poppyI feel like bricking the TV at this time of year. The news with it constant parade of politicians wearing poppies, laying wreaths and talking of sacrifice when the closest most of them come to it is forgetting to claim their latest heating bill.

An endless stream of hypocrisy wearing as sincere a face as possible before returning the following day to sip coffee and consider their latest foreign adventure to rescue oil or rare metals from the evil clutches of those who demand too high a price from their financial backers.

These same politicians are happy to spend money on their own housing portfolios but neglect to buy enough body armour for young people they send to war. They would rather send overseas aid to countries with nuclear weapons and space programs rather than buy enough helicopters for troops forced to slog through hostile country. They would rather spend money on covering up NHS blunders rather than provide adequate treatment facilities for those troops who give their bodies in service.

They have cut all the forces beyond the minimum. We have a Royal Navy without ships, a RAF without aircraft and an Army lacking in troops. We even rip up the covenant and discard those that have served nearly their entire working life to save a few pounds to throw away elsewhere. Perhaps spending £1000 on an investigation into who embarrassed a mayor by publicising her disdain for those serving, rather than actually learning to show respect in the first place.

Yet they are happy to keep joining conflicts so they can feel important at diplomatic functions.

The hypocrisy does not end there. Bad things happen in conflicts.

All friends now

All friends now

Afterwards it appears that amnesties and forgiveness can be extended to our enemy. But not to our own troops.

It is not even just those in uniform that are cynically used. Those that work in support can be spent like ammunition in pursuit of political ideology. Jobs and livelihoods culled to buy votes.

So forgive me if I consider simply wearing a poppy, or retweeting a photo barely absolves us of our responsibility towards those that fight in our name. Yes they do a professional job that they agreed to do. But they deserve more than the faux platitudes of hypocritical politicians.

So, rather than dig out a few copper coins and buy a poppy because you feel you have to, next time you see a homeless soldier don’t just spare some change spare a couple of minutes to say hi.

The more thinking amongst you may be saying “great, but what’s this guy doing as well as spouting online?”

Fair point.

Well obviously the Royal British Legion get my support. One of the local shops allows you to round your purchases up to make a donation so I’ve been doing that all month. Help for heroes make really good t-shirts that feel good whilst allowing you to do some good.

However I had some crap news today and so in memory of someone I will miss I though I’d start an irregular piece on here. I moan and heckle a lot I know. So rather than just be negative all the time I will start the Friday Fiver.

Five of your actual English pounds...

Five of your actual English pounds…


I’m not rich by any means, but I reckon if I can afford hobbies, computers and mobile phones then I should be able to do more regular giving. So occasionally I pledge to donate a fiver on a Friday, and spend some time and effort promoting a charity on here.

So in memory of the only other sailor in my family, I thought I’d start with something nautical.

Seafarers UK is maritime charity that supports and promotes the many organisations that look after seafarers in need across the Merchant Navy, Fishing Fleets, Royal Navy and Royal Marines, together with their families.

Their website is far more eloquent than I can be on their works. Please visit it and have a read. They make it very easy to donate. They even accept paypal. So be better than a politician and actually do some good. If not the seafarers, then make a small difference for the better somewhere else. Never know it may just make a difference.

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