At a 111 birthday party for much-respected Henry Allingham, the usual service contributions were made. The band of the RM played Happy Birthday, various air and flag officers paid their respects. However in the background to this picture is an unseemly presence, that of so called Veterans minister Steven Twigg. I cannot imagine any circumstance that would get Mr Twigg out from his MoD fastness to honestly and frankly discuss veterans affairs, such as the percentage of ex-servicemen in the UK's homeless population or the absurdity of denying Ta Bahadur Pun a visa. Yet he is quite happy to pluck the low hanging fruits of media relations. I only hope Mr Allingham, a man whom I personally have nothing but the highest regard for, wasn't too distressed by the minister's appearance. Luckily Mr twigg is seen as a bit of a charisma black-hole and it is likely Mr allingham didn't notice his presence. Nice to see a Labour minister alongside those decorated freely by their country but without even a pocket handkerchief on his own manly breast.