Search

Inside Parliament: West Ham MP Lyn Brown’s call for respect for our troops

13:00 14 November 2012

Lyn Brown MP for West Ham

Lyn Brown MP for West Ham

Archant

Inside Parliament: West Ham MP’s exclusive column calls for respect for our troops

The two minutes’ Remembrance Day observation is rightly emotionally charged. It is a powerful silence: a moment of personal reflection to consider the fallen, the injured and their families; and I contemplate the difficult choices this country has faced, from the fields of Flanders to the deserts of Helmand.

Each week, Parliament enacts its own small commemoration. Names, ranks and units of British military personnel recently killed are read out by the Prime Minister and Ed Milliband.

It is absolutely right that MPs listen to that roll call and reflect on the enormity of the sacrifice, the true price of Parliament’s decision to send our troops into battle. Those decisions carry profound consequences and we must remember that always. The sacrifice must be recognised and acknowledged.

Newham isn’t a traditional garrison town and it’s uncommon for us to suffer a loss. I am unlikely to meet the widows or children of serving soldiers, recently killed in action.

This may be about to change.

Government cuts to the Regular Army will reduce its strength by 20%. To “compensate,” the Territorial Army will almost double, from 18,000 to 30,000. It’s a significant change, destined to affect our own G Company, 7th Battalion, The Rifles.

I spoke to these soldiers and know they’ve already braved the front line and witnessed war’s horrors. Such courage and dedication deserve our admiration.

The Government must accept that courage alone cannot “compensate” for reduced training and readiness levels that inevitably affect Reservists.

It is not enough to be grateful for bravery exhibited in war. We have a responsibility to ensure our soldiers are properly equipped and have the right preparation for their tours of duty.

Remembrance Day thanks alone are not enough: nor our two minutes of silence. Respect our troops. Treat them right. They’ve earned it.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 12:00
Newham working partnership staff with their gifts for the toy appeal

Staff at Newham Partnership Working have rallied together in support of the borough’s underprivileged youngsters.

London
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Hoskins Close residents won a victory on mould in their homes

Tenants and residents celebrated a victory against mould by baking “mouldy” gingerbread house biscuits for the council.

Friday, December 19, 2014
Representatives from What You Do Matters with the shoeboxes

Supporters of What You Do Matters have helped the organisation smash their Toy Appeal target by collecting 339 shoeboxes full of gifts.

Friday, December 19, 2014
Young patients at the Royal London Hospital receive their gifts. From left:  Rhyanne Gasper, 14, from Newham, Naeem Agbongbon, 8, from Ockenden, Essex, Eron Ufuah, 9, from Canning Town, and Harshika Partheepan, 4 months, from Newbury Park, with volunteers from the Kindness Offensive Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Children being treated in hospital over Christmas received hundreds of gifts in a surprise visit by well-wishers.

Royal London Hospital

Most read news

Ahhh… When did the 1990s become the “good old days”?

After weeks of challenges and cringeworthy boardroom showdowns, Lord Sugar made a decision – and Twitter was watching.

And we were all invited to the happy couple’s big day!

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition