In my last post I had a wide-ranging attack on the perceived targeting of the elderly by television advertisements produced by charities.  That post highlighted my dislike of these charities’ methods – not least the use of emotive images – but mainly due to the TV channels and the time of day they are broadcast.

Yet there is one charity that really gets me angry.  Really angry.  Angry to the point where I want to hit someone.

‘Help For Heroes’.

The Wikipedia entry describes them thus:  “Help for Heroes is a British charity launched on 1 October 2007 to help provide better facilities for British servicemen and women who have been wounded or injured in the line of duty”.

“Oh dear”, I hear you thinking.  “He’s one of those Commies/Socialists/Tories/Insert Political Ideology you Most Despise Here, who doesn’t support our brave fighting troops.  How can he possibly be angry at this?”

Let me clarify.  It is not the charity which I dislike, nor the work they do to help people who have received disabling injuries or who have lost loved ones.  No, it is British Society which is at fault.  More specifically, it’s British Political Society.

Put quite simply:  this charity should not need to exist.

Over the past seventy years politicians have continued to send our military services to war in foreign countries.  Obviously, they don’t fight themselves!  Oh no, they sit in comfy offices in Westminster whilst the men and women in the armed forces go to do their dirty work.  But when these same people are injured they have to rely on charity??  Bollocks to that!  The same government that sent them to war should be paying to look after them after their service in the conflict is over.  It doesn’t matter whether this is supporting the families of the deceased or helping those who have been injured physically or mentally with the prosthetics, counselling and money to help them find a new path in life.

And before you think this is aimed at a specific political party, think again.  On one side, it was Labour under Tony Blair that declared a war but then ignored the ensuing casualties.  And it’s the Tory government which are continuing to ignore them, instead allegedly pledging £1 billion pounds to the DUP for Northern Ireland to secure their support in a coalition government.  £1 billion!!  To secure one woman’s place as head of government.  How much support could that give to our armed forces?

And bear this in mind.  One billion is a large number and hard for us mere mortals to grasp in a meaningful way.  If, like me, such large numbers are beyond comprehension, here’s a way of attempting to get a grip on the number.

If you counted continuously in perfect rhythm, one number per second, without breaks for sleeping and eating etc. it would take just under 17 minutes to count to ONE THOUSAND.  Easy.  No need even to take a break!

Using the same method it would take 11 days, 13 hours, 46 minutes, and 40 seconds to count to ONE MILLION.  Now you need breaks for sleeping!

OK, so using the same method how long would it take to count to one BILLION?  It would take 31 years, 251 days, 6 hours, 50 minutes, and 46 seconds.  Read that again.  To count to one billion there would be enough time for a child to be born, grow to 16 years old, and then give birth to a second child that would only be less than a month short of their sixteenth birthday when you finally reached one billion.  Two children born, through their pre-school years, through school and ready to leave at 16.  And only just over 1 billion seconds.

And that amount of money has been promised to the DUP’s vision for Northern Ireland in order to secure their support for the coalition.  This after we had been told there was no spare cash and no magic money tree.  Now don’t think I grudge the people of northern Ireland the cash.  Given their recent history, they need the money to repair infrastructure and encourage investment.  But if that amount of money can be produced out of nowhere to prop up a faltering government, then why do we need ‘Help For Heroes’ or the other charities?  Surely money could be found for those who had put their lives in danger for their country?

Well, obviously not.  Because politicians are selfish, greedy people who will go to any length to keep power, but fail to fulfil the moral obligations imposed upon them by their actions.

Let’s make a new law.  When the government at Westminster declares war or sends any troops abroad to fight, the first people who are to be armed and airlifted to the fighting are the politicians at Westminster.  All of them.  This includes those who voted against the conflict on the grounds that, a) they should have worked harder to convince others that war was unnecessary, and b) it will negate any attempt to convince the public that politicians were against the war when in private they supported the war.