ARMED FORCES DAY
Why single out the forces for praise?
Last weekend, celebrations of the British armed forces took place across the country.
Councils up and down Britain organised and supported military parades, displays of weapons, military assets and military-themed family entertainment.
It is actually a day to reflect on how we got to the point where the armed forces are singled out from other public service professionals, who also face danger every day, for national celebration.
What are the long-term implications of further entrenching militarism into our culture and equating armed service with family fun?
Armed Forces Day is turning into armed forces Week with flags flown over town halls and public institutions and communal groups of all kind enlisted to support the military,including schools, performing arts, sports clubs and faith groups.
The diversion of council staff away from other duties represents a hidden cost and impact on other services. The demand of hosting an essentially large promotional event will contribute to the pressure and delivery of vital year long services.
BAE Systems is a regular sponsor of national armed forces day - it is also the largest arms company in the UK and has been implicated in numerous human rights abuses, selling weaponry to oppressive regimes.
Local authorities have become the military promotional agents sending endorsements for military approaches and military recruitment out into the community.
We must stop being blinkered to the destructive power of the military.
We must learn the lesson from the recent past to work for a mature and ethical way. War divides communities. Peace has a tendency to unite them.
So let’s promote peace.
Help ease the pain in this hurting world
A small start in our own community to achieve change with peace and love.
We truly have become a hurting world, but we, in our individual way, can ease this pain. But enduring that in our day-to-day lives, we are kind, forgiving, fair, honest, caring and charitable. The list is endless, but it will help, and maybe with shared deals, we can have some say in things that happen in our own much loved seaside resort.
Of course it will take time and effort, but time we have.
We should not wait for tragedies to unite us and force our consciences into action. And it can be done.
Lots of people in history had their arms and goals achieved with peace, love and forgiveness. Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Florence Nightingale, W Wilberforce, the list again is endless.
I am keen to start a group with people who share my views and genuinely want to have day in our community and to how things are done. Let’s start slowly but surely and who knows where it will lead.
I would like people to write to me if interested. I will reply straight away.
Mark W Shrimpton
16 Springfield Road
Use of Grenfell tower was ‘crass’
Now that UKIPers are virtually an extinct species, I suppose Barry Carr (Letters, June 21) has to keep the flame alive of UKIP’s ethos. However, his fictional report on the Labour Party’s immigration policies conflicts somewhat with Labour’s manifesto promise that, if elected, it would increase the number of border guards by 500.
Using the Grenfell tower fire (and the horrendous death toll) as a spring board to introduce the much-quoted “magic money tree” is especially crass when we learn that the former residents’ request that flame-retardant fascia be installed was refused as the chosen flammable materials were less expensive.
The Kensington Borough Council is the richest borough in the country and had at that time reserves of two hundred million pounds as a result of an underspend on all projects. Now they are having to dig deep into those reserves as a result of their earlier parsimony.
Indulgence is a vote winner
Labour’s motto in this month’s election was “For the many, not the few”.
Any party which promises to indulge the many at the expense of the few is likely to have the support of the many, so it is hardly surprising that the Labour party put on more than three million votes and gained seats across the UK.
When the few have nothing left because all that they had has been given to the many, the indulgence will have to cease, but who thinks about the future?
Immediate gratification will always give votes.
Name and address withheld
It’s time for us to soak up the rays
I read in a national newspaper recently that employers should encourage workers to take regular breaks outside in the sunshine.
The breaks are to help us sun-starved Brits top up on our desperately low levels of vitamin D.
What a great idea but I wonder how many jobs actually lend themselves to being able to allow workers to this?