Saturday, 7 July 2012


With a characteristically bizarre perversity the BBC launched Armed Forces Week with an essay on Sunday morning attacking militarism. The Ministry of Detritus chose Armed Forces Week to inflict more casualties on those brave boys and girls than Napoleon.

The public got it right. Contributions to service charities have increased by 25 per cent. The government?????????

Crime Minister Cameron was quite sure that we should support our brave boys and girls who are giving their lives for their country. Crime Minister? He qualifies as a Capo di Tutti Capi, a Teflon Don, with his police, parliament and the bankers all corrupt. It was he who made the worthless Covenant with the Forces which is busily being broken.

Bomber Command survivors, who had to buy their own war memorial, spent Armed Forces Week scrabbling round for even more money to pay for the Opening Ceremony, to which the M (al) OD(orous) refused to contribute a penny.

In the week the Famiglia Cameron emasculated the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, the new Tartan Gurkhas (Joanna Lumley's Own), it chose Plymouth (Argyll?) to pick HMS Argyll from our few remaining warships to fire the Royal Salute in honour of that distinguished soldier the Earl of Wessex, who in turn took the salute at the parade of veterans.

Would that be the same Earl of Wessex whose military career ended so abruptly when he fled from a Royal Marines Induction course to become a tea boy for Lloyd Webber in a theatrical company? Perhaps not the most tactful choice to accept the devotion of battle hardened service men and women – including, presumably, the two whose uniform got them barred from a Coventry pub.
The Earl was in fine form. He has only two decorations, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter and Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, both gifts from mummy.
Confronted by a soldier wearing a rainbow of campaign ribbons, he was suitably impressed: “My, we have been keeping you busy,” he gushed.


The most shaming thing of all is that Cameron is being bested by the Gaffed Salmon, the Will Fyfe of Politics.

One of the reasons given for disbanding six regiments was the number of commonwealth and other foreigners they recruited. Yet the Yorkshire Regiment which is being disbanded is the best recruiter in the Army. Oh, that they wore  the Kilt in Pudsey tartans.

At the memorial service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, the Olympic Torch (a bright idea of the Nazi spin doctor Goebbels) was lit from the memorial by Corporal Johnson Beharry, the youngest soldier to win the VC.

On 1 May, 2004, Beharry was driving a Warrior Tracked Armoured Vehicle that was hit by multiple rocket propelled grenades. The platoon commander, the vehicle’s gunner and a number of other soldiers in the vehicle were injured. Beharry was forced to open his hatch to steer his vehicle, exposing his face and head to withering small arms fire. Beharry drove the crippled Warrior through the ambush, taking his own crew and leading five other Warriors to safety. He then extracted his wounded comrades from the vehicle, all the while exposed to further enemy fire.

Corporal Beharry is from Grenada, which when last I looked was in the Commonwealth. His regiment, the Princess of Wales Royal regiment which formed the Guard of Honour, is also in danger.

It is possible that a “super regiment” will be formed from the Royal Anglian Regiment, the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers who won 6 VCs before breakfast in Gallipoli. Proposed names are the East of England Regiment or the English Fusiliers.

A judgement of Solomon. We are relinquishing Scotland yet keeping Scottish regiments in which English soldiers have always dominated - when I was one, a CSM and three NCOs came from the same suburb of Manchester as I did - but are now replaced by Colonials. We look forward to a devolved future in which they are Commonwealth mercenaries.

The only consolation to people like me who love soldiers but loathe wars is that war has become one of those bad habits we can no longer afford. Unless the Red Peril or the Chinese Hoard, neither with any major record for foreign wars, invades Anglesey.

An Argyll friend writes:
Although the majority in the Argylls are Jocks they believe their ethnic mix adds to their potency as a fighting force which is a credit to their officers and SNCOs. Their view is that their Fijian and West Indian and other Commonwealth soldiers wear their tam-o'-shanter with the same pride and swagger as a Para his maroon, a Marine his green or even an SAS man his sandy beret.
On top of that, before 5 Scots deployed to Afghanistan for the Operation Herrick 2010/11 tour of duty, they outscored and out performed every other battalion in 16 Air Assault Brigade - the Army's much-vaunted premier brigade - which included BOTH Para battalions, the Royal Irish and the Irish Guards. Second in marks was.......2 Scots, who you will recall in their former glory as either The Royal Highland Fusiliers or The Highland Light Infantry.
So now you can see why this rankles so badly with The Thin Red Line. “


I have always had a deep sympathy for the aristocracy. I was brought up in a bright, cheerful council house with electric light and efficient plumbing. In stately homes where I have stayed the bed is sometimes damp, the plaster is usually crumbling and it is always 200 yards to the nearest lavatory - and, when you get there, you can easily find a notice saying ‘Do not pull chain’.
The inconvenience of the conveniences does not bear thinking about when you are used to a WC across the landing and at the first sign of a rebellion in the plumbing the rent man would be severely spoken to. There are exceptions. Plas Newydd, across the road from my house in Wales, was known as the most comfortable country house in Britain where every bath had its own bedroom. But just imagine getting to the top of the council house waiting list and being called with an offer of a house surrounded by trees, four miles from the nearest shop, 800 years old and a mile from the front gate.
I married above myself. All my in-laws went to very expensive public schools. The only higher education I had was fifty-six days in a military prison. However... not only was the accommodation more comfortable in the nick: the discipline was not as strict. When my wife was a four-year-old convent boarder the nuns bathed her in a sheet so that she would not be inflamed by the sight of her own body. Until she was eight she thought she ended at the neck. One of my titled friends was beaten in his pajamas so savagely by his housemaster at Marlborough that blood ran down his legs.
The other disadvantage of the Upper Classes is that they are usually rich. I have a great terror of being rich. I am very nervous every Sunday morning until the Ferret finds the lottery result in the paper and informs me we are not winners. Such a relief. I cannot imagine anything worse than a sudden rush of pound notes to the wallet. Take all the enjoyment out of life. I have lived on my wits for 83 years and I agree, with a few shining exceptions, that you can tell what God thinks about money by the sort of peopleto whom  he gives it .

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