medals need a more tangible measure of gratitude attached.

Sent to Daily Mirror 29/8/16
I understand the Prince’s intent with the Purple Heart recommendation but its value is minimal.
I’ve heard it joked that G.I.’s could get one if they cut themselves shaving.
It would be a mockery to award one to those, who’ve lost limbs etc.
If we are to grant recognition. it needs to be more than just a badge/medal.
I would suggest that a pension and some kind of special pass, or concession, would be a better. more tangible and daily reminder of our gratitude.

As published (near enough the same)
I understand the Princes intent with the Purple Heart recommendation, but its value is minimal.
I’ve heard it joked that G.I.’s could get one if they cut themselves shaving.
It would be a mockery to award one to those who have lost limbs and suffered other injuries.
If we are to grant recognition, it needs to be more than just a badge.
I’d suggest that a pension and some kind of special pass or concession would be a better reminder of our gratitude

Other letters to Daily Mirror;  not published

21/7/16
Your editorial takes issue with Michael Caine for advocating National Service, with a comment about the young needing jobs not being trained to march and shoot.
However, the article referenced makes it clear that Michael Caine doesn’t advocate using them to be sent off to fight but rather that he feels it turned him and his generation into men.
I’ve seen how former pupils can be transformed into proud, self-confident adults, by a few years of Army life.
The point is that National Service doesn’t have to be about being trained to kill but rather being trained skills that transfer to being useful citizens.
At present, we have young men, testosterone surging, being tied to school desks, instead of being given an opportunity to release their energy in a productive way.
The recent water fight that ended in violence, the young muslims going off to join ISIS, the wanton vandalism and gang warfare could all be reduced by removing boys in years 10 and 11 from school and setting them challenges that let them test theirselves against common standards of self-discipline and fortitude found in Army training.
Maybe the Generals don’t want this role but their jobs isn’t to play soldiers, it’s to serve us in whatever capacity we demand of them and what better than a generation of fit confident young men with skills that can be used to help others and find future careers.
In times of Emergency, we call on the Army to deal with floods, train crashes, epidemics etc. What better, if people on the scene already have the training to cope.
5/8/16
Whilst I agree with Frances O’Grady about growing the economy by public spending on social housing, I can’t see how spending on HS2 will help.
Paying builder’s a bounty (or a tax break?) for new terraced houses will feed straight back into the domestic economy through British companies, supplier’s and employee’s.
The same can not be said of HS2.
HS2 is to be built by multi-nationals, using heavy machinery.
Some local employment will occur but it seems apparent that most of our tax money will filter abroad, possibly the USA, where only Uncle Sam and Wall Street will benefit.
All HS2 was ever intended to be was a vanity project, whether for Osborne, or for the EU, as some have claimed.
Who really needs to get from Central London to Central Manchester in 1 hour instead of 2?
If passengers need to travel from suburb to suburb, the trip would be cut from 4hours to 3hours.
Is that really the best way of using £1,000-£2,000 per head of population?
13/8/16
No doubt the Parliamentary Labour Party will be celebrating their victory in preventing genuine Labour party supporter’s from being able to vote for Jeremy Corbyn but it would have better validated
their position, if they hadn’t and Labour had then lost the next G.E.
As it stands if Jeremy Corbyn may be supplanted and Labour still lose the next G.E,.,
it will mean the extinction of Labour in Northerb England, as the popular vote flee’s the PLP , and the SNP consolidates its role in Scotland.
25/8/16
Politicians are citing Radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary as an example of the need for Social Media to censor its users.
In a perfect World this would seem to be a very simple solution but this is not a perfect World and this is asking some anonymous figure to be judge and jury on a public freedom.
Politicians shouldn’t be handing such a huge power into the hands of the rich and powerful.
If the likes of Choudhary are to be gagged, then it should be on the basis of criteria, which can be placed before a judge to obtain a court order.
It is alarming that highly rewarded politicians are asking for such a reckless attack on civil rights.
30/8/16
Jeremy Paxman was correct in his description of old age.
Everyone knows it. Dad’s Army was based around it.
When you get older, you learn to place each step and, as Billy Connoly said, you never miss a chance to go to the toilet, when you’re out.
The phrase “what did I come in here for?” is a standing joke for us old’uns.
Like too many, nowadays, Andrew Silk is overly sensitive about imagined slights.
31/8/16
Both the arrogant Jeremy Vine and the ranting motorist are in the right and both know their rights.
Further confrontations of these two groups is bound to happen, whilst they use the same roads.
The introduction of painted on cycle paths only adds to the problem.
I’d would love to buy a bicycle but as a motorist, I can see how dangerous it would be, especially during the rush hour, when people are focussed on getting there fast.
Motorists are constantly baulked by obstructions and many cyclists take extraordinary risks.
Local councils etc. need to look into how to separate not just these two groups but bikers, pedestrians, HGV’s and motability chairs.
Signs, fines and speed camera’s are no solution.

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