SADDLE UP LADS!
As I have grown older so I have tried hard, very hard, to view everything with amused tolerance - everything that is, except The Four Riders of the Apocalypse- Famine, Fire, Sword, Pestilence and the gross injustices that engender them.
The last few weeks have seen my resolve sorely tested. On the grounds of "cost effectiveness, i.e. cheapness, poor people are shown to have been herded into high rise buildings that have a propensity to catch fire. Yet within a fortnight of the terrible blaze at Grenfell Tower and 60 others now shown to have the same deficiencies, £93 million has been found to help our multi-millionaire royal family repair Buckingham Palace.
The Government has found at least £1 billion down the back of the settee for extra Northern Ireland subsidies to buy Democratic Unionist support for a cobbled together coalition. Yet they are presiding over a crumbling National Health Service and denying nurses a small pay rise on the grounds that we cannot afford it. So much for those in the front line fighting Pestilence.
It is a very different story, however, for those on another front line bearing the sword. £6.2 billion so far has gone into building and equipping
the aircraft carrier "Queen Elizabeth" and a similar amount on her forthcoming sister ship "Prince of Wales."
Should we not ask how their eventual deployment will protect us UK citizens from repeat terrorist and cyber attacks like those of recent weeks? Presumably their equally expensive F-35B joint-strike fighters will be used to bomb recalcitrant regimes into submission without the inconvenience of having to put boots on the ground.
Have we not learned that all aerial bombing ever achieves is to harden the resolve of those being bombed? (e.g. us during the Blitz, German citizens during the thousand bomber raids, North Koreans, Vietnamese, numerous Middle Eastern regimes and of course ISIS and the Taliban. The vessels are an expensive pair of eggs to put into one basket should one or either receive a lucky Exocet-type or Kamikaze strike, yet do we doubt the even extra billions needed to deploy them in a future Iraq or Afghanistan conflict will not be found?
I am angry, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are in the saddle and riding high from Whitehall to Westminster. We, the people, follow on behind with brush and shovel to pick up the shit they leave behind for someone else’s roses.