Saturday, March 10, 2007

Shooting The Messenger

It seems that politically correct group-think has a hold on the right in the UK too- not too surprising considering the Blair-clone David Cameron in charge at the moment.

A Tory frontbencher has been sacked after saying many ethnic minority soldiers were "idle and useless" and that they used racism as an excuse for their shortcomings.

Two black soldiers who served with him have been quick to support him-

Owen Lewis, a former non-commissioned officer who was hand-picked by Mr Mercer for key promotions, said: "David Cameron doesn't realise what a good man he's lost. I worked with Patrick Mercer to eradicate racism from the battalion. He is the finest Colonel I ever served under."

And Leroy Hutchinson, who was a corporal under Mr Mercer, said: "I served with him for 12 years. He never tolerated racism."

Asides from his idle comment Mercer said this-

He gave a blunt assessment of his experience of racist taunts in the Army after being contacted by the website of the Labour-supporting Times. He said it was commonplace for troops to be given a hard time over their ethnicity, the colour of their hair, or because they were overweight.

He added: "But that's the way it is in the Army. If someone is slow on the assault course, you'd get people shouting 'Come on you fat bastard, come on you ginger bastard, come on you black bastard'.

"In my experience, when you put on the uniform then all differences disappear. If you are a good soldier, you will do well. There is a degree of colour-blindness among the vast majority of soldiers."

As someone who has served in Britain's armed forces I can agree with that statement. I was routinely nicknamed "Paddy" because I'm from Northern Ireland (my brother got the same thing in the Army) but to claim that it- or any of the other insults bandied about- was some sort of discrimination is preposterous. It's just what happens- no malice is intended. It's good natured ribbing. This may come as a shock to the politicians in London but there's a surprising amount of harsh language in the Armed Forces and a great deal of what we call taking the p*ss. For a Tory MP to lose his job for simply pointing out what life is like is ridiculous.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Arggghhhh! With all the emphasis on "fighting" racism, I sure hope there's time to pay attention to fighting real enemies. Sometimes I wonder about things like that here across the pond.

Frau Budgie