And by that I don’t mean an MRSA squittercane. I’m talking about Gordon Brown jumping on the D-Day 65th anniversary bandwagon at the mearest hint that Barack Obama might stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the increasingly few surviving D-Day vets to remember their friends who fell on the beaches of Normandy.
A public campaign, kicked off by The Independent newspaper back last June, has raised over £175,000 to schlep all five hundred fit D-Day vets over to Normandy. The blessed Eddie Izzard (who first brought this matter to roomyverse’s attention via Twitter) has promised to make-up any further shortfall should costs escalate. The UK Government had previously refused to stump up a bean for travel costs and Gordon Brown had flatly refused to attend, but now, with Golden Boy Obama willing to take his place alongside our gallant heroes, old Gordie’s had a bit of a rethink. Now he wants a special service at Westminster Abbey with all the trimmings and is ready to ‘provide support so veterans can participate.’
‘Too bloody late’ say the Vets. Here’s Peter Hodge, Secretary of the Normandy Veteran’s Association:
“Ministers on the beaches is not really what we wanted or needed. We never complained about the Government not giving us money. We wanted this to be between the veterans and the British people. The public response to our appeal, first publicised in The Independent, has already been fantastic.
We also wanted this to be mostly about the veterans themselves. Everyone who wants to support these magnificent men is very welcome [but] I object to the clear attempt to hijack and politicise our campaign. This was never about attacking Labour or Gordon Brown. It was always about supporting our veterans in a practical way.”
The previously welded-shut wallet of the Big Lottery Fund has since been thrown open to splash some cash at the codgers, but Mr. Hodge says they’ve frankly missed the boat:
“The truth is that it is rather too late to be raising funds now. We are talking about elderly people and that means you have to plan well in advance. Luckily, we already look like we will have all the money we need.”
You tell ‘em Hodgy. Personally I think it’s shameful that Brown, having turned his back on these brave old buggers for the better part of a year, should now suddenly want to plaster his slack-jawed mug all over it for the sake of a few points in the polls and the chance to pick up a fake tan from Barack’s reflected glory. And the same goes for all those newspapers who said ‘No’ to Mr Hodge last summer. The Independent was the only one who stood up to make this happen and so, when The Sun and The Mirror are plastering their front pages with the craggy faces of our dying heroes on June 6th, I’ll personally be taking these rags into the toilet to wipe my arse on every man jack of them.
Viva La Indie!
+++UPDATE: I’ve just seen The Daily Mail’s front page from yesterday, along with a skipload of horseshit inside about how this was ‘their’ campaign, along with accompanying soundbites from the likes of David Cameron praising The Mail for said campaign, and a little coupon people can cut out and send with a cheque, as if no-one else had ever thought to help, the freeloading twunts. Hence I will reserve my first, shittiest wipe for The Mail. As always.+++