Monday, 29 June 2009

The First Armed Forces Day

I fully back the efforts in support of our armed forces personnel around Armed Forces Day and through Help for Heroes. Like most families in this country we have relations and friends serving today in places like Afghanistan. They need all our support.

I was invited to take part in the parade in Tain at 3pm on Saturday 27th June. Unfortunately the late arrival of my invite meant I had agreed engagements on the North Coast. But I will be glad to support the spirit of the day.

It is one of the anomalies of the UK that our armed forces have to rely on voluntary action of this kind. Meanwhile our taxes never seem to be spent on the top priorities such as ensuring an end to lack of equipment for our forces on the front line. Yet there has been no shortage of funds for the nuclear deterrent. But I am glad to see that despite an unsettled world the Liberal Democrats are at last seeking an end to Trident and even David Cameron is questioning its necessity in financially difficult times. The SNP has long called for it to be axed.

I recall a slogan we used many years ago - Support our Troops and Scrap Trident. The Scottish Government with its Minister for Veterans is helping to cushion the return of our heroes after their service to the nation and press the UK Government to close the nuclear bases on the Clyde.

Rob Gibson SNP MSP Highlands and Islands
4 Grant St., Wick, Caithness

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