An article in The Sun newspaper has been widely circulated on the Internet after it suggested that the Foreign Aid budget should be cut and the money should in fact be used to support our depleted armed forces.
When we use the word ‘depleted,’ we are considering the current situation on a number of different levels – this goes far beyond outdated weaponry or a lack of personnel.
There are often stories that emerge in the media about terrible working conditions for our boys and girls whose main responsibility is to keep our country and its people safe, whether they are stationed at home or abroad.
We hear of soldiers having to provide their own boots, we hear of military accommodation that isn’t fit for purpose, and we hear of a variety of other issues that affect morale.
The transition of military personnel back onto ‘Civvy Street’ is also an area that could clearly do with an injection of funding. Homelessness is a tragedy in any walk of life, but it is especially gut wrenching when you hear about it happening to someone who is ex-forces as anybody who has served their country frankly deserves better.
In addition to this, charities who work with those that have been discharged because of mental or physical health issues need financial support now more than ever as a result of continued cutbacks.
This is why people get so angry when they hear about Foreign Aid, and therefore taxpayers’ cash, being used to fund projects abroad that are questionable.
The article in The Sun says:
WE know the MoD is short of money. But the rises in allowances for veterans and their widows and children are derisory.
Why has the Government targeted them for penny-pinching when the Triple Lock still guarantees all OAPs a decent hike?
The winter fuel allowance is doled out to every pensioner, some worth millions. But a fallen soldier’s orphaned kids get 75p extra a week. It is disgraceful.
The Triple Lock must protect them too. That’s the least we should do.
Perhaps wider society has a role to play in all of this, as it has now become almost ‘shameful’ to express support for our armed forces in the eyes of many left-wing supporters who confuse this form of national pride with ‘racism’ or a ‘hatred of minorities.’
Just look at the furore over poppies every single year – even the Royal British Legion themselves have expressed a wish for people to take the politics out of the act of remembrance.
Naturally there are people who take it too far on both sides of the argument, but the raw truth here is that nobody who takes a conscientious decision to serve their country and its people deserves to be treated with disrespect.
Therefore, perhaps it is time for both serving personnel and veterans to take priority over those who receive vast sums in Foreign Aid from Britain.
In a nation with such a proud and rich military history, there is surely something that should be done as a matter of urgency.