Today we remember the millions of men and women who have served, were injured or were killed in the service of The United Kingdom and it’s commonwealth.
Over the last few days I have been thinking about the cuts to our armed forces and something has dawned on me.
Part one. Your author was born in the 60’s when the army still numbered approx 200,000 possibly more. The empire was still being dismantled, and although we knew that we were becoming a lesser nation, the full horror of immigration, loss of social cohesion, the rise of the oppressive state, and institutionally liberal organisations was thankfully along way off. People did come from overseas, but often they would Anglicize their names, and adopt our ways of dress and cultures so as not to upset us or our sensibilities. We had a military to be proud of that had performed way above expectations, and could if needed continue to do so. We basked in the glory of a victorious nation who stood over her vanquished foes. We occupied Germany as much to “rub it in” as to safeguard the west from the Red threat.
So to sum up part one. We had a mighty military we could be proud of, and we were a “survivor” nation that we could also be proud of.
Part 2. Then came the malaise. People came to my country who possibly did not have the same “love” that I and my family of 1000 years had. I started to hear that the empire had been a bad thing. Possibly, I should not be so proud of those who went overseas to lay down their lives in foreign lands making my country powerful & something to be valued. Families broke down due t new “liberal” values being brought to the fore.
Then came the disconnect. I cant say when it was, maybe the 70’s, the 80’s or even the 90’s. probably somewhere in between. BUT I know that MY military was something with history, decent values, and a sense of community, and my country no longer was.
To sum up part two. We had a military to be proud of but a country that was going to the dogs. We wanted the country we were fighting for to deserve us, but in our heart of hearts we knew it did not. This caused a tension that we could not quite put our fingers on, but we knew something was wrong.
Part 3. The equalisation. Through several cuts the military has been butchered (there is no other way to describe it) by both parties (sadly more by the Tories than by Labour, by god that is hard to type). Tell me where the Highland Light infantry now lives, The KOSBies, The Green Howards? Where is 145 Maiwand Battery? 6th Duke of Connaught’s Own Lancers (Watson’s Horse). Why are these names important? Because blood was spilled in their name. Men knew & loved each silly tradition. Their special days which celebrated previous great events in that unit’s life. Days when A corporal became RSM for the day, or the Officers woke them men with tea & rum (gunfire). All these things were what men fought and some died for. Now gone, nothing or almost nothing left.
The country?? We have a me me me me world. People who own cars, go on holiday, have televisions the size of a suitcase, and mobile phones with the computing power of a 1980’s research institute call themselves poor, hard done by, in need of public handouts!?!? We have people who live here yet know nothing of the history of the place, a lodger subclass who would be just as happy in France, Canada, Holland, Germany, etc etc. They are not British in any meaningful way, they just happen to be here at the moment. Other cultures, foods, ways of dress, ways of thinking all seem to have precedence over our indigenous ways. People of a dusky complexion feel they can shout obscenities at our soldiers as they parade in our streets. Soldiers in hospital have to endure the constant risk of being abused by non-indigenous people. People who are “not from around here” have no thoughts for our sensibilities any more. None of this is good!
Now, we cant fight any war that is on the horizon. That we had to cap in hand to the yanks during the last 20 years was bad enough. Now we have to put our Navy helicopters on French ships. That last statement bears re-stating THE FUCKING FRENCH now have a more capable Navy than we do. During my deployment to Libya last year I had the shame of watching French Navy (note capitals) ships being more aggressive, and better supported (by carrier borne aircraft) than us, and the French have land bases that border the Mediterranean! We were held back by liberal risk averse defence policies, and lack of resources.
To sum up part 3. What am I saying? Well thanks to the current government putting the final nail in the coffin of the British military things are now equalising, and that tension I spoke of is going away. Now is the time to accept we have a crap military to go with our crap country. Thanks to all who contributed.