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, 12 March 2010

Afghan Heroes and Mother's Day.

Prompted by this piece by Longrider and a rather pathetically nimby piece in the Guardian, Mrs Rigby wandered off to take a look at Afghan Heroes site. She admits that she'd never heard of the charity, so this perhaps shows that there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Mrs R was very surprised to learn that people spent a weekend packing up 10,000 “home comfort” boxes
Around 150 volunteers from children to pensioners, army cadets and members of the military from all over the UK, gave up their time over the weekend to pack the boxes at a building donated for the purpose by the Bath and West Showground in Somerset.

With two 100ft production lines in full flow 7,630 boxes were completed by Saturday afternoon. The remaining boxes were then finished by 2pm on Sunday.

Each box included 17 different items for the troops and at its peak each line packed 600 boxes
per hour (10 boxes per minute).
The author of the CiF piece lives in Wootton Bassett, and they don't want their Mother's Day Sunday messed up by a load of noisy bikers who will cause fumes, noise and congestion. Nothing new there - it's a main road, and a busy main road too. You'd think they would be used to it. But no, it's the bikers they don't like, who will be driving through the town on one afternoon out of 365. What's the betting they wouldn't have minded so much if it had been a group of vintage car drivers? They'd probably have laid on tea and refreshments.

Neil Burden, in best journalistic style, hasn't taken a moment to look a bit further and realise that the "event" was expected to be quite small, but interest has grown so much so that, instead of the expected maximum of 2,000 bikes there will be as many as 10,000 - each of them paying £5 towards the charity who will use the money to deliver support through:
  1. The “thank the troops” initiative.
  2. The provision of home comforts to those serving in Afghanistan.
  3. Motivational and morale boosting support directly to our forces on the front line via your letters and news letters.
  4. A support network for the families of the fallen, creating an open environment where families can give support to each other.
  5. Supporting the many returning soldiers who have witnessed these horrific atrocities in the course of performing their duties.
The event has full backing of both the military and the police - it isn't a protest march, it's a means of raising money.

Oh, about the charity.
[Denise Harris] The mother of a soldier who died in an explosion in Afghanistan in July [2009] had the idea to set up a charity to provide support for those directly involved in the conflict.
Maybe Neil Burden, the author of the CiF piece should stop, and think, and maybe realise why Mother's Day was chosen for this event.

Maybe, just maybe, it was chosen because many mothers around the country will not be hearing from their sons on that day.

Many mothers won't be hearing from their sons ever again - because they have been killed in Afghanistan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said Mrs R.
May I add that as far as i and my biker friends understood, it was also to say a thank you to the people of WB for showing respect for our fallen on our behalf.