Sunday, 9 March 2008


Whilst I am sure that no one would condone the abuse of a nurse in or out of uniform I fail to see how the Government and Opposition cannot see the implications of this and related events. There has been a major publicity drive which seems to imply that to show disrrespect to the uniform is to be unpatriotic however does it not show something deeper than this? Does it not possibly indicate that the current engagements in which the UK armed forces are involved increasingly lack public support?
Coupled with this is the growing body of legislation which is removing the right to voice such disapproval of policy. It appears from reading 'The Independent' yesterday that the coming planned peaceful protests at Aldermaston at Easter are now falling foul of the law. As the right to show dissent is removed discontent will find other outlets and is likely to provoke, rather than prevent, abuse and violence or could that be part of the agenda in order further erode civil liberties and the right to publically express dissent?
Why have I posted this on a Quaker site? I have done so because in 'Advices and Queries' we are told about our responsibilties with respect to peace and the law, with a strong emphasis on equality and justice, but what do we do when we feel that the law is being used to prevent justice. In effect what do we do when we feel our freedoms are effectively being undermined by the state?


Anonymous said...

It is interesting that the RAF authorities behind this story are, as far as I've read, very vague about the supposed incidents of civilians "taunting" the soldiers. Police, according to the Guardian, had no record of "serious incidents" of abusive behaviour toward soldiers. In fact, I haven't seen any evidence of abusive incidents at all. This whole thing smells like a canard, designed to generate public outrage and marginalise the anti-war movement. It is a virtual replay of the myth that veterans returning from the Vietnam War were often "spit upon" by anti-war protesters -- no actual proven incidents were necessary to keep this myth going.

jez said...

Bonkers, next you'll tell me that I can't protest against human rights abuses when they run the Olympic torch through my city...