Friday, 27 June 2014

A Socialist and a Patriot

No ‘my week ahead’ for a few weeks as i will be spending most of the next 30 days either climbing in Wales or Northern India – where I am taking a group of teenagers to trek near to the city of Leh and work on a community project in a small settlement close to the Tibetan border.

This week I was very fortunate to be invited to attend a ‘Labour Friends of the Forces’ reception in London.

Those at the event included most of the Shadow Defence team and Ed Miliband also we had three Potential Parliamentary candidates, all ex members of the Armed Forces.

As soon as I arrived I was approached by another ex- Greenjacket – 1 rather than 3 RGJ and slightly older than me as he was a Borneo veteran, but we had a good laugh as we discussed how the ‘Black Mafia’ were once again running the army.

I then had a long conversation with two serving soldiers both had served in Afghanistan and it was informative to hear what had changed since I was in Sangin in 2009.

Then I met Frankie Caldwell, ex tankie who had taken a short break for campaigning for a ‘No’ vote in the up and coming Scottish independence vote to come to London to support the event. It was nice to catch up with someone who I had corresponded with via twitter.

Then the two highlights of the night, first to meet an ex RAF Officer but one with a number of tales to tell. As a young Sergeant he had been in the same Prisoner of War camp as those who had taken part in the ‘Great Escape’ and he himself had endured a long march across Poland as the Germans closed the camp with the Russians approaching. A real British hero.

Then I met Lord West, not only a former Ist Sea Lord but who had also been Captain of a ship that was sunk in the Falklands War.

I had a long conversation with him and asked him about a quote that had appeared in the papers this week that was attributed to him, I asked him if it was true he smiled and then confirmed it was.

The quote? It was true he informed me that he had asked Michael Gove if he wished to discuss the accusation (that Gove had made) that you can’t be a socialist and patriot. Lord West is happy to be described both as a socialist and a patriot and he did tell Mr Gove that he was willing to discuss the issue either inside or outside the boxing ring!

Not surprisingly Mr Gove had not yet responded; maybe he was till busy arguing with Mrs ‘no passports’ May.

With our new candidates and a shadow Minister like ex Para, Dan Jarvis – we are now ready to be the party of the Armed Forces.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are a labour party councillor but you chose to work for the most privileged group of young people in the Town trekking in Tibet I would not imagine you will not be meeting many chantry high pupils ! does the irony not escape you when you claim that you want social equality im all right jack f-ck you TH