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Families of killed UK soldiers launch party

#1

More than 70 candidates to contest Labour seats

Whenever news of British military deaths in the Middle East flashes on to their TV screen, Reg and Sally Keys become silent and you can see anxiety wash across their faces.

The Keys are among 115 families whose sons have been killed in Iraq. But this week, one of the worst for British casualties, has been different for the bereaved; this week, they have been doing something about it.

Mr Keys took 4,252 votes in Sedgefield - 10.3% of the vote. Now he believes similar results up and down the country could cost Labour ministers their seats.

He will stand, as will Rose Gentle. Her 19-year-old son, Gordon, was killed in a roadside bombing in Basra in 2004. She uses a website, www.mfaw.org.uk (Military Families Against the War) to encourage bereaved families to come forward and make a stand.

"I'm getting between 200 and 300 emails a day from bereaved families, concerned military families and serving soldiers who all feel angry at the way we have been lied to," she says. "This movement is growing and by forming a political party we'll have a focus of that anger."


Article in full

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,,1837762,00.html
 
#4
DPM said:
If any of my family did this, I'd turn in my grave. My choice to serve...

dpm
OK. By that measure, you're just cannon fodder - there to be exploited and disposed of as required - and it's therefore pointless questioning orders, justification for war, or protesting about the hypocrisy of politicians.


I'll assume you've never been on here to complain about your political masters' treatment of the forces
 
#5
frenchperson said:
DPM said:
If any of my family did this, I'd turn in my grave. My choice to serve...

dpm
OK. By that measure, you're just cannon fodder - there to be exploited and disposed of as required - and it's therefore pointless questioning orders, justification for war, or protesting about the hypocrisy of politicians.


I'll assume you've never been on here to complain about your political masters' treatment of the forces
You really are a class kn0b who obviously has never served. If you had, you would understand DPMs sentiments.
 
#6
Hard_vark said:
frenchperson said:
DPM said:
If any of my family did this, I'd turn in my grave. My choice to serve...

dpm
OK. By that measure, you're just cannon fodder - there to be exploited and disposed of as required - and it's therefore pointless questioning orders, justification for war, or protesting about the hypocrisy of politicians.


I'll assume you've never been on here to complain about your political masters' treatment of the forces
You really are a class kn0b who obviously has never served. If you had, you would understand DPMs sentiments.
I have served, for 7 years, but I came to terms with it and didn't let it define me
 
#8
frenchperson said:
DPM said:
If any of my family did this, I'd turn in my grave. My choice to serve...

dpm
OK. By that measure, you're just cannon fodder - there to be exploited and disposed of as required - and it's therefore pointless questioning orders, justification for war, or protesting about the hypocrisy of politicians.


I'll assume you've never been on here to complain about your political masters' treatment of the forces
Frenchperson,

It was my choice to don the uniform of my country and serve. I'm proud of both the time in the army and considered it an honour and a privledge to serve with some of the finest men and women that I could ever meet.

You comment on cannon fodder is ill timed and shows a lack of thought for those who choose to serve. I personally think that you are a tool of the first order and should retract the remark soonest!

I probably am not the only one who takes offence to your comments. Think before posting!


fastmedic
 
#9
I will not be retracting that remark. It's a considered comment made specifically to somebody who said the actions of a grieving family would cause him to turn in his grave. Free speech is still allowed (except for a small area around the Houses of Parliament) in this country and the voice of grieving families should be listened to. It particularly applies in this case as the invasion of Iraq is now regarded across the globe as the start of an illegal war. If you're in the forces FM, the Prime Minister won't be listening to your concerns, whatever they are - that's guaranteed. But he'd better listen to the voice of the civilian population or he or his successor will be dumped.
 
#10
No matter what sentiment or idea is behind the formation of a political party I feel it will do very little other than gain a little publicity. But there are plenty of other ways to do that. The voting public aren't interested in polarized single issue parties. To get anything other than a small protest vote such a party needs a much broarder spectrum with real policies on all the subjects that the public have views on, not just one.
 
#11
Having served, and my son is about to, I am uncomforatable with turning the natural grief at the loss of a loved one, into a political issue. It seems to demean their memory.

Maybe other people see it differently.
 
#12
Very difficult - DPM quite rightly makes the point that when you join up you can't pick and choose which wars you serve in.

However a lot of people (I'm not one of them) think that we were wrong to assist America in her invasion of Iraq, were lied to about the reasons for the invasion, and therefore feel that the loss of their loved ones was a waste. They want to hit out at the Government in a tangible way - I can't fault them for fighting for what they believe in.
 
#13
I echo what RABC says, but would go further.

This type of action also dishonours their dead soldiers memory, their service and most of all their sacrifice. If my parents had behaved in such a way i would have come back and haunted them
 
#14
Mr Keys and Mrs Gentle are entitled to their opinions, I agree, sign up, do as your required to do....... Forming Political Parties is fab... so they get in, what changes NOTHING, a waste of time and energy and no lasting memory to those they lost
 
#15
frenchperson said:
DPM said:
If any of my family did this, I'd turn in my grave. My choice to serve...

dpm
OK. By that measure, you're just cannon fodder - there to be exploited and disposed of as required - and it's therefore pointless questioning orders, justification for war, or protesting about the hypocrisy of politicians.


I'll assume you've never been on here to complain about your political masters' treatment of the forces
I haven't served. But I will. I have been to RSC, and rather coincidently when we were collectively spoken to by one of the Officers (I'm rather bad at remembering ranks, I'll take a stab at Major), he said almost exactly what Frenchie has just said.

Something along the lines of; 'It will never be your place to question the reasons why, or to get involved in politics. You will be a tool of the Government to use at their disposal.'

Thinking about it, he may have been saying it in light of the current climate and letting us young men know exactly what we will be letting ourselves in for.
 
#16
Death_Rowums said:
frenchperson said:
DPM said:
If any of my family did this, I'd turn in my grave. My choice to serve...

dpm
OK. By that measure, you're just cannon fodder - there to be exploited and disposed of as required - and it's therefore pointless questioning orders, justification for war, or protesting about the hypocrisy of politicians.


I'll assume you've never been on here to complain about your political masters' treatment of the forces
I haven't served. But I will. I have been to RSC, and rather coincidently when we were collectively spoken to by one of the Officers (I'm rather bad at remembering ranks, I'll take a stab at Major), he said almost exactly what Frenchie has just said.

Something along the lines of; 'It will never be your place to question the reasons why, or to get involved in politics. You will be a tool of the Government to use at their disposal.'

Thinking about it, he may have been saying it in light of the current climate and letting us young men know exactly what we will be letting ourselves in for.
You have been given a very important message.

You are indeed a tool of Your government, WHICHEVER government You serve. By all means have a political mind but don't let that interfere with Your service.
 
#17
RABC said:
Having served, and my son is about to, I am uncomforatable with turning the natural grief at the loss of a loved one, into a political issue. It seems to demean their memory.

Maybe other people see it differently.
grieve yes ,feel anger yes.don't become pawns of some party's,who have an altogether different agenda.I serve ,my friends serve .we all know what the end product,could be.
 
#18
Ever since Cromwell and his rule with the Generals it has been an unwritten rule that the Army serves the Government. The families have every right to do what they are doing, but I wouldn't want my family to go down this route.

My solicitor, on the other hand, was very well briefed on certain failings within the system.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
I'm with DPM on this one
Whatever we think of the Iraq/Afghanistan situation soldiers must do what is required of them
We are not a conscript army.Each man has the option to sign off
Many of us will say that the best time of our lives was in the Army.
Mr Keyes and Mrs Gentle are entitled to do what they feel is right but will it bring back their sons?
Why did they allow there sons to serve in the first place?
Gordon Gentle was killed on Telic 4 and I belive he was more or less straight from the depot.
If she felt that Bliar was telling porkies why not stop him joining up
Like wise I belive Mr Keyes son was Ex Para Reg and had re-bagged RMP.
I think I am also correct in saying his son Tom had been on ops in Seirra Leone and had took part in the Irish Ranger rescue (Op Certain Death?)
So although a young soldier he was what we would have classed as experianced.
Sad though it is and I'm sure many of us take a moment of reflection when we hear bad news on the T.V about another death our forces it happens.
We have lost 115 soldiers in Iraq and that is tragic but how many did we lose in N.I. or when we had BAOR how many were lost on exercise?
How many people get killed crossing the road?
My fathers friend tells a story of a miss drop in the early seventies that put almost a whole parachute battalion into the Rhine and caused mass casualties but nobody formed a political party to stop military parachuting.

I feel for any one who has lost a family member and I hope it is something I never have to go through but I don't think this is a way to remember them unless it directly effects them most members of the public arn't interested most people will probably put it down as another stunt (Didn't Mr Keyes chain himself to a lamp post or something last year?)
Remember them with Honour Yes but this No
Although He can have my vote for what it's worth
 
#20
Whilst I can accept they are grieving, but does it not degrade what their loved ones decided they wanted to do.

As it has eloquantly been put on here you do not pick and choose were you serve if you have chosen to take the Queens Shilling. When I went to Iraq, I left a letter with a friend back in the U, incase anything happened to me, in which I said that it was my choice to go out there and I didn’t want my death to be made a political spectacle. I told my folks that if something happened they were not to make a spectacle about it in the news.

The parents have my full support for their grieving, but not the spectacle they are making of the sacrifices of people who were doing what they enjoyed, SERVING.
 

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