Sunday, 16 November 2008


Some of you might recognise my quote from 25 years ago, concerning the reporting of deaths of soldiers in Northern Ireland and how the media eventually lost interest in deaths of soldiers serving there. I wonder if the same will happen now concerning Afghanistan?
Yesterday another member of 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles lost his life in Musa Qala, Helmand Province.
How many of you saw the BBC 2 programme 'Fallen' last night? I admit to being very moved by the grief of mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters in particular. After scrolling 300 names of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan the programme ended with a stone mason , with hammer and chisel cutting the names of yet more servicemen into the memorial wall at The National Armed Forces Memorial at The National Memorial Arboretum at Arlewas in Staffordshire. Since 1945, 16,000 service men and women have given their lives in service of their country.
This week, the stone-mason will be at work again.


James Maskell said...

With each death, the question arises yet again, what are we actually doing there apart from putting lives on the line to save the egos of the politicians who sent them there? Are we doing something actually worth the lives that have passed or are we simply wasting our time on a pointless adventure which wont ever acheive the objectives it was supposed to?

Rick said...


How many years since the so called End of the Cold War ?

The Leonard Cheshire Charity (as ever headed by a former senior Foreign Office man)almost beat MacDonalds to establish itself in Moscow.

Did the charity set up to address malnutrition in the elderly or hypothermia etc ? No it set up a home for veterans of the Russian Afghan campaign. Just the sort of chap MI6 might want to debrief.

That is when I said "Oh dear one day we will be putting our lads into Afghanistan".

As those brave Ghurkas die this country has just told a former Ghurka (who cannot afford it), wishing to come to UK for NHS treatment, that he must pay £500 for his Visa. I think the Army Rumour Service may be doing something about that if so they can take donations by Paypal.

The last Army Rumour Service whip round (last week) I pay palled was for the 92 year old WW2 veteran beaten savagely in his own home by young thugs. Army rumour have had one of the guys go in to fit alarms etc now I think. I think Police did not bail the arrested lads for their own safety.

Oh for just one articulate politician who could explain the strategic importance of Afghanistan because it eludes me.

I despair of this country. We are told we face a terror threat. the great and good of the police sat down and derived a strategy to deal with suicide bombers. the first step to the De Menzes incident was thus taken.

The threat analysis was pure Gripping Yarns fallacy. That the stragey to stop suicide bombers is to render them immediately brain dead.

OK so herewith the design for a trigger device that operates upon complete loss of blood pressure ...


If you follow that Martin Ingram story it seems that to ingratiate an agent into the IRA we gave IRA bomb triggering technology for which the Army had no detection system. The technology used in Middle East now against our troops ?

Black Adder could still produce an episode, about current events, as poignant as the one in which Darling joined them to go over the top.

Oddly enough our nephew (PTI at Sandhurst) recently met Rowan Atkinson there and quickly phoned his dad in Ramsgate and Rowan spoke on the phone to his dad. Good man and a talented observer of the political and strategic absurdity underpinning much avoidable military sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

Lost and found


The UK Governments Middle East policy, if found please return to no 10.

And to remember our fallen - and i submit this poem mindful that the British army operate in a number of areas..not just in Afghanistan.

For those that gave we thank you.
For those that gave and gave again, we thank you.
For those that gave everything we eternally thank you.

And when you tell your children and your grand children why,
Tell them for you and I.

Not in Flanders fields will you see this poppy grow, nor’ in Europe’s green fields nor in Desert lands

But in Afghanistan.