Cold cost of war
Tom Minogue (Letters, 13 November) makes some good points about the comparison between the means of looking after our wounded servicemen and the cost of staging a war.
I have raised this point with a number of politicians and newspapers over the years, but have never had it taken up as an idea.
Any large company employing staff for hazardous work has to pay out large sums to any worker injured – or killed – in the course of their business.
But what does the government do in such circumstances? It certainly does set up some medical facilities and many are cured. But for long-term damage, what is the reaction?
Get charities to play on public sympathy and guilt and raise huge sums of money in voluntary giving.
This has been going on since the days of Nelson and Wellington. Surely it is about time the government faces up to its proper responsibility and provides all the care that these unfortunates require.
This is no more than their due and, of course, directly comparable to similar happenings in civilian life.
I wouldn’t go so far as to take private donations for weapons of war, because this could create conditions where unscrupulous arms manufacturers might create pressures for conflict. Perish the thought.
But it is not just an idea, it is an absolute essential that the cost of damage to mind and limb is borne by the people who started the conflict.
Once it became acceptable, finances would sort themselves out, with the likely result that wars would occur far less frequently than they do now.
Mr Minogue has started something which we should all follow up.
Scotland since the Union has made a military contribution to Britain’s wars greatly above her due share.
This was envisaged in 1707 by the National Opposition to the Union, who offered the following warning: “The disposition of the bodies of Scotsmen, being at the power of another people and becoming slaves to their neighbours.”
Donald J MacLeod
Bridge of Don
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