That's not quite what I meant. Yes, of course, the armed forces are a tool of the government in terms of who commands them.
I believe the point I was trying to get across was of perception. Do the public see the armed forces as something for the union to proud of, representing the union - or have we in recent years BECOME SEEN AS the personal tool of this government and THUS the focus of it's disdain at policy.
Unlike the US where the public can criticise Bush but hold a parade for it's troops.
Does that make sense. As a soldier why should I receive abuse in the UK street for serving my country?
Gulf Vets have been denied the public recognition given to vets of other campaigns. even the service at St Pauls was hijacked by a very political stance by the Archbishop of Canterburry, and therefore ruined. What arrogance!
Years ago the Yanks learnt their lesson and organised a Parade for the Vietnam Vets. I firmly support a parade for our GW2 vets. If a bunch of rugby players deserve it for earning big money running around on a field, what about our service personel?
I fear that Gulf vets will become OUR Vietnam vets. Unpopluar war, soap dodging protesters, abandoned by the government. The Yanks also learnt in Vietnam that "individual replacement" leads to stress as they failed to integrate into units. This IS the current policy as far as the TA soldier is concerned. I wonder what the long term effects of this policy will be.
When I got back, our aircraft was directed to a disused part of the airport so the civies couldn't see us. Welcome Home
The American forces are far better paid, get benafits like no others....what do you british squaddie get ? SHITE !
No longer are we a fighting force of the british people we are a fightin force for the goverment and where ever there is political gain for them selves.
I am a serving soldier but do i feel that i would die for queen and country?
well yes i would if it was for the course of saving the UK or other assosiated comanwelth.....
But to be sent out to Iraq and possibly die for what corse?
so the oil can be sucked from them?
I DONT THINK I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO FEELS THIS WAY THERE ARE MANY MORE!
when was the last time the army put there foot down and said to the government.....swivel ! no longer are lads dieing for queen and country.
there dieing for the polatitions gain.....do we get looked after ? no
is the pay good ? no
Will there be a uprising with in the UK? you bet there will....just let all them immagrents in, its brewing it will happen they know it will happen...
the forces will be called upon to help sort it out, but by then where will the loyalty lie? ..........
Blair is in a quandry here, he is Labour and Labour have always hated the services. But he wants to be on the big stage as a world leader, so he has to use us! He wants that first president of the EU post and he is willing to sell out the UK and abuse the Forces to achieve a world leader role.
So we find ourselves posted here and there, fighting here and there. Losing good soldiers everywhere. Not getting recognition due to the new PC attitude in the UK, god forbid we would ever want to upset the regime we vanquished .
As long as Blair is in, forget parades, forget decent pay rises and get used to more conflicts in support of the US, more fiasco's like Gulf 2 and more penny pinching resulting in disbandment of regiments and redundancies resulting in greater overstretch!
But hey, all that money saved will help those poor IIs who are stroming across our borders! God bless them, every little one of them
Well, actually i don't think the average British soldier is particularly underpaid when you look at the low cost of living he has. A LCpl posted in the UK recently told me he cleared £1000 a month after all his expenses including food, accommodation, and loans. On net of 1350 per month that is pretty damn good. If you don't believe me look at rent, bills, and costs in the civvie world.
If anything I beleive the problem of overstretch will have greatest affect on the family and private lives of the armed forces. It's hard enough as it is to keep relationships going as it is. All of my friends in my unit, as well as myself, broke up with our other halves by the time we had got back from the Gulf this time round. I'm sure that is a story that continues everywhere.
As for the BNP.... Stuff them. They don't care they're just trying to push buttons, don't fall for their racist cr*p.
At the same time we need the government to give serious public recognition to the work of the armed forces.
ZEMTEX - you sound like a journo stirring rubbish, or your getting hot and bothered about the basic facts of life. We will always be the coercive arm of the government. Telling them to 'swivel' does not work, any more than telling your OC to swivel...and the same thing will happen - you'll get punished, then sacked (certainly if I'm your OC!).
Ref the 'Great' British public (gawd bless 'em)...I've got to say I've received very little stick for being a soldier - generally respect (though its amazing how polite people are with your knee on their windpipe) and sympathy for doing a hard job (foot & mouth, fresco, gulf, balkans etc). A lot of the 'Tommy Atkins' routine is self generated paranoia - expecting to get stick, and then reaping the negative waves, man. Or just desserts for naughty toms getting into bother on the weekend.
Be proud! Be strong! Our swords protect the land, and we are the guardians of the people. Wear your uniform proudly when transiting to duty. People will get used to seeing us again. If you get shit, rise above it and walk away - they are the minority. Most people love us.
If you handle the current Basra riots without firing single shot you get big respect from UK types, and hopefully the locals who learn they can let off steam in their new coutry without being killed for it.
Trouble is you might get seen as weak by the AQ types - they may see you as scared of bad press, and think you're therefore extra vulnerable...
Who do you want to be respected by? Why should someone respect you? Are you an arrse in the local pub or a decent bloke/lass? If you wear the Queen's Uniform, does your behaviour meet the same standard?
If cash is your measure of respect, Ossama is richer than any British soldier ever born...