By Richard Heller
"Mr Speaker, I am sure that the whole House would wish to join me in paying tribute to Private John Everyman of the Midshire Regiment who was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan. He was a very brave and dedicated soldier, deeply respected by all his colleagues, and we owe him a deep debt of gratitude…"
We have been hearing tributes like these at prime minister's questions since the Iraq war, and sadly, we can expect more of them this year. Of course, the most important aspect of these tributes is their impact on the comrades and friends and families of the victim. No one would deny them in their loss any comfort and pride which they might take from hearing the name put on record in the House of Commons.
But all the rest of us are entitled to our feelings at such moments, and I wonder if I am alone in mine.
It makes me angry to hear politicians — whoever they are — reading out prepared phrases about soldiers they pretend to have known. I cannot stop thinking thatRead More »from Our forces deserve more than pieties from politicians