Saturday, June 29, 2013

Armed Forces Day - for those who fight for our freedom


It's hard to get any new national celebration off the ground: it is usually only after centuries of cultural absorption that a red-letter day - a day of special significance - is established. The first were on the Church's calendar - saints' days, feasts and other holy days - some of which became fused with the political foundation of the nation state - St Patrick, St Andrew, St David and St George. We also have civil red-letter days, like the Queen's birthday (and official birthday), and Remembrance Sunday. In this increasingly secularised age, the success (or otherwise) of these days appears to be directly proportional to the consumerism surrounding them.

Today is the fifth Armed Forces Day. It will be overlooked by millions who are oblivious, and ignored by millions more who will be aware of it but completely detached from it. The website informs us:
It's an opportunity to do two things. Firstly, to raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces, Secondly, it gives the nation an opportunity to Show Your Support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families and from veterans to cadets.
You'll find a list of celebrity supporters - Brucie, the cast of Emmerdale, Davina McCall.. along with Her Majesty and the Queen and the Prime Minister. But apart from the Supreme Governor there is only one listed supporter from the Church of England:


Isn't he a national treasure? Please remember and give thanks today for those who risk and pay the ultimate price so that we might live in peace and security. And please remember also the military chaplains, whose task it is to bring spiritual comfort and encouragement to our men and women on the front line. It can't be easy grappling with the complex theological and moral questions and ethical dilemmas which arise.

There will be those who object to any celebration of the war machine, principally because of the horror of battles fought and blood poured out. You have the right to propagate the gospel of non-violence and to hold such views. But please remember that you are at liberty to do so only because others fought and gave their lives so that you might be free. In giving thanks for our Armed Forces, you are opposing evil and supporting that which is good. There are those armies and nations with a lust to conquer and destroy, but ours is mobilised only reluctantly and dedicated to the ultimate cause of peace.

War is always a tragedy: even when it is 'just', it is not a normative good. More often it is waged for wicked motives and unworthy ends. But the British Armed Forces are motivated by neighbour love and a desire for more authentic peace. It is our political leaders who bear responsibility for the well-being of the people; it is our soldiers, sailors and pilots who are called to arms and, sadly, to pay with their lives.

Remembrance Sunday is to commemorate the dead: Armed Forces Day is to appreciate the living. Thank them while you can.

95 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

Thank You YG for highlighting the significance of this day. I would add that by celebrating those who have defended / would defend us, we are also celebrating that we are (or should be) a nation having a common purpose.

That's far from the truth of course. We have elements in our society who want our destruction and those who hate the very machinery which, as you say, has given them the freedom to behave as they do

As to those who object to the many armed conflicts Britain has been involved in (myself included), I can only say blame the politicians, not the armed forces. A soldier has choice where he is sent to fight. One year he may be fighting some dubious conflict in the Middle East, but another year he may be literally defending his homeland, and us who live in it.

Oh yes, and God Bless John Sentamu for being a true Christian AND a patriotic Briton.

29 June 2013 at 11:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Hear Hear ! Archbishop

John Sentamu continues to surprise and delight. Here is an African, who having benefited from the Anglican missionary spirit in Africa, has come to the country that spawned that activity. And he stands virtually alone with said spirit, it having vanished here in little more than half a century.

The Inspector salutes you John...

29 June 2013 at 11:16  
Blogger John Wrake said...

I think it wise to avoid the use of the phrase 'common purpose' in reference to this nation. Not only is it a misnomer for the nation, but it is the title of a very dubious 'political charity' busy indoctrinating organs of government, both central and local, with ideas designed to destroy the nation which our Armed Forces defend.

Thank God for Archbishop Sentamu and those other leaders in the Christian Church who are prepared to speak out in support of the principles which made Britain great in the past, and which are still upheld by some, not least among those who serve the Queen in her Armed Forces.

John Wrake

29 June 2013 at 11:37  
Blogger John Wrake said...

I think it wise to avoid the use of the phrase 'common purpose' in reference to this nation. Not only is it a misnomer for the nation, but it is the title of a very dubious 'political charity' busy indoctrinating organs of government, both central and local, with ideas designed to destroy the nation which our Armed Forces defend.

Thank God for Archbishop Sentamu and those other leaders in the Christian Church who are prepared to speak out in support of the principles which made Britain great in the past, and which are still upheld by some, not least among those who serve the Queen in her Armed Forces.

John Wrake

29 June 2013 at 11:38  
Blogger Preacher said...

Excellent posting Dr Cranmer. How I wish John Sentamu was Archbishop of Canterbury.

29 June 2013 at 12:26  
Blogger Flossie said...

Thank you, Your Grace, for highlighting this day - from this soldier's daughter.

Watching the 'Military Wives' series recently brought it all back to me.

29 June 2013 at 12:49  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Excellent posting, Your Grace. Thank you.
It is interesting that the two Church of England bishops who defend Christianity and its role in this country the most are both from outside the UK. I refer of course to Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali and Archbishop John Sentamu. Armed with the wider perspective of the outsider, who is often freer to look across the sweep of history, culture and geography and with their sense of gratitude to the 19th century spirit of Anglican evangelism that flowed through the trade routes of the empire, they can see very clearly the harms that are accumulating within our country, and the threat that this poses to our ailing democracy.
I recommend that readers here look at the excellent piece on Lord Sacks on Anglican Mainstream.

29 June 2013 at 12:54  
Blogger Nick said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

29 June 2013 at 14:05  
Blogger Nick said...

David Hussell

A very intelligent article by Lord Sacks, as you say. It only makes me sad at the lack of such inspirational publications by Anglican leaders (YG excepted of course)

I would recomment Anglican Mainstream to anybody who wants to get news on important issues affecting all of us. You won't find any of that material in the mainstream media, e.g. the Germany is proposing to lift the ban homosexuals donating blood..

http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2013/06/25/%e2%80%9canti-discrimination%e2%80%9d-policies-always-were-ridiculous-but-now-they-turn-into-a-serious-danger/


That's my AM plug over. Back to the topic in hand...

29 June 2013 at 14:07  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Very Good post YG Thank you.

29 June 2013 at 15:08  
Blogger Anglican said...

David Hussell 12.54

I totally agree that it is not only interesting but strange (or is it?) that the most orthodox bishops are mainly foreign born (including the excellent Michael Nazir-Ali, who clearly believed he could do more good by ceasing to be a diocesan bishop). Also of course Lord Sacks; a great pity he was ineligible to become Archbishop of Canterbury!

29 June 2013 at 15:57  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Don't support. Join. Encourage your children to join. There is a growing divide between the worlds of civilian and military because so many people simply opt out. The volunteer military is a self-selected force that does not distribute service equally across society. Everyone is better off if the military represents the broad population. If nothing else, it's harder to commit a nation to war when the prospective casualties won't just be names on a TV screen from some other demographic.

Put on the uniform and take the Oath. That's the best support you can give.

carl

29 June 2013 at 16:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I've no objection to an Armed Forces Day, though I don't think we are obliged to take any notice. The Armed Forces are used for a number of different things, most good but some bad, but rarely to defend our freedom and way of life. I've objected to the Help For Heroes thing in the past because it seemed like a propaganda thing, created when there was significant public opposition to our involvement in the Iraq War. I've also objected to the modern politicisation of Remembrance Sunday which I think should be just about the two World Wars and the specific horrors of those. The State has a duty to our Armed Forces, providing the best equipment and skills it can, and providing social support during service and especially afterwards. We should all be encouraging that, whether or not we agree with the politics surrounding their deployment.

29 June 2013 at 16:11  
Blogger LEN said...

We should remember all servicemen those fallen and those who serve their Country.
Dr John Sentamu is a national treasure and we need more Church leaders like him.

29 June 2013 at 17:03  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I would be in favour of re- introducing two years National Service Military or Civil. Although this would be going against the EU trend (not surprising really as it actively in the process of eradicating the concept of a nation state).

The benefits would be enormous for both the Country and our youth.

29 June 2013 at 17:49  
Blogger Span Ows said...

Well said and well done YG

29 June 2013 at 17:57  
Blogger Peter D said...

"I've no objection to an Armed Forces Day,"

How very gracious of you ....

" ... though I don't think we are obliged to take any notice."

Well no, not obliged but it would be a good thing.

"The Armed Forces are used for a number of different things, most good but some bad, but rarely to defend our freedom and way of life."

Really? What nonsense. You look a soldier in the eyes and tell him or her that. Just be ready to be robustly responded to.

29 June 2013 at 18:37  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lol. You stupid berk. Facts aren't dependent on someone's muscles.

29 June 2013 at 19:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. Some good news for you. the MoD are raising a new entirely gay regiment...

The Queens own Prancers

29 June 2013 at 20:07  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The purpose of the military is to enforce the national will against foreign entities - where 'national will' is defined by the current gov't. So a statement like ...

most good but some bad

... is packed with unstated assumptions about what that 'national will' should be. 'Good' gets defined as 'a policy with which I agree.' 'Bad' gets defined as 'a policy with which I don't agree.' The difference is founded in conflicting judgments about cost and benefit, sovereignty and law, justice and power, national interest and international reaction.

... but rarely to defend our freedom and way of life.

It depends on the definitions employed. You can define 'defend our freedom' so narrowly that only a war like WWII applies. Would WWI apply? For Britain, yes. For the US, no. The US went to war in 1918 to defend its perceived interest in avoiding a dominant continental power in Europe. Would it have lost its freedom or its way of life had Germany won? No, but its interests would have been affected. Likewise, the US could have easily survived Japanese victory in WWII. The Japanese were looking to dominate Asia, and not conquer the western Hemisphere. But its interests would have been affected.

Should then the definition of 'freedom' and 'way of life' be expanded to cover such national security eventualities? 'Freedom' in national terms is defined as 'the freedom of the nation to pursue its national interest without hindrance for the sake of its own people.' Nations don't fight for 'good causes.' They fight for national interest - its security and prosperity. The ability to exercise that national interest is a measure of a nation's freedom. Those are the policy differences upon which turn arguments over war and peace.

There are for example lots of people who consider the Second Gulf War 'bad' because it was a naked assertion of American sovereignty in the face of "International Law." That's exactly one of the reasons I consider it 'good.' It demonstrates that only the US is fit to judge its national interest and decide when to act in that national interest. It denies the existence of any temporal sovereign authority over the nations. And that is an important principle to establish. That is 'freedom to act.'

It strict narrow terms, nations rarely fight for national survival. They fight for relative position. But losing the contest for relative position can have significant impacts on the freedom and way of life of the citizens involved. Strong nations organize things to their own advantage. The remainder adapt as best they can.

carl

29 June 2013 at 20:35  
Blogger Nick said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

29 June 2013 at 20:42  
Blogger Peter D said...

Carl

I agree with much of your analysis, it just sounds too much like the old adage 'might is right'.

Come the day when China or some other country overtakes America in economic and military power, you may well reconsider the role of international law and the part played by the international community.

DanJ0

Go on then - provide some facts to back your assertion the Armed Forces rarely defend our freedom and way of life. Their very existence is a defence of Britain.

29 June 2013 at 21:18  
Blogger IanCad said...

Good read YG,

We need a military and should give them all the credit and reward they deserve.
They should be honoured and respected and should be the cream of the crop.

That said, as long as we have a volunteer system the quality of personnel will be somewhat lacking.
Some form of draft or lottery would go a long way toward improving the standards of our military.
We are in straitened times and we must get the most from our limited resources.

29 June 2013 at 21:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Go on then - provide some facts to back your assertion the Armed Forces rarely defend our freedom and way of life. Their very existence is a defence of Britain."

Dodo, we have Armed Forces to provide a defense if needed. That's their primary purpose. However, they're used for all sorts of things in the meantime, including peacekeeping, training other forces, and contributing to NATO and UN operations. Check out the extent of the deployments overseas to see what they're actually doing. I can think of two specific instances off the top of my head where they were deployed to defend our freedom and way of life: the Falklands Conflict (treating the Islands as British Overseas Territory) and arguably the war in Afghanistan to oust the Taleban. The rest have been geopolitical things of one sort or another, including what might be euphemistically called Foreign Policy Adventures. That's what I mean.

29 June 2013 at 22:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

And my original comment was because of this in the article: "But please remember that you are at liberty to do so only because others fought and gave their lives so that you might be free."

29 June 2013 at 22:16  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Peter D

it just sounds too much like the old adage 'might is right'.

It should sound that way, because that is the reality.

Come the day when China or some other country overtakes America in economic and military power, you may well reconsider the role of international law and the part played by the international community.

No, I wouldn't reconsider. What I said is true independent of the power of the United States. "International Law' is a convenient fiction. There is no enforcement. The basic flaw that allowed Italy to overrun Abyssinia unopposed cannot be corrected. There is a reason that European nations are not rushing forces into Syria.

Neither have I any faith in this thing you call the "international community.' It has neither substance nor shared agreement of goals and outcomes. It is a collection of impotent talkers. I rather have confidence in alliances and the hard power they represent. You can't bind real power with agreements and accords and pieces of paper. You can only bind power with countervailing power.

carl

29 June 2013 at 22:21  
Blogger Peter D said...

Carl

I know you're right, in terms of reality. I say, bring back the Divine Right of Christian Kings and a world wide Holy Roman Empire. Think how splendid that would be!!

DanJ0
Yes, of course you meant all that, how silly of me.

"And my original comment was because of this in the article: "But please remember that you are at liberty to do so only because others fought and gave their lives so that you might be free."

Your original comment being:

"The Armed Forces are used for a number of different things, most good but some bad, but rarely to defend our freedom and way of life."

Its the rare occasions that count, numb nuts, and their readiness to be deployed if needed. The Armed Services stand ready 24/7 to defend you. Do learn to respect and appreciate that fact.

29 June 2013 at 23:57  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

Is that what it was? I was out in our local town centre today and was pleasantly surprised to see cadets from our armed services with begging bowls. I had no idea why they were there. I think an armed forces day is a good idea, but please let us know that it is happening. Otherwise, it just seems like another wheeze to siphon spare cash out of peoples pockets.

30 June 2013 at 00:10  
Blogger Peter D said...

John in Cheshire

Well the 'great and good' (ahem) these days tend to make a song and a dance about such splendid events as: 'World AID's Day', 'International Women's Day' and 'Homosexual Pride Day'. The media don't promote awareness of Armed Services Day. I wonder just why that is?

30 June 2013 at 00:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Yes, of course you meant all that, how silly of me."

*shrug*

I suppose I've got another couple of weeks of this, from past experience, after your drubbing on the other thread, until you can feel better about yourself again. Oh well.

30 June 2013 at 07:06  
Blogger Peter D said...

DanJ0

No, you're just embarrassed at having made an ill-considered, off-the-cuff comment that revealed your feelings about our Armed Services and having being pulled up on it.

Drubbing on the other thread indeed ... Lol!

30 June 2013 at 14:33  
Blogger non mouse said...

Blessing upon Your Grace for raising the profile of Armed Forces Day.

What a pity the organisers didn't manage to show this cleverly presented Union flag throughout the land. The image says more ....

Thanks, indeed, to what is left of the Forces: for being prepared to fight for what is left of our freedom. If freedom is to survive at all, though, they need many more of us to support them.

30 June 2013 at 14:38  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Admit it DanJ0. You’ve made a real arse of yourself on this topic – haven’t you ?

30 June 2013 at 14:42  
Blogger Peter D said...

Such an admission would be a first, so don't hold your breath, Inspector.

Anyway, shouldn't you be at the Mouse and Wheel by now?

30 June 2013 at 14:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "No, you're just embarrassed at having made an ill-considered, off-the-cuff comment that revealed your feelings about our Armed Services and having being pulled up on it."

My comments were neither ill-considered or off-the-cuff. It's not the first time I said something similar here, you see, and I said by them. I'm pretty sure I've said in the past that my father was in the RAF too. I was in the air cadets for a while. On top of that, I have some friends in the Armed Forces. I have a lot of respect for the Armed Forces and what they do as it goes, in particular all the peacekeeping work, I'm just not a sheep to be manipulated by propaganda and calls to demonstrate patriotism by the State. But hey, you feck up almost all the time when you try to go on the offensive so it's hardly a surprise this time.

30 June 2013 at 15:28  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Anyway, shouldn't you be at the Mouse and Wheel by now?"

Going to mass today, Dodo? Go on, surprise the priest.

30 June 2013 at 15:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"and I said by them" -> "and I stand by them"

30 June 2013 at 15:43  
Blogger Manfarang said...

There is an Armed Forces Day in Thailand. It used to be a big deal but of course that was when the military virtually ruled the place.
Now it is a low key affair.
So maybe the British Armed Forces Day shows the future political direction of Britain.

30 June 2013 at 16:20  
Blogger Peter D said...

" ... my father was in the RAF too. I was in the air cadets for a while. On top of that, I have some friends in the Armed Forces."

Yes DanJ0, and some of my best friends are homosexual too ... lol!

"I have a lot of respect for the Armed Forces and what they do as it goes, in particular all the peacekeeping work, I'm just not a sheep to be manipulated by propaganda and calls to demonstrate patriotism by the State."

So acknowledging our Armed Forces put their lives at risk to protect our freedoms, is being "manipulated by propaganda", is it?

Letting our Armed Services know we are proud of them for what they do is being "manipulated by propaganda", is it?

"I'm just not a sheep to be manipulated by propaganda and calls to demonstrate patriotism by the State."

Keep digging, you'll be in Australia by night fall at this rate ... lol!

"But hey, you feck up almost all the time when you try to go on the offensive so it's hardly a surprise this time."

"Going to mass today, Dodo? Go on, surprise the priest."

Ooooo, quite the spiteful little queen when cornered aren't we? I suppose I'd better be careful, what with you having had some 'military' training and all ... lol!

30 June 2013 at 16:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Blimey, Dodo, the loss of face on that other thread must have been pretty significant if you're still trying to run with this. You'll be at the bottle of whiskey later to make yourself feel better at this rate ... but still ignoring the harm alcohol does in society, of course. ;)

30 June 2013 at 17:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Anyway, how was this week's mass Dodo? Did it make you feel all godly for a couple of minutes before your demon reasserted itself? Or didn't you bother going?

30 June 2013 at 17:17  
Blogger Peter D said...

DanJ0, do stop squirming about. It's embarrassing to witness; really, it is. Why not acknowledge your gratitude to our Armed Forces? A simple "thank you" will do.

You know it makes sense. Go on, overcome your pride - just this once.

30 June 2013 at 17:32  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Did you go to confession too, Dodo? I expect the priest told you that with the latest corruption scandal brewing back at RCHQ your ungodly stuff here is trivial so just say three prayers worshipping Mary this time?

30 June 2013 at 17:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Except you didn't go to mass or confession at all, did you? In fact, you probably haven't been for years truth be told.

30 June 2013 at 17:46  
Blogger Peter D said...

DanJ0

Why its you again! Why am I not surprised?

I'm pleased you mentioned the breaking scandal in Rome. Yes, I'm aware of it. An insider revealing homosexual perversions inside the Vatican, it seems.

I thank God these sexual perverts are finally being ousted from within the Church. In fact, I'm hoping there will be a major police investigation now one of them is squawking following the Church's refusal to readmit him to the priesthood after serving a prison sentence for sexual crimes.

Oh, and our Armed Services .... you've overlooked them in this latest poisonous outburst.

30 June 2013 at 19:03  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Actually, I was talking about the banking thing. The sexual hypocrisy thing is old hat now.

30 June 2013 at 19:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

So, how was this week's mass and confession Dodo?

30 June 2013 at 19:17  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Actually, setting aside your religious obligations for a moment, can I just check that you did actually attend an Armed Forces Day event? No, of course you did. Even someone as dim as you wouldn't be sounding off here without doing that. So, how was it?

30 June 2013 at 19:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Plenty of army cadets and sea cadets out on the streets of Gloucester yesterday. Culminated with a march to the Westgate bar, the gay place, which they wrecked then set light to...


30 June 2013 at 19:40  
Blogger Peter D said...

Let's stay on topic, DanJ0.

You do appreciate how parsimonious your comments about our Armed Services were, don't you?

Here's what Prime Minister David Cameron, said:

"Armed Forces Day is about reminding the British people that every day, as we go about our business, there are extraordinary men and women all over the world, and indeed right here at home, who risk their lives for our safety and security.

"Let us show everyone in our Armed Forces just how proud we are of everything that they do."


Nottingham hosted the main event this year. Quite near you, I believe. Trust you attended.

Since you ask, a small parade did take place very near me yesterday morning and I was pleased to attend. These events, large and small, are held to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community – serving troops, their families, veterans and cadets.

It's worth the effort, don't you think. Oh no, you don't do you? Here's your view:

"The Armed Forces are used for a number of different things, most good but some bad, but rarely to defend our freedom and way of life.""

According to you, the events are just State manipulation and:

"I'm just not a sheep to be manipulated by propaganda and calls to demonstrate patriotism by the State."

Shame on you.




30 June 2013 at 19:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

30 June 2013 at 20:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, I couldn't be arsed attending an event. I've got better things to do with my time, especially as I'm suspicious about the drive behind them. Lordy, I spent enough time at military parades and stuff in my youth. The point about our much vaunted freedom is that it allows people to decide not to attend such events.

Of course, the Armed Forces haven't actually been fighting for my freedom other than to some extent in Afghanistan back in 2001 and subsequently as part of NATO anyway. I don't feel I need to show gratitude in some staged events organised by the State every year.

That said, I respect the work of our Armed Forces, though not necessarily the reasons for all their deployments, and I'm pleased that we contribute to UN and NATO operations, in particular the peace-keeping ones around the world.

Moreover, as I have said, I fully support proper provisioning of the Armed Forces and support to individuals during and after service. In fact, I think the State doesn't do anything like enough for many of them and I'd like it to do more.

The thing about the Armed Forces is that it's a career for the people who sign up. These are professionals doing a job, unlike the people who really did fight for freedom in WW2. Nevertheless, I respect the bravery of people who face danger as they do. Of course I do.

Yet I still have suspicions about the drive behind Help For Heroes, Armed Forces Day, and some of the more recent pushes behind the Poppy Appeal. I think a fair chunk of it is as a result of public concerns about the Iraq War, ongoing defence cuts, and the uncertain results in Afghanistan. It's a morale thing.

But of course, you're not interested in the actual arguments around this at all, are you Dodo? You're just sore about your drubbing on the other thread and you're in that two week period I've already mentioned where you need to pick fights with me to try to feel better about yourself again. What a twunt.

30 June 2013 at 21:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

But anyway, how was mass and confession this week Dodo? I'd bet money that you haven't been for years other than for BDM events. However, if you did actually go then I'd be interested in how you'd present your activities on here. They're surely well worthy of penitence at times.

30 June 2013 at 21:06  
Blogger Peter D said...

DanJ0

Well, that's a somewhat qualified statement of support for the Armed Forces.

"The thing about the Armed Forces is that it's a career for the people who sign up."

Yes, of course it is! So what?

"These are professionals doing a job, unlike the people who really did fight for freedom in WW2."

Eh? The backbone of the Armed Service was the professional. Being conscripted makes a difference? Or is it that the enemy was at the gate?

"Of course, the Armed Forces haven't actually been fighting for my freedom other than to some extent in Afghanistan back in 2001 and subsequently as part of NATO anyway."

And then you go and spoil it all by saying something really stupid! Armed Servicemen and women do what they're commanded on behalf of their country - they don't sit around pompously philosophising about it. And what they do is dangerous. Freedom is something you have to perpetually preserve and be vigilant about. You have no idea what are Armed Forces do on a daily basis, do you? Admit it.

"Nevertheless, I respect the bravery of people who face danger as they do. Of course I do."

Thank the Lord! Face danger to protect your freedom and way of life. Go on, say it.

30 June 2013 at 21:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, only you could make so much something out of nothing like this. There's nothing I'm unhappy with in what I've said here to date. Why should there be? You must have been pretty sore about your drubbing on that thread, even more so than I realised, to be squawking like this! I know your argument completely collapsed but that's hardly a new thing for you, is it? Jeez.

30 June 2013 at 22:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

But anyway, did you go to mass and confession this week Dodo?

30 June 2013 at 22:08  
Blogger Peter D said...

"There's nothing I'm unhappy with in what I've said here to date. Why should there be?"

Apart from what I've already pointed out, you mean?

You revealed a casual, arrogant attitude towards the Armed Services - a typical pinko, liberal, dismissiveness. You're also ignorant about the nature of modern day deployments. Disgraceful.

My argument collapsed? Lol ...

Are you egotistically deluded? You compare alcoholism with pornography and say more harm than good would come from trying to eradicate it. Then trot out some convoluted disagreement with Devlin to give credibility to this absurd position and then the usual bunkum about there being no difference between Islam and Christianity. Are you being serious?!

And of course I went to Mass today! I am a Catholic, you know. As for Confession, it's my practice to go every first Saturday of the month.

Now - why not just unconditionally thank the Armed Services for the work they do in protecting our freedom and way of life?

30 June 2013 at 22:53  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Your Grace,

I agree a national day to remember our defence forces is a good show... alas some chaps are unable to understand the difference between those said forces (who have ZERO say in the wars they fight) and the politicians who send them into combat...

Thankfully HM Defence forces swear an OATH of loyalty to the Monarch and not the politicians of the day (an oath in my day meant an Irishman's word was their bond).

One is surprised that the current Con-Dem government isn't suggesting a public-private partnership of HM Defence Forces or outright privitisation

With their warped logic why not, everything else is being privatized, from the NHS to legal matters, prisons, to benefits to our great universities...

Let's just flog everything owf to the highest bidder!

30 June 2013 at 23:03  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

I suspect that Carl Jacobs will caveat his provisional agreement of 'might is right' with the forthcoming 4th July celebrations in his native homeland. Afterall in 1776 'might' was the British Empire... but what was 'right'?

30 June 2013 at 23:21  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

As for Danjo, typical liberal left wing socialist atheist rot :

'I've objected to the Help For Heroes thing in the past because it seemed like a propaganda thing'

Of course our lads and ladesses are bally heros!

"I've also objected to the modern politicisation of Remembrance Sunday"

Or the atrocious attempts by some to burn poppies, agitate against our defence forces or those with links to 'the religion of peace'. Quite. I agree that the politcisation is out of order.

"The State has a duty to our Armed Forces, providing the best equipment and skills it can, and providing social support during service and especially afterwards."

I agree with that. It was called the military 'covenant'. Except the political chattering classes have forgotten that.

Of which, you declare :

"rarely to defend our freedom and way of life."

Utter nonsense my boy, the defence forces have prevented an invasion of our Islands since 1066...

30 June 2013 at 23:29  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

I also agree with Dreadnaught; national conscription for all adults, would instill the discipline needed in our youth, that has been so lacking in the past couple of years (due to the breakdown of traditional and God given views on family, faith and harth).

It works for Israel, God's chosen people, so why not for the rest of us?

30 June 2013 at 23:40  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

A song for all patriots of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Her Majesty's Imperial Dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Raj of India and the realms and territories across the seas :

"Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules
Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these.
But of all the world's brave heroes, there's none that can compare.
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the British Grenadiers.

Whene'er we are commanded to storm the palisades,
Our leaders march with fusees, and we with hand grenades.
We throw them from the glacis, about the enemies' ears.
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the British Grenadiers.

Then let us fill a bumper, and drink a health of those
Who carry caps and pouches, and wear the loupèd clothes.
May they and their commanders live happy all their years.
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the British Grenadiers."

30 June 2013 at 23:53  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Danjo,

In all honesty, I didn't think you were that far to the left that you'd seek to attack our Army, Navy and Airforce like you have in the posts above.

Disgraceful.

1 July 2013 at 00:26  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

But to those of us who do think highly of the defence forces : Here's to the Army, Royal Navy, The Royal Airforce and the battles they have won; here's to Britain's colours, the colours that never run...

1 July 2013 at 00:28  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Lord Lavendon

Alan Alexander Milne 1882-1956

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
"A soldier's life is terrible hard,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We saw a guard in a sentry-box.
"One of the sergeants looks after their socks,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We looked for the King, but he never came.
"Well, God take care of him, all the same,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
They've great big parties inside the grounds.
"I wouldn't be King for a hundred pounds,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
A face looked out, but it wasn't the King's.
"He's much too busy a-signing things,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
"Do you think the King knows all about me?"
"Sure to, dear, but it's time for tea,"
Says Alice.

1 July 2013 at 04:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I see the Kavanagh reinforcements have arrived from the safe sanctuary blog to help Dodo out now. Jeez, it'll be like a Beverly Hillbillies knees-up around here shortly.

1 July 2013 at 05:49  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

There's nothing I'm unhappy with in what I've said here to date. Why should there be?

Lack of self-awareness.

I was in the air cadets for a while.

Unless the "air cadets" required you to take an oath of allegiance that subjected you to military justice, then your membership in the "air cadets" provides you exactly zero credibility to speak on the subject. You know nothing of the military based on that experience. The fact that you had to reach that far to find some personal connection simply illustrates your lack of tangible personal connection.

On top of that, I have some friends in the Armed Forces.

Well, that's something. I would however be wiling to bet that your count of friends is exceeded by the number of those from my immediate family who have served.

The thing about the Armed Forces is that it's a career for the people who sign up.

Except we don't use the word 'career' the same way you do. It's not like becoming an accountant for IBM. I have been on both sides of this equation. I understand exactly the difference between taking the oath and getting a job.

These are professionals doing a job ...

Yes, it is a profession. It has a professional body of knowledge and an ethical code governing its use. You might know that if you had done more than spend some time in the "air cadets."

... unlike the people who really did fight for freedom in WW2.

As opposed to the professionals who did their job in WWII? Who do you think took a bunch of pissant civilians and turned them into soldiers? Do you think that happens by act of parliament? Do you think that happens by handing a man a rifle and a uniform? Who do you think lead them out of the landing craft? Who do you think lead them through the hedgerows? You don't have the first f'ing clue about the military. Or how its organized. Or how it works.

Of course, the Armed Forces haven't actually been fighting for my freedom other than to some extent in Afghanistan back in 2001 and subsequently as part of NATO anyway.

This is the heart of the argument. "I don't approve of the deployment, and so I will not express gratitude to the soldier lest it be construed as tacit support for gov't policy." You are willing to show respect for bravery. But gratitude? Nah. There is nothing to thank them for. If they get their ass shot off, well that is just the risk inherent in their chosen profession. They are professionals, after all. Not like the guys who fought the last good war. What has their current sacrifice to do with you and your freedom and your way of life. Your attitude is founded in a despicable conflation of the soldier with his mission. Maybe if you had done more than spend some time in the "air cadets" you would understand the difference.

Not one of your better efforts - what with all the insults and the misdirection and triumphalism. It was good to see Peter D not rise to your attempted provocation. You failed to get him off onto a tangent. You failed to get him to revert to old behaviors. But you certainly tried. And in the process you managed to denigrate the service of those who took an oath you declined to take, who went where you wouldn't go, and who did what you wouldn't do. "No! You're not fighting for my freedom. You're engaged in a Foreign Policy Adventure." Those men were lawfully sent into harm's way by the lawfully elected gov't of your own nation. They acted in obedience to their oath under lawful orders from the command structure you demand be placed over them. And all you are concerned about is whether you agree with the deployment.

Now everyone understands what you meant by the use of the word 'professional.' Perhaps you should have been explicit and just used the word 'paid Gov't mercenary.'

carl

1 July 2013 at 06:20  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Oh well again Danjo is intent on provoking Dodo with his insults and obscenities. I am sorry you have to endure this Doddles but it is evident that Danjo has carte blanche here to hurl obscenities at you without any intervention from HG ..You might interpret this as complicity on HG's part. There have been already four communicants complain about Danjo's behaviour. Just continue to ignore him Dodo, stay on topic and remember his sole purpose here is to have you removed from this blog site. You seem to have a little more support from communicants this time.

1 July 2013 at 11:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 July 2013 at 13:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl, the air cadet thing along with the other personal stuff was simply to push back the claim regarding my alleged feelings about the Armed Forces. Afterall, I've actually said nothing negative about the Armed Forces at all here, but of course facts like that are hardly going to get in the way of the issues. So all that stuff about you've written about oaths and experience and (snort) landing craft is just misdirected noise.

As for getting Dodo to revert, you're way behind the curve there. The 'energy' in the comment at 29 June 2013 18:37 has not come out of the blue, it was an attack immediately following on from the other thread to try for some much needed payback on a more active thread. The Inspector has already admitted trying to stir up some more on the thread above too, after trying and trying to 'buzz' the other thread.

There is potentially a debate or exchange of views to be had about the two things I've touched on: whether our Armed Forces are really defending our freedom in any active sense which obliges the population to buy into some sort of communal hip-hip-hooray exercise, and whether the various initiatives by the State to engage the population have a more cynical purpose perhaps stretching across the Atlantic and back to the Vietnam War.

But no, the thread is essentially dead as far as reasonable debate there is concerned and we're left in a state where you in your guise as Universal Soldier, the Misogynist, and the bloody Clampetts are grouping up to provide tactical support and offload your and their built-up aggression. Well, feel free. Nowt I can't handle, and on my own too.

1 July 2013 at 13:37  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

As for this: "Your attitude is founded in a despicable conflation of the soldier with his mission.", I'm minded to make a comment about that later once I've got past the hyperbole and pomposity of it.

1 July 2013 at 15:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Indignantly annoyed and yes, with strong hints of self pity. No it’s not a poor quality single malt, it’s DanJ0 in a sulk...

1 July 2013 at 19:04  
Blogger Peter D said...

Carl
Well said! You managed to put into words the sense of outrage I was feeling.

Inspector
Indeed. To think after all his armchair sneering at our brave troops he has the gall to say:

"Afterall, I've actually said nothing negative about the Armed Forces at all here ...."

I thought Carl was spot on his comments and I look forward to reading DanJ0's *considered* reply in due course - once he's got past "the hyperbole and pomposity of it".

1 July 2013 at 19:30  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Indeed. To think after all his armchair sneering at our brave troops he has the gall to say:"

You're hamming it up now, surely? But anyway, feel free to justify where I've been sneering at the Armed Forces with quotes.

1 July 2013 at 19:35  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Inspector smells blood. Wounded beast on site lads, let’s get him...


1 July 2013 at 19:37  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Actually, Dodo, don't bother as this will probably get as surreal as that sperm donor thing when you first launched your latest Way Of The Dodo attack.

1 July 2013 at 19:43  
Blogger Peter D said...

DanJ0
Read through what Carl and myself have said. If you really can't see it then, as has been said, you lack self awareness.

I'm happy to await your reply to Carl. So let's have no more of your transparent and so predictable, "insults ... misdirection and triumphalism."

1 July 2013 at 19:50  
Blogger Peter D said...

LOL!!!!!

Your pride has been dented!

1 July 2013 at 19:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "I'm happy to await your reply to Carl."

Of course you are. It's always been your way to hide behind the skirts of others and egg people on from teh back when you can. I was going to write something about poppy fascism and the Order of the White Feather, and point out the irony of someone allegedly defending my freedom only for people like you to insist I conform to your social expectations and recognise obligations you want to impose. However, I don't think I'll bother now. It'll amuse me more to think of the bloke with the string of severed ears around his neck being consumed by his own anger and outrage that I'm not showing the proper gratitude for his career choices.

1 July 2013 at 20:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Oops. "the Misogynist" -> "the Misanthrope". It wasn't the Inspector I was referring to back there.

1 July 2013 at 20:04  
Blogger Peter D said...

DanJ0

Of course you wont reply to Carl. You have no reply - just a pathetic insult!

Here's a little story:

"Oh father," said a little frog, "I have seen such a terrible monster! It was as big as a mountain, with horns on its head, and a long tail, and it had hoofs divided in two."

"Tush, child, tush," said the old frog, "that was only an Ox. It isn't so big either; he may be a little bit taller than I, but I could easily make myself quite as broad; just you see." So he blew himself out, and blew himself out, and blew himself out. "Was he as big as that?" asked he.

"Oh, much bigger than that," said the young Frog.

Again the old one blew himself out, and asked the young one if the Ox was as big as that.

"Bigger, father, bigger," was the reply.

So the Frog took a deep breath, and blew and blew and blew, and swelled and swelled and swelled. And then he said: "I'm sure the Ox is not as big as this. But at this moment he burst.

(Self-conceit may lead to self-destruction)

1 July 2013 at 20:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, I think it's time for you to throw Peter D away and use The Way Of The Dodo again. It's seem apposite.

1 July 2013 at 20:18  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

This stops here.

Thank you.

1 July 2013 at 21:14  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Very good Your Grace. It is rather a shame that our established church has not made more of this opportunity to stand by the men and women prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. One wonders if they are not possessed of a similar spirit that informs some of the comments here.

1 July 2013 at 21:15  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


William Lewis, good point. This man is an intrepid visitor to Anglican churches wherever he finds himself. And there they are, the colours, hanging at the front of the nave, or even in the chancel. Colours of regiments ancient that were as part of life then as was the plough, including the regiments of foot and horse that fought for the American colonies and India. One must ask himself, if the regimental colours of the local unit were offered to a parish church now, would they be politely declined...

1 July 2013 at 21:48  
Blogger Peter D said...

Come now Inspector, let's not be too down-hearted.

One of the very significant benefits of the Established Church is the link between God, Monarch, Nation and the sacrifices and bravery of our Servicemen and women. I only fully appreciate this when my son enlisted. God, Queen and Country is still something very tangible in the Armed Forces.

Certainly the Church of England features prominently in Remembrance Sunday - as do other denominations now. If anything, it is the Catholic Church that has lagged behind. It's only recently that Remembrance Sunday has featured in services.

One hopes no parish church or vicar would show such disregard to the traditions of the Church of England.

1 July 2013 at 23:02  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 July 2013 at 23:35  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 July 2013 at 23:37  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Peter D/Danjo/Inspector/ Carl Jacobs,

To me God, Hearth and Family are the building blocks of civilization! The ideals of the left is nothing more than destruction of our way of life, be it fascism, communism or liberalism cum democratic socialism.

Our Defence forces exist to protect our Islands home; the gentleman and the commoner all love our Kingdoms of England, Scotland, Ireland and the Principality of Wales (and of course the Dominions of HM Queen Elizabeth II, such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand).

As Carl Jacobs would doubtless note, what other profession would you see one willingly sacrifice their lives for the great good, the knowledge that in war, comrades might not come back, but all for Queen and country?

I have three things at my bedside; the Bill of Rights of 1689, The Marine Corps Motto and the King James Bible. The only proper authorities I am aware of is my commander in Chief, Her Majesty The Queen and the Lord our God.

"Per Mare, Per Terram"

[who is proud to be described as one of " the bloody Clampetts" or representative of the plain speaking, common sense patriotic rural folk of our nation, who are the real reflection of the UK and her values].

1 July 2013 at 23:40  
Blogger Peter D said...

Lord Lavendon

I have different literature at my bedside - as you'll guess - but we share the same sentiments.

There's something very corrosive and toxic about attitudes amongst some these days towards selfless service, be it to military service or to the ministry.

My own son has shared his experiences with me and some have been hazardous. His response when I asked him if he ever felt fearful was, "We do what we're commanded and trained to do Dad, then worry about it afterwards." If only more people had these values instilled in them.

He is shown considerable disrespect on occasions by his non-military peers. Does it trouble him? No. He spends most of his time nowadays with his comrades (good word that). That's the thing, our Armed Services don't expect gratitude.

God Bless them, one and all.

2 July 2013 at 01:01  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

After all, I've actually said nothing negative about the Armed Forces at all here

Yes, actually you did. You presumed to line up the crosses and declare "This man's sacrifice is worthy of gratitude, but that man's sacrifice is not." Based upon what? Nothing but your judgment of the relative value of the mission. You don't have standing to make that call. Those in authority - those elected to exercise authority - determined to send them to war. They were sent in your name, whether you agreed or not. They were sent to serve your interests whether you agreed or not. As determined by the lawful gov't you elected. If you want to debate the relative merits of his mission, then call out the politicians who dispatched him. But don't devalue the service of the one who in loyalty and good faith did what his nation asked him to do. Don't denigrate that sacrifice. Honor it - no matter what you think of his mission. You want him there. You need him there. You want him to pick up his rucksack when you need him to pick it up. You put commanders over him to direct him to do so. Honor that loyalty and obedience and willing sacrifice. You can't demand he go and then despise him for going. But that's exactly what you do when you say "You weren't fighting for me."

And, yes, this is about Vietnam. My father was almost killed by an artillery shell in August 1944. My older brother was almost killed by machinegun bullets in May 1969. Do you know why my father was in France in 1944? Because the US Congress sent him there. Do you know why my brother was in the A Shau Valley in 1969. Because the US Congress sent him there. There was no difference between the two. You would have me say the permanent wounds to my father deserve praise and thanks from a grateful nation. Yet you would have me refuse my brother the same. That's what happened in the US in the 70s. I saw with my own eyes what happens when a nation sends it sons to war and then turns on them when they come home. The nation starts a war, regrets it, and finally blames the soldiers for fighting it.

My brother used to wear a shirt in the early years after he returned. It consisted of the Greek letters Chi Gamma Iota and was surrounded by the phrase "For the Ungrateful." Puzzle it out if you are of a mind. But here is a hint. You and those like you are the Ungrateful.

carl

2 July 2013 at 02:06  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Peter D,

Yes the comradeship of service never quite leaves a service.

Carl Jacobs,

Excellent analysis.

2 July 2013 at 21:44  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Peter D,

You'll have to forgive Lord Lavendon's somewhat belligerent comments. In fact ,he is one of the most softly spoken & gentlest people I know,despite broad shouldered and standing 6 foot 3.

I guess it must be the genes from his Irish father and Jewish mother.

The only times I've ever seen him cry is on Remembrance Sunday, when mum and dad died and when he cradled my twin sisters in his arms for the first time.

As for me, I was, just a humble naval cook...

2 July 2013 at 22:06  
Blogger Peter D said...

Carl
Respect.

You have given me a fresh insight into my father. As a young soldier he was served in the Eight Army campaign in North Africa and Italy in 1943/4. I only ever witnessed him crying twice. Once was when he took his three sons to visit to the restored Monte Cassino Monastery. If you know the history of that battle you'll understand why.

I never really 'got' the fraternal solidarity between armed servicemen for comrades living and dead until I read your two posts. So thank you for that.

David K
Each has a part to play and servicemen have to be fed. Mind you, if Hannah's recent report on your culinary skills was accurate, I'm surprised you and the crew survived!

2 July 2013 at 22:36  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Peter D,

Yes, the soldiers have to be fed. And besides which a naval cook in the tradition of 'Casey Ryback' is a quite a good thing....

And of course Lord Lavendon is gentle, gentleman.

2 July 2013 at 23:07  

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