Monday, 7 September 2015

Goodness me, my tear ducts have been working overtime in the last few days, and I am sure yours have, too. First it was the terrible image of the drowned child on a Turkish beach. Just for once, I think it was a genuine image, as opposed to the carefully composed photographs of dead children who, it has to be said, revive miraculously once the photographer has finished snapping the alleged  scene of Western callousness.

The fact that the story of the dead boy had something to do with his father's desire to get dental implants did, ever so slightly, take the gloss off the heartbreak, but a child is dead, and if he died so that his caring father could access cheap dentistry, then who are we to criticise?

All morning, our wonderful national broadcasting company was coaxing ever more copious floods of tears from our tired eyes. With no expense spared (because it's your money, not theirs) the Beeb had despatched all its so-called journalists across Europe to gush and empathise with as many migrants - sorry, refugees - as it could muster. This collective hug was meant to bring home just how callous, uncaring and - frankly - racist we all are. The questioning rarely rose above the GCSE Media Studies level of, "Wow, you're a refugee - what does it feel like..?"

My local ASDA had a special offer on Kleenex at the weekend, so my tears were soaked up to an extent, but then, just as I thought I was beginning to come to terms with my post colonial guilt, an absolute bombshell struck.

It was reported, in suitably hushed tones, reminiscent (for those of us of a certain age) of the hourly bulletins reporting the impending death of Churchill, or poor old King George VI, that two plucky British lads had met their end in some desert paradise. They were struck down by the cowardly and reprehensible method of a drone strike. Yes, I know, it's beyond belief, isn't it - our cowardly forces had sent into battle not a manned aircraft piloted by fascist reactionaries of the RAF, but a glorified remote-controlled toy. One which, however, was capable of dealing death and destruction from the skies, aimed at valiant freedom fighters. And before anyone questions how British these martyrs were, could you ever find two more fitting representatives of The Valleys of Wales and the Glens of Bonnie Scotland than Reyaad Khan, from Cardiff, and Ruhul Amin, from Aberdeen?

Well, once my fresh tears had abated, there was only one course of action, A campaign! I started the ball rolling with a donation of an old decimal half-penny which I had found down the back of the sofa. Dig deep, comrades! Together, we should be able to get the brave British lads flown back to Brize Norton in Union Flag draped coffins, and with any luck, the decent folks of Wootton Bassett will pull out all the stops and give these two heroes the send-off they deserve. What's that you say? Seventy two virgins? Come on, be reasonable - this is Wisbech, after all.