The Veteran’s Political Debate
Veterans form communities, it’s what they’ve always done.
They used to be based around locations; drinks in the Legion were a typical Sunday lunchtime activity. Areas had groups, such as Warwickshire Veterans. Previously rival regiments, squadrons or ships were thrown together because of where veterans chose to settle. Increasingly, we see social media connecting people into formal or informal groups. We’ve also seen the emergence of groups similar to Veterans Network, though perhaps not with Veterans Network’s national reach.
At this point, modern communications and social media can do something that hasn’t really happened before; bringing non-subscription groups to the front as activists and pressure groups.
People have reservations about pressure groups, and perhaps understandably so; they campaign to alter conditions about one thing only. People outside that group can feel excluded and marginalised, but group A getting more doesn’t equate to group B getting less.
In short, pressure groups are a good thing; MAG have worked tirelessly to get landmines disposed of worldwide, and nobody disputes that this is a good thing. Similarly, Veterans Network is working tirelessly behind the scenes to improve a lot of individual veterans and groups of veterans.
Another good thing.
What Veterans Network isn’t doing, and will never do, is to branch out to become active in areas where there is no immediate benefit to veterans. Politics is there to serve the country, as the veterans have. Any branching out into politics would compromise what we do; what direct benefits would veterans see if Veterans Network proposed an energy policy that favoured onshore wind power over offshore wind power? Or that the amounts of reserves that fractional reserve banking requires be reduced?
There are too many immediate, life-changing issues facing veterans to venture into other areas.
Furthermore, veterans were service personnel – we serve every government faithfully and without questioning their political slant. To get involved in politics would be to compromise.
We’ve seen successive governments do deals behind closed doors to keep power, not to benefit anyone other than politicians. Veterans Network will work with government, any government, but only for the benefit of veterans. On this, we will not compromise. Anything else would be letting down those that have given so much.
Tell us your views on entering the political debate.
The Veterans Network Team