Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nick Clegg steals a march on the military

I was delighted to note that Nick Clegg has come up with a brilliant idea, that of a Military Covenant Commission, chaired by Ming. It is an example of his ability to recognise that it is not just important to highlight what is going wrong with current government policy but also to offer practical, well considered, responses. His initiative has already been picked up, I quote from an email I received from the Royal British Legion this morning - "We were delighted by Nick Clegg's statement on the Military Covenant Commission over the weekend." Having successfully had this issue highlighted as an urgent issue at conference, some of you may have heard my speech . If not, don't worry I won't repeat it here (!) suffice to point to what the military covenant says:

"Soldiers will be called upon to make personal sacrifices - including the ultimate sacrifice - in the service of the Nation. In putting the needs of the Nation and the Army before their own, they forego some of the rights enjoyed by those outside the Armed Forces. In return, British soldiers must always be able to expect fair treatment, to be valued and respected as individuals, and that they (and their families) will be sustained and rewarded by commensurate terms and conditions of service. In the same way the unique nature of military land operations means that the Army differs from all other institutions, and must be sustained and provided for accordingly by the Nation. This mutual obligation forms the Military Covenant between the Nation, the Army and each individual soldier; an unbreakable common bond of identity, loyalty and responsibility which has sustained the Army throughout its history. It has perhaps its greatest manifestation in the annual commemoration of Armistice Day, when the Nation keeps covenant with those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in action."


Tristan said...

...I was writing a comment, but it was getting too long - it may become a post...

In the meantime, I welcome this. I may be a pacifist who believes that no country should have a standing army, but those who do serve should receive far better treatment by their employer than they get. They have risked their lives for the state, the state owes them a duty of care.

I don't much like the wording of the Royal British Legion, a bit too nationalistic, but I support the aim...

(hmmm... we're agreeing again ;) at least on the fundamentals)

Linda Jack said...

Hey Tristan

I know, what on earth is going on???!

Yes, my point exactly, I am not a pacifist although I hate war and particularly the wars our troops are fighting in our name and it precisely for the same reasons as you that I support the campaign on the military covenant. It is our children who are sacrificing their futures and we can't even treat them with basic dignity.


Tristan said...

I think what we're demonstrating is the fundamental unity of the LibDems over so many things.

As much as the media likes the left/right split, we're generally on the same page on most things. They just don't get mentioned because its boring to agree all the time ;)

Linda Jack said...

Which is also why I am quite comfortable supporting Nick, it is who he is as a liberal that interests me more than anything else........tho I have warned him my support does not mean I won't challenge him on the things I disagree on!