Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: British soldiers can't vote ...

15 April 2005

British soldiers can't vote ...

Support our troops, we're urged, and most of us do. If only the bods at the top did too. Especially, as they're the ones who deploy our lads across the world - war zones included. So how the hell can it come about, that around 35,000 serving men & women may loose their vote in May's general election? Well, right now the finger's pointing straight at the Ministry of Defence and Blair's boy-wonder government.

When this sort of scandal arises, it's usually due to incompetence. Such shambles as these -- when British squaddies are still actually fighting for their lives in Iraq & Afghanistan -- are unforgivable. Other UK troops in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Germany and Cyprus are stuck in similar 'schtook'.

I say, this particular 'cock-up' is more criminal negligence than incompetence. Heads should roll. MOD heads and Blair-boys' heads - to bolster troops' morale - as many already feel they're forgotten. Examples should be set. Signals should be sent, that supportive actions - not simple slogans - are there when it matters . Then relevant heads should roll -- sooner rather than later.

I gasped in disbelief when reading today's Daily Mail online. Out of our 48,000 soldiers serving their country abroad, some 35,000 could be missing out in the coming general election. An election where they [should] get to tell the politicians who sent them to do what they're doing -- where ever they're having to do it -- what they think of them. These boys are told they're fighting for democracy when they're called upon to lay their lives on the line. Hmm. Surely democracy, like charity and regime change, should always begin at home.

One British [Iraq veteran] officer is saying:" The Iraqis got to vote, but we can't." He sums the whole sorry mess up so succinctly -- in just eight words. The Whitehall wallahs & ministerial mandarins could learn much from him - he's a true professional.

Changes to rules, whereby troops abroad are no longer automatically included on electoral lists, have caused chaos. Troops serving away from home must now 're-register' annually. This year's registration deadline was March 11th. The forms only began going out, 10 days earlier.
© 2005 Richard Morrison


Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

No ruler wants mere voting. Heh. Peasants.....

3:05 pm  

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