Saturday 18 February 2012

Laugharne and "our boys"

A community councillor in Laugharne has come out in support for testing explosives at the MoD range in Pendine, we read in the Carmarthen Journal. Residents have complained about the noise levels and at the closure of Pendine beach, where Qinetiq, a private sector company, operates the MoD range. The beach is supposed to be open to the public at certain agreed times, and it seems that Qinetiq has been riding roughshod over that agreement.

As with anything else to do with the armed forces, you cannot count to ten before someone pops up and utters the words "our boys". Anything and everything is justified as soon as those words are uttered; anyone who quibbles or asks questions risks being branded as a traitor for not backing "our boys" and allowing the MoD establishment to do whatever it likes.

So far, the war in Afghanistan has cost the lives of some 400 British soldiers, and about 550 more have been maimed and seriously wounded in action there. The cost to the taxpayer is estimated to be in the region of £23 billion, and is rising.

In a couple of years from now, the operation will wind down, and the country will go through another year or so of bloodshed, corruption and chaos before we find that it has gone back to where it all started.

No doubt, at that point Qinetiq will find a new reason for testing explosives in Pendine, because as we know in Wales, once the MoD has moved in, they never leave. Currently, there are believed to be around 140 MoD facilities in Wales, including huge chunks of the country around Sennybridge in the Brecon Beacons and a swathe of the Pembrokeshire coast.

Why Qinetiq needs to use the beach at Pendine when it could quite easily shift a few miles to the West and use the massive Castlemartin range, is a question the councillors at Laugharne might like to ponder.

And they might also like to spare a few minutes thinking about the flipside of all that military research and development. Perhaps they might like to invite some Afghan children and their families to come and enjoy Laugharne and the beach when Qinetiq isn't busy testing.

History does not record whether the normally voluble local county councillor, Jane Tremlett, had anything to say about this. Is she standing up for Qinetiq or the people of Laugharne on this one?


Jac o' the North, said...

You must remember that with every other pillar of the British State discredited - royalty, politicians, media, organised religion, police, banking & business - the military is just about the only institution left that can be used to make us feel 'proud to be British' . . . and of course, silence critics.

Appealing to the Scots' perceptions of their martial history will be one of London's major ploys in the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum

The military is today defending Britain better, and more single-handedly, than at any time in the past. A few hundred casualties and a few billion pounds is a price worth paying.

Cneifiwr said...

Thanks Jac. Changing the subject slightly, I just listened to the "Now Show" on Radio 4 where members of the audience were asked to come up with suggestions for names for the country formerly known as the UK. Suggestions included Poundland and East Wales. Personally, and bearing in mind the official name for Macedonia, I would prefer FUK.

Syd Morgan said...

Been thinking about this one for some time. One option is rUK (rump UK). But post Scots independence it'll still be the UK, but this time (only) of "Southern Britain & Northern Ireland". I like this one because the Anglo-British nationalists will be furious they no longer own the island of Great Britain (and all the imperialist connotations of that title). The Scots will have title to at least 30% of the island. So, no more Team GB or those silly little stickers on the backs of cars. Politically, it will be truly Ukipia.