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In my opinion: Governments relish lots of talk and very little action

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 12, 2013

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I am sure that every Briton, Australian and New Zealander who remembers the end of the Second World War was incensed to read that the Ministry of Defence had already paid out £14 million in compensation to Iraqi nationals for alleged ill-treatment at the hands of Allied servicemen during the second Iraqi war and that lawyers were queueing up to make more claims.

Doubtless the responsible Minister was advised to settle these claims out of court by their senior Civil Servants. What a difference to the attitude of their forebears towards our own citizens after the war.

The Japanese took some 40,000 Allied servicemen prisoner during the Far Eastern campaigns, many of them in one humiliating surrender at Singapore. During the next four years these men were subjected to a savage regime of barbarity, unseen by television cameras, intrusive newsmen, the International Red Cross or any neutral observers. They were starved, tortured, denied any form of medical treatment, forced to work when dying of hunger and disease, brutally beaten to death by sadistic guards. Thousands of those captured died in captivity. Many did not survive the long journey home after they were released.

After the Japanese surrender the Allied governments refused to force the Japanese to pay any form of compensation.

I do not recall any Japanese officers being charged with war crimes.

In abject fear of communist influence over defeated countries the Americans poured billions of dollars into the Marshall Plan and other agencies to rebuild their infrastructure and their industries.

They sent Britain a bill for Lease/Lend which took us 60 years to pay.

Nothing has changed. Parliament looks after its members and their acolytes, the senior Civil Servants.

Recently an MP claimed to be working 18-hour days. How can that be?

MPs in general and governments in particular are renowned for making statements of intent and then doing nothing.

MPs relish holding debates and inquiries on subjects having no effect on the nation and of no interest to the electorate.

The News of the World phone hacking is a classic example. The Establishment hated Mr Murdoch and were determined to nail him. He forestalled them by closing the newspaper, so they went after his staff. If it cost the RSPCA over £300,000 to prosecute a couple of Hunt servants, how much has the Leveson inquiry and report cost? Ten million, twenty million, who knows? The benefit to the nation – zero.

The dairy industry has been wrecked and the lawyers have trousered a fortune as a result of political backsliding over the non-culling of the badger.

If the badger had been removed from the protected list as soon as the danger became known the problem would have been solved years ago. The effect on the nation – disaster.

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