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It is Tommy this...

I have mentioned it before but Being English in New York reminds me it worth mentioning again about the news that Colonel Tim Collins, OBE, the commander of 1 Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment at the initiation of hostilities in Iraq last year has resigned from the British Army.

Speaking for her husband, Caroline Collins fired a parting shot at both the Government and the Army's bureaucracy telling them that:
"Tim is no longer convinced that the Army reflects the country with the fourth largest economy in the world. He fears it is becoming a cottage industry.
"He's worried it is being crippled by political correctness, petty bureaucracy and the refusal of politicians who send British soldiers to war to give them enough money to do their job."

Our Leaders should be ashamed, but it is nothing new - see Mr Free Market on about it, or as Rudyard had it...


I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extra rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!


Being born pre-WWII, I have lived through, seen, and otherwise participated in all the major and minor conflicts of the latter part of the twentieth century. I mention this as I now find that I have very mixed feelings with regard to doing my duty for Queen and Country.

As a boy I watched the Battle of Britain, cheered when Jerry took a hit, and generally felt a patriotic pride in being English. All the while this patriotic pride was being fed by stirring speeches and media driven propaganda - not that we minded, we knew what it was, but didn't see it as propaganda, but as a sort of cheerleading for 'our lads', after all, we really wanted to win, and Hitler really was the devil incarnate.

Since the end of that war I have seen our (and I use 'our' in the sense that we were all, civilian and military, behind the war effort), efforts to win that battle, criticised and generally denigrated by so-called 'historians', who, just by coincidence, seem to have very 'lefty' political views, so that now, apart from the people of my age group, the war is seen as something to be thoroughly ashamed of, and the thought of being at all patriotic, is seen as being, at best, a trifle 'simple-minded'.

To see the sacrifices that people made to preserve freedom and liberty gave value to the meaning of those words.

To now see the utter contempt that our politicians treat our military, and to see the way they are now deployed more as mercenaries than as defenders of the aforesaid, 'Queen and Country', is not only saddening, but gives pause for thought on the issue of whether one should still feel it a duty to answer the 'call to arms' in time of national crisis.

While my knee-jerk reaction is to despise the 'anti-war' brigade, I do now question whether the 'call to arms', whether volunteer or conscript, is correctly answered by 'doing one's duty'. In the light of events since WWII, I certainly cannot justify asking anyone to risk their life, nor would I risk mine, on the say-so of any fool politician.

When Kipling wrote his piece it had a certain irony about it, now, with our socialist statist politicians, (of whatever colour), it serves to highlight the utter hypocrisy of our society, and in particular, the total sleaziness of our politicians. It seems that we have arrived at that totalitarian idea of the 'disposable' citizen, use once, and then throw away.

It really is quite surprising that our military does as good a job as they do, in spite of the back-stabbing politicos and the 'activists', who are quite prepared to accept the benefit of their expertise, but who never miss a chance to deride and belittle their sacrifice and efforts.

Just as well that Tim Collins opened his eyes before he was called to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Good points - whilst I would be proud if my sons joined the military I am not sure I would want them to be deployed by our politicians. I don't trust the politicians enough to believe they care about the men they are asking to do their duty.

I don't suppose that our politicans are any worse today than they have ever been - of course, there have been one or two expections - e.g. Sir Winston.

What interests me is that whenever our politicans need the forces they will sign their praises, when they don't they are ready to sell them out at a drop of a hat - witness the "Bloody Sunday" Inquiry


P.S. The snow is good, the skies are blue & I have a tall cold one waiting for me at the bar !!!!!!

Interestingly, your post 'One to Read', points up some of the reasons for the decline in patriotism and it's attendant duties and resposibilities.

The following struck quite a chord....

"... the Celtic bias of the Labour Party, and a European Úlite intent on extinguishing the memory of the Second World War. Consciously or unconsciously, recent political decisions have had the undoing of England as their real or apparent objective ".


"He coins the term 'oikophobe' to describe intellectuals who hate nations or regard them as outdated".

Strange that it this same 'intellectual cabal' that generally forms the core of concientious objectors and anti-war organisations. Could it be that they tired of being branded as the cowards that they are, and are trying to hide their collective cowardice under a tirade of anti-national rhetoric?. Also note that these are the self same people who would quite happily send us proles 'over-the-top', in time of crisis.

Destroying our sense of patriotism and belonging makes it that much easier to implement the cult of 'multi-culturalism'.

Bravo, very well put. Its time we all made our voices much more clearly heard in Whitehall. I have commented on this issues several times myself.

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