Vets/generals attack BNPs hijack of militarys good name

Veterans join generals in attack on BNP's 'hijacking' of military reputation

Published Date: 20 October 2009

VETERANS joined former Army generals to launch a fullscale assault on the British National Party today.
Retired top brass accused the far-right group of attempting to "hijack" the good name of the military for its own ends.

And war heroes including ex-SAS commando Andy McNab and Falklands veteran Simon Weston condemned the BNP's use of images of Britain's Armed Forces in its election materials.

The campaign – called Stolen Valour – was organised by anti-racism group Nothing British, which accused the party of trying to use the public's warm feelings towards the military to promote extremist politics.

Mr Weston, who suffered horrific burns when the Sir Galahad was hit by a missile in the Falklands War, recorded a YouTube video attacking the BNP's tactics.

He said: "I find it appalling to think that they can take the dignity and the honour and the respect with which those people treated their service and their uniform, and align it to the horrors and desires of these people."

McNab added: "What it's doing is abusing and taking advantage of what our troops are doing in both Iraq and continuously in Afghanistan."

The launch of the campaign was backed with a letter signed by General Sir Mike Jackson and General Sir Richard Dannatt, both former heads of the Army, Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, former head of the Armed Forces, and Major-General Patrick Cordingley, who commanded the Desert Rats in the Gulf War.

They said the views of far right groups were "fundamentally at odds" with the values of the British military.

"We call on all those who seek to hijack the good name of Britain's military for their own advantage to cease and desist," they wrote.

The BNP used images of Britain at war, including pictures of Spitfires and Winston Churchill, during campaigning for the recent European Parliament elections, at which it won two seats.

The party's leader, Nick Griffin, has repeatedly worn a poppy badge despite requests from the Royal British Legion to stop doing so.

James Bethell, director of Nothing British, said: "People are fed up with the BNP using the honour of Britain's armed services and the memory of fallen heroes to promote the politics of racism and extremism."

• The letter signed by the generals reads: "We, the undersigned, are increasingly concerned that the reputation of Britain's armed services is being tarnished by political extremists who are attempting to appropriate it for their own dubious ends.

"We deplore this trend for two reasons.

"First, the values of these extremists – many of whom are essentially racist – are fundamentally at odds with the values of the modern British military such as tolerance and fairness.

"Commonwealth soldiers, who comprise about 10% of the services, represent an invaluable contribution to the success of Britain's military, both in history and the current day. Many have won the highest awards.

"Second, the reputation of our Armed Forces was won over centuries of service in some of the most difficult areas of the world. Political extremists should claim no right to share in this proud heritage.

"We call on all those who seek to hijack the good name of Britain's military for their own advantage to cease and desist."
Blame it on the difference in the time zones!


Rodney2q said:
Blame it on the difference in the time zones!


Good one-never take personal responsibility if I can find another reason! It is the new American way it seems. :D

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