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The Bitch Battles for Britain!

Article by Michael Knell

Well Darlings,

According to our Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, the controversial Olympic 2012 logo is here to stay. She admits it has not been well received, but claims it is adaptable. Adaptable? Adaptable? To what? Has that woman no shame? Pardon the terminology here but there really is no other way of putting it: for all to see the logo is quite plainly a symbolic picture of a woman giving a bloke a blow-job. It is now constantly referred to as such by so many people to have become a worldwide joke. We really shouldn’t be contemplating using it. Who wants to represent their country under some graphics that would be more at home as a logo for a porn channel? Get real!

£400,000 spent on a pornographic logo? Scrap it! Demand our money back! Should we not be able to get it, it doesn’t matter – when put alongside all the other money this government has wasted over ten years it fades into total insignificance.

I suggest running a competition in our schools to come up with a decent logo, and then using that as the basis for a professional one to be made as a replacement. We’ve thrown away £400,000 – let’s not throw away any little pride we might still have left as a country after all the disasters of this government! The logo should not be here to stay – anyone with a little common sense can see that – so what point is there in trying to defend it? Is there a reason – something we don’t know about? I hope not. If Tessa Jowell can’t see that this disgusting monstrosity is thoroughly inappropriate, then perhaps she shouldn’t be here to stay either!

As we started with a joke, we may as well continue on with another one. Adam Ingram, the Armed Forces Minister, reckons Britain remains committed to defending the Falkland Islands. And here I’ll bet: “With what?” was in your mind before you read it!

Twenty-five years ago our armed forces did an admirable job in liberating a people who wanted to stay British. Nevertheless, it should not be seen as the war to end all wars over the disputed territory – in Buenos Aires the rumblings are audible once again. Nobody suspects another invasion, but who knows? We didn’t expect the last one!

Our Mr Ingram insists that Britain still has the power to repel any invasion of the islands, despite our commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan. I guess then he must be banking on a very slow invasion, should it ever happen. I mean, the last thing I read said it could take anything up to two years to get our fleet (what’s left of it!) out of mothballs and serviceable – and then we’ve got to make all the catapults etc. for the Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Girl Guides that no doubt we’d have to call upon to do the job. When recently we couldn’t find enough soldiers to man a few Green Goddess fire engines, who else could we send? The relatively small number of aircraft and less than 2,000 soldiers that were left at RAF Mount Pleasant as a deterrent could do little more than hold off an invasion until reinforcements were sent, were any aggressor to be formidable and determined. But what reinforcements have we at hand to quickly send there?

Last time – that was 1982 following the invasion – in a war that lasted 74 days it took three British nuclear attack submarines, 20 warships, 8 amphibious ships, and 40 logistics ships from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Merchant Navy along with a force of 15,000 men, including a landing force of about 7,000 Royal Marines and soldiers, to liberate the islands. Along with 34 aircraft, we lost some well known and much loved ships: HMS Sheffield, HMS Ardent, HMS Antelope, HMS Coventry, SS Atlantic Conveyor, and RFA Sir Galahad. 258 of our people died, and many more suffered terrible wounds and disfigurements.

Two of the aircraft essential to the campaign were the old workhorses: the Hercules and the Nimrod. They are (incredibly) still in service and, although they have both been updated, only recently we have heard that the Hercules has become very suspect for safety – and apparently we can only have one Nimrod in the air at times in Iraq because all the others are being cannibalised to keep it going. Does our Armed Forces Minister know any of this?

Were our armed forces not subjected to all the crippling and relentless defence expenditure cuts, we would indeed be able to defend the Falklands without compromising any other commitments we might have – but today, I have serious reservations. Many would argue we are already way beyond our safe capabilities, and they could back up that argument by citing all the shortages in essential equipment and supplies we constantly hear about. Body armour shouldn’t have to be shared by our troops. Aircraft shouldn’t have to be cannibalised, only to still run on a wing and a prayer. Weapons and equipment should be “tried and tested reliable” before being issued to our soldiers on active duty.

Those brave people that fight our battles – in reality normally the government’s battles! – and who may be called upon to make the supreme sacrifice should not be left wanting – not ever. Not for their equipment, and certainly not for their own hospitals – another hot potato! To hell with the cost, I say. What price are we putting on these young people’s lives? We owe them everything they need to do the job as safely and as efficiently as is possible, and it should always be there ready for them. The fact that a ship, a tank, a plane, or several thousand pieces of body armour – whatever – haven’t been needed in earnest for several years should never be an excuse to cut the budget.

The task of improving the capabilities of our armed forces, and of updating their equipment to the very latest technologically available, should be ongoing. The amount of failures we are now hearing about in a war zone (official or not, what else can you call Iraq?) on a daily basis – just in battle tanks and reconnaissance vehicles alone almost 450 failings in the six months up to the end of last October, with at least another eight incidents so serious they could have proved fatal for the personnel – suggests this updating has not been happening.

Our armed forces should always be ready and able to defend this country and its interests at a moment’s notice. It is the first job of the government to see it is so, and I would argue they are not doing a very good job. War by appointment simply doesn’t happen in the twenty-first century! I’m pretty darn sure, “Excuse us, Buenos Aires. Could you make it another time? We seem to be a bit bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq at the moment, but I’m sure we’ll find something we can get to work soon and be able to oblige you,” wouldn’t do us a lot of good were they to believe this was an opportune time to try again.

Of course, Argentina is unlikely to have a go, we’re on quite good terms with them and all this argument has been purely hypothetical – but for a reason. Nobody knows exactly where the next lot of trouble might kick-off in the world – and big style too. But if it were to affect this country or our interests, would we be ready for it and able to cope? I find I’m not confident we could – and I bl**dy well should be! To resist cutting our defence expenditure year on year does in no way show us as an aggressive nation, it merely shows that we are prudent and wish to keep our insurance policy fully paid up. That policy is now very seriously in arrears, and we really ought to be doing something about putting that right.

For all my gay friends thinking of Argentina for a package or an adventure holiday, you might like to check out this website: http://www.hadrianus.com.ar/inicio.htm. It has a lot to offer.

See you next week…

“The Bitch!” 15/06/07.

About the Author

“The Bitch!”, a weekly UK News Review column, is hosted by the author and columnist Michael Knell. These articles appear on the Blackpool Gay Directory website, but are not specifically gay in content. More information on the author: http://www.michaelknell.com and on the directory: http://www.astabgay.com.

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