We are far too sentimental about ‘our boys’

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by stinker, Dec 12, 2009.

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  1. I've not got the time to pick the bones out of that one. I was beginning to agree with him, then he went and spoiled it. The excessive sentimentality is a good point, but comparing the deaths to an area of industry is a bit weak. His understanding of what is happening there and the wider, non-military elements, is rather porous to say the least.
  2. Written on the front line in .........er Wapping. Get out there Mr Pariss then gob off about just a job, or ask your war correspondent colleagues who've done something slightly more dangerous that Have I Got News For You., what they feel about your remarks.
  3. He isn't comparing the same death rates: deaths on operations are not the totality of deaths in service. For 2007, there was 204 (72 per 100,000).

    Did he choose agricultural work because it sounds gentle, or because the only one which came close to the military's rate is a sector which causes concern because of its extremely high suicide rate?
  4. Well said Markintime.
  5. I think he's got a fair point, people are too sentimental about 'our boys'. This recent trend of making a fetish of dead soldiers isn't healthy and obscures important questions about Afghanistan and the national interest. The British Army is a professional force made up of adults who make the choice to be in it.
  6. His post was actually rather clumsy and badly worded. Sorry.
  7. Then you, as he does, miss the point. Yes soldiers are paid, if you think they're well paid then have a look at how much PSCs pay grunts to give you some idea of what the 'going rate' is. Soldiers may be paid but who joined up to endure the living conditions of an FOB, the sleep deprivation and days on patrol though every type of terrain, that all without even engaging the enemy, sometimes. Of course being uncomfortable doesn't make you a hero, no one claims it does but the esteem with which the Public hold the soldier makes it bearable
    To say that the soldier is a professional is true, but so are our firefighters, our police and just about anyone who takes on a difficult and dangerous job. Most will take such a job on for a whole host of reasons, 'duty' the feeling that they should contribute, that they can make a difference are high on most soldier's priorities rather than £20k a year and live in extreme physical hardship for most of your year if on ops. To fail to recognise the soldier who loses his life going to defuse an IED is to fail to recognise the police officer who is swept to his death when a bridge collapses or the firefighter who is killed when a building he was in collapses. They are paid for their efforts, does that negate the courage and dedication required to do those jobs?
    Whereas you may not accept the politics and the reasons for being in Afghanistan that does not mean that the men and women who risk their life, physical or mental health to carry out this Country's Foreign Policy don't carry out a task and in a manner that mere money can only offer poor recompense for. You cannot count loyalty and dedication in monetary terms and you cannot compensate courage.
    Whilst we're on about courage let's not forget the families who are left behind, who put on the bravest of brave faces and spend 6 months dreading the sound of the doorbell. Who get no compensation, no salary, no Queen's shilling. Who just stay at home and support and keep the home fires burning. We no longer live in the world of the amateur, even our Olympic athletes are paid these days, the mark of true courage and dedication is not a refusal to accept money, but how can you truly compensate a Mum who's lost her boy or girl, a wife or husband left alone at a tender age or the children who will never truly know their parent.
    Blame the politicians but do not blame the myriad men and women of the Services and those that support the Services, because what they do is beyond price.
  8. I tink you're the one missing the point. I didn't mention pay, PSCs are private companies they pay the market rate for their job so what they pay is irrelevant (not to mention that soldiers have a lot more back up and fringe benefits). I don't really see for that matter what the point of the rest of your post was about, I know soldiers take on the job for lots of reasons (as does anyone), perhaps more relevant is that they make that decision of their own free will, portraying them as unwitting victims of circumstances far beyond their control is a bit patronising.
  9. Parris is basically a good journalist, but what he and a lot of others fail to understand that a liberal democracy can no more have soldiers who pick and choose conflicts than it can have cops who set themselves up as judge and jury, trying and punishing people. His argument is that WW2 was straightforwardly and unambiguously a "good" war of survival, and current operations aren't. Christ, the Cabinet was split at the outset of WW2...many thought we could reach an accomodation with Germany. A soldier says i) this is a representative democracy, ii) the use of force is sometimes necessary, iii) there will never be unanimity as to the use of force, iv) representatives will have to decide when to use force, v) someone needs to accept that they will operationalise that decision regardless of what it is.

    If nobody places themselves under the sovereign's command you don't have a society at all - no cops, no soldiers, no civil servants..............

    Parris needs to read Hobbes's Leviathan. The only way the many can become one is to submit all their wills to one will. That creates the possibility of peace and decency, and so is a moral act.
  10. "How blessed is he who for his country dies"

    Jonathan Swift
  11. I agree. The country is slowly turning into a bunch of fannies. You takes the Queens shilling, you takes your chances. Get over it.
  12. Swap 'blessed' for 'unlucky' and I'd tend to agree. Nothing blessed about dying TBH.
  13. he makes a living being a prick
  14. Who. me or Swift, who was a religious nutter who lived in our old base at the Deanery in Clougher