23_june_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,472

Thursday 23 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Only national governments can declare and make war using the full might of the nation’s armed forces and military power. Those who serve in the armed forces do so in defence of the realm, or that’s what it’s supposed to be, but these days they get orders to fight in wars of aggression, but still at government behest.

And those who make the moral and ethical decision for war, what burden should they carry, at the very least, for the repatriation and burial of war casualties and notification of next of kin?

And what could we possibly say about a government that takes the decision to dole out that responsibility to private companies other than call them the worst possible cowards? Under the holy grail of free marketeering, who would dare to take the public shilling for such a contract, BAE (weapons) Systems? G4S? How about American Life Insurance Company, Virgin or Kellogg’s? Or how about Arriva? That’s got a nice, cosy, coming home sound to it? The answer, of course, is they’ll come without a care.

Nothing is sacred when there’s a juicy £36m four-year contract of tax payer money in the offing.

If I know anything about you Tories it is that you exercise power without responsibility. What happened to Bethan Tichborne who shouted out to you, “You have blood on your hands”, in protest against cuts to disability benefits? Not only did she report taking a beating at the hands of security guards but she was ordered by the court to pay a ‘£225 fine, a victim surcharge of £22 and to make a contribution of £500 towards court costs’.

A police officer apparently told the court that Tichborne’s demeanour was “angry, fixated, aggressive and very focused on her intentions”. Really? And why the hell wouldn’t it be?

Can we expect custodial sentences for those families who have the temerity to express their outrage when some private employee comes to call to tell them that the reward for their loved one dying in war is condolences from a zero hours contract employee (because the work is somewhat sporadic)? Or perhaps a telegram from Hasta La Vista Inc? What’s next, handing the decision for war over to BAE Systems? They are certainly tooled up for the job and it would relieve parliament of tiresome debate and any irksome responsibility for war at all. Let the profiteers rule.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5bb56b80-33ce-11e6-ad39-3fee5ffe5b5b.html#axzz4CIvSIbIu

MoD to privatise war casualty services

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/16/activist-shocked-conviction-cameron-protest

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