Hussein Al-alak: Lets debate Britannia

By Hussein Al-alak
Special to PalestineChrnicle.com

The sorry state of affairs created under UK Labour, has demonstrated itself once more, in an attack on public sector workers in the Fire Brigade, where a group of four officers have been put through a "disciplinary", with two of them being fined £1,000 (2,000 USD) each, for having shone a light on a group of men having sex in a public park in Bristol.

Although the act of group sex in a public place is against British law, the men participating in the act have apparently received no punishment from the "police force" but the four firemen, who have a total of 26 years of active service, were according to one paper "suspended for three months", whilst Fire Chiefs conducted an investigation into allegations of "homophobia".

The reasons for the suspension and the investigation, was because the Terence Higgins Trust brought to light a complaint, made by one of the men who had been caught having sex and although the firemen have been "banned" from discussing the case, one of their colleagues was brave enough to inform the media that the firemen "have been treated as the criminals".

Whilst two of the firemen were fined £1,000 each, with the money being "donated" by Fire Chiefs to a Gay rights charity, another fireman has been demoted with the fourth being given a "stern written warning" and all of the firemen involved have been sent on a politically correct "equality course".

But in a world far from the fantasies of Gordon Browns Labour Party, it has also emerged that up to 300 members of the British armed forces have not been paid for at least three months, due to problems which have occurred since the Ministry of Defence installed the "£100 million pounds Joint Personnel Administration system in April".

Many of the soldiers involved, have since missed mortgage and rent payments on properties back in England, whilst being stationed in both Iraq and Afghanistan, with further outrage being reported from within the Royal Marines, after the MOD failed to give a £3,000 pounds bonus, which was promised to them only last November.

This has come just weeks after a debate was held within Britain, over the attitude of the public towards soldiers, with many establishment figures claiming that the public does not appreciate "our boys" and the fact that many British troops are living in substandard accommodation and are in receipt of little or no support when leaving the armed forces.

Within the past few months, there have also been reports of the neglect that troops are facing, when dealing with issues relating to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, compensation claims when injured in conflicts and the slamming statement by General Mike Jackson, when he referred to the post invasion plans within Iraq, as being "intellectually bankrupt".

The future of the United Kingdom needs to be debated, beyond the parliamentary talk of a possible "snap general election" this autumn, with national issues including the direction of British foreign policy, the needs of the elderly and the fact that the Age Concern charity have published a report stating that a staggering 58% of elderly people on low incomes and surveyed by the charity, were not in full receipt of state benefit entitlements.

The very fact that British children are at a greater risk to drug abuse, alcoholism and Britain has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies, needs to be made a higher priority for the country as a whole, with attention being drawn to the fact, that Labour introduced tuition fees to university and the fact that there is an increasing number of young people leaving the British education system, without the basic and the necessary skills needed to benefit them when entering the work place.

It is not good enough, to sit around debating the rights and wrongs of countries such as Burma or Zimbabwe, Poverty in Africa, conflict in the Middle East and throwing allegations of "dictatorships" emerging in Latin America, when clearly the message at home is, those in glass houses should certainly not be throwing stones.

-Hussein Al-alak is an Iraqi writer whose specialist subjects include Human Rights, race and integration and Palestinian refugees.  Hussein was the co-producer of Here’s Tomorrow, a 2006 documentary on the Baqa’a Refugee Camp in Jordan.

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