Sunday, March 09, 2008

Heroes, zeroes and the rest of us

I was somewhat surprised to come across a news story about Airmen from RAF Wittering being told not to wear uniforms in the City of Peterborough in order to avoid being verbally abused by civilians. Apparently, people who oppose U.K. involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq had been taunting service personnel from the base. However, on later reflection I wondered how much it had to do with the ethnic mix in Britain nowadays.

I have been totally opposed to the illegal and immoral wars in which corrupt, cowardly politicians have involve my Country, since the possibility of such conflicts arose. Except for very rare and pressing exceptions I do not believe wars are justified except in self defence and any actions that might result in loss of life should only be undertaken as a last resort. Note that none of the politicians who sent others into those conflicts have ever had the courage to serve in the Armed Forces themselves, other than one who joined a “home defence force” apparently to avoid serving abroad.

However, I have had nothing but admiration for those who have been asked to serve this Country, risk and, unfortunately, give their lives in the process. I seriously doubt if their abusers would get anywhere near their level of courage, more likely turn and run at the lightest threat to their safety.

My late parents met while serving in the Royal Air Force during World War Two. I was born was my father was on a posting in India and owe my life to a surgeon at the Royal Air Force Hospital, Ely; I was belatedly diagnosed with intussusception and operated on with only about half an hour to go. If it had not been for my father effectively overruling the Base Medical Officer, I would not even have made it to hospital. We also used to live in Cambridgeshire, at Upwood R.A.F. Base, not far from Wittering, as well as in my mother’s home town of March, which arises in te early Chapters of my book “Remembering Lorelei” (, hopefully available from May 2008, onwards.

Partly because of my parent’s involvement with the Air Force, though for many other reasons besides, I have considerable respect for the Armed Services. If it was not for them this Country would not have enjoyed the freedom it has, though, regrettably, that is now being taken away by stealth by the very politicians who make use of brave people for the aforementioned immoral, illegal ends.

In the few days following the report of the incidents in Peterborough I have been delighted to read that there has been a huge up swell of goodwill and support for Service personnel from by far the greater majority of people in this Country; that includes the suggestion of an Armed Services Day being incorporated in the calendar.

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