Libby Purves article in The Times http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2353083,00.html "Our soldiers abroad pay tax â unlike US servicemen, and unlike those Revenue-dodging offshore businessmen so dear to party fundraisers. A newly qualified squaddie facing suicide bombers, snipers and rockets round the clock earns two thirds of a British policemanâs wage; in a combat zone the 16-hour watches give an hourly rate of Â£2.45 and in Helmand, getting off duty after 16 hours is often a pipe dream anyway â fighting goes on for days. After Reid gaily said that they could leave âwithout a shot firedâ, and beetled off to insult the Home Office, they are fighting a confused war in the hardest conditions possible. On peanuts. Even the separation allowance of Â£6 a day only kicks in after 12 months. Oh, and they pay council tax on their barracks rooms back in Britain.".... ".....soldiers are different. Service people place themselves under obedience; they agree to be a tool of the State, not to ask questions or flounce off on a whim. Soldiers have to go to war even when they think itâs a nonsense; they are bound by loyalty to their fellows, Queen and country. Politicians are given the awesome responsibility of deploying this human loyalty, and they therefore have a massive duty of care towards the military, who are at their mercy. It is far greater than any imaginary duty to nag the rest of us about our weight, tell us how to think about Islam or pay us compensation for tripping over paving stones."