Sunday, 27 June 2010


Col  Rupert Golightly-Jockstrap,  the British military spokesman in Helmand, said: “It is with great sadness I must inform you that four soldiers were killed last night in northern Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand Province. They were part of a team that was travelling to assist in an incident at a nearby check point when they were killed in a vehicle incident. They will be sorely missed and their actions will not be forgotten. We will remember them. What were their names, again?”

This Afghanistan bollocks, feted as unlikely to see a shot fired in anger by its author, Mr Lord John Glasgow, the infamous drunk, pothead and sexual  bully, has now harvested the souls of three hundred and seven service persons  and the limbs and senses of thousands more; it has, furthermore, acclimatised the nation to the sight of Army Widows and Army MotherWidows, not to mention tellystruck  ArmyAunties, - arentchasicktodeathovem -  insisting that Mark or Wayne loved what he was doing and was happy to spill his guts for whichever worthless bandit was being puppeteered by the White House;delighted, he was, thrilled and honoured,  to die, legless, screaming, so that Mustapha or Ahmed  coud ride off on his rusty Toyota to vote in some utterly pointless, rigged election, Yeah, Mum, I'm totally made-up to be part of organised crime on such a grand scale, so don't you worry, If I should die, think only this of me, that I believed any old shite they told me.

Well, Mum, I'm fed up with all this  fucking sentimental rubbish, if you're happy to see your sons and occasionally daughters crippled and wasted for propaganda,  you can  be happy on your own, you and Huw Welshman, you and the prime mninsiter and his gimp, every Wednesday, namechecking the dead.

You know how these things go, Mum.. Ah, yes, we did promise not to raise VAT/leave Afghanistan but now we know the full facts of what a fuck-up it is we're just gonna have to leave Ahmed to his own devices, after all; we are all in this together, apart from Ahmed of course - or Yes, of curse we don't do deals with the IRA, that's why we let them all out of prison and put them in govament, your sons, yes of course they are still heroes, just heroes for fuck all. 

Still, the world as orchestrated by skymadeupnewsandfilth, loves a martial cliche.   For boys drowning, terrified in the dark, hampered by webbing and weapons,  merely for Obama's election purposes and for the opportunistic soundbiting of idle filth like CallHimDave or Bob The Cunt AInsworth, and who's this new buttoned-up, constipated arsehole, wotsisname, FoxKnowsBest,


another fucking diploma-waving, Call-Me-Doctor doctor, naturally endowed with the wisdom of Solomon, the courage of Alexander the Great, the acuity of Clausewitz; another shifty, Tory closet fag, another ranting megalomaniac, like that other noisy bastard, Rifkind; Jesus where do these freaks spring from, are they bred in some mad S&M laboratory, bottle-fed sterness and cruelty, tutored in condescension and the humiliation of others, pain and degradation their lullaby; horrible fucking bastards;  and the Labour Partry, les Internationalistes, falling all over each other in their rush to napalm the Muslim working classes all across the Middle East and Southern Asia; how did that happen, how is it that from Cuba to Kathmandu our land, our people, have become a byword for atrocity; well, that's, for me and the boys drowning, a martial cliche too far.

How is it that now we damn the old to exhaustion, penury and hypothermia we still maintain vast numbers of expensively trained people on a Fool's errand, shovelling ever more costly materiel into Failure's abyss? Is there nothing, in this Broken Society, no repair,
which a regiment or two might effect, now that we must retreat, chastened and scourged, to the nineteen-twenties? Can't we do something with them, other than have them blown to bloody bits?

How is it that here, in the future, nineteenth century fantasies of Regiment and Corps of dulce et decorum est pro patria mori so vigourously survive? If these customs are suborned to cheap Blimping, to a  trumped-up  cassus belli, to a strategy of torture and kidnap, a tactic in which our side pays and trains the other side to attack us and to a high command more attuned to the power of the telegenic soundbite than to the folly of the mission, then these customs grow hollow and their practitioners may not always  sing a Warrior's song.  And from Londonderry to Baghdad, too often, a darker refrain sounds. Armies should fight armies, not civilians, which is what we have been doing since Shock and Awe, seeding the fortunes of Tony and Imelda, corroding the values and traditionss of our armed forces;  the managerialists, the I-Know-Besters, the SpivULikes, everything they touch turns to shit.

The first time, at least, fighting the fuzzy-wuzzies, there were interests of Empire at stake, now there is just politicking.  Barely out of the Cold War we have been plunged into a new state of constant warfare, George Dubya's  War Of Endless Terror, Gordon Brown's War To Keep Safe The British Street,  CallHimDave's War Of Staying In Office, Obama's War Of I'm In Charge.  For the militarists it couldn't be better, an invisible, infinite army of enemy Others, hiding under the bed, behind the curtains, they're everywhere, in the East, in the West, even though we can't see them we're gonna be fighting them forever.  Just like the Communists. Only better.

Well, said Lord Reid truculently on Radio Glasgow,
these yins drowned, did they no', in the fucking canal, so I wis right, they didnae die frae a shot fired in anger, so there, bollocks and Ah'm  the first Trotskyist peer in history so you better watch oot or Ah'll be gi'ing ye the famous Glasgow Emroidery Lesson (Can Ye Sew?  Vicious Headbutt. Well Stitch That, Then.) No, we owe these lads a great debt of gratitude, we who'd rather go in prison than go soldiering, and we're no' gonnae pay it, nae fuckin' way, if they wisnae oot fightin' fer Queen and country, they'd only be on the dole. Not like me, one of Labour's great men. And very rich, thank you. Service life? Me? No, I sincerely never  believed in armies. See You, Jimmy, if you dinnae watch oot I'll be roond yer hoose at midnight, bawling up that I'm gonnae fuck yer mrs, like I did wi' that Dawn Primarolo.  Aye, I ken, a dog, but I was pished

John Reid and Geoff Hoon and Jack Torture and Tony&Imelda; cardboard, cut-out generals, generations of Ruperts, mouthing their master's voice, that's what Armed Forces Day celebrates; that ludicrous, idle, pampered gabshite, Windsor, sponge, nonce and incompetent, taking the fucking salute, the BBC commentators wetting themselves with sincerity;
some talk of Alexander and some of Hercules, of Hector and Lysander and such great names as thes, but of all the World's  great heroes, there's none that can compare, with a tow row row row row row row, to the Britsh Grenadiers.

And  that's why we piss 'em away in others' Wars of Empire, throw them in jail when homelessness and unemployment and the drink are the price they pay for service..

Now, God help us, Widows are  more anxious for celebrity than private grief and acceptance, encouraged by politicians routinely lip-serving a phony gratitude - none of their sons in the forces - and poor lonely boys parroting a mission mantra, the falsities of which they could not begin to comprehend,  and deploying it on a civilian populace which does not recognise it and wouldn't want it if it did.  And Tommy is alleged to be happy to die for this shit, his widow happy for him to die, look, there she is on the telly.

And the danger she poses, Widow Mark or Widow Wayne, is that together with  the funeral-junky ghouls at Wootton Bassett, the posturing Golightly-Jockstraps on the teevee sofa - lovely to have you back again, General Sir  Mike, with your deep, brown, knowing voice - and the serried ranks of cowardly reptiles in the commons bleating and gurning, we head into a happy acceptance of permanent, glorious war, in which all are heroes, for fuck all.

In the new S&M Britain,  Tommy Atkins' death throes are the new snuff movie - created, produced and directed by skymadeupnewsandfilth. It is how  rotten journalism sidesteps the indefensible, just as Murdoch taught them. Dead Tommies, the new page three, the new first item, top of the bill on Wednesday's Order Paper.  There is nothing which cannot be spun. There is no business like show business.



Rastus said...

What I can not conprehend is the lack of intelligence of the "boys" who enlist, and the total lack of care of their parents in the upbringing that brought them to do it.

richard said...

They've been indoctrinated into the State's everlasting and essential cult of violence and then they kill people for money. Dress it up how you like, but it's as simple as that. They're all "heroes" when they die, funny how there's not a careless foolish action amongst the dead. And no "teenage boy working as a soldier" unlike the "women working as prostitutes" beloved of the BBC. Nah, this isn't defence of the realm, it's invasion, like what Adolf did. Tony Blair, with his crappy little medal, is the author of incalculable misery.

PT Barnum said...

A case study.

A 19 year old from a working class family in Oldham, didn't do well at school although he tried hard, left school at 16, in and out of short-term, low-paid non-skilled jobs in supermarkets, warehouses, packing firms. No apprenticeships. No jobs in heavy industry to learn a general or specialised trade. Not earning enough to get a home of his own, so still living with his mum. Frustrated, bored, desperate to do a 'proper job' for decent money, to get his own life and not be a burden on his mum.

The army, for him, comes along as a solution. No military tradition in his family, but he sees young men just like him doing 'important work' and being respected for it. So he joins up, does his basic down South, ends up serving in Iraq.

No, he doesn't get killed. Or physically maimed. Or even seriously injured. Except in his mind. He thought he knew what kind of person he was, decent, a good bloke, someone who'd break up a fight before he'd ever join in one. Not so very clever with the books, but a fit lad, always willing to pitch in to help. Liked a pint. Rugby League. Had even decided keeping racing pigeons wasn't just for sad old gits.

And now he doesn't recognise himself anymore. He's angry, drinks too much, uses his fists to express his feelings. His mum's scared for him. She is also scared of him.

See him and you'd think, just another yob on the booze. Talk to him and, if he can get past his internal barriers, he'll tell you an ordinary-enough story about seeing bodies torn to pieces, the foot that landed on the bonnet of the landrover he was riding in, feeling a secret, vicious thrill when local people are deliberately humiliated to put them in their place, and he'll say I know I've done wrong things, and I'm sorry for them, but what I can't get over is feeling like an extra in some crap film. And it's all real. But it's all made up too.

His name's Darren. He is still in the army. I worry for his future.

jgm2 said...

PT Barnum. I believe every word of it.

The problem is that in peacetime (and a near ten year war that has 'only' cost the lives of 300 men is, by the impressive spats of the previous century, almost peacetime) the officer class, those from the good schools with the CCFs and those with a family tradition will continue to provide the officer class.

And the other ranks will come from those who have just a tiny spark of ambition to leave their shithole North East or Scottish town. Hot-housed in idiocy and failure by their parents, their school friends, their Labour politicians to accept the shit start they have in life as being insurmountable. Not worth trying to change or overcome really. Might as well just doss about at school and keep taking the cheques and keep voting Labour.

It takes real courage to even conceive that there is a whole world of opportunity out there. To tear yourself away from your waster family and friends and actually sign up.

And then, when you do, you find you're just a plaything for a fucking lunatic.

Every child should, before they are old enough to sign up, be made to take a school trip to the First World War graves to read the ages of the kids who were so mindlessly slaughtered by lunatic politicians and lunatic generals.

Give the poor bastards a 'heads up' about what they can expect.

A hundred years later and it's still the same.

Jackass politicians sending young men off to die in support of some imagined mutual pact. 'Good lord - our allies, the Belgiums (under some 80 year old Treaty) have been invaded by the bloody Germans. We'd better send an entire generation to be machine-gunned. Can't let the Belgiums down.

For fuck's sake.

Then almost 100 years later we're still supporting our 'allies' when they get some lunatic Iraq notion into their fucked-up heads.

mongoose said...

Case Study 2, Mr PTB, Mr jgm2.

A shall-be-nameless lad, no longer in, now out. Seven years of it including some of the last Iraq madness. Bright enough, not with books though. An action man, outdoors man: labourer, fireman, soldier. Now a tree surgeon's oppo. Drinks to be oblivious. Right now this fucking minute, if you please. Either pissed, crying or fighting. Handsome though he is, women drop him after usually a short time. Too scary, too shouty.

His brother - book bright - analyses some geological, esoteric nonsense for twice as much money as the brother ever got for getting shot at. They cannot even speak without uproar. The two lives now disconnected. When one enters the pub in this little town, the other one leaves - the soldier loudly, the scholar quietly and ashamed. It is all unbearably sad.

It's not about them all being mercenary killer lazy bastards. Half the world dwells on the lower side of every fucking curve. Parents, teachers, money, IQ, chance, hope - wrong fucking side of the curve every time. And not their fault any of it. Just a spit from being OK. But not for them careers in the City and pinstripe expenses fiddling at Westminster. No chits, do you see? Didn't get the chits. Not for them IT bollocks or Estate Agency smarming. Don't speak nicely and still no chits. Not for them even the honour and honesty of manual labour in a factory - there being none. Not for them the honour and honesty of a trade - they all being filled by Stanislavs and Guinness-swilling O'Paddy bastards.

So off Tommy goes to somewhere where he isn't a failed drone dickhead. Does stuff we can only wonder at, and hope, you, not to wonder too accurately. And when he comes home? Well, it's Tommy this and Tommy that and throw him out, the brute. No, let's not spend the fourpence on a conversion programme. "Ah, you've got your HGV-whatever for driving those big trucks through bandit country. Or you fixed the radios out in the bush. Look here, son, you can earn a decent living with this lot. Shall I ring them for you?" How difficult can it be?

Don't blame Tommy for what Blair did. Blair is the one with the blood on his hands. Blair, Bush, Cheney, McDoom, Ainsworth, Hoon. Hang them all.

And the next soldier you see shit-faced in a pub, put a twenty across the counter, shake his hand, and fuck off thanking Christ you have not walked in that man's shoes.

PT Barnum said...

Mr Mongoose, that's two of how many such stories I wonder? Hundreds, thousands, many more yet to come. I would baulk at putting that twenty behind the bar, but there have been times when I've donated a sharp word or three to grumbling civilians in defence of such a shit-faced soldier. Or bought a doorway-living ex-squaddie a big greasy burger.

And the fourpence worth of help? The name of the worthy charity, Help for Heroes, always makes me shudder. I have yet to meet a rank-and-file serviceman who bought the heroism guff on joining up. They only ever wanted to do something worthwhile, useful, while improving their own lot in life.

I don't know how the RAF did or does things, but two or three decades ago the RN and Army both had programmes (which lasted from 6 weeks to 3 months) to assist men leaving the service to adapt their skills to civilian life. Those things seem to have fallen by the wayside.

Percival said...

Surely even the most pathetic of recruits must know that the only thing that is required of them is to kill other human beings (or be a part of a killing group or operation).

Even if the recruit is so pathetic that he thinks he will somehow be spared his own death his/her parent just signing up to this is abhorent and inhuman.

mongoose said...

I had thought that those programmes used to be a three-month, Mr PTB, but was unsure. It is of course not the labour and the money but the communion with like souls. A pause between Helmand and Hitchin. A wee safety net for the not so damaged ones - not just fuck them off the plane and out.

PT Barnum said...

In the RN (back when I knew seafaring lads) it began 18 months before the end of service, Mr Mongoose. First with discussions, and then a 6 month retraining programme to convert ship skills into civvie skills.

The army tended to do a slightly more bureaucratic version which lasted 4-6 weeks, putting squaddies in touch with civilian job and housing providers.

The comparison is instructive. Former sailors do not tend to end up living under viaducts drinking cider.

PT Barnum said...

"Surely even the most pathetic of recruits must know that the only thing that is required of them is to kill other human beings."

So quoth Percival.

You've not noticed the disaster recovery work, or the peacekeeping, or standing in for the fire service when they go on strike?

Percival said...

" PT Barnum said...

You've not noticed the disaster recovery work, or the peacekeeping, or standing in for the fire service when they go on strike?"

Disaster recovery work does not require training in killing, but I will grant that peacekeeping does. However if it were not for the fact that those who were disturbing the peace had been trained to kill and the peace keepers had also been trained to kill, peace keeping would be unnecessary.
As far as strike breakers are concerned they seem singularly inactive in transport strikes etc. and had we not had the "green goddesses" I do not think they would have been involved.

PT Barnum said...

"However if it were not for the fact that those who were disturbing the peace had been trained to kill and the peace keepers had also been trained to kill, peace keeping would be unnecessary," says Mr Percival.

I find myself baffled by this. Are you asserting that unless one has been trained to kill, one never would kill? Perhaps, like Mr richard above, you are referring to some larger process of human society and 'the State's everlasting and essential cult of violence', that humanity, in some Rousseauesque fashion, once freed from the chains of the state would become gentle, humane and co-operative. Where, in common with all other species, our most basic reflex is survival, I tend to side with Hobbes. Killing is fundamental to life, it's merely a case of who has permission and for what reasons that guarantees our collective survival.

call me ishmael said...

Whichever approach one takes to Arms and the Man - and the annals of HM Armed Forces are filled with examples of extreme comradeship, of immense gallantry and self-sacrifice as well as darker moments - my lament remains on the air, and I am sure in what someone here termed the shitegeist, and is harmonised in two parts - firstly that when managerialist, good for fuck all Ruperts started using the word colleagues instead of comrades they revealed a profound stupidity long associated with their caste; colleagues is a business term, colleauges don't usually expect to die for each other, colleagues in arms is a bumtpious, meaningless doggerel and secondly, now that we make Big Brother spectacle of the Fallen we demean both them and we, who only stand and wait, Wootton Bassett merely a showy elastoplast on the sore of our actual indifference; if we cared about these blokes we wouldn't pimp them out to GlobalGangstersRUs, wuld we?