There was once a time in this country, well within living memory, when our Civil Service was respected for its apolitical commitment efficiently to serve the government of the day, whatever the political complexion of that government.
The Ministry of Defence would appear to have forgotten that, as a part of the Civil Service, it should keep its nose out of the arena of party politics.
For the MOD to comment on the campaigning of any political party is utterly irregular and inappropriate. Retired generals are free to say what they please about politics but serving members of the armed forces and Civil Service departments, such as the MOD, should observe a strict neutrality on politically sensitive issues.
Lee Rigby’s mother’s wishes for a memorial at the site of her son’s savage murder by two black African Muslim immigrants, near the Woolwich barracks, have been flouted by Greenwich council’s refusal.
In this instance the Establishment is happy to disregard the wishes of Lee Rigby’s family. While, on the other hand, the MOD calls for the family’s wishes to be respected by parties refraining from referring to the murder in their campaigning in the run-up to the European ‘parliament’ elections on 22 May, the first anniversary of the terrorist outrage.
Can anyone else see the hypocrisy and double standards inherent in this approach?
In time to come the political Establishment should remember that it was they and no one else who did away with the time-honoured safeguard of English common law, the rule of ‘no double jeopardy’ and made the change apply retrospectively.
Let them not complain when they are hoist with their own petard.