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Prime Minister David Cameron's cynical' respect for the armed forces
I WATCHED our Prime Minister as he attended a memorial service for a soldier murdered near his barracks in London.
He later made a speech where he mentioned the armed forces covenant, which promises a duty of care and obligation to the nation to look after our dead and injured servicemen and women and their families if the worst was to befall them.
He went on to say that this was the least a grateful nation could do for those who willingly put their lives on the line in various conflicts to protect our nation, and I think most people in our country would agree with his sentiments.
But now we find that thousands of our armed forces – some still on active service – are receiving redundancy notices dated days short of the completion of their 18th year of duty, thus depriving them and their families of half their pension rights and other related benefits they were entitled to.
In the case of an army sergeant, this meant reducing the pension pot of £260,000 down to less than £90,000.
I wonder if David Cameron knew about this as he was giving out his generous platitudes. If so, that is a very cynical way of showing respect.
No doubt the Ministry of Defence mandarins who thought this up were well rewarded in their bonuses as they sat in their ivory tower, well away from the IEDs in Helmand province and the buff envelopes awaiting our service people.
In those envelopes no doubt are letters telling them “thank you very much but your services are no longer required, and along with halving your pension we cannot award you your long service medal because rules are rules”.
Those same rules obviously don’t apply if you are a senior civil servant, work for the BBC or a failing bank.
I think this country has got its priorities all wrong, and those who we depend on for our safety do not matter anymore. It’s a very sad state of affairs, but of course they will justify it. They always do.
Harry Bradbury, Loughrigg Avenue, St Helens
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