In 2003 Gordon Brown, then chancellor of the Exchequer, told Tony Blair that whatever the costs of war he would
write the cheque, and in March 2010 he told Sir John Chilcott that the total cost of Iraq and Afghanistan to date were £17 billion. Now, even allowing for the fact that our hapless former prime minister may not be very good with figures, the true costs to the taxpayer for these two wars must currently be more than £20bn.
I think it is obscene that a government which can find such massive amounts of money to spend on armaments and wars cannot fund the care for those injured in these wars, but instead relies on charity from organisations such as Poppy Scotland, which in 2010 spent nearly £1m on armed forces-related charitable work in Scotland.
I think it is time for a complete reversal of our priorities.
Surely it would be better to pay for the proper care of injured servicemen and women through taxes and only buy armaments from monies raised through charitable donations.
If this were done we would very soon see an end to costly foreign wars with their resultant casualties to soldiers, sailors and airmen. But if we could afford to buy weapons and go to war, the casualties would be spared no expense in medical treatment and rehabilitation, instead of relying on charity as they currently do.