Monday, 12 March 2012


The slide down the razor blade of life begins here. Knocked off our perch at long last, and as I've already mentioned, with a tougher run-in than the fucking Rags, things can only get worse. There, I've said it. Happy to be morose again. Still, the enlivening breath of spring yesterday somehow made it bearable, and (drought notwithstanding) the week ahead looks pretty promising also. So fuck football and its tomfoolery, I say.

Now, the smell of cordite still fresh in our nostrils from the latest Full Metal Jacket style episode, a word or two on our great adventures with the Pashtun. It is intriguing to me the way that soldiers and politics are so entwined; how the rapacious policies of the rich elites around the world are woven into the hearts and minds of ordinary people. I have no doubt that there are those reading this who will think me a traitor - someone who does not value the sacrifices of 'our boys' in the cause of freedom - and I have no doubt that many people I know from my own family background would feel the same way (though, as far as I know, none of my family read this).

With some notable exceptions (I have a very good mate who wore the khaki as a matter of fact, and although his sense of humour is sometimes rather near the knuckle, he is a very good man as well as a staunch friend) I would say that squaddies are not really my sort of people. They're in the same sort of bracket as policemen as far as I'm concerned - macho meatheads with tastes so wildly different to mine that we would almost certainly never get on. I realise that there can be sound economic reasons for young men and women to choose this particular career path, but there is also very often a disturbing patriotism evident in them - something which I simply cannot understand. This doesn't mean that I don't feel sorry for the families of all those who have died in wars, including the 6 recently reported as the latest casualties to take the total in the current fiasco in Afghanistan over the 400 mark. But I really think we need to get some perspective on things. How many front pages (the latest atrocity perhaps not included) have been devoted to the loss of thousands of innocent lives among the Afghan population? How much analysis (and do shut up, Max Hastings, you are a fucking idiot) is there of the real reasons for Her Majesty's armed forces presence in this tortured land? Heroes? Or fools?

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