Panorama Tonight BBC 1 21.00 hrs.

A

ALVIN

Guest
#1
In tonight's episode ......... Colonel Tim Collins reports for Panorama on the struggles of former members of the British military as they face a return to civilian life.

Link .... BBC - Panorama - Panorama

A land NOT fit for heroes ??
 
#3
TOMMY
by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)



I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!
 
T

Tremaine

Guest
#4
Looking forward to it, and Mr (Col. retd) Collins seems an ideal bloke to do this IMHO. For any who've been homeless, slept rough, been in Hostels, and also for those who reckon it's all their own fault and they couldn't be bothered to set themselves up properly.

It's a welcome programme perhaps even the most hardline or intolerant cynic will watch. Even if the Beeb spins it.

It's all their own fecking fault, losers, bums and hobos. Admin cases, lazy and relied on the State to sort them out. ;-)
 
#5
Just watched this programme and whilst not a big fan of Col Tim, I thought it was a good item whith no spin. Told the story as it was.
 
#8
Amazed at how unbiased it was for the beeb . My ol fella worked for ssafa-- grandad was forces relocation officer for east midlands in sixties and seventies Major John Church for any that met him . At least then there were council houses and jobs to slot leavers into .

Current situation is shite .
 
#9
Just watched this programme and whilst not a big fan of Col Tim, I thought it was a good item whith no spin. Told the story as it was.
I thought so too. He made the point very clearly that the majority of veterans do not encounter the type of problem described, but a significant minority do. There was little or no "whining". The guys who were interviewed came over well, yet they still had experienced problems.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#10

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
I arsked my muvver in law if she liked kipling , she sais she dunno as she has never kippled .


Didnt like to arsk her about dickens .......

back to the plot , I am in Contact with an Alkie ex 2 para sgt. He is trying to get help but is in a bad way . I know he has a council home and I am trying to get him into rehab. He doesn't really want to know I am afraid , but he goes out begging to get smoke and booze money but surely being a sgt an serving from the 1970' onwards if he has done enough time he would have a pension would he not ??

On the upside An ex lance jack who served in afgan at the beginning of this mess is now getting ready to work nights trying to help homeless ex squads get into night shelter or permanent housing . It seems most of them have some form of mental illness to deal with as well. poor sods.

I wonder why it is down to charities who have to fight like billy ho to get funding to have to do this great work ? bloody politcos .
 
A

ALVIN

Guest
#13
I wonder why it is down to charities who have to fight like billy ho to get funding to have to do this great work ? bloody politcos .
Because government think that charities are good enough for us veterans.

We are all charity cases now, that is the view of Her Majesty's Government.

The ******* used and abused us all.

The scrap heap is all that welcomes us now.

So much for the debt of honer eh?

That is the thanks you get today for fighting for your country and preserving freedom and democracy.

MPs attitude to veterans ............ **** you jack, I am O.K.
 
#14
Because government think that charities are good enough for us veterans.

We are all charity cases now, that is the view of Her Majesty's Government.

The ******* used and abused us all.

The scrap heap is all that welcomes us now.

So much for the debt of honer eh?

That is the thanks you get today for fighting for your country and preserving freedom and democracy.

MPs attitude to veterans ............ **** you jack, I am O.K.
The problem is that in the 60's & 70's many of those in senior postions had fulfilled some form of military service and had an understanding of the needs of veterans, but take a look and see how many current MP's, councillors and heads of NGO's who have military service under their belt, very few indeed. The issue is that these people don't give a toss, and are guided by and listen to those with a passing interest, but no personal experience, in veterans welfare until the next big thing comes along. Tossers led by tossers comes to mind.

Society is happy to wave the flag, but not provide the moral support which is owed to a great many veterans, they would rather leave it to underfunded, and overworked charities, not all of whom truly have veterans interests at heart. It's a sad world we live in indeed.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#15
Local Goverment is increasingly thinking of Service charities as an extention of their departments.
I've even been approached by social services to see if we could help someone because their grandfather was a national serviceman!
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#16
I am in Contact with an Alkie ex 2 para sgt. He is trying to get help but is in a bad way . I know he has a council home and I am trying to get him into rehab. He doesn't really want to know I am afraid , but he goes out begging to get smoke and booze money but surely being a sgt an serving from the 1970' onwards if he has done enough time he would have a pension would he not ??
It's very difficult for the charities to help someone who does not want help & the reasons for that can range from shame to bloodymindedness.
On the pension question, he would if he served his 22. If not as long as he was discharged after 6 April 1975 he would have a preserved pension at age 60. This has to be claimed, they do not do it automatically.
 
T

Tremaine

Guest
#17
Local Goverment is increasingly thinking of Service charities as an extention of their departments.
I've even been approached by social services to see if we could help someone because their grandfather was a national serviceman!
Every one of those lads appeared genuine, and affected, as a direct result of serving. QED. Liam Fox made a few bold statements which we hope to see realised, besides the Covenant becoming law. It doesn't have to be anything dramatic, just a commitment to honouring the standing (unwritten law) agreement between the State and its armed forces. It's not rocket science and no-one is asking for much, anyway.

Unless local Governments do start thinking about this issue, charities and ex service organisations might not be able to cope. We need more exposure to this kind of thing and more programmes of this quality.

It's not even difficult to install a veterans welfare worker/volunteer/ paid caseworker in your local counciil. Just close a few of your trendy mickey mouse posts and put the money to better use. A few diversity posts could be and should be scrapped. And may we soon see an end to the blank stares and indifference in local council offices, when veterans roill up at their desks. Also the end of stupid, unfair rules, and rubberheads who enforce them. It's pretty difficult for anyone to deny these problems exist now, or that there'll be more in the future. So there'll be no excuse.

From a veterans welfare worker, RBL caseworker , and war pensioner.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#18
Not long ago I was asked to give comments on my district council's homelessness policy. It catered for every every part of society imaginable but nothing for Vets, by far the biggest piece was for ex-cons. I gave my views but when the final document came out there was still nothing. So that's what THEY think, sod all, despite having a major unit some 5 miles away from the council offices and making a big song & dance when they had a Freedom parade.
Doesn't stop other departments bleating that they need assistance from us.
Mind you they are not happy, when after asking for assistance, they ring to find out how much we've helped by. 'No I'm not going to tell you so that you can make your stats look pretty'.
 
#19
Local Goverment is increasingly thinking of Service charities as an extention of their departments.
I've even been approached by social services to see if we could help someone because their grandfather was a national serviceman!
Sounds bloody familiar mate!
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
in 1891 there was a nationwide collection for the 20 survivors of the Charge of the Light Brigade some of whom were living in poverty,the poem tell of them going to meet Lord Tennyson who had made a fortune out of his poem, Kipling wrote this

The Last of the Light Brigade


There were thirty million English who talked of England's might,
There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four !

They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, "Let us go to the man who writes
The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites."

They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
And, waiting his servant's order, by the garden gate they stayed,
A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

They strove to stand to attention, to straighen the toil-bowed back;
They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and "Beggin' your pardon," he said,
"You wrote o' the Light Brigade, sir. Here's all that isn't dead.
An' it's all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin' the mouth of hell;
For we're all of us nigh to the workhouse, an' we thought we'd call an' tell.

"No, thank you, we don't want food, sir; but couldn't you take an' write
A sort of 'to be continued' and 'see next page' o' the fight?
We think that someone has blundered, an' couldn't you tell 'em how?
You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now."

The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with "the scorn of scorn."
And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

They sent a cheque to the felon that sprang from an Irish bog;
They healed the spavined cab-horse; they housed the homeless dog;
And they sent (you may call me a liar), when felon and beast were paid,
A cheque, for enough to live on, to the last of the Light Brigade.

O thirty million English that babble of England's might,
Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
Our children's children are lisping to "honour the charge they made - "
And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade

Kipling was outraged
 

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