wbritain metal figures

Old Crooked Mouth Gregory Campbell is on the  radio rattling on about the” Bloody Sunday” murders of 1972,  as the rain hoses down. You ‘d really wonder  that people cannot see the transparency of his weekly pre-election rants.Last week it was the language issue… He appears now  to be against the families pursuing legal action  in this  murder case . He is rattling on about insufficient financial  resources  . I wonder if the cases had not involved the British Army and its murderous assault on the Civil Rights march, would he still take that point of view.I wonder would he agree to simply forget about any murder because, suddenly the resources weren’t available. What does he say about the killings at Kingsmill? Should those families not have money spent on their enquiry ?

Then again , it was “his” army involved  and as far as he was concerned , they were never going to do any wrong as long as they were striking out  at “perceived” nationalists.The thing is , though, they were acting as the armed police of the  state that’s  supposed to be wielding its force fairly for all its citizens.You can’t just murder your citizens whether or not you like them.If it happened in a Muslim community in Bradford there would be uproar and there would be a  murder inquiry with people serving sentences for murder or manslaughter.

Mere weeks after Sinn Fein and one of   its old associates in the republican movement {of pre-Good Friday Agreement fame}, were asked to wrestle with the morality or immorality of one of its member’s errant  sex -life , suddenly , yesterday  a British Army man is convicted of sex crimes stretching back many years. You’d imagine that the release of this kind of tit- for- tat information on a weekly drip-feed was choreographed  from sources  within the media .After all we only read and hear the “news stories” that are most prominent. As far as programme -makers are concerned , these are only come-day -go-day stories anyway….. to keep the chattering classes chattering …..right?

These kinds of revelations are no real surprise though ,but can be used as weapons of propaganda by opposing politicians as bitching sticks.If you care to look a little more closely into any organisation there are surprises to find.Apparently there are a significant  number of soldiers on the sex- offenders register  ,still serving in the British Army. Last year Channel 4 News was told by the Ministry of Defence  that there were twenty soldiers who were on the sex offenders  register and who are still serving and picking up their wages in the army. Ten of them had been convicted of a sexual offences in a civilian court . Six of them were court martialed and four had a police caution on their record.

Apparently there are also an unknown number of soldiers still serving and drawing their wages who were convicted of sexual offences and were not put on the sexual offences register.

If your black sense of humour stretches to laughing out loud at Orwellian double-speak and pants-off hypocrisy, the Ministry of Defence acknowledged that although these are serious crimes ,   in “exceptional circumstances”, a commanding officer can retain the soldier. These include whether the soldier is still “worthwhile” to the army; whether his retention would “impact” on the army’s “reputation”; how long he has served and “ultimately, the interests of the service”.

Okay, let’s all take a deep breath.That’s basically saying that within our tight little family , we are beyond the law and we most definitely do things differently.

Apparently , right across the board in the army, there are at least three or four crimes every day. Every day  most of these crimes are sexual assaults, rapes and assaults against the person.The Ministry of Defence doesn’t like to think about that kind of thing , though.The catch-all phrase would be ‘You know what soldiers are like’. It’s used as a sort of universal excuse…a kind of “What else do people expect?”

Well what else do we all expect?

Rudyard Kipling lived in different times of course.Things are different during conflict situations too. Men are fallible creatures anyway and blow with the winds of war.So was it a “war” in Ireland. People are ambivalent about that. I suppose if you were of a particular mindset , in a particular area, surrounded only by like-minded thinkers, you might consider yourself a “soldier” at war. It’s obvious a lot of republicans and loyalists took on the trappings and weaponry of an army.Then again, so did Al Capone and Elliot Ness and his Untouchables…

People like Mr Crooked Mouth CamBéal certainly don’t believe so . In that respect the Bloody Sunday  British troops were not at war then, They were simply misbehaving….

“We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,

But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;

An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,

Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;

    While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,

    But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,

    There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,

    O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.”

Rudyard Kipling


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