Monday, 12 November 2012

Welfare for All

The British Legion and the Poppy Appeal boasts that some of the monies collected by the poppy sellers from the public goes towards helping the wounded from British conflicts overseas.

Last year £90 million was spent on health and welfare; £20 million towards personnel recovery centres; and £18 million in individual grants - some of these grants probably for making homes of disabled service personnel accessible, no doubt.

As I speak we still have a welfare state. Though no great fan of the British military machine and the wars in which it becomes embroiled in at the behest of double dodgy governments, I am nonetheless a Socialist and hold strongly to the belief that the NHS and welfare state take care of the needs of our citizens as and when they present themselves; and that our NHS and welfare state are funded through NI and general taxation.

Disabled service people should not have to depend on charitable handouts, no more than any other person living in this country should. (Sorry, I am aware that hundreds of thousands of people, including children, are doing exactly that in soup kitchens and at food parcel distribution points up and down the country).

Ex-service personnel should not have to depend on 'charitable' handouts from the British Legion (BL). Sadly, the BL tradition is being rolled out in different forms up and down the country; and more and more of us will have to depend on the munificence of Lord and Lady Bountiful in the near future. And of course we all know there is always a price to pay for anything 'given' to you in the name of charity.

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