Posted by: Lister | March 19, 2008

How dare these soldiers…

Another from Mark Steel: How dare these soldiers go round getting wounded. Again, a serious point made with humour.

Inevitably, once the supported boys started returning from war with bits missing, the governments and newspapers that backed them most enthusiastically decide that they’re an embarrassing nuisance. Then their attitude becomes like that of the First World War general who, when he visited a hospital full of soldiers back from the Somme with shell shock, shouted, “Why are you shivering? Only drunkards and masturbators freeze.” This must be what causes so many old people to conk out from hypothermia every winter, the filthy minxes.

But that general has been challenged for callousness by defence minister Des Browne, who yesterday went to the High Court to try and prevent a coroner from criticising the Ministry of Defence, during inquests on soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. The trouble is that a coroner reported, in the inquest into the death of Capt James Phillipson, that the soldier had been given, “a lack of basic equipment”. Whereas from now on, presumably, he’ll have to say, “The soldier had piles of equipment, so much he didn’t know where to put it all. What must have happened is, well, obviously, I’ve got it – the Taliban magicked it away, with their equipment vanishing cream. So there we are, no one to blame, just one of those things, I’m afraid.”

The attempted injunction fits in with the government’s attitude to wounded soldiers. For example, families of those who’ve been disabled have complained about the system for compensation, which only takes into account the three worst injuries received.

[…] for example, when Sgt Martin Edwardes came back from Iraq with brain damage, his compensation was £114,000, a fraction of what will be needed to provide him with the 24-hour care he now depends on. Or there’s Martyn Compton, who was in a coma for three months, has 70 per cent burns, no ears left, and received £98,000. They’d have got more if they’d been astute enough to suffer three huge injuries instead of dozens of medium-sized ones. Maybe we’ll soon see Carol Vorderman asking, “Why not consolidate all your minor amputations into one manageable paralysis?”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: