If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Wise words

From behind The Times paywall, so typed laboriously by hand.

Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Fry, on his unease about the public's relationship with the armed forces:
He warned that the changes reflected underlying damage to the relationship between the public, the Government and the armed forces. "We had a consensus about the use of force for most of the last 200 years," he argued. "When we went to war it was assumed that we would obey certain conditions: it would be rules-based; we would be likely to prevail; and the outcome would be largely beneficial. With Napoleon and the two [world] wars of the 20th Century those conditions were largely met. In 2003, with the Iraq invasion, the consensus was broken and has yet to be reconstructed. Maybe it won't be."
About Remembrance Day, he says:
"There is some of this that is good and laudable, and there is some that is pretty mawkish," he said. "It is a question of trying to celebrate what is good and trying to avoid the Diana, Graceland stuff."
He goes on to praise Help For Heroes as a desire for the public to reach out to the Forces "over the heads of the intervening elites" of politicians and generals. He doesn't actually say that this is a result of the disgust felt by many people over the way that the last government treated the Forces, but I think that was his general drift.


  1. " the outcome would be largely beneficial."

    Ha ha. Doubt it. Millions maimed or killed. Millions of houses destroyed. Thousands killed by firing squad for losing their minds. Governments short changing their troops up to the present day ( Cameron reneging on his promise not to reduce widows pensions - then reducing widows pensions by tagging them to the consumer price index rather than retail price index - £500K average loss over an Iraq or Afghanistan widows lifetime.)

  2. Same old, same old.

    'Twas ever thus, I'm afraid.

  3. Did he really say that.. "mawkish.. Diana..Graceland" stuff?

    I am not sure here. Yes, it can get a bit proscriptive, what with people being denounced for not wearing poppies, but we are under siege in this country from the liberal elite who deny what this country is about and who is trying to destroy it, and under fire from Islamic extremists who want to blow us up.

    Timely reminders of why we are free, hopefully devoid of faux sentiment, are, I think, so crucial.

  4. Yes, that was copied word for word. I think his comments were about the 'celebrity' poppy/recreational grief thing. If remembrance becomes just a fashion statement, then I can agree with him that it has lost its dignity and meaning. It was a long article, and limitations of time and being arsed prevented me from quoting more.

    More people wear poppies today than when I was a child, but I sometimes wonder if wearing a poppy has become the new political correctness. A newsreader without one attracts comment and criticism, when it should be a personal choice.


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