The daffodils are out and the Bluebells under the trees are preparing to join them. The snowdrops are everywhere and the birds are scavenging for moss as their thoughts too turn to the Spring. In fact morale on the allotments should be high for the worst excesses of winter are over and more and more members are returning to their plots. Sadly there is a constant shadow cast by members who have grandsons, or in one case sons, in Afghanistan. Two of them are themselves ex-army men and the term armchair generals is in regular usage. In fact it reached its peak when Cameron’s warlike stance on Libya coincided with news of yet more cuts to our armed forces. And today we learn that more redundancy notices are on their way, the long-awaited armoured vehicles are to be cancelled as is the fleetof Reaper and Predator unmanned drones that spy on and attack insurgents.
Military experts are calling for a halt to the programme of cuts before it is too late They point out that the only reason HMS Cumberland was able to help rescue British citizens was that it was on its way home to be scrapped. Our one remaining aircraft carrier is now at Portsmouth awaiting the same fate and our Harrier force awaits a similar fate. Yet even the oldest of the prematurely retired GR77 and GR9 Harriers have only used a third of their planned airframe hours.
What it all boils down to is the stark fact that our troops are now exposed to mortal danger and the defence of the realm is now dependent on the support of the French and American governments. One imagines that the tranquility of Bladon churchyard is disturbed by the sound of Winston Churchill turning in his grave!
For he not only understood a great deal about military strategy, he had experienced the sound of shots fired in anger. But like Blair and Thatcher before him, David Cameron has never served or experienced the consequences of decisions made by armchair generals. Would Thatcher have been quite so quick to pack off her Task force to the Falklands if she had ever witnessed a ship and its crew on fire? Would Blair have been quite so gung ho about invading Iraq if he had actually seen what just one smart bomb can do to a village community?
And now we have Cameron – another donkey eager to send lions into battle for a cause that has nothing to do with us, and for which we no longer have the military strength. Fortunately no other world leader took his posturing over Libya seriously and hopefully he now realises that playing politics with the lives of servicemen is immoral.
For generations our prime ministers have sent young men and women off to fight and kill and die. Many have returned in coffins, many dreadfully burned, many severely wounded in body or mind. Many who returned have faced an uncertain future as the armchair generals tear up the promises to employ or help them. Toy soldiers like Thatcher, Blair and Cameron have abused their bravery, casually thrown away their lives, all for the sake of their own preening vanity.
Of course there was no alternative in 1939 when these Islands face imminent danger. But that was then, now we have few planes, ships or troops. But we are not facing danger from without and Cameron should stop playing politics without understanding the awful outcome of what he does!
THOUGHTS FOR TODAY; ” A man without a woman is like a neck without a pain”….W C Fields “The more I see of men the more I admire dogs”……Marie de Rabutin-Chantal “A man in the house is worth two in the street”….Mae West “I once had a large gay following, but I ducked into an alleyway and lost him”……Emo Philips ” I remember when outing meant a family picnic”…..Rodney Dangerfield “” I was dating a younger man. I asked him where he was when Elvis died. He said he was in amniotic fluid”……Robin Roberts ” Cleanliness is next to impossible”…..Audrey Austin “Alimony is the screwing you get for the screwing you got”….Jim Davidson ” My best friend ran off with my wife, and let me tell you, I really miss him”….Henny Youngman ”Bagpipes are the missing link between music and noise”…..E K Krugar
ANSWERS TO YESTERDAY’S QUIZ; 1. Wimbledon 2 Virginia Wade (1977)
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; 1. What kind of animal is a Kermit? 2. Was Gilbert O’Sullivan American, British, or Irish? What song gave him his first big hit?