The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
A Soldier's Sorry Tale
Posted Wednesday, 11 March 2009 at 11:45

I needed to check a few facts with the Bedfordshire Chief Constable first before I blogged on yesterday’s disgraceful demonstration by Muslim extremists in Luton.

Two arrests were made and my information is that they were neither extremists, nor the supporters of the soldiers. The question as to whether they belonged to an extreme political party hangs in the air.

The CCTV footage has now gone to the CPS to decide whether or not the messages written on the placards were in fact a public disorder offence.

Bedfordshire Police made an error yesterday in allowing the Muslim extremists to welcome the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment, better known locally as ‘The Poachers’, on the streets of Luton with their abusive and hateful placards.

The decision as to whether or not the placards would incite public disorder needs to be made by the police before the event, not the CPS afterwards.

I met with the Royal Anglians recently; it is difficult to be anything other than incredibly proud and grateful to those who, at such a young age, risk life and limb in defence of our freedom.

We should also be very proud of all those who went onto the streets of Luton to show their gratitude and to provide a moral boosting welcome home.

I am pictured with a Royal Anglian Sergeant who told me a number of stories about life in Iraq, and about how he was recently treated on duty in America. Sitting in uniform with half a dozen or so other soldiers, they were in a typical American diner enjoying a soldier’s snack of doughnuts, pancakes and coffee.

As the Sergeant went to pay the bill he was told it had already been picked up for him, by a truck driver who was just leaving the car park. The Sergeant looked up and out of the diner window as the truck driver raised his hand in salute as he pulled away.

A truck driver. Not a banker or a high earning professional, a truck driver.

The same Regiment came home to what took place on the streets in Luton yesterday.

The Muslim spokesperson on the Today programme this morning, Abdul Malik said that it was good for the extremists to come out and express their feelings and we should welcome their viewpoint.

A constituent, a mother of a Poacher based in my constituency, has emailed me this morning stating what she would like to write on a placard, and that she would like to stand outside the extremist's house holding up the placard. She asked me, would he welcome her expressing her view point?

What she wants to write on the placard is totally offensive to every peaceful law abiding Muslim in the land, and I was horrified at her suggestion. However, she demonstrates very simply the extent of damage the few hateful extremists have inflicted upon a group of people who have happily integrated, co-exist and contribute to our society.

It is important that we don’t allow yesterday's extremists to breed a new wave of racial hatred.

It is also important that police forces up and down the country learn the lessons from what happened yesterday. I hope the Commander from Luton will share his experience with other Commanders in order that a protocol may be established as a standard method of operation in similar circumstances.

Our soldiers deserve only the best. The best welcome home, the best protection and total respect. They have risked their lives in the name of freedom, our freedom. None of us should ever forget that.

I would like to end this post with the words of the Colonel of the Royal Anglian Regiment, Sir John McCall, when describing what it is that is that we ask of the Royal Anglian Regiment when in Iraq:

"The ability to provide humanitarian assistance, to converse with those of another culture and background with a view to giving their trust and respect, and to fight with controlled aggression and determination - all on the same day."

All in 56'C and carrying almost their own bodyweight in a back pack
.

Where I work every single person knows and understands the full extent and value of a soldier's contribution towards maintaining a free and fair society.

Welcome home boys.

 
 
 
 
Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
via e-mail at: nadine.dorries.mp@parliament.uk
or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

 
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