Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Friday, 5 February 2010

Monty Python @ Sangin.

Because a supply helicopter had been shot down and it took an incredible 6 weeks to get food to the troops at Forward Operating Base in Sangin, the chef was tasked with feeding the troops using only what was in the store-cupboard - and it contained lots and lots of tins of Spam.

If the cupboards of Rigby Towers are anything to go by it's the less popular foodstuffs that hang around for longest, whilst the more popular items vanish in no time at all. Maybe military supplies are a bit different, with something 'sensible' being kept in reserve just in case - in case the supply chain breaks - and maybe that will explain the vast quantities of Spam.

It's hard to imagine eating only Spam, and nothing but Spam, for six whole weeks, even if it is dressed up in such wondrous recipes as Spam Fritters, Spam Carbonara and Sweet and Sour Spam. - The Mail kindly provides the recipes in case readers might like to imitate the military - and take a step back in time to post-war Britain.

Unfortunately a person calling themselves "Jenny Jones" thinks all this Spam eating was a bad thing, because her comment reads
This is clearly not good food. It will cause obesity and heart disease in the future and should be banned forthwith.
Why don't some people just give it a rest! There really is no need to be 'on task' for every single waking hour. But it's this comment that flagged up a distant memory because a 'Jenny Jones' was mentioned on somebody else's blog some time ago, also referring to comments left beneath articles in the Mail.

If this lady, is this Jenny Jones she should, surely, be concerned that it took six weeks to resupply an active military base - and should have been more concerned that the troops could have been hungry and willing to eat almost anything. Surely that is the most important consideration here, irrespective of who makes a comment - our troops were without fresh food, for six weeks.

Even though it might be nice to think that all food should be free range or coming from climate friendly, mostly unprocessed, locally sourced, seasonal and mostly organic sources, it's hard to have policies such as those included in the Sustainable Food Strategy for London in an active military situation. It isn't even likely that the 'five a day' is possible, let alone wise, in hostile territory - which seems to have been acknowledged in designing ration packs, that can be  supplemented with bread, fresh fruit and vegetables where supply allows.

It's such a pity that so few have any idea what it's like in the real world, outside the utopian bubble.


418 said...

A diet of Spam sounds a bit monotonous but it is better than nothing. Jenny Jones needs to get a haircut and get with the programme: like Harriet Harman, Tessa Jowell and other busybodies, she obviously has the makings of one of the more assertive NCOs with her, "This is clearly not good food. It will cause obesity and heart disease in the future and should be banned forthwith." Put that man on a charge! She might find that troops with nothing to eat get restless and were she in command she might find herself the object of some not-so-friendly fire. The really depressing thing, apart from the thought of Sgt Jones getting it in the neck, is the thoroughgoing prejudice in her remark: "This is clearly not good food [...] and should be banned forthwith." Jenny, love, your chosen subject is the analysis of ancient bird droppings and we would all regard it as a favour if you would stick to something you know about:

Mrs R said...

The thing with newspaper comments is that you can choose your own name, so it could easily be somebody pretending to be "Jenny Jones" or even a completely different person who happens to have the same name - and it could also be a total wind up, same as the one about quiche.

Sad times, though, don't you think, when a comment like that could be real, and some might think it's good policy.

418 said...

If Jenny has been impersonated then I direct my comments only to the impersonator and apologise to Jenny. With the following reservation, I agree with Mrs R that, "Sad times, though, don't you think, when a comment like that could be real, and some might think it's good policy." Mrs R, you should have added a question mark.

Mrs R said...

Umm, *wriggle/squirm*, on this blog rhetorical questions don't always get a question mark - saves on ink and uses less electricity to open the webpage because it loads a zillionth of a second more quickly ;)

See - we Rigbys are true friends of the environment.

And whichever 'Jenny' it might have been - a spoof would be thrilled and I'm sure the real one wouldn't mind too much either.