Category: Politics

War Crimes Part 12 – Moira’s Story

Blown Periphery, Going Postal
This is fiction. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is coincidental. The events outlined have never to my knowledge occurred. Some of the locations are real.

Like most of the important milestones in Edge’s life his marriage was in the autumn, October 14th of 2000 is St John the Baptist Church Instow. It was and is a beautiful church, nestled into the gentle folds of the hills above the estuary of the Rivers Taw and Torridge. Moira Tremain and Mark Edge were married at 13:00 under a glowering sky and predictably it rained all afternoon. He was smart in his No 2s, a Sergeant now with a Military Cross adding to his impressive tally of medals. Nobody asked him and he felt no need to publicise it. Moira knew and she also knew the toll on his mental health being awarded that medal had cost him.
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Champagne Socialists or Hooray Henrys?

Grimy Miner, Going Postal

I my previous post (see here) I highlighted the concerns regarding the drinking culture at Durham University and how the Labour MP for Durham City, Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, voted with the student element in the referendum, indeed, in conversations that I had with her on her blog (now deleted by her) she said that she voted that way because of the student vote in Durham, and how important it was to heed their voices.

When it was pointed out to her that the student vote was transient and that her resident constituency had voted massively in favour of Leave she severed contact.

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Presumed Consent

At the Conservative Party Conference in October 2017, PM Theresa May pledged to introduce a system of presumed consent for organ donation in England. A similar opt-out system has existed in Wales since 1st December 2015, and in the summer of 2017 the Scottish government stated that it intended to introduce a “soft opt-out” for organ donation in Scotland.

70s_girl, Going Postal

I object very strongly to this change, the concept of presumed consent subverts the whole nature of organ donation. No longer will it be an altruistic gesture, the state will claim ownership of your body parts when you are near death, unless you specifically register your objection on the official database.

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National Treasure

Coloniescross, Going Postal

The National Health Service in Britain is seen as a “National Treasure”. Politicians of a certain stripe have recently started to call it “Our National Health Service”, leading me to wonder just who it used to belong to before it was ours. But I digress (slightly).

There are certain truths about this organisation that we should be clear on and there are certain myths surrounding it also. For some people it is the pinnacle of what civilisation can achieve. A clean, efficient, well run and free at the point of use service for the taxpaying citizens of The United Kingdom to make use of should they ever need to. For others it is exactly the opposite, a dirty, inefficient and expensive shibboleth that badly needs to be taken down and possibly never rebuilt.

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Who will sing for England


I watched a documentary about The Proclaimers over the New Year. I take an interest in musicians and how they achieve success in the creative field. I’m not over-judgemental and try to find aspects to admire even if I don’t like the final product. Hence I can appreciate the clever construction of a song or piece of music which is not to my taste at all. I exclude the tuneless Bananarama from this. For those of you who do not know, The Proclaimers are a couple of identical Scottish twins who burst onto the scene with great energy (a must-have in my book) in the late 80s with their anthemic song “I’m gonna be”, which most will know better as “500 miles”. They arrived as something different in the music landscape, heavily influenced by punk, folk music and the musical political activism of Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners (“Come on Eileen”.) They made a deliberate decision to sing in their broad Leith accents. In the documentary they came across as intelligent, articulate and rather dour, by no means an unwelcome attribute in these days of emotional incontinence. Talking heads were wheeled out to show that the band generated a strong Scottish fan base, not least by openly espousing the cause of Scottish independence. Krankie described how they had radicalised her and many of her generation. As we know, their intervention was not decisive on the 55:45 vote which, much like Brexit, apparently remains open to “interpretation”. Nevertheless, the twins produced a pivotal song called “Cap in Hand”. Here is the chorus:

But I can’t understand why we let someone else rule our land
We’re cap in hand.

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Operation Black Buck – The Swansong of the British Nuclear Bomber

Blown Periphery, Going Postal
The last gasp before the attack. Victor tanker refuels Victor tanker in an electrical storm. Vulcan 607, BLACK BUCK One stands off waiting her turn.

At 0400 Local on 1st May 1982, the population under curfew of a now filthy and stinking Port Stanley, were roused from their beds by the visceral thumps of just over nine tons of high explosives from the direction of the town’s airport. After the explosions came the roar of four Olympus turbojet engines, that shook the Capital’s wooden buildings and random gunfire was heard all over the town and surrounding area. To the occupied citizens of Port Stanley it meant one thing. The war to free them and oust the Argentine invaders had begun. To the Royal Air Force it was the culmination of an incredibly complex engineering and logistics plan. Thirteen Victor tanker aircraft had flown south with two Vulcan bombers, to attack the airfield at Port Stanley. To the aeronautical experts it meant that an aircraft designed in the 1940s, which had first entered service in 1956 and was due to be retired, had just carried out the longest bombing raid in history to that date.

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Sex and drugs and upper firsts

I live a few miles out of Durham City, in a former pit village. For those who don’t know Durham it is a World Heritage site

Grimy Miner, Going Postal

and home to Durham University, one of the prestigious 5 Universities in Britain (Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Imperial College London being the others).

Durham University is (temporary) home to some seventeen and a half thousand students (last available figures 2014). There exists an uneasy truce twixt Town and Gown but our MP, Ms Roberta Blackman-Woods, and Durham County Council, seems to hold them in higher regard than their more permanent constituents. I communicated with Ms R B-W regarding her stance on Brexit and she eventually stated that she voted to remain because “the student vote was to remain”. When it was pointed out that this 17,000+ voter base was transient, and that they could not ALL be remainers and that her total constituency had, in fact, voted to leave she closed communication with me and deleted the correspondence on her blog.

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