Gordon Brown Insults Cold Warriors
Our good friend Tony Morland from across the pond got a clear message from the Brown Goverment that their service didn't rate. Read the article; the lack of respect for the men who guarded his freedoms while he was young man is astounding to me as a foreign observer. They do not merit a simple thank you and identity a simple national service medal would provide? I guess not according to a Brown representative.
To Tony and all the UK vets who stood watch as our allies during the Cold War you are not forgotten by us here. Keep up the fight and remember this at election time.
By David Pilditch Have your say
GORDON Brown’s Government was yesterday accused of treating millions of British Armed Forces veterans with contempt after refusing to agree to a medal to honour their willingness to put their lives on the line for their country.
Huge numbers of servicemen and women have received no recognition for the time they spent in the forces because they were not actually in combat areas.
Nevertheless, many died or were seriously injured while on active duty – including those killed by the IRA in bomb attacks outside Northern Ireland.
But Veterans Minister Kevan Jones has informed campaigners that it was “not appropriate” to award a National Defence Medal to our proud sailors, marines, soldiers and airmen for protecting the nation since the Second World War.
Former servicemen and women are currently entitled only to a disliked “veteran’s badge” to be worn with civilian clothes and not given to the families of those killed.
The medal decision means defeat for a two-year campaign to get a “small token of recognition” that could be worn by veterans during regimental parades and on Remembrance Day.
Hundreds of thousands of servicemen have never been awarded a single medal, simply because of where they were posted.
They include forgotten heroes who served in Korea but after the armistice, during the Berlin Airlift and during the Cold War. In all some 2,000 were killed during their service and, were the medals to be agreed, theirs would go posthumously to their families.
Mr Jones insisted he was responding on behalf of the Prime Minister and the Queen. But comrades from Australia have been awarded a defence medal, with Her Majesty’s official approval.
The New Zealand Government has backed a similar award. And US troops qualify for a National Defence Medal after just 90 days in uniform.
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Last night the Defence Ministry was accused of “petty meanness and a lack of patriotism”.
Colonel Terry Scriven said: “The MOD’s decision is dreadfully wrong.”
He described the case for a medal as overwhelming, adding: “The reasons for non-recognition are shallow at best.”
Colonel Scriven served in the Royal Military Police and completed tours of duty in Northern Ireland, with the UN in Cyprus and in Bosnia. Tony Morland, 43, who served as a sergeant in the Royal Corps of Signals for 15 years, helped compile a 58-page document outlining the case for the medal, calling for it to be awarded to 4.5million personnel.
Mr Morland said: “It is a token of the nation’s thanks for men and women who have stepped up in a day and age when fewer and fewer people are prepared to do that.”
Tory MP Andrew Rosindell said: “It is shameful that this practice already exists in Australia, a nation with whom we share such close ties, yet our Government has not seen fit to follow their example.”
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said: “I will continue to pressure the Government on the issues surrounding the National Defence Medal.” Each medal would cost just £12.50