Yesterday like hundreds of thousands of people across the country, I attended the Remembrance Day Parade. There were hundreds of people lining the high street in Wellingborough and you could not but help reflect on the huge sacrifice so many young men and women have made for this country stretching back to the First World War.
As my Remembrance Service drew to a close, the Minister read a poem, the point of which was: do not forget our sacrifice but also cherish those freedoms that we fought to protect.
After the Service, I dashed over to Rushden where my wife was representing me at that Remembrance Day Service. I caught up with her as she was leaving the church and talking to the Rector. She was congratulating him on one of his best sermons, implying that his other sermons were not up to much. I dragged her away before she could dig any further and asked her what the sermon had been about that had made such an impression on her. The Rector had made the point that we seem to fail to look after our current service men and women. He pointed out that recently a typist had been awarded £350,000 for repetitive strain injuries, whereas one of our soldiers who had had both his legs blown off and suffered other dreadful injuries only received compensation of just over £100,000. He quite rightly questioned the morality of such decisions.
It is quite extraordinary that our Government is prepared to send our young men and women to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq yet doesn’t provide them with the best equipment, doesn’t provide them with first class medical treatment when they come home, doesn’t provide them with proper financial support and doesn’t provide them with proper accommodation.
Of all the moral failures of this Government, of all the injustices perpetuated by this Government, of all the sheer incompetency of this government the treatment of the young men and women of armed forces is the most scandalous.