Friday, 25 September 2009

military matters

A book by the two journalists that broke the MPs expenses scandal claims that the mole was one of 20 people hired to transfer expenses forms into electronic format. It seems they were guarded by soldiers on leave hoping to gain a bit of cash to buy equipment before returning to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Apparently all in the room got angry at the expense claims of MPs while the soldiers told them of the shortages on campaign.

And do you know the thing that depresses me the most about this? The shortage of equipment and the supplying of inadequate equipment came as no surprise to me at all.

Really. The politicians and top brass have always treated the soldier badly. Whether it was the Crimea or WW1 where families sent jumpers and greatcoats to make sure Tommy didn't freeze to death or WW2 where some companies were renowned scroungers of kit, this is not new.

During the Napoleonic Wars, soldiers would strip the enemy of cash, gold, bullet catridges, gunpowder, you name it. Sounds horrific to some but it was a necessity for the average soldier. Money, weaponry, clothing could make the difference between life and death.

So the echoes of history but do you know what really depresses me - this will continue.

Just because this has always happened does not make it right and I would love the next government to make a pledge that any war a politician sends a soldier into will be fully supported and funded. No meally-mouthed platitudes, just a straight commitment.

But I suspect that nothing will change.

And whilst we're here - visit this site, please.

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