Lest we forget
But Britain's campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have consigned so many of Britain's finest to unnecessary deaths. Recent investigations have revealed a catalogue of MoD failures. Indeed, of the 254 who have died, 88 of these were found to be the result of friendly fire incidents or equipment shortages, prompting claims that the Ministry of Defence has been negligent of its duty of care to servicemen and women. And that is only taking account those deaths which were followed by inquiry or inquest.
One would think that this Labour Government would feel some sort of moral obligation to honour the Military Covenant, which demands that, while our finest and bravest men and women in the military risk their lives in combat, the least the nation can do is to ensure that they are properly equipped. Yet the Government has displayed a complete lack of preparedness for the scale or consequences of the two conflicts. It ought to be a cause of very great anger that our service men and women are not only dying for lack of body armour, but also for lack of armoured vehicles, air conditioning, medics, and hydration tablets.
And it ought to be a cause of very great anger indeed that the Government wastes countless billions of pounds on futile and ineffectual policies while starving the MoD of the cash it desperately needs. But then Labour has never been the Party to trust with the defence of the Realm.
So while we honour those who fell in ‘the war to end all wars’, let us not forget those who continue to fall in today’s wars. And let us also not forget where the ultimate responsibility lies.