I have watched, with great respect, the various ceremonies that have taken place recently.
I have every sympathy with the families of those who have been killed and maimed as a result of being a member of the Armed Forces.
They deserve all the support we can give them.
I am now 90 and so have seen many wars involving our forces and also noted those that have occurred elsewhere and are still going on in other parts of the world.
I am not a pacifist and would be prepared to support a call to defend our shores from an unprovoked attack, but I suggest that those who are responsible for all this suffering, for instance, the politicians of all persuasions and religious zealots, should take this special time to reflect on their responsibilities.
It is not they who are called upon to face the bullets and the bombs.
Rarely are they called to account for their failure to resolve the disputes which lead them to start the fighting.
They should be made to work harder to make the so-called ‘United Nations’ more effective.
Whoever said “Jaw, Jaw, not War, War” was right and the phrase should be quoted to them, over and over again, every time they even start thinking about a war.
They are all very good at talking, to no purpose.
I was shocked to see this sticker on the boot of the car in front of me: “Heart Attacks. God’s revenge for eating our animal friends”.
Do radical holier-than-thou vegans really believe God would inflict a heart attack on a human being just because they ate meat?
Doesn’t the person who stuck this on the boot of their car realise how distressing this could be for someone who has just recently lost someone to heart disease?
There are many reasons for heart attacks, not just meat consumption.
So the statement isn’t even correct.
But when you are in the business of feeling superior, when did accuracy matter?
By all means if you decide not to eat meat or animal products that’s your business and I’m sure most vegans will be saddened by the sentiments on the sticker.
Being vegan though doesn’t give you the right to stand in judgement and condemn anyone who doesn’t agree with your views.
A little humanity and respect for others goes along way.
Bullying isn’t inevitable
It’s good to see the spotlight shine on bullying during Anti-Bullying Week each year, but it can be overwhelming if all we are faced with are hard-hitting statistics and desperately sad stories.
Bullying is frightening.
It can have serious long-term consequences, but there is a message of hope.
Since the 1980s, Kidscape has transformed the lives of children and families through our free ZAP workshops that teach practical skills to stand up to bullying behaviour, and our advice line for parents and carers.
We have also trained tens of thousands of teachers to recognise bullying and take decisive action to stop it.
Bullying is not inevitable.
Help is at hand.
Vital role of train guards
On several Saturdays in the run-up to Christmas, the RMT will be taking industrial action to protest against plans by Northern to remove guards from trains.
The main reason this is being done is to save a few quid, which is wrong when you consider the much bigger savings which could be found by renationalising the rail network and scrapping franchising.
The removal of guards would make accessibility for disabled people travelling by train a nightmare.
I understand that some disabled passengers on Southern, where many trains have drivers only, have been left stranded.
Guards also help people who are victims of crime.
It is also crazy to want to remove guards from trains when there are increasing numbers of assaults and sexual assaults on the rail network.