The nation, previously grateful to those who risk their lives for us, treats you with anything from scepticism the downright hostility because the highest profile campaigns in which you are involved have little public support. Then, when you get old, you risk not being able to heat your own home or feed yourself adequately (as does your spouse if you die in the line of duty). It is, by any measure, a raw deal.

You could argue that successive governments have failed to honour the Military Covenant but this one is especially culpable. Those brave men and women who risk their lives defending what little is left of our freedoms deserve better.

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