Category Archives: war

Why we must do more than ‘Keep calm and carry on’ to win the war on terror.

family, terrorist, parliament, veteran, warThis is a picture of my late granddad. He was an ARP warden during the war and his beat was the East End of London which, for those that don’t know, was bombed pretty much constantly by the Germans during the second world war.

Almost every night, he would go out walking the streets making sure people were safe and reporting on bomb damage, sometimes even as the bombs were falling. After that he would go home, not knowing if his own house was still standing or his family still alive, before heading off to do a full-time shift as a porter at one of the big London markets. That went on right through the blitz.

I mention him now because in the wake of the terrorist attack in London yesterday, much is being made of the fact that we, as a nation, have a spirit which means that we will never be defeated by these cowards who are now seemingly hiding in our midst. And of course we won’t, just as we weren’t by the Nazi’s or the loathsome IRA.

Some call it the Dunkirk spirit, others refer to the ‘Keep calm and Carry On’ mantra which has become synonymous with our nation in recent years but whatever it is, we have it, in spades. And it will see us through these worrying sad times just as it always has.

However, there is a huge difference between the Britain we knew in the blitz and even during the reign of terror imposed on us by the likes of Martin McGuinness in the 70’s and 80’s and it is becoming an increasing concern to me. It’s nothing to do with government, immigrants or even religion, it is to do with our individual selves. Or more specifically, what kind of Brits we are.

Much is being made of the selfish acts carried out on Westminster Bridge yesterday, and quite rightly so, but how many simply people walked by? How many were so obsessed with taking photo’s of the carnage lying on the road in front of them that they failed to offer a single ounce of compassion let alone help? The answer is too many. Far too many.

OK, I know there will be those who in moments of panic, default to their phones and others who, handcuffed by fear or even language, will have simply stood transfixed. But there were others who actively moved around taking pictures or film to upload onto social media or better still, sell for cold hard cash.

I won’t even ask how those people sleep at night because chances are, they will sleep just as they always sleep. But the fact that this mentality exists at all saddens me greatly because this isn’t the country that my granddad put his life at risk to protect.

Instead, we have become a nation which has a cancer running through it. And that cancer takes the form of selfishness. Far too many people these days have little or no concept of either personal responsibility, duty or even basic courtesy whilst both the law and authority have come to be regarded almost universally as some kind of enemy (until they need them of course).

Policemen, medics and even firemen are all too frequently abused and even attacked whilst simply trying to do their jobs whilst our servicemen and women, both serving and veterans, are regarded in some quarters as a cross between vermin and lepers. Marine A being a case in point.

Yet these are public servants. Their job, vocation even, is to protect, defend and aid society, our society. And the fact that they do that, by choice, should be applauded, not ignored. After all, can you, hand on heart, say that you would walk toward danger rather than run away from it? Yet that is what they do, some of them do it every single working day.

But we should not simply respect these people, we should aspire to be like them. For the way to defeat terrorism isn’t simply to ‘keep calm and carry on, because all that does is invite more of the same. The way to win the war on terror is to be better than those who wish to harm us.  And that’s what we have to do, all of us, be better. Better at caring, better at helping and most of all, be better at being citizens.

Do that, we don’t just win, we win big. 

@dougiebrimson

sex, lads romance, love, vibrator, george clooney, fartMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers, The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.


It’s not shoot to Kill, it’s shoot to stop.

armed police,paris,ISIS,terrorism,londonThere has been a lot of talk today about the idea of a shoot to kill policy, much of which is clearly coming from people who have probably never even held a weapon let along fired one in anger.

Central to their opinion is the idea that if an armed policeman finds themselves in a situation where they have to discharge a round, they should employ a shoot to wound policy. This would allow the assailant to be questioned and/or face justice at a later date.

Now whilst I am certainly no expert, I have let off more than a few rounds in my time and so with that in mind, I can state with some degree of authority that the idea of a shoot to wound policy is bollocks.

This is real life, not a playstation game or a Hollywood movie. You don’t shoot to wound, you don’t even shoot to kill, you shoot to stop. As such, those trained to use a firearm in the execution of their duty, be they soldier or copper, are taught to aim at the central mass because if you take a round in the chest, you are almost certainly going to be in serious trouble. At best you’ll have been  stopped, at worst, you’ll be dead. And in all honesty, in either case you’ll only have yourself to blame because you’ll have been doing something you really shouldn’t have been.

Shoot to wound isn’t even practical anyway. These are marksmen, not medics. And leaving aside the difficulties of trying to hit an almost certainly moving target whilst under the intense pressure of a firearms situation, what about the implications for the officer if they fired a shot and missed? What offence would they be guilty of if the assailant went on to blow themselves up, kill a member of the public or a fellow officer? Or what if their shot hit an innocent passerby? And how about if they took the shot to wound but killed their target instead? The lawyers would have a bloody field day.

We owe the security forces in this country a huge debt and over the coming months we will need them more than ever. If the police are in a position where they are forced to take fire at a target it will be as the very last resort and at that point, we need them to be 100% focussed on what they have to do.

The idea of placing an additional pressure on them is not only ludicrous, it is downright dangerous.

@dougiebrimson

football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpoolMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers,The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

police,terrorism,armed,ISIS,ISIL,Islam,war,military


Paris: Why we must stand united. 

paris, islam, terroristIt would be folly to even suggest, let alone believe, that all Muslims are terrorists or that all British Muslims support terrorism. The facts obviously don’t support that and if you think they do, you should take a long hard look around. And then at yourself.

However, to deny that there is a  problem on our shores is not simply naive, but foolhardy. It’s only a matter of time before what happened in Paris last night is replicated here.

That’s why the time has surely come for the British government to stop pissing around and let the security services off the leash. If that means internment for those they are most concerned about, so be it. But equally, we need to be far more aggressive in the control of our borders and the removal of those who have no right to be here irrespective of where they have come from or what religion they follow.

Furthermore, we need to let those who want to settle here that if they want to be welcomed, it is they who need to adapt, not the other way round. That means accepting our customs, our laws and our way of life as the will of the majority. If you want to wear a Burkha, practice Sharia Law, treat women as second class citizens, consider rape is your right as a male, subject your poor children to beatings or even FGM or even drive on the right, there are plenty of places where you can go where those things are acceptable. They aren’t here.

That might not sit well with the liberal left, but that’s too bad. Will it take the slaughter of 120 in the West End before they admit that appeasement and an open border policy are fundamentally wrong? Or will it take another series of explosions on the underground before Cameron grows some balls and actually starts to lead from the front?

But most importantly, as a collective nation we have to stand together and defend the way of life we have in this green and pleasant land. That means Christian, Muslim, Jew, atheist, and even Klingon. ISIS want division and if we let them have it, not only do we let them win but this nation will never be the same again.

For the sake of our future, all our future’s, we cannot and must not allow that to happen.

Shorten the Remembrance Day Service? Yes please!

veterans, remembrance sunday, cenotaph, military, armed forces, london, poppyIt’s been announced today that at the request of Buckingham Palace, the Remembrance Day parade at the Cenotaph in London is to be shortened.

Not surprisingly, many people are assuming that this has been done to take a pop at Mr. Corbyn and the left-wing with others claiming it’s being done to avoid any kind of ‘scene’ on the day. There are even some allegations flying around that it’s yet another attack on both the veteran community and the armed forces by a government who seems hell-bent on running our military into the ground.

All of this is, to be frank, bollocks.

As someone who actually takes part in that parade as a member of the Falklands Veterans element, I can tell you that this decision isn’t just welcome, it’s long overdue.

Many of the men and women will be marching on Nov 8 are of seriously advancing years and whilst all of them are not only honoured to be taking part but will often have been looking forward to it all year, doing so is actually physically demanding. Remember, we don’t just stand in Whitehall and march past the memorial as part of the service, we have to gather in Horse Guards for an hour beforehand and that means a long time on our feet. And whilst we all do it willingly, believe me when I say that even for me with my dodgy back, it’s tough. Goodness only knows what it’s like for someone in their 80’s who has dodgy joints and so whoever made the decision to trim it down to make it easier for the old boys to pay their respects to their comrades in the most hallowed of places should be applauded.

Remembrance Sunday is about one thing and one thing only. It’s not the politicians, the nation, the commonwealth or even the Royal Family. It’s not even about the men and women who will march on the day. It’s about the men and woman whose names are engraved on memorials or headstones the world over. Because lest we forget, they and their memory are the most important participants of all.

For those who gave their tomorrows, wear your poppy with pride.

@dougiebrimson


football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpoolMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers,The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

The picture that shames a nation.

shame1A photograph appeared this week which shamed this nation.

No, it’s not the one you are thinking about, horrific though that was, it’s another one.

This one.

soldier1
I know something of the background to this and I’m glad to say that thanks largely to the veteran community on social media but primarily to some of the excellent charities who support homeless veterans,  the guy and his family are now receiving the help he needed. But that’s not the point, the point is that he ended up in this desperate situation in the first place.

That he did so is a source of shame to us all.

A nation is defined in many ways but to me, a key reflection of a country is the way it looks after those who have served to defend and protect it. One only has to look toward the US to see the reverence with which it treats its military veterans to see that and the same can be said of many countries across the world. So why is it not the same here?

For sure, things are much better than they were 20 years ago when telling someone you were an ex-serviceman was akin to an admission of leprosy, but even now, veterans are frequently regarded as second class citizens. That’s especially true when it comes to the issue of social housing which goes some to explaining why there are in the region of 4500 veterans currently living on the streets of Britain.

Yes, that’s right. Four thousand five hundred.

That isn’t right, it isn’t fair and it’s actually contrary to the Armed Forces Covenant which states that local authorities in England give additional priority to members of the armed forces community with urgent housing needs. Well if being homeless isn’t urgent, I don’t know what is yet all too often, and for all kinds of reasons, elected officials are allowed to duck their duty of care and instead, abdicate their responsibility toward veterans to charity.

But at a time when this country is once again on the verge of asking our men and women in uniform to place their lives in danger to protect our way of life, should we, and especially our elected officials, not be doing better for their comrades? Of course we should. Not just for their sakes, but for the sake of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Be it on The Somme, Normandy, Burma, Korea, Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Kuwait, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan or any one of a thousand conflicts in which the British military have been involved.

One homeless veteran is one too many. It always will be.

If you would like to know more, please visit Homes4HomelessVeterans or Soldiers Off The Streets.

This Band of Brothers…

argentina, falklands war, thatcher, royal airforce, nimrod, vulcan, harrierToday is the 6th of June. A date which in the history of the world, will forever hold a special significance. For it is of course, the anniversary of the D-Day landings, and I hope you don’t need me to tell you what that means.

For me, such days are memorable for all kinds of reasons. Remembering the fallen is obviously the most important but not far behind is the joy I get from seeing those glorious old men and women who, bedecked in their berets, blazers and medals, are placed firmly centre stage and looked upon with the awe, reverence and respect they so richly deserve.

Heroes is too small a word.

Now as some of you may know, I served in the military. For over 18 years in fact. And although I played a minor role in the Falklands War, went through Gulf War One and have marched past the Cenotaph with the Falklands Vets more times than I care to remember, I have never really considered myself to be a ‘proper’ veteran. At least not in the sense that I have always regarded those who are quite rightly filling our newspapers and TV screens this morning.

However, (and I won’t go into it all now but if you want to know more, click here) this last week, for the very first time in the 18 years since I last wore a uniform, I have actually started to feel like one of them. A member of that special Band of Brothers we hear talked about so often.  And ironically, I have Mister Stanley Collymore to thank for that.

veteranFor as a result of the disrespect he has shown, and continues to show, to the 255 men whose boots he isn’t fit to even glance upon, he has awakened an army which has come together to gain not just respect, but justice but for our fallen comrades.

And believe me when I tell you that we will not rest until they get it. A simple truth Talksport, media organisations, elected officials and Talksport advertisers will already be acutely aware of.

Yes, I said ‘our’ and I said ‘we’. Because the truth is that I am finally not only happy, but proud to count myself amongst their number.

Tally ho chaps!

falklands, veteran, war, soldier, sailor, airman, RAF, Navy, racism, social media, twitter, Facebook, football, soccer,

This Band of Brothers…

argentina, falklands war, thatcher, royal airforce, nimrod, vulcan, harrierToday is the 6th of June. A date which in the history of the world, will forever hold a special significance. For it is of course, the anniversary of the D-Day landings, and I hope you don’t need me to tell you what that means.

For me, such days are memorable for all kinds of reasons. Remembering the fallen is obviously the most important but not far behind is the joy I get from seeing those glorious old men and women who, bedecked in their berets, blazers and medals, are placed firmly centre stage and looked upon with the awe, reverence and respect they so richly deserve.

Heroes is too small a word.

Now as some of you may know, I served in the military. For over 18 years in fact. And although I played a minor role in the Falklands War, went through Gulf War One and have marched past the Cenotaph with the Falklands Vets more times than I care to remember, I have never really considered myself to be a ‘proper’ veteran. At least not in the sense that I have always regarded those who are quite rightly filling our newspapers and TV screens this morning.

However, (and I won’t go into it all now but if you want to know more, click here) this last week, for the very first time in the 18 years since I last wore a uniform, I have actually started to feel like one of them. A member of that special Band of Brothers we hear talked about so often.  And ironically, I have Mister Stanley Collymore to thank for that.

veteranFor as a result of the disrespect he has shown, and continues to show, to the 255 men whose boots he isn’t fit to even glance upon, he has awakened an army which has come together to gain not just respect, but justice but for our fallen comrades.

And believe me when I tell you that we will not rest until they get it. A simple truth Talksport, media organisations, elected officials and Talksport advertisers will already be acutely aware of.

Yes, I said ‘our’ and I said ‘we’. Because the truth is that I am finally not only happy, but proud to count myself amongst their number.

Tally ho chaps!

falklands, veteran, war, soldier, sailor, airman, RAF, Navy, racism, social media, twitter, Facebook, football, soccer,

Why Falklands veterans are at war, with Collymore.

military, veterans, forces, falklands war, writer, author, screenwriting, Thatcher, football, talksport

Last weekend, ex-footballer and radio pundit Stan Collymore posted the tweet you can see on the left of this page.

Now aside from being factually inaccurate, it is also offensive. Not just to me as a Falklands veteran, but to a sizeable number of the veteran community, their families and a great many ‘civilians’ who support the UK’s Armed Forces. For it was tweeted on the 32nd anniversary of the sinking of both HMS Coventry and The Atlantic Conveyor together with the loss of 31 souls.

Although Mr. Collymore deleted it fairly soon afterwards, along with a number of other equally offensive if not illegal tweets, he was too late for it had already been screen grabbed and widely circulated. Many people, including The Falkland Islands government, became angry at the disrespect shown to the 255 who died during the South Atlantic conflict and began voicing that anger on twitter with many asking for an apology.

However, despite being someone who has been quite vociferous in his call for personal accountability with regard to the use of social media, ironically as a result of offence aimed at him via twitter, these requests were met with distain and even an accusation that we, as a group, were in the wrong for taking the tweet out of context.

Now I could go on, but I don’t need to. The background (and whole lot more!) to this can be found in these two blogs. I would urge you to read them both.

Veteran to Veteran

Mad Doggers and British Men

Now, as I type this over a week later, over 20,000 veterans and equally outraged citizens are have come together on Facebook and are waging an online war against both Mr. Collymore and his primary employer, Talksport.

bbc, falklands, match of the day, MOTDI have been told that on the two occasions he has appeared on air, the station’s twitter and email feeds almost went into meltdown whilst the phone lines were blocked with angry callers. In addition, news that he had been signed to appear on BBC’s Match of the Day 2 next season resulted in the corporation being deluged with complaints to such an extent that it was forced to issue a statement that contrary to reports, Mr. Collymore had not been booked for any appearances.

Many people simply want an apology (and possibly a donation to a suitable military charity) but the majority want his removal from the airwaves altogether. But thus far, aside from threats of legal action from Mr. Collymore against all sorts of people including ironically the BBC, the silence has been deafening.

Quite what happens next will be interesting to say the least. But one thing is certain, the veteran community is coming together like never before and they are seriously pissed.

Watch this space.

If you would like to know more, you can hear Simon Weston and myself discussing the issue by clicking on this link to BBC Three Counties Radio. I am on at 2:06.00

 

military, veteran, forces, falklands war, writer, author, screenwriting, Thatcher, football, talksport, world cup, Brazil

Why Falklands veterans are at war, with Collymore.

military, veterans, forces, falklands war, writer, author, screenwriting, Thatcher, football, talksport

Last weekend, ex-footballer and radio pundit Stan Collymore posted the tweet you can see on the left of this page.

Now aside from being factually inaccurate, it is also offensive. Not just to me as a Falklands veteran, but to a sizeable number of the veteran community, their families and a great many ‘civilians’ who support the UK’s Armed Forces. For it was tweeted on the 32nd anniversary of the sinking of both HMS Coventry and The Atlantic Conveyor together with the loss of 31 souls.

Although Mr. Collymore deleted it fairly soon afterwards, along with a number of other equally offensive if not illegal tweets, he was too late for it had already been screen grabbed and widely circulated. Many people, including The Falkland Islands government, became angry at the disrespect shown to the 255 who died during the South Atlantic conflict and began voicing that anger on twitter with many asking for an apology.

However, despite being someone who has been quite vociferous in his call for personal accountability with regard to the use of social media, ironically as a result of offence aimed at him via twitter, these requests were met with distain and even an accusation that we, as a group, were in the wrong for taking the tweet out of context.

Now I could go on, but I don’t need to. The background (and whole lot more!) to this can be found in these two blogs. I would urge you to read them both.

Veteran to Veteran

Mad Doggers and British Men

Now, as I type this over a week later, over 20,000 veterans and equally outraged citizens are have come together on Facebook and are waging an online war against both Mr. Collymore and his primary employer, Talksport.

bbc, falklands, match of the day, MOTDI have been told that on the two occasions he has appeared on air, the station’s twitter and email feeds almost went into meltdown whilst the phone lines were blocked with angry callers. In addition, news that he had been signed to appear on BBC’s Match of the Day 2 next season resulted in the corporation being deluged with complaints to such an extent that it was forced to issue a statement that contrary to reports, Mr. Collymore had not been booked for any appearances.

Many people simply want an apology (and possibly a donation to a suitable military charity) but the majority want his removal from the airwaves altogether. But thus far, aside from threats of legal action from Mr. Collymore against all sorts of people including ironically the BBC, the silence has been deafening.

Quite what happens next will be interesting to say the least. But one thing is certain, the veteran community is coming together like never before and they are seriously pissed.

Watch this space.

If you would like to know more, you can hear Simon Weston and myself discussing the issue by clicking on this link to BBC Three Counties Radio. I am on at 2:06.00

 

military, veteran, forces, falklands war, writer, author, screenwriting, Thatcher, football, talksport, world cup, Brazil