Monday, 21 June 2010

No Title

Thanks for all the kind words. I'd like to shut the blog with this...

Come home safe Lads... CSR

The Last Post

An irony in the title that isn't lost on me.

I won't be blogging or Tweeting as CSR anymore... I'll continue writing - I've got a book inside my head I think some folk might like to read.

I need to spend more than my money fighting to see my Son, I need to spend my time. Every last spare minute of it. I've enjoyed writing this blog, although it has at times been painful.

I have no wish to rant online and offend people - or give them a view of me that is tainted by my anger, so I'm calling it a day.

For those that have stopped by 'Thank You' even if so few of you left any comments! Just for the record... My name ain't CSR. It's Ray.. and I carried a rifle once. Take care all. CSR

 Cold Steel Rain

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Back Home

The killing stopped 10 years ago. I am stood in a shabby office, a kid in a suit speaks with me. 'You've filled the forms out wrong mate' He is maybe 19 - I see yellow and brown suits, flashes in the night sky. 'We can't pay you anything'

I walk away from the Dole office with no money. I haven't eaten for four days. Mum gives me 30 quid for food. So I take it to a bar and order a Pint and a Chaser. Biting down hard as my empty stomach objects to the Whisky I pour into it. The bile stings my throat - So I light a cigarette.

I haven't shaved since I last ate. My face is sunken and hollow. Fingers yellow. I order another round for myself and stare at a girl feeding the jukebox. She is laughing and dancing. I see White teeth flash out from burnt lips and the steel floor of a helicopter.

'What you fucking looking at?' The words slammed out with venom. A young man is standing in front of me. I focus on him now. Adrenaline surges. Voices scream 'Gas Gas Gas' My heart pounds. I go back to my drink and light another cigarette with the butt of my last one.

'Don't fucking ignore me cunt' The young man is breathing shallow. Eyes wide. 'Go home' I say. The words barely a whisper from my aching throat. He jabs a hand into my chest. I see a glass in his other. The fear erupts. Deep inside my head there is a fracture. Screaming. Blood. I am stood between two worlds.

'Fucks sake mate' A frightened man has his hands raised, the bleeding man on the floor is coughing and sobbing. I order a drink. The barmaid stares in silence so I pour it myself.

The Police stand either side of me. I am arrested. The cell walls close in as the war pours out. Doctors arrive. I am naked and screaming. Inside my mind I try to stem the memories, like a child protecting his sand castle against the tide. Mum sits at the end of my Hospital bed. She is crying. Dad holds her hand as I stare at the wall. I close my eyes and the dead wave at me.

Me and the Boy

Anyone who's read this blog will know I've been to war. I carried a rifle for my Country - I took part in a brutality I struggle to articulate. I watched mates get hurt. A friend of mine paid for the conflict with his life.

The war left me with PTSD. I don't sleep well, have bad dreams dwell on bad things. I signed on the line - I took the shilling, so I don't want sympathy, compensation or chocolate biscuits. What I do want is Parental Responsibility over my Son.

I'm an unmarried Father - Because my boy was born before December 2003 I have the same rights as you do regarding my Son. None. I spilt blood and tears fighting to give others equality and rights. To find I don't enjoy these benefits with regard to my lad angers me. It angers me a lot.

I can get PR - but it will cost. I will have to line a Lawyers pockets and bare my soul to a Judge (who may not like what he sees)

I'm not asking for the world. I just want a say in my Sons life. I stood in the line when my Country asked. Now I'm asking my Country to help me and it won't cost a penny - not even a Shilling...

Ceasefire

The guns have stopped firing - the dead lie still and desert dogs gorge themselves. We climb into destroyed enemy tanks - looting souvenirs of war. Enemy Fox-holes are cleaned out and photographs capture our happy living faces.

The land is burning, black smoke hangs in the air as fires rage unchecked. Tracer fire and flares compete with each other as Britains children celebrate victory by firing into the sky.

We leave the desert behind us and return to the world. I sit and stare at a Cheeseburger. Dead flesh that once lived. Next to me a Man complains his dead flesh is cold. I explode into rage. I hear muttering as I leave. 'Fucking weirdo' 'Prick' The words mean nothing to me.

I can't sleep in the soft bed next to my girl. I lie awake and pull away as she tries to touch me. Mum won't leave me alone, she keeps hugging me and kissing my forehead. Dad stands next to me as I smoke endless cigarettes.

I sit in the corner of a pub, no one speaks to me. I smoke and drink, looking in from the outside. I miss the war so very much. I am unarmed and alone. I smoke and drink some more.

Dead soldiers stand in the room. They don't speak to me. They point accusing fingers. 'Leave me alone' I whisper the words. They move closer. Dead flesh that was once living. The guns have stopped firing...

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Come into my Web

My friend grins at me as he pokes his rifle into my chest. 'Squeeze one out?' He asks. I nod in reply - it's become a tradition. Shitting alone is boring.

We walk to the wooden boxes with holes cut out. The glory of war is but a distant memory as I sit in the burning heat, trousers around my ankles and flies on my arse.

I ask Gus about the Falklands. He fought there on Mount Longdon as an 18 year old. He says little so I give up. A soldier walks toward the makeshift desert toilets. 'Follow my lead' Gus says.

In front of us are Pissing Tubes. Sticking out of the ground at 45 degree angles. The soldier unzips his trousers. 'I wouldn't do that if I was you mate' Gus says the words with feigned concern.'Why not?' The now confused teenager ask, pausing for the answer.

'Some lad in Seven Brigade mate - Spider bit his cock. He's in a bad way' Gus glares at me as I suppress my laughter. The soldier steps back and peers into the black funnel. 'Serious?' He asks. I nod sagely, biting my tongue 'Yeah man, fangs like Seven Six Two rounds I heard' 'Fuck that' he replies and pisses on the floor.

I laugh until tears stream down my face when the frightened soldier leaves. We finish up - wipe and chuckle. Then go back to the war. The next morning the Seven Brigade soldier has died. His cock fell off. His face turned green and boils grew on his eyes. Rumour Control has spoken and the war has the day off.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Blood on a Sunday

Just to keep things in perspective...

In 1971 Sergeant Michael Willetts of 3 PARA cleared a room in Springfield Road RUC Police Station of civilians because a bomb with a short burning fuse had been planted by the Provisional IRA. After the room had been cleared, Sgt Willetts then slammed the door to the room which contained the bomb, but realising the door was not strong enough to absorb the blast, he pressed his body against the door, shielding the people on the other side. The charge exploded, and he was killed instantly.

Harvey Andrews wrote a song about it...

Contact

The war has been raging forever. I need to sleep. My eyes are bloodshot discs that have seen more than they should. I struggle to stay awake as I sit in the Commanders Cupola - my head lolls about, jarring me into consciousness.

I light another cigarette. Yellow fingers - split and cracked. I hurt. I'm thirsty. I need to sleep. An enemy soldier is standing on a mound, his weapon aimed at me.

I am awake. I am alive. I swing my rifle into my shoulder and pull the trigger. No explosion. No recoil. Stoppage.

I am 16 years old on the ranges. An NCO is screaming at me as I fail to carry out my Immediate Action Stoppage Drills. Spit erupts from his mouth as he hurls abuse at me. 'Clear the fucking stoppage Cunt' he screams, I panic. His boot slams into me.

I can see the bullet in mid-air. Copper coated death. Shattering bone and mangling flesh as it strikes. My infant Son, screaming as he is pulled into the world. I see a fly trapped in a web in my Grandmothers back garden. Why didn't I save it?

The Iraqi looks at me. I have seen my enemy, he is alive like me. They are people like me. He lowers his weapon and raises his hands. Hs war is done and he is happy.

Ten years later a Policeman aims his weapon at me. 'Fucking do it' I scream. He lowers his weapon and I fall to my knees. I sob as my mind cracks apart. The war has been raging forever...

Monday, 14 June 2010

Romero's Extras

I suspect that when the Victorians built their lunatic asylums, they did so in the hope that those outside of them would look inward with fear and loathing. And that those inside of them would also look inward with fear and loathing.

I woke up in one once. I say woke up. It was more of a re-animation than a wake up. My tongue was lolling about like a worm on cocaine; I was drooling like a broken tap and my face had a twitch that could have been measured on the Richter Scale. You see, I’d been stabbed in the arse with Liquid Cosh – Twice – the bastards, and I was in a right fucking state.

When you crawl through the sludge of chlorpromazine-hydrochloride in an effort to come back to the land of the living and escape that of the chemically undead, you are not abandoned. You battle through the twitches, and the slurring and the convulsions not alone, but with an ally. You see, they give you a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

The cake went in my eyes, up my nose and blocked the canal of my left ear. The cup of tea made the stain of my piss soaked jeans slightly bigger and a whole lot warmer. I asked for a cigarette but the words must have become confused and came out as ‘Please leave me covered in cake, tea and piss for the rest of the night’.

The next day I was introduced to the confined area where suicide, assault and murder were all attempted at various stages throughout the day. It was called the smoking room. Being confined as secure mental patients we were not allowed matches or lighters. To ignite our cigarettes a small hole was provided in the smoking room wall with a green button below it.

You simply pushed your cigarette into the hole in the wall pressed the green button repeatedly, and eventually your cigarette would be lit. You were then a secure mental patient who was not allowed matches, lighters, pencils, knifes or sharp implements who was armed with a paper stick whose tip burns at a temperature of approximately 400 degrees Centigrade. Tea and cake were not allowed into the smoking room.

Normality

The day is normal. Helicopters come and go, dropping off letters and ammo. Vehicles are maintained and weapons cleaned. Sentry Duty is performed. It is my turn.

I stand in the hole looking toward the enemy. I have yet to see him. We pound his holes day after day. Shells streak though the sky and bombs fall from planes. I smoke a cigarette and hope the enemy are all dead.

My watch lies to me as the Sentry Stag drags on. An hour has passed in my head, my watch says it's 5 minutes. I smoke endless cigarettes as I look across the flat brown landscape. Blue smoke rises from all of the holes defending our position. The Officers say nothing about the rule breaking.

A Tom takes over from me. 'Have you heard mate?' He says 'Geordies been killed' The words cascade into my head. My friend is dead. I had breakfast with him. I question my relief. 'How?' I stammer like I did as a nervous child. 'We've had no contacts'

The soldier shakes his head. 'No mate not that Geordie. The one whose bird's up the duff. Back in Germany'

My friend Geordie is dead. He didn't deploy with us because his wife is having a baby. The Army let him stay at home. A car crash just ended his life.

I tell the Tom I'll do his Stag. 'Nice one mate' He grins at me and disappears, unable to believe his luck. I stare toward the enemy. Geordie is dead. My friend. I can see his face and his feeble moustache that betrayed his 21 years.

We are moving position. B52's give us light and we drive toward the enemy. Dead troops pave the way - I look at them and think of my dead friend. Then I climb into a hole. The Day is normal...

Three Square A Day And No Incoming

I failed to pay my Council Tax - A foolish error on my behalf. But an error none the less.

It's £1700... A tear drop in an World Wide Ocean of debt. I've been trying to explain to Suits this morning I intend to pay it. I will pay it - But not all at once. They threatened me with Prison, to reinforce how 'Serious' my situation is.

I've been through 'Serious' I lived there for 6 months. Men with guns walked the Earth. They fired their guns and their shells at me. Thousands of young lives were snuffed out by metal flying through the air at high velocity.

Men were shredded - Limbs blown off. Burned beyond recognition. Paralysed. Killed. Maimed. Mutilated. I know - I was there. I saw it. Christ help me I took part in it.

I don't fear Prison. I'm not a big lad, but you can take the boy out of the Army... Like they told us 'It ain't the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog'

The Council have accepted my offer at clearing my debt. This pleases me as I am tired of fighting. I'm going to go to work now - I've just finished Downloading 'Platoon' I'll watch it tonight. Remind myself of what 'Serious' really is...

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Air Red

The crowd really were going wild. I was banging out power chords on my Gibson Les Paul, and they wanted more. I turned round and grinned at my drummer, Boy George. His red painted lips grinned back. Mr Powell, my old physics teacher was plucking his bass guitar and hurling abuse at the crowd. I swore at him. He was a bearded slap-head twat and had no right being in my band.

I was rolling towards my legendary guitar solo. My entire reason for being. The girls in the crowd would cry, the lads would cheer and I would become a god. The crowd screamed out as one. ‘AIR RED!’

I stopped playing and looked at Boy George. He obviously had no idea what the crowd meant either. He had given up drumming and was now struggling to open a KitKat instead. Mr Powell had abandoned his bass guitar and was now hurling chalk dusters, as well as abuse, at the chanting crowd. Again, as one they all shouted. ‘AIR RED!’

I opened my eyes. In my sleep I had managed to wriggle deep down inside my sleeping bag and once I squirmed free of its suffocating weight I sucked in deep lungfuls of the cold night air. I then sat up, put my hands on my nob, yawned, and had a scratch of myself. ‘AIR RED!’

This time the words were clearer. They were louder. It wasn’t a chanting crowd singing them. It was a man shouting them. I sat perfectly still and strained to listen. The man shouted again. ‘AIR RED!’

My ringpiece twitched violently. Panic began coursing through my veins and I scurried out of my sleeping bag. I landed heavily on the desert floor as I fell off the stolen American cam-cot I had been slumbering on. Other voices had now taken up the ‘Air Red!’ chant and I scrabbled around in the darkness, desperately trying to get dressed.

I found my helmet and pushed it onto my head, fumbling for maybe two or three seconds with the chin-strap before giving it up as a lost cause and cursing its shit design. ‘Fucks sake’ I cried out into the darkness, after struggling furiously to get both of my legs into one side of my combat trousers.

I then pulled on my body armour and grabbed my boots. The panic had become too much, and my desire to survive outweighed my desire to be properly dressed. With boots in one hand and socks in the other I made a frantic dash through the night towards my trench.

I dived in headfirst. Laying there at the bottom of my hole gasping for air, having winded myself in my efforts to get into some cover. In the darkness all around me, other teenage soldiers were also standing-to. Cries of ‘shit, fucks sake and bollocks’ echoed along the Kuwaiti border.

I slowly got up and peered out across the lip of my trench toward where my Armoured Fighting Vehicle sat motionless in the dark. My rifle was under the stolen American cam-cot in front of the AFV. ‘Fucks sake’ I cried and another mad dash through the darkness took place.

Once back in the trench I knelt down and pulled on my socks and boots. I then grabbed my rifle and began fiddling with the chinstrap on my helmet. A face appeared at the top of my trench. I cried out and then pulled the trigger on my rifle. It wasn’t cocked. Shit. Silence. Time to die. I was nineteen years old. The face then spoke to me. ‘Sit tight and stay in your fucking hole. It’s Air Yellow.’

I opened my mouth to speak, but the face had disappeared, melting back into the shadows of the night. The twitch became a spasm. I cocked my rifle and waited.


I don’t know how long I stood in that trench for. Maybe one hour, maybe five. I remember standing quietly chewing on my dog tags, frustrated at the thought of my cigarettes being out of reach, a mere 20 metres away. I remember waiting for the enemy tracer rounds to come screaming in and their shells to explode. I remember wishing I’d put on my combat jacket as I shivered in the cold and I remember my ringpiece twitching.

I was feeling very sorry for myself. I cursed the desert. I cursed the Arabs and I cursed the recruiting Sergeant, whose lies about skiing and abseiling were really starting to piss me off. I was thinking about my cigarettes when I saw him. A figure was crouched down about fifteen metres from where I stood.

My right thumb flicked the safety-catch on my rifle from safe to fire. My left eye squeezed shut. I pointed my rifle barrel toward where the figure stood.

Foresight or target? I couldn’t remember. Was it the foresight or the fucking target I was supposed to focus on? I was seven years old again I heard my big sister chanting. ‘Ippa dippa dation. My operation. YOU-ARE-NOT-IT!’

I could see the ranges in Catterick Garrison where I had been trained to fire and reload my weapon to kill the enemy, but I couldn’t remember if it was foresight or target? The figure had closed to within five metres. Is it my first round that’s tracer or my last round, or are they all tracer? Are there any rounds in the magazine at all? Oh god, please mum. I don’t know if my guns got any fucking bullets in it. ‘Password fuckwit.’ The figure hissed at me.

It was Gus. It was Gus the Paratrooper. It was Gus the Paratrooper who’d already been to war. I wanted to cry. I wanted my mum. I wanted to stop shaking. I wanted to go home. Gus said nothing after I lowered my weapon. He simply climbed into the trench beside me and began carrying out his preparations for war in silence.

I said nothing for ten minutes. Eventually my desperation to know what was happening became too much. I looked at Angus and asked him a question.
‘What does Air Red mean mate?’
He shook his head in disgust and then quickly began chuckling.
‘It means we are about to get bombed and die horribly’ he said, his body now heaving with laughter.

I’d survived the start of the war. Thousands of other men had not. The night turned to day, and lectures about Air Red were held at intervals of five minutes. It meant quite simply ‘Enemy Aircraft Attack Imminent!’

It took me a long time to get away from the War-Machine, my mates and the cries of AIR RED! When I finally managed to find a quiet part of the Desert, I sat down and cried. My tears fell onto the floor and collected into little lumps of grit and despair. Babylon had a new visitor. He wore a yellow suit and dropped big fucking bombs.

Friday, 11 June 2010

New Year

New Years Day 1991. My upper body is sunburned and I ache. The Track of my AFV needs repairing. Sledge Hammers, Pins, Torque Wrenches. Swearing, pain and frustration.

The Track Pin won't budge and I am tired of it. I swing the hammer again and again. My shouts of anger the source of amusement for the soldiers all around trying to escape the heat.

Three loud cracks stop my cursing. I turn toward the sound and rest the hammer on my boot. A soldier staggers out of a Vehicle, clutching at himself. He manages Three or Four steps before he crumples to the floor and lies still. His friend appears after him. His face blank. Smoke creeps from the barrel of his weapon into the sky.

The standing soldier begins to scream and the picture becomes focussed. The man on the floor has been shot. His friend was tired. Not thinking. Three rounds. Point blank.

The soldier on the floor tries to sit up, blood gushes from his mouth. He chokes and falls still. 'MEDIC' The word is screamed again and again. Men wearing red-crosses arrive. Frantically trying to stem the blood. A helicopter thumps sand into my eyes. The limp body is thrown into it and it heaves into the air. Engines crying as the Pilot demands more. Then it is gone.

I smoke a cigarette. I've never seen a man shot before. The Track Pin comes free so I smile. The shooter is crying. Sat on his own clasping his knees, he cries all day. Then he goes home. Broken before the war has started.

It is my turn to stand in a hole. I grab my rifle and push at the safety catch. I want to go home - But I can't. We are Two men down and must pick up the slack. At home the snow falls and the Parties go on...

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Chemistry Lessons

My fingers hurt. Hours of digging holes has peeled away their skin and blisters have split. My friend pours water over them as we discuss medals. The war began several hours ago. Bombs fell from the air and enemy troops died. I curse as the water trickles across the red welts.

Compressed air thumps into me. My body snaps back and I bite my lip. Blood spills onto my chin and my body armour. I sit perfectly still. Confusion and fear. Another concussion wave slams into me and then the sound wave catches up. I am deaf as I taste the blood.

We are being bombed. Explosions rip across the sand. My friend looks at me. Terror and panic. A voice screams out. 'Gas Gas Gas' My bowels fill with ice and my chest pounds.

Gas. Nerve Agent. Agony. Death. I am 16 years old again. A Sergeant shouts at us 'Be on time - Mask in nine' The CS Gas he has lit burns my eyes and my throat. I vomit and cry out in pain. 'NINE SECONDS you Fuckwits' He screams. Ten seconds without a Respirator means death.

Other voices have taken up the shout 'Gas Gas Gas' Chemical Alarms wail. There rising and falling tone piercing through the explosions. I reach for my Respirator on my side. It isn't there.

Panic and fear overwhelms me. I fall off the AFV, winding myself on the hard ground. I begin to crawl toward the back of the vehicle. I try to hold my breath but the terror is too great, I suck in frantic gulps of air.

Mustard Gas. Blister Agent. I start crying, I don't want to die. 'Gas Gas Gas' The voices now distorted as they shout through masks and filters. I crawl into the back of the AFV. Babbling and wailing. A respirator is thrust into my hands. I fumble as I pull it on. Yanking the straps until they bite deep into my skull.

A soldier looks at me. His insect features hide his identity. Bulging Perspex eyes. Black Rubber. Forced heavy breaths. I shout out that I cant breathe. My chest feels tight. I am dying. He grabs my jacket - Staring at me. Eyes wide. Fear. Shouting then laughter.

A soldier walks through our position. He has no mask on and he is laughing. 'It's outgoing lads' He says 'It's the fucking Dropshorts and their MLRS'

I pull of my mask and breathe in deeply. There is no Gas. There is only life. Tears spill over my eyelids and I find a quiet place to worry. I spend the rest of the day watching the Rockets that frightened me so much climb into the sky. I grin at the immense power they posess as my respirator hangs by my side...

Friday, 4 June 2010

Another Day

A dirt brown Bulldozer is pushing bodies into a pile. Walking behind it soldiers are picking up the pieces it has missed. Arms and legs. Heads and faces.

The sky is smeared black. Burning oil stings my eyes and throat as I cough up lungfuls of what it is we fight for. I walk past a wall of corpses. Arms and legs poke out of the heap. Shattered faces gaze at me. The wall moves and squirms as flies feast on the newly dead.

I am 13 years old. We are watching the Holocaust. Black and White bodies are stacked high. Walls of flesh and bone. I look at the new wall. High Def Colour has arrived at the slaughter.

A wounded soldier sits in silence. The stumps where his arms were are covered with socks and his feet are naked. A dead kid in a Foxhole reaches out to me as helicopters swarm above the destruction. His mouth ripped open. White teeth smiling. In my pocket a letter tells me my son has cut a new tooth. I touch it as I look at the dead boy.

We dig in. My spade biting lumps of sand out of the ground. I crawl into the hole and think of the dead boy and read my letter. All around me Artillery pounds at the unseen enemy. The constant shelling hurts my ears so I put cigarette butts in them.

Daylight comes and we drive through the fresh dead. I try to write to my Grandmother but can't. The words are childlike and make no sense. I kiss the paper, sign my name and send it back home. The radio tells me Nine of my comrades just died. I turn it down and my Walkman up. Don't worry be happy plays and I laugh. I laugh until I ache. Then we dig in...

Addicted To Grief

I've suffered grief in my life. I've been so wracked with pain and despair that I've locked myself into a room and cried until there was nothing left. I've then sat there rocking back and forth - as the emptiness fills me.

What I haven't done is laid flowers next to a road. Nor have I gathered in the streets clinging to strangers as we wail at the death of people we've never met before.

I was in London not long after Princess Di was killed. I was horrified at the Grief Whores and their lack of dignity. People openly wept in the street. Total strangers wallowed in misery as they waited in line to sign a book of condolence about some dead lass they'd never met.

The shootings in Cumbria were grim. Lot's of folk died. Trouble is, I didn't know them. Don't get me wrong I am angered at the fact helpless old ladies live in a world where intelligent people can blast them out of existence for no reason. But I'm not going to cry about it.

Once a year every November I stand in the cold and rain and bite my fucking lip. Not a tear falls from my eyes as I think about people I did know and who are no longer laughing at the bar. I talk about the dead with my friends and we laugh over shared memories. It's what I want people to do when I'm gone. It's what Brits do...

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Guns and Monkeys

Some chap lost it yesterday - blasted Twelve folk into oblivion and wounded scores more. I'm fairly sure the Media will have a field day with this. There'll be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. People will ask 'How did this happen?'

It's a simple answer. That bloke was a Human you see. Much as some folk wish to portray us civilised and rational it's all bollocks. Don't believe me? Google Dylan Aaron. He was killed last week and his chums set up a Facebook page to remember him - It's been attacked by Spammers and Trolls who wish to upset them. Folk getting their 'lolz' at a Mans death.

We are intelligent monkeys with guns. The illusion of Civilisation is never more than One week away from collapse. Birdy was a cock, who shot folk at random. Don't for one minute think he's any different from you or I though. We're not a very nice species. Accept that and crack on.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Leaving

My Father and I are not speaking. He is fumbling with the tuner on the radio. The hiss and whine of Medium-Wave fills the car as an electrical voice talks about Football.

'I'm scared Dad' The words fall out of my dry mouth. I've just left home, on my way to where the armies gather for the coming fight. My girlfriend was hysterical. She screamed and cried. Thrusting my 12 week old Son into my arms. 'Don't go' she pleaded. My Grandmother steered her toward a cup of hot tea - whispering words of strength.

Mum said very little. Her eyes spilled tears over her cheeks. 'Come home safe love' She said. She then squeezed my hand and stroked my cheek. I was 5 years old again - my first day at School. I didn't want to leave Mum. I wanted to stay at home. I flash a grin at her. 'Be home before you know it Girl' The words hung in the air, then Mum walked outside to be alone.

Grandad clapped his huge arm around my shoulders. 'Be careful son' He said. 'Write when you can' I hero worshipped the old man. He had a chestful of medals from fighting in the War, I'd looked at them so many times. I didn't want a medal of my own anymore. I wanted to live. I wanted to grow old. I smiled at him. 'I'll be OK' I said. He nodded and said no more.

Dad looked over at me and then turned off the radio. 'You'll be alright kid' He said 'You have to be' I lit a smoke and we said nothing else for the rest of the journey.

Six months have passed. I am walking down another road. It is littered with the broken dead bodies of Children who promised their Mothers they would be home soon. The hiss and whine of my radio fills my ears. Electrical voices talk about war. I want to go home...

Friday, 28 May 2010

The Wild Geese

We are the children of Britain. Recruited from her Council estates - Our arms are covered in ink. Panthers and Snakes coil around each other. Dragons fly above love hearts emblazoned with the word 'Mum'

The London boy next to me grins. White teeth flashing through an oil stained face as the War machines engines whine and groan slowly lifting us into the air.

'It's like the Wild fucking Geese' He screams into my ear. His laughter drowned out by the helicopters rotor blades. I am 11 years old again. On the television I can see Richard Harris limping down a runway, pleading with Richard Burton in the Film. 'Shoot me... Shoot me...'

I look back at Sven. An unlit cigarette hangs from his mouth. He has an imaginery friend called Mr Far-Far and in his Vehicle is a bow and some arrows. He jabs a finger toward a small window. Other Chinooks are in formation with us. Red Tracer fire spews out from them smashing into the desert floor below.

We land heavily. Hundreds of troops pour out of the aircraft. We run to the cover of fortified positions. No rounds come in. Safety. Laughter. Then we stand to.

Above us B-52's smudge vapour trails into the blue sky. Night falls and is broken by the man made daylight of carpet bombing. Flashes erupt on the horizon. Then the rumble of High Explosive is carried across our trenches.

Across the front line Britains children ready themselves for war. Charms are kissed and prayers are whispered. Night remains day and the enemy dies. I smoke a cigarette as I watch a hundred lives ending. Sven is talking to Mr Far-Far 'This shit gives me wood' He chuckles. I laugh too. The world has gone insane..

Friday, 21 May 2010

Veteran

My Girlfriend sits at the bottom of the stairs. Her red eyes spill out tears as she sobs on the phone to her Mother 'I can't take anymore of it Mum - I want to come home'

I stare at the broken, smashed bedroom door. An obscene metaphor reflecting the inside of my mind. Blood trickles between my knuckles; Split almost to the bone from pounding the heavy wood.

Back at Mum and Dads now. Mum is a crumpled heap on the floor her body racked with inner pain. She cries out to Dad 'What's wrong with him? What did they do over there?' I sit staring at the wall in the room I grew up in as a child. Where I played war and broke toy soldiers.

I'm so very tired, but the dead wont let me sleep. Alchohol numbs the daylight memories - but at night they creep into my room and then my dreams. Their twisted bodies clamber over me. The rotting teenage bodies fumble with their insides. Trying to push them back in.

The burning soldier screams in silence. His flesh falls away and his bones bubble as he claws at the flames. A pair of legs try to stand. They stagger around like a new born giraffe before collapsing into a heap.

A young man sits silently rocking back and forth - I tap his shoulder and he spins around. His face has gone, just teeth and splintered bone remain. I try to scream but it wont come.

Death is so very close. One pull of the blade and some pain... Then nothing. But I can't. I can hear Mum crying. I walk past her in silence. The pubs have opened again...

Bombs

Best Video about War ever...

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Programme for Government

There's a band from Newport, Gwent called Goldie Lookin' Chain, who did a song once called "The Manifesto". David Cameron and Nick Clegg have formed a coalition government which appears to have published a manifesto after it was elected. Good trick chaps!

For those of us who are insomniacs, it can be read in full here. Be warned, however, it's 36 pages long and at the end of it you might - as I did - come away with a great deal of head-scratching and "WTF?"-ing.

As you're aware, CSR and I are both veterans of the Army and of conflict and thus I've copied out the section on defence and have made comments below each of the paragraphs within the document in italics. Feel free to counter-comment in the comments back.

Much love,
John


DEFENCE

The Government believes that we need to take action to safeguard our national security at home and abroad. We also recognise that we need to do much more to ensure that our Armed Forces have the support they need, and that veterans and their families are treated with the dignity that they deserve.

Damn straight, and about bloody time.

We will maintain Britain’s nuclear deterrent, and have agreed that the renewal of Trident should be scrutinised to ensure value for money. Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for alternatives. We will immediately play a strong role in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, and press for continued progress on multilateral disarmament.

Good idea scrutiny and ensuring value-for-money. It may be an area of disagreement between CSR and me (TRIDENT) but having scrutiny and / or possibly no requirement for constant on patrol presence (as suggested by RUSI) might work.

The nuclear NPT is a great idea but unfortunately with countries like Israel (are you listening in Dimona?), Iran, Pakistan and India all nuclear it looks like the next time CSR and I go to the Arabian desert instead of having to worry about sand there will have been such heat created we'll need only take window-cleaner with us (for the non-scientists: if you heat up sand, you get glass).


We will aim to reduce Ministry of Defence running costs by at least 25%.

Bloody right. MoD uncivil servants, time to start looking for a new job. PR department at MoD? Ditch it. That's what we've got CIMIC for and the Army has it's own journalists in uniform - use them.

We will work to rebuild the Military Covenant by:

– ensuring that Service personnel’s rest and recuperation leave can be maximised;

No more waiting for the airbridge at Bastion? Good.

– changing the rules so that Service personnel only have to register once on the Service register;

Good idea. Postal voting for all service personnel, no matter where in the world they are.

– exploring the potential for including Service children as part of our proposals for a pupil premium;

No "exploring the potential" - do it. I was a RAF brat and was at seven schools by the time I was sixteen: did it contribute to the ballsing up of my education? I'm not sure - but it certainly didn't help.

– providing university and further education scholarships for the children of Servicemen and women who have been killed on active duty since 1990;

Great idea. But hold on, are they going to be full scholarships? It should also be extended to those who have suffered life changing mental or physical injury, such as Captain Norton GC.

– providing support for ex-Service personnel to study at university,

Good one. But why not help service personnel get degrees in-service? At the moment only a small number of senior officers get them via DEFAC at Shrivenham: why not extend it to everyone and have an Army Education Corps officer scrutinised on the number of members of the regiment or battalion he's posted to achieving advanced levels of education: education that can be used when they come out.

Army education really gets my goat (sorry, all, this is going to be a rant). With the exception of prison, the Army is one of the few places where there's a captive audience - the AEC should be offering opportunities to soldiers to get GCSEs, AS/A2 levels and in-service degrees - all the way up to PhD.

– creating a new programme, ‘Troops for Teachers’, to recruit ex-Service personnel into the teaching profession;

See above on AEC - but it's a good idea. Some of the best teachers I've ever had in terms of their commitment to the cause and the imagination they put into their subject material were at RMAS and at regiment and battalion level: the indiscipline in some schools would also be improved dramatically if the kids misbehaviour was punished by the call "One squillion press-ups, exercise ... begin."

– providing extra support for veteran mental health needs; and

Absolutely, 100%, definitely YES. CSR and I've both needed the services of Combat Stress in the past and the disjoint that has required for 100 years that a charity (note: NOT the government) provide this service is appalling. Good work on the coalition that they are providing this, and shame on the past government for not noticing that despite 48 UK fatalities as a consequence of GRANBY, ~200 have committed suicide since.

– reviewing the rules governing the awarding of medals.

OK: I'm not sure what they mean by this but I suspect it's uncivil serpents earning campaign medals for sitting on a beach in Cyprus chilling out with a beer whilst the rest of us sweat our knackers off in the Saudi desert.

We will double the operational allowance for Armed Forces personnel serving in Afghanistan, and include Armed Forces pay in our plans for a fair pay review.

Good, and whilst we're about it:
  • why are there more Admirals than ships in the Royal Navy?
  • Why are there more Maj. and Lt. Generals together than regiments in the British Army?
  • Why are there more Air officers (Air Commodore and above) than fighter aircraft in the RAF?

We will ensure that injured personnel are treated in dedicated military wards.

About bloody time. Also: when it's affordable, reinstate Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot, where I did my first posting after GRANBY. Yes, it's a shithole, and yes it was difficult to manage but if soldiers wanted an easy life, they'd be civilians.

We will look at whether there is scope to refurbish Armed Forces’ accommodation from efficiencies within the Ministry of Defence.

True, and again, about time.

We will support defence jobs through exports that are used for legitimate purposes, not internal repression, and will work for a full international ban on cluster munitions.

Why not have a placement scheme for resettlement of service personnel within the defence industry?

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Scorched Earth Policy


It seems as is being reported in todays' Sunday Times that there's been knowledge in the No.10 bunker that Gordon Browns days were numbered he decided to take the way out that most created trouble for his successors in government, so called "scorched earth".


Sgt CSR and I saw the effects of this in 1991: the black columns of smoke with occasional flames visible together with a roaring noise as made by the flaming oil wells. One of my most constant memories of being in Kuwait was standing on the al-Mutla ridge (الجهراء, الكويت for our Arabic readership) ‎and hearing a roaring noise from burning oil wells - then looking through binoculars and realising that they were 15 miles away, and yet the noise was carrying. Should Hades exist, this is what it will look like (above).

Brown and parties' view of the election, their jaundiced view of the British public - the state they created, a client-state of the government - that they would blame their successors for the state of the UK economy cannot be criticised enough. Failure by the electorate to blame Brown, Balls, Voldemort et al for this would be a mistake.

During the election campaign, Ken Clarke talked about bringing in the IMF to the UK. I suspect that there's a greater need to do it now than ever. Gideon has suggested that we need to have an emergency budget but I believe he needs to go further - open the books to *public* inspection and we can see, as did the Marcos regime in the Philippines in 1986:

"People power movements have been an Imperial Manila phenomenon. Their playing field is EDSA. They have excluded the provincianos from their movement with their insufferable arrogance and snobbery ... ignoring the existence of the toiling masses and peasants in agrarian Philippines."

When I started ranting on here, I thought that talking about the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of the last government was mere kite flying. Now? I'm a lot less sure.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

What Happened Next

Yes I know - It's childish in the extreme... But it made me smile...

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Victory

My heart is beating like a fucked clock. Tick-Tick-Tick-Tock Tock-Tick Tock. My breaths are short, rapid and violent. My eyes dart around the hole in the ground in front of me and I tighten my grip on the rifle I am aiming at it.

'Get out of the hole' I scream the words. They become broken, distorted. 'Get out of the fucking hole' Small arms fire cracks away in the distance. Its staccato thump as irregular as the pounding in my chest.

A face appears in the dark slit. Foreign words fill the air - frantic words. Incoherent words. 'Get out of the fucking hole' I scream the words 'NOW' My finger takes up the triggers pressure.

A soldier scrambles out - He is wailing. Crying. Tears and snot combine into a sickly mess on his lips. My rifle barrel swings from his face to the hole. From the hole to his face.

'Weapon' I scream at him. Pushing my rifle into his face. 'Where's your fucking weapon?' He falls to his knees. I don't speak his words but know he is pleading for his life. His eyes wide - fear pouring out. He shakes uncontrollably.

I grab his jacket and drag him along the sand. He begins to moan. From the bottom of his stomach a pitiful wail pierces through the gunfire in the far away distance.

His war is over. I hate him for that. He is going to live - go home - see his Mum. See his Girl. I drop my rifle to my side and fumble for some smokes. I offer one to the trembling creature who is now curled into a ball.

He shakes his head and the moans take on a new ferocity. He clasps his hands and his tar black eyes plead with mine. 'He thinks it's his last cigarette mate' My friend chuckles. 'Poor cunt'

I realise the man has been destroyed by our Army. I sling my rifle behind me - take a knee and then smile. I take a cigarette for myself and throw the half full packet in front of him.

My enemy has been defeated. The war still rages. I give him some food and point toward the South. As I walk past his dead friends I look back. He is still sat there. Rocking back and forth as he smokes my cigarettes.

He looks up at me and waves. I don't wave back - the war still rages.

The State Vs Me

I'm Fifth Generation British Army. My family have been involved in just about every war our Nation has fought in.

My Great Grandfather was a Fusilier in the Trenches in France - My Great Uncle was awarded the Military Medal at Paschendale - losing his life in the process. My Grandfathers fought against the Nazi tyranny on both the land and the sea and my Grandmother crewed an Ack Ack Battery during the Blitz.

Korea, Ulster, The Falklands and Iraq have been walked upon by the boots of my forefathers and myself. At this very minute my Nephew is training for Afghanistan.

We fought for Democracy. The right for men to have a say in their lives - to be freed from oppression and tyranny.

NuLabour now pour scorn upon the duty and sacrifice that my family and so many countless others have given and still give to the Crown. Their unelected Puppet Masters have been spinning a shady back room deal with the Harlot Clegg - a desperate bid to cling to power despite the Nation wishing otherwise.

Mandelson, Campbell and Adonis... Unelected and unaccountable. These are the men who sneer at Democracy and the voices of Britain. Their systematic destruction of the Nation will not be stopped by something as inconvenient as losing an Election (let us be clear on this - Labour lost it)

These men have plans. We are merely insignificant people to be used for whatever purpose suits their need. How they must laugh, as we stand in heartbroken silence as our dead soldiers come home. Perhaps they snigger at the irony of the Union flags draped over the lifeless children who are dying for 'Democracy'

NuLabour would be unwise to assume they can steal Democracy without protest or challenge. There are those of us who believe freedom is worth fighting for...

Another Prediction

So Democracy is being stolen.

I found a video that I think sums up what will unfold if Cleggy jumps into the sack with Brown...

Monday, 10 May 2010

BBC Impartiality?

As I'm writing this I'm listening to the 1715 BBC package with Huw Edwards interviewing:

- Andrew Adonis
- Bad Al Campbell

...alongside the ultra Brown-ite Nick Robinson.

Whatever happened to BBC impartiality? Here's my complaint:

The recent interview with Huw Edwards and Nick Robinson of Alistair Campbell and Andrew Adonis was a complete Tory-bashing fest and I fail to see how the BBC can justify its' licence fee income as a consequence of this impartiality.

Elements such as the Tory party policy (e.g., described by Alistair Campbell as "deeply right wing") were accepted as fact rather than being critical of something that is solely subjective.

I believe that Campbells' past as a spinner-in-chief for previous PM Blair makes his commentary on other parties' policies and views moot and he should not be receiving payment from my contribution as licence fee.

Feel free to use the form at https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/.

Go to it, fellows.

A Prediction...

Gordon Brown should have resigned on Friday. His party was obliterated in the Election - But he stayed put. Why?

NuLabour have one desire and one desire only. To remain in Power. Those of us who rightly claim NuLab were soundly defeated are relying upon a misguided hope of fair play if we think NuLabour are finished.

This is the Party that sent hundreds of British troops to their deaths on a lie. They are prepared to kill nor just one or two people in shady circumstance but untold hundreds of thousands - think Iraq.

The current LibCon talks are a smokescreen. We are now learning of secret meetings taking place between the LibDem negotiators and the higher ranks of NuLab. Lord Mandelson... Now there's a man for whom honour is but a trait of the men he sends to war to fight and die.

Cameron should have been allowed to form a minority Government - But this would mean opposition for NuLab, so it was never going to happen. I suspect Clegg is being promised his dream of PR but its cost will be Brown remaining at the helm for 6 months.

NuLab will then give us the boy Milliband as their Leader. Clegg is a fool and the taste of power has him drunk. His foolish wrangling as he attempts to put Party before Nation will cost us all dearly.

I do hope I'm wrong on this...

Sunday, 9 May 2010

The World Is Watching

As a Tory I've got used to losing elections. Three times I've put my cross in the box and three times I've watched Labour claim the Crown.

I'm a former soldier - I don't like losing. However, I have accepted those three defeats with dignity and a resolve to try and win for my Party next time.

There is no one who can deny Gordon Brown and NuLabour lost on Friday. The result was an overwhelming decision by the electorate that NuLabour had come to the end of its tracks. The Torys had a mountain to climb to gain a majority and despite a swing rivalling Thatchers in 79 they failed to clinch the deal. So close but no cigar.

The Torys did however gain more seats. So although it wasn't an outright victory it should have been enough for Brown to have accepted defeat. I have no love for Gordon Brown but his desperation to cling to power is now not only nauseating - it is perilous for our Country. The economic crises has taken a back seat as Journalists walk past CGI mock ups of Electoral reform.

A handful of hard left protestors seem to have taken our eye of the ball. Unless decisive action is taken immediately, the Markets will punish us and they will punish us harshly.

JFK once said 'Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.' Sage words indeed. This media spectacle must end. Brown must resign. Anything less in the current economic climate would be an act of treason.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Combat Stress

Another Doctor came today to peek inside my thoughts
He asked me lots of questions about the war in which I fought,

He listened with his stethoscope but did not hear my heart
Nor the silent screams inside a mind torn wide apart,

Once shiny boots now gather dust and medals hide away
And death creeps into dreams when the darkness steals the day,

It isn't nice to have to beg the country you once served
On bended knee with cap in hand a fate quite undeserved,

Be the best the small screen cried enlist and serve the Crown
But how many of the best are now locked up in iron towns,

And dare not mention names of those who could not bare this strife
Who with rope or blade or happy pills did away with life...

65th Anniversary of VE Day


Today, May 7th 2010 in the UK we're celebrating the sixty-fifth anniversary of VE Day, the defeat by Allied forces of the influence of the Third Reich across Europe. As many of you know, I'm a data-fiend (love data) and from British and Commonwealth forces fighting in World War II (1939-1945) the following figures are relevant.

- 580,351 Killed / Missing

- 475,000 Wounded

- 318,000 Prisoners of War

Since yesterday morning we've seen the three main parties in the United Kingdom fail in their duty to attempt to form a government to manage the way in which Britain is run, to make the decisions that are necessary to provide for our service personnel in Afghanistan.

The people KIA / MIA, wounded or PoW total nearly 1.4 million.

To put that in context, imagine the new Wembley Stadium, filled.

Sixteen times over.

And yet, and yet - the squatting Labour government (and in particular the Cyclopsian one) have not resigned. They might claim to be using parliamentary privilege to do so but in reality, for every hour they spend in power without democratic mandate, they are metaphorically spitting in the eye of every man, woman and animal in UK armed forces and the whole UK electorate.

As the chap on the left in the picture above might say, at the very top of his voice:

Jail 'em!

Carlsberg Don't Do Own Goals

I never really got into UKIP. I know lot's from the right did and I have to be honest - I did flirt with the idea of them. Their canvasser was astute, well motivated and passionate about his cause. But ultimately I thought better of it. I gave my little kiss to Mr Camerons merry bunch.

UKIP fought a lacklustre campaign (no doubt crippled by the biased MSM) and I didn't expect them to make any great gains. Although I did hope Mr Farage (get well soon) would give Bercow a kicking.

It is therefore a most ironic situation we now find ourselves in. iDave failed in his bid to win a majority and we have ourselves a hung parliament. The Tory effort was scuppered by UKIP gaining votes that tipped the balance to Labour in 21 constituencies . Nick Clegg has become the maker and breaker of would be Kings. Despite an awful showing at the ballot box, Clegg holds our future in his hands.

Nick clegg wants Proportional Representation. So does Billy Bragg and so a lot of Labour supporters are realising - do they. Clegg must surely realise this is his last best chance at power. The Tory meetings I suspect are merely a smokescreen while Labour remove Cleggs only hurdle - Brown.

PR is being punted as more democratic. Fairer etc etc... Sure more peoples vote will count. The BNP will get some seats - the Greens a couple more. But Labour - well they'll have a few less than the Conservatives. The same as the LibDems.

PR means coallition. It will be a coallition of the Left. The Conservatives will be finished in all but name - and those dreams of UKIP getting out of Europe and its coming Superstate. Well they'll be drowned out by Billy Bragg and his lefty chums screams of delight at knowing the Left can't be defeated. Ever...

Carlsberg don't do own goals - They couldn't hope to compete with UKIP's

N.B. For those that wish to know - the Squatter Banner comes from the excellent The Talking Clock Blog - Tip of the Titfer to that outstanding effort!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Stand Down

It remains to be seen what will happen with the hung Parliament. As we tweet, blog, text, poke and email our hopes, fears and concerns - young men from these Islands are gearing up for combat patrols in Afghanistan.

They will not be thinking of swingometers, LibLab, LibCon or Brown or Dave. They will be thinking about life as they walk into the valley of the shadow of death.

We have been told time and again they are there - fighting and dying - to bring Democracy to another nation. With a courage and dedication that humbles me they risk life and limb day after day to achieve this.

The nation has spoken and the nation has firmly rejected NuLabour. Now is the time to salvage whatever dignity and decency (if any) remain in Browns party. They must stand down. Brown must resign.

Too many troops have died attempting to give others a taste of Democracy to ignore it here. The covenant is broken - NuLabour I urge you not to spit on it.

Come On Sir

What are we waiting for... If Brown wont go...


Thursday, 6 May 2010

May 6th 2010 - the Aftermath

This post is going to either:

(a) appear worryingly prescient, or
(b) seem like the rantings of a conspiracy theorist

_______________________________________________________________________

There are reports from Ealing, from Chester, from Hackney, from Lewisham, from Leeds -- all over the major conurbations of the UK -- of people being intentionally disenfranchised of their right to vote.

In Ranmoor, an affluent suburb of Sheffield, voters are refusing to allow the dispatch of ballot boxes. As Sheffield Hallam is the constituency - and Nick Clegg the sitting MP - there are reports that he has gone to the polling place himself to apologise to people and try to reach resolution. For those of the electorate scoffing at Nick Cleggs' statesmanship - eat your words.

I am fearful, however, when I look at the conduct of Lord Voldemort and his cabal of Johnson, Harman, Millibands (plural), Darling and of course Brown. For a member of a Labour government who are - exit polls suggest - being metaphorically bent over and taking their punishment from the electorate - he looks remarkably relaxed.

Such relaxation can only be as a consequence of information asymmetry: the sort of information asymmetry which makes markets imperfect (and, perversely, makes them work effectively).

What might Voldemort know? I fear that there may well be evidence that will be well hidden until all voters who have cast their vote today are long since pushing up the daisies that Voldemort was in some way instrumental in this.

In short - a coup d'etat, the theft of democracy. Stalin is alleged to have said:

"it's not who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes"

So. What to do?

There are mutterings of former soldiers (including this one) about getting the tanks out, drawing personal weapons and taking back our country. How much I would love to do so. Climb back into my uniform, last worn some years ago, and lead a squadron like the old, retired officer that I am.

Were we to do this we would be Greece - and we're not. We need a civil uprising. We need to be Czechoslovakia in November 1989. The story of the Velvet Revolution has been used before as an example of how best to have a peaceful uprising.

As and when it comes to this - possibly as early as tomorrow - let's get ready to march. We will march on Millbank, we will march on Downing Street and if as with Thich Quang Duc (go look it up) - again, paraphrasing -

"it takes blood to resolve this, then please - take mine"

I hope that we wake up tomorrow morning to a new government, committed to the following objectives:

1. Reform of the polling process - bring us PR

2. Prosecution of the current Labour cabinet

3. Slashing of the deficit, a bonfire of the client state

If not, prepare for uprising. Who's going to be our Lech Walesa, our Vaclav Havel? Answers on a postcard, please.



May 6th 2010 - Election Day

In the spirit of impartiality I'm not going to start banging-on about the fact that people should vote one way or the other. Your vote is yours, and the way you vote is a secret, held in three places - between you, the ballot box and your conscience.

For those of us who at 0838Z have not voted yet, I would ask this however: whichever way you vote, please - PLEASE - vote.

Many millions gave their all for us to have the right to free and fair elections - and to thank them today, all you have to do is pop down to your nearest polling station and make a cross in a box.

I forget the author but someone wrote the following stanza and it's particularly apposite today:

When you return
tell them of us and say
"For your tomorrow
We gave our today"

I, CSR and millions of others continue to suffer ill-health as a consequence of our service. When you're considering which charity to support - try a veterans' organisation and, if I may be so bold as to ask your indulgence - Combat Stress are particularly good. Go, look 'em up. They've been working to help veterans for nearly 100 years and are a truly brilliant organisation.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Lest We Forget

NuLabour have been more than willing to send young Brtish troops off to fight and die for them. Not one member of the current Government has served as a soldier. Yet they throw our kids into foreign wars at every opportunity.

Soldiers do not moan about this, it is after all their job. It's a nasty job, but our fighting men and women do it better than anyone else in the world. All they ask is that the covenant be honoured.

Nu Labour care little for the covenant. They see it as something to be ignored, cast aside (look at Johnny Gurkha and his treatment at the hands of NuLabour) and treated with contempt.

I've known this for some time - it is a sad reflection of who our Leaders are. However... I have today discovered something about Ed Balls (Hard Core Nu Labour) that has made me feel ill.

Ed - Who earns a princely sum as an MP decided he'd reclaim the cost of a Poppy Wreath... In Ed's world the life of a fallen soldier isn't worth 33 quid. It would appear it's worth nothing.

I collect money for the Legions Poppy Appeal every year and something that always renews my faith in my fellow Countrymen is the amount of people who put pennies into the collection bin. Old folk, young kids, black, white, rich and poor. They all seem to find a couple of quid to help out the Men and Women who keep and have kept them safe at night.

Ed Balls is a disgrace. There is no spin that can be put on this story. There are no lies that can undo this complete and total lack of respect. Hang your head in shame Mr Balls. You are without doubt - a complete tosser...

++++++++++ UPDATE ++++++++++

Video Below...

The Ultimate Betrayal

The Postal Vote scandal is beginning to gather momentum. Al Jahom blogs about it over at his.

It would appear NuLabour likes the Postal Vote - It not only allows them to gain plenty of fictitious votes in key marginal seats with imaginery bogus voters - it also means they can deny the vote to that part of society they despise so much. The Armed Forces.

There are British troops who have risked their lives fighting NuLabours many poorly planned wars who will have no say in the next Government. This is obscene. It is not enough to under-equip them. Or to discard them once they are wounded. This disgusting, corrupt and shameful Government now wish to deny some of them their voice in our (pitiful) Democracy.

What was once a beacon across the world has been turned into a Banana Republic by Gordon Brown and his chums. How they must laugh at the growing casualty list - casualties made up mostly of  the working class Brown has made it so clear he despises.

It is not enough it would seem to merely break the Military Covenant. NuLabour wish to drag it through the mud, spit on it, bury it and then piss on its grave. As soldiers continue to die - Brown continues his desperate cling to power. How truly sickening the NuLabour experiment has become.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Music, Lyrics and Reactions

Reading CSRs last I was reminded of some pieces of music that make me think of different times in my life.

The Last Post being played at Remembrance never fails to bring me to the position where I stand, at attention, wearing my medals and my beret, convincing myself that I'm not crying when tears stream down my face.

I thought I'd take the opportunity to write up a piece of these - feel free to add your own in the commentary.

Get Here - Oleta Adams

The US claimed this as their unofficial theme tune to Granby and it's also got lines which make me think back to this time. Examples include:

"cross the desert like an Arab man"

and (particularly relevant)

"cross the border in a blaze of hope"

Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits

Naturally, even the title's a dead give away of this being a soldiers' song but it's still a good tune and I can't hear it without a shiver going down my spine. Again, as well as the tune it's also got the lyrics, examples of which would be:

"Through these fields of destruction / Baptisms of fire"

and

"I've witnessed your suffering / As the battled raged higher"

and (particularly relevant, given that it was the Army v Navy rugby yesterday when serving and former soldiers, sailors and airmen get together socially)

"And though they did hurt me so bad / In the fear and alarm / You did not desert me / My brothers in arms"

Queen - Who Wants to Live Forever?

Again this song is pre-1991 but has a real resonance for many of us who have suffered from MH concerns in the past and especially for those of us who've had a run in with the reaper, especially when at our own hand.

All of the lyrics of this work for me so I won't quote any in particular, but I was pallbearer for a friend who'd died at his own hand as a direct consequence of our service on Granby and he'd insisted that this be played at his funeral.

Not a dry eye in the house, as they say.

Runrig - That Final Mile

I made a huge mistake some years ago and inadvertently hurt a number of people when I did. I would say that I regret it every day but the verb "regret" doesn't nearly do justice to it. The first song at our (short) wedding was this and the final verse is:

"Now the hurt has gone / Now the doubt has gone / I'm walking down / A clear way to your heart"



Saturday, 1 May 2010

Angry doesn't come close...

Adagio for strings is playing - a song synonymous with the Vietnam war and the heartache it caused. A heartache Oliver Stone called 'Platoon'

A phone call is received. The words spoken are so distressing the person hearing them drops what they are holding and in High Definition Slow Motion screams 'NO'

The camera pans to a smouldering, broken and destroyed casualty.

So distraught are those around the burnt and shattered victim - grown men break down in tears - the victim is then covered with a cloth and wheeled away as the pain strikes home to those who cared for the lost...

A scene from Afghanistan?

No. An advert for Warburton bread.

It's been a long time since I have been this angry. I'm not going to write a letter signed angry from England. But I know this - If I live to be 100 I will never again eat their product.

Trying to tap into the emotions so many are feeling right now to attempt to sell a loaf of bread isn't just wrong. It's a disgrace. Angry doesn't come close...

Remember The Fallen

Every November I stand silently in thought. It is always cold and often raining. My arms are locked into my sides, my chest is pushed out and I am ramrod straight.

As the Bugler sounds last post it takes every last ounce of my self-discipline not to cry. I don't cry because remembrance day is a Military occasion. It dictates a formality of dignified mourning.

There have been so many Military funerals these last few years. All too often we see coffins draped in the Union flag. The dead soldiers comrades carry their fallen friends with a professionalism I am so very proud of. For I know that inside, these young soldiers hearts are breaking.

The incumbent Government has asked so much of our fighting men and women these last 13 years - and all the while they have starved them of the equipment and funds they need to carry out this most difficult of tasks.

It is with thoughts of the economy we will vote, as well as immigration and health care. But if you will, please remember those fallen soldiers. At this very moment British troops are fighting and they are dying - let them know that although the Labour Party cares little about them, to us the Covenant means everything.

Next Thursday we have an opportunity to place a cross in a box. I would ask you not to put yours against the Party that has put so many crosses above so many boxes.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Tohseef Shah - Don't Make Me Laugh...

I've had the pleasure of meeting many men and women who saved this Nation from the tyranny of the Nazi's 3rd Reich in the Second World War. I can listen to their stories about that war for hours. I have been told tales of heroism in Dunkirk. The battle for North Africa and of the horror that unfolded on the Normandy beaches as D-Day began.

I read about Tohseef Shah today. Tohseef thought it would be a good idea to spray graffiti about Islam over the war memorial in his town.

I imagine (as he has shown no remorse) Tohseef thinks of himself as a bit of a rebel, fighting a Jihad against the Western oppresors. He's not though. Tohseef is a cock.

Our bearded protaganist in this unpleasant tale chose to deface a monument erected to remember the sacrifice of not only the troops who are fighting and dying today, but those who fought in the World Wars. Men and women who died saving the World from great evil.

It pains me to think of what the old veterans in Burton on Trent must have felt deep within, as they looked at Tohseefs piss poor shoddy writing. I suspect our Jihadi fuck-stick carried out his daring raid with all the aplomb of brain washed idiot. It's not difficult to imagine him sniggering as he scrawled his messages of hate.

Tohseef no doubt wishes to envoke rage and anger. He wants us to rant - well I'm not going to. I suspect the brain dead O2 thief will google his name and revel in the despair he will surely stir.

So here's hoping he finds this little blog - because to Tohseef I say this... You're not a soldier mate, you're a a wanker. You're not a hero, you're a throbber.

Feel free to spray your anti-Brit bollocks all over creation matey - Greater men than you gave their lives so you can do that without being shot.

Muslim Jihadi my arse. You're a fucking bellend son.

P.S. Your beard looks shit.





POETS Day Part III

What is that noise - when will it stop
The Birds pondered in the tree

And the Spider raised eight eyebrows
Toward the noisy mystery

The Centipede with all his legs
Ran fleeing from the din

While the frightened Woodlice curled up tight
As their home shook from within

The Monkeys ran along a branch
To escape the awful sound

As the leaves that were shaken loose
Drifted to the ground

And then once more the air was still
The Chainsaws job complete

And the last tree in the forest fell
To make way for the street...


From my smoking ganja hippy warvet days.

This Week ...

As "Jesse" (of Jesses' Diets fame (and if you don't know who or why, go Google "The Fast Show")) might say "Today, I 'ave mostly been ... sitting in a pool of my own despair".

Am rapidly coming to the conclusion that my venlafaxine isn't working or is working so well that my ability to distance myself from my own actions is slowly becoming blurred. It's not bad enough yet that I'm thinking of a self-sectioning but it's bad enough that I'm noticing - which is bad enough in itself. 300mg of venlafaxine daily leaves me emotionally numb but also robs me of the creativity that is a big part of my work.

Here's an example. I have a friend who comes over occasionally and helps me to look after M, and makes sure that I'm OK. He's a good friend who's more than capable of having a 100% perfect home life without me getting in the way but he and his partner (soon-to-be-wife) come over and make sure that I'm OK.

I'm grateful beyond measure to them for doing so. At the weekend when they were over they were using one of my laptops and making a purchase on eBay and I got amazingly angry with them (I internalised) that they were constantly asking questions when the answers were on the screen in front of them. How petty is that? I didn't tell them about this but I was seething after they went home and went to bed in a huff.

M (the dog) is been behaving herself (a Good Thing) and I've been trying to hustle up some work for the company: I've got a client who wants work done today and I've delivered that so I'm now pushing to get it done and get more stuff on the plate...

Breaking Down

I wasn't nervous when I had my breakdown - I was terrified. In an overwhelming victory for common sense, school teacher Peter Harvey has been cleared of attempting to murder a school boy who taunted him without mercy.

My Mother doesn't discuss the months that led to my incarceration inside a secure Mental Hospital. It's as if that bleak part of my life didn't exist. I don't blame her for this. It simply breaks my heart. My Father once told me he often finds my Mother clutching a photo. He said she cries silent tears as she stares at the picture of my smiling face, taken on the day I left to join the Army.

I feel for Peter Harvey - he was at his most vulnerable on that day. Instead of being surrounded by supportive people, he was being secretly filmed. For reasons I struggle to understand some young people wished to 'YouTube' a mans breakdown on that fateful day.

My own spiral into insanity would have made for uncomfortable viewing. My sunken eyes would dart frantically about when I entered any room. I needed to see the exits. I had to have an escape route. I would quickly decide what objects would make useful weapons were I to be attacked.

I had relentless flashbacks. The shot away face of a dead boy would force its way into my mind. His broken body, bent, crushed and naked would fill my head till I was sure it would explode. I would remember the fear. My dry mouth and pounding heart. The desperation to live. To breathe.

The weight became to much. My mind collapsed inward and I fell back into the killing fields. I lay among the rotting corpses and screamed at the wild dogs feasting on them. I once again stared at the sobbing soldier who held onto his dead friends hand. Again and again I heard the voices of war over the radio tell me my comrades were dead - and I wept as I thought not of them but of me.

I feel for Peter Harvey. I chose to fight - he chose to educate. Perhaps now the man can move on and get himself put back together. The boy my Mother mourns for is long gone as is the soldier who came home. Perhaps one day I'll find them both and bring them home to Mum.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

A Friday Funny

How To Marshall A Jet Brit Style...

I defy you not to laugh at the 'Thriller' moment... Enjoy!

I Dont Care Who Wins

This for me is the pic of the campaign...



It was of course done better by two other chaps... Watch this and tell me it doesn't make you smile.

If only this was how it was right?

Best Thing Brown Can Do Tonight - A Little Honesty

The best thing that Brown can do tonight in the BBC1 debate is to appear and in his opening statement say:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I have proudly served the nation as part of the Labour government since 1997. Whilst there have been good times and bad, quite frankly: I'm tired. "

"On this basis, I am quitting my post as leader of the party and am instructing my candidates en masse to step back from campaigning. There is a great deal of regrouping and reconstruction needed on the part of the Labour party before we can be trusted to lead this country again."

"For the purposes of the moment, however, I will now surrender to the will of the Crown Prosecution Service and the International Court in the Hague and would recommend strongly that my fellow cabinet members do so. "

"I believe that I have acted properly but I understand that this is a minority position: on this basis, I will throw myself on the mercy of the Court."

Hopefully he'll get a custodial sentence and in a few years will be enabled to get out into the community on licence where he can become a Church of Scotland minister (like his father) and fade from public life, nothing more than a pimple on the backside of the last 13 years.

When I hear those words tonight, I and the great majority of the United Kingdom will rejoice -- and then be able to go about rebuilding. I was in Kuwait City on March 2nd 1991 and this rejoicing reminds me of what some of my colleagues were doing - shouting at the Kuwaitis thus:

"Stop it! Put down the guns, stop the party, get a broom and clean this country up!"

Flight Of The Valkyrie

Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg was a German war hero. In every sense of the word. He answered his country's call in World War II and served with distinction under Hitler.

However, he learned of what was going on with the Nazi Party. The final solution...

So - He took part in an infamous botched assasination plot. His coup tragically failed and Stauffenberg was executed. His last words being
"Es lebe unser heiliges Deutschland!" ("Long live our sacred Germany!")

Gordon Brown is no Hitler. Hitler was intelligent as well as completely bonkers. Brown is however a despicable human being, as the 'Bigot Gate' scandal so eloquently proved.

It is quite sad to realise so many NuLab drones lack the courage and insight that cost Colonel Stauffenberg his life.

Their endless attempts to spin yesterdays disaster are nothing short of disgraceful.

Labour was set up for the Working Class. The Champagne Socialists utter contempt of their parties core vote was revealed yesterday. Their sycophantic tweets and blogs reveal a clique that is every bit as disgusting as the Leader that they drool over and his ghastly comments.

Our very own 'Sacred Britain' has been trashed by NuLabour. As none of them have the decency to admit they are led by an unelected buffoon who cares only about power and the wielding of it, it is up to us the people instead.

May 6th really can't come soon enough...

Will There Be A Hung Parliament

Or will it just be Gordon Brown...

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Working Class Kids

My lad came home from his Comprehensive School today. He's 7 years old...

'What's a Cunt Dad?' he asked.

I despaired at the new word that had crawled into his young mind. I took him by his hand and led him upstairs to where his Mother was sleeping. I pulled back the quilt covering her slumbering naked body and pointed at the small black triangle at the top of her legs.

'See that Son' I said 'That's a Fanny. The Prime Minister is a Cunt'

The Medic Speaks

Squirm Your Way Out of THIS One, Gordon

Before I begin this post, I've a confession to make. I have met Gordon Brown, not once or twice but three times.

I know. I'm sorry. And I've repented. I'm not a Labour party member and never have been but was working for Halifax at the time.

Naturally todays big story is the showdown between Gordon and Gillian: who would expect the Prime Minister, head of a party that has been government for the past 13 years would have his arrse handed to him by a 66 year old Labour supporter and force him into an embarrassing climb down.

As CSR and I both know, if we'd been dumb enough to do that we would have expected a good shoeing.

But here's the question: despite their drones (and I'm looking at you, @bevaniteellie) the labour campaign has been remarkably lacklustre. Why?

Perhaps - PERHAPS - the problem is this: Mr Brown knows just how bad the state of the public finances are and is looking forward to being in opposition so as a backbencher (after the internecine civil war within the Labour party for the poisoned chalice) he can harangue the new government.

Perhaps - to coin a phrase - the leather is greener on the other Commons benches?

Fellow voters, I beseech you, I implore you - do NOT let him get away with it.

In the clearing of the stables and when the new government find the finances are as bad or worse than we fear, take the following actions:

- arrest the current Labour front bench plus anyone who has been a Labour minister in this government
- charge them with perjury, fraud and sedition
- remand them in custody
- try them, find them guilty and incarcerate them.

Only that way will we be clear of these people who believe they are our betters: Keir Hardie must be appalled.

++++++++++ Posted on behalf of John The Medic ++++++++++

CSR & The Medic

John The Medic has been invited into the chaotic world that is Cold Steel Rain. He's a switched on type of chap and I look forward to him writing on this blog.

Welcome aboard mate.

Edit - It would be rude not to comment on today's bigotgate so here it is...

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha - No Seriously - Bwa ha ha ha ha ha

Nuff said..

A Guest Post From John

Below is a guest post from John (menelausJohn on Twitter - add him. He's a good man) A former Medic in the British Army - who like me got a suntan in Iraq... Sage words indeed.


"We've had confrontational, argumentative governments in the UK for years and witness the effect:

- prime ministers questions becoming prime ministers obfuscation,
- entirely negative electioneering (witness Brown and Mandelsons myriad
mendaciousness)
- the very real possibility of the Liberal Democrats winning the popular vote in
2010 and their still being third in terms of seats.

Match this with the courts during the last parliament concluding that manifesto promises are meaningless and we're the blind being lead by the stupid.

For the late John Smith MP who campaigned vigorously for one member, one vote in the Labour party, the current electoral system must be making him spin in his grave amongst the other acts - including war crimes - committed by his protege and former colleagues.

Compare and contrast Germany. I'm writing this blogpost on a train in Munich from the airport to a clients site. The main observation is peace, quiet and order - the order that comes from grand coalition government - government of national unity, as in place since 1945, in which each vote matters and no-one is disenfranchised.

We in the UK are utterly, utterly screwed in public finances. Any number quoted for public sector borrowing is soon out of date and the markets have shown a willingness to downgrade: see Greece and Portugal. Greece are paying more interest on their national debt than a sub-prime mortgage.

To fix it, we need to get past this election and within six weeks have:

- repealed many of the more obscure laws of Labour
- arrested and remanded Blair, Brown, Mandelson and Darling for perjury and fraud
- start a short, sharp, shock campaign for proportional representation (PR)

Note, not STV or AV - both halfway houses and as is the case with halfway
houses, compromises which satisfy no-one - but true, public preference, PR.

Onwards!"

Cheers
John

The Cost Of NuLabour

In August 2007 soldiers of the 1st Bn The Royal Anglian Regiment were engaged in a firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In order to win the fight Sgt Mark Perren called in an airstrike. The American F15 that responded dropped a 500lb bomb onto the British troops. 3 soldiers were killed in the Blue-on-Blue incident.

Sgt Perren initially gave the correct coordinates to the American Pilot. However, when they were read back to him a single digit was wrong. Sgt Perren confirmed they were right and the bomb hit the wrong target.

The reason Sgt Perren was unable to clearly hear the Pilot was NuLabours disgraceful underfunding of the military.

There was no headset for his Harris radio. The noise of incoming mortar rounds deafened him. Headsets are relatively inexpensive, but they are the type of equipment that is binned in order to trim a few more pennies of an already stretched budget.

NuLabours failure to properly equip British troops has led to several preventable deaths. Sgt Perren did everything in his power to save his comrades and defeat the enemy. Tragically for the men of the 1st Bn The Royal Anglian Regiment the enemy in Whitehall gave them little chance that day.