Honour the living as well as the dead

Earlier I mentioned Vince Cable’s excellent performance on the Today programme. Now in today’s post comes a letter from a local member, commenting favourably on Vince’s performance at Prime Minister’s Question Time.

PMQs now open with naming the latest war dead. As an ex-serviceman, my correspondent goes on to say “Sending condolences to the family of soldiers killed in action is not necessary. Providing medical assistance for our disabled ex-servicemen is needed – NOW.” Like many in the WWII armed forces, he voted Labour in 1945 “as it was hoped that Labour would put the medical needs of the disabled ex-servicemen at the top of the agenda. It was not so…” Plus ça change.

Gordon Brown is happy to read the names of the dead; less happy to meet the needs of the living. As the wind and rain blow away the Remembrance wreaths, and public attention moves on from poppies to tinsel, we should not forget the covenant that applies all year round.

At least MPs are free to name the dead. When Maya Evans did the same, she was arrested. What kind of country is it, that sends some of its citizens to die abroad, then punishes others for marking the fact at home?

No wonder my correspondent – proud of his army record – is now voting Liberal Democrat.

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