In common with many people I have been appalled by the decision to restrict service men and women wearing their uniforms in public to prevent then being abused over the UK's involvement in Iraq. This is not the first report of this nature! I remembered reports that injured service personnel in NHS Hospitals were being denied treatment by some staff, who again objected to British Forces Iraq and Afghanistan.
Consider for a moment what would happen to a group of teenagers verbally abusing and spitting on an individual from a different race or of different sexual orientation. These would be "hate crimes" and would be dealt with quickly and firmly. Can you imagine the outcry if gay men were told that if they went out flaunting their sexual orientation then they deserved to get beaten up or if to prevent assaults people of one race or another were advised to stay off the streets!
Service personnel should be able to wear their uniforms with pride and any yobbo abusing them in the streets should be dealt with in the same way as anyone abusing someone of different race or sexual orientation. Unfortunately while "gay bashing" is (quite rightly) illegal there is obviously no law against abusing our service men and women. Similarly hospital staff refusing to treaty a gay patient would be in big trouble! Why then can they refuse to treat injured services personnel? Possibly because our armed forces go where they are sent, do the job they are told to do and get on with it without the benefit of a politically correct lobby behind them. Even remembrance day parades are being scaled down by the PC Brigade. I would give every one of out boys and girls who serve in Iraq or Afghanistan a medal the size of a dustbin lid, the freedom of their home town and no serving soldier, sailor or airman should ever need to buy a drink while home on leave. It dosen't matter whether you think we are right or wrong to be in Iraq (personally I think we are dead wrong and sholud never have been there in the first place). What matters is our armed forces deserve and have many times over earned our support, respect and admiration.