Mine is what could loosely be described as a military family – albeit from the ranks rather than with pips on our collars. Until my daughters arrived, each generation had contributed (sometimes reluctantly) to the defence of the UK. I have been appalled at the run down of the country’s defence capability – particularly within the last few years – to the point where one doubts we could defend Mull from the onslaught of a couple of boatloads of determined Vikings.
I was even more appalled, reading The Scotsman’s report (14 March), by the thought of a church full of soldiers, sailors and airmen being preached the words of St Luke from the New Testament: “Blessed are the peacemakers” – because our armed service personnel are not meant to be peacemakers, except in Tacitus’s sense: “They make a desert and call it peace.”
It is politicians who are supposed to create the peace, and it is the politicians who have failed our armed forces again, and again and again – wasting their sacrifices, and robbing them of resources.
Our service people do not need absolution from an imaginary being: they need the tools and numbers to do the job, and it’s about time we elected governments willing to provide them.