Ed Miliband and a Wrist Band

I don’t often write posts like this but there is a media storm brewing about Ed Miliband and a Help for Heroes wrist band and am in the mood for a rant (normal serious service will resume in the morning!)

It makes me sick when people try to make a political point off the backs of service charities.

The Sun is trying to rubbish Ed Miliband by saying he refused to attend a photo shoot wearing a Help for Heroes wrist band because he was scared of what ‘left wing luvvies’ would say. Apologists for the Sun will say it is all about raising awareness and ‘how could he’ but we all know that is not the whole story.

I wonder if Dave, Nick and Nigel bought their own wrist bands.

But what have Dave and Nick have done for service personnel during their current government?

Oh, yes, of course, how could we forget, they gave tens of thousands of them their P45’s, presided over equipment shortages, under-manning and an all-round erosion in their terms and conditions of service, unlike MP’s of course, throwing taxpayer subsidised gin and tonics down their fat necks as fast as they can piss it out the other end.

Support service charities or don’t support service charities, but do it for your own reasons, not because the Sun strong arms you or a vainglorious and shallow pre-election attempt to wrap yourself in a flag.

I don’t know Ed Miliband’s reasons for not performing like a monkey for the Sun and frankly, I don’t care, but to say he doesn’t support the forces because he refused to wear a bloody wristband for a Sun photo shoot is plainly ridiculous.

And by the way, that Help for Heroes exists in the first place should tell you everything you need to know about how much successive governments of all colours care about service personnel and their welfare.

For one of the richest countries in the world to have such a large service charity sector is a national disgrace that all politicians should be deeply deeply embarrassed about, have we learned nothing in the hundred years since the First World War.

So lets forget all that stuff about needing charity in the first place, putting thousands on the dole, eroding terms of service for those left and sending them off to wars with inadequate equipment.

Look at me, I care, I have a wristband.

Hang your fucking heads in shame.

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September 25, 2014 9:50 pm

Well said, couldn’t agree more.

September 25, 2014 10:27 pm

Well said and bang on the money. However, if Government did take its duties seriously, just imagine what a nightmare veterans affairs would be… I Can’t help but think that it is actually better to have a charity that delivers, than a Government Department that just talks about delivering.

Deja Vu
Deja Vu
September 25, 2014 10:55 pm

TD you have hit the nail on the head. Well said.

September 25, 2014 11:04 pm


September 26, 2014 6:41 am

How many ground wars did coalitionkip start?
How many did Labour start?

H4h was born out of labours utter disregard for injured personnel coming from Afraq,

John Hartley
John Hartley
September 26, 2014 7:51 am

Milliband got in trouble for backing a previous Sun campaign. Liverpool has not forgiven the Sun for trashing the reputation of the Hillsborough dead. Milliband cannot support the Sun & keep Liverpool happy.
The Liberal Democrats were heading for extinction in Surrey, but last night they won a borough council victory in my village. The seat had been Tory forever (I got within 12 votes 20 years ago), but the draft Tory written local plan wanted to build 2000 homes on greenbelt next to the village. To say the village was furious was putting it mildly. Even I dug out an 18 year old LibDem rosette & did some telling, much to the surprise of those who think I am to the right of UKIP nowadays. I like Farage, but his local goons acted like braying Alan B’stard wannabees.
Point being that between now & next May, politics is not a done deal & the result will depend on many factors, local, national & international.

September 26, 2014 8:35 am

I received some excellent help from Combat Stress when I returned from Iraq and was suffering from some issues. The service they provided was excellent, with plenty of time spent at their residential centre.

They were having to limit the number of stays veterans could have, as there was a very limited pot of funding. This meant some people still suffering the fall out of GW1, and in some cases the Falklands, were then left to fend largely for themselves.

The organisation, whilst fantastic, should be entirely unnecessary – the psychological burden of warfare should be borne by the state – surely they owe their veterans that much, after what they have asked of us?

I never fail to be surprised by the generosity of the UK public, with donations to Help for Heroes, Combat Stress and the ABF at an all time high. It’s a shame this commitment isn’t met by the Government, whichever colour rosette is in no10.

That’s my 2 pennoth.

Brian Black
Brian Black
September 26, 2014 10:15 am

I’m no fan of Miliband, not wearing a particular charity band, or not participating in a particular event or photo shoot, does not make you anti that cause.

It’s since been said that on the occasions that the party was asked, Miliband was either scheduled to give his speech at the party conference, or was holding shadow cabinet meetings discussing Iraq.

Miliband would not necessarily have even known about the Sun’s request himself.

The Sun should not be trying to score points over this. If they got a response from the Labour party saying that Ed was unavailable due to the party conference, or whatever, they should maybe print a note to that effect and simply run the promotion without him.

Charities should not become the political football for either politicians or the press.

After I left the Army, I didn’t wear a poppy or attend any rememberence service for about six years. And while I’ve given about a grand to Help for Heroes, including one 500 quid donation, I’ve never worn a H4H wristband – or any charity wristband come to think of it.

People have their own reasons for supporting and participating with -or not- various charities or causes. I personally now only financially support three registered charities of my choosing; that does not mean I’m anti other charities. And being busy is certainly not a reason to attack someone.

Ed Zeppelin
Ed Zeppelin
September 26, 2014 10:56 am

The best summary of my own opinions that I have ever read! Well done TD. I have been saying this for years.
When Anna Soubry MP came out saying that they should end booze subsidies for the Forces I couldn’t believe the hypocrisy. Then there is their expenses, houses, pensions, salary. It makes me want to vomit. If Wellington was PM now he could happily say, “My Parliament are the scum of the Earth.”

ps. It’s MILIBAND. Sorry!

September 26, 2014 12:21 pm

Spot on, TD. Second best good feeling about donating to service charities by Gift Aid (including now ‘small donations’ from tin-rattling) is that the gov’t has to ante up an extra 25%. Ditto a legacy but even more %, if you think you may be above the £325/650k threshold.
Much of the penny-pinching crap that ministers come out with is dreamt up by shitty, chippy “colleagues”; but the ministers should think for themselves and slap the creeps down.

September 26, 2014 12:31 pm

Ambush journalism.

September 26, 2014 12:54 pm

John Hartley,

Nice to see you are a proud and committed NIMBY with nothing but contempt for Britain’s next generation

John Hartley
John Hartley
September 26, 2014 3:01 pm

Hamster. Are you one of the ex tory cabinet members using a Cayman front company, to get planning permission, then sell on quick, having made a hundredfold profit? We have 5 small housebuilding schemes in the village for the next generation that nobody has objected to. We do object to 3X the size of the village being dumped on a field next to us, with no new infrastructure, when the existing roads/schools are packed.

Mike W
September 26, 2014 4:00 pm


Re your comment concerning John Hartley. Why do you indulge in that kind of labelling and sloganizing about an individual you know little about and probably even less about the causes he fights for? I personally can’t stand it. It reminds me of a particularly English custom of labelling those you disagree with a “fascist”. The English seem to call all their adversaries “fascist”, from policemen to small dogs!

Read the poem “Going, Going” by Philip Larkin. Do we really want to create “the first slum of Europe – full of concrete and tyres”? I was going write that his cause might be an admirable one and from his reply, which I’ve just seen, it would seem that it is. Of course the young need more houses. That doesn’t mean that they should always be built in particular locations, possibly next to valuable countryside (“the shadows, the meadows, the lanes”) and it does not mean that everyone who fights against such development is necessarily a “nimby”.

If you had followed John’s comments on these blogs for as long as I have, you would realize what a common-sensical individual he is.

Sorry, TD. Have now well and truly digressed from the thread. Just wanted to say how much I agreed with your rant. Was rather angry, that’s all.

September 26, 2014 6:18 pm

TD good rant, agree with it all.

@ John Hartley

Well done, if you don’t like what the local( or national)politicians are doing, participate in the democratic process and try and get them voted out. I’ve campaigned for local politicians of a number of colours if I agree with their outlook and plans ( I’m party agnostic) When on the doorstep I’ve always told people what they guy I’m supporting believes in and then just ask people to think about what the candidates are saying and vote for the one they agree with, but vote.

After all if we stop bothering with the democratic process and it dies what freedom do we have that needs defending.

Modern planning is a mess, it’s so in favour of developers making a fast buck it’s sad.

Dave haine
Dave haine
September 26, 2014 7:48 pm

I’m all for local politics… In the end it’s local issues that affect people’s day to day lives more than central government, although in some cases i.e. Somerset flooding, it was the failure of national government and their agencies that wrecked (and is still wrecking) local communities.

….Anyway, if Miliband feels he would rather not be involved in the Sun’s cynical attempt to jump on the ‘Help for Heroes’ band wagon, fair play to him.

….After all, the Sun is only doing this to sell more papers…

….Maybe we should ask the Sun how much it has donated to any military charity (not money it has collected from staff, or the results of some appeal- but funds it has donated as an organisation).

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 27, 2014 12:09 pm

@Hamster – The younger generation would be much better served by the use of brownfield sites to construct dense urban neighbourhoods with access to education, work and social facilities than the construction of yet more dormitory suburbs on green fields that require an hour or more on already crowded roads and railways to get anywhere…John Hartley and his neighbours were perfectly within their rights to protest, and probably on the side of the angels on the overall policy issues.

The only people who benefit from yet another massive dormitory suburb are the developers, who can build there much more cheaply and then sell the houses to well-established owner occupiers trading up…they have little interest in first time buyers, who are much less profitable.

And if you must talk rubbish, don’t be gratuitously offensive when doing so…

…and finally, you’ve got my vote on the substantive article Boss; I would say more, but I’ll take my own advice on being gratuitously offensive.