‘Twas ever thus from ungrateful Rulers towards the soldiery.

A straight copy from The Daily Express’s John Ingham and a bit of Kipling:

DEFENCE chiefs came under. fire yesterday over plans to strip married soldiers of the, right to military accommodation. They were also criticised for refusing to review the way they help the families of personnel lost in action. The criticisms come amid swingeing cuts in the Armed Forces after overspending by Labour left a £38billion :black hole in the a” Ministry of Defence budget. The MoD is close to balancing its books but further cuts are under way, particularly in the Army where regiments will merge.

The MoD is considering plans to end a right to married quarters for soldiers with eight to 10 years’ service. The move is on the table despite the Army Families Federation having described service accommodation a “staunch pillar” of the Military Covenant which David’ Cameron has pledged to safeguard. Former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp, said yesterday: “I am horrified by this suggestion. It is an erosion of the safety net for military personnel. Soldiers are on very low wages… but that has in part been compensated for in the past by benefits such a school allowances, private medical care and military housing.” The MoD said no decision had been made on married quarters and changes were not likely before 2020. Personnel could be given money to help them get a foot on the property ladder. A spokesman said any option “would maintain the importance of publicly-provided accommodation”. MPs on the defence select committee also said, they were disappointed by the Government’s refusal to review support for bereaved families. Chairman James Arbuthnot said: “The medical care provided to injured personnel is excellent. “However, we are disappointed that the MoD does not intend to review its support to the families of deployed and injured personnel.” The MoD said: “We have taken action to enhance the care and support given as lessons are identified.” (translation: “bugger off. we’ll do what we have to, only when we have to”)

On the lines of “The Labourer is worthy of his hire”, the last line from Kipling’s “Tommy Atkins”

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all: We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational. Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!” But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot; An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please; An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

‘Twas ever thus. Elizabeth I, “Good Queen Bess”, is always lauded, even in Hollywood screenplays.

Trivialities, such as how the “common” sailors, who fought off the Spanish Armada were turned loose to die in poverty, many of starvation, don’t get mentioned much.



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