Government must keep faith with services

THOSE who join the armed services know that they could be called on to make the ultimate sacrifice - to lay down their lives for their comrades and their country.

THOSE who join the armed services know that they could be called on to make the ultimate sacrifice - to lay down their lives for their comrades and their country.

And they could also suffer dreadful injuries - both physical and mental - as a result of their service for their country.

They have the right to expect that their country should care for them or their families if the worst should happen - and it is very worrying to hear that the Royal British Legion is today warning that the government is breaking the “military covenant” with its armed forces.

Of course times change - but as we understand more about the effects of warfare, attitudes to those who have been on the battlefield change.

In the first world war young men who could no longer face the battlefield were shot for cowardice. Now we understand the condition of post traumatic stress.

And wounds that would have led to death a generation ago can now be treated - although the victims may well need care for the rest of their lives.

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Given these facts, the government must be prepared to look after those who are injured in its service - and the families of those like Aaron McClure who lose their lives fighting for their country.

It is not acceptable that a respected and non-controversial organisation like the RBL has found itself so concerned that it is warning that the covenant is being broken.

Ministers must look again at how we treat our service personnel . . . and ensure that they all get the support they need.

LED Zeppelin were arguably the biggest rock band of the 1970s and have retained a strong following over the last three decades.

So it is not surprising that when they announced a reunion gig, millions should have registered an interest in buying tickets - even though they will cost £125 each.

That's all a far cry from their appearance at the Baths' Hall in Ipswich back in 1971 when 500 people paid £1 each to hear.

The entire takings from that concert will be collected from just four tickets in November - and some fans will be prepared to pay touts well over £500 for a ticket once the concert gets nearer!

WHAT a difference a week makes! Five days ago England's football fans were full of gloom as the patched-up players prepared for two crucial Euro qualifying matches.

Now after two great wins England look as if they have found team - and now people are even debating whether Rooney will get his place back after Heskey's fine performance.

And England fans were also able to congratulate Scotland on their splendid win in France. We know the Scots won't reciprocate our good wishes - but those of us from south of the border have always regarded our northern neighbours as slightly naughty younger cousins that we secretly want to succeed alongside our own team.

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