"David Hamilton, a Labour member of the Commons defence committee, said: "It's outrageous that a bunch of public schoolboys are attacking the Prime Minister when serving soldiers are fighting two wars.""I will tell you what is outrageous. It is the use of undisguised class hatred to defend an incompetent government and a Prime Minister who treats the nation's service men and women with undisguised contempt.
Now some might disagree with the retired top brass's tactics, or even their deeper strategy, but to claim that these men, who have given their entire professional lives to the armed services are to be banned from commenting on the present parlous state of our armed services because they went to public schools is disgraceful.
Lets have a look shall we at the record of service of our public schools,
Admiral Lord Boyce went to Hurstpierpoint College,
Their roll of honour counts 114 men from the WWI alone,
Lord Guthrie went to Harrow school which lost 644 in WWI, 344 in WWII and won 19 VCs.
Air Marshall Lord Craig, went to Radley College,
WWI Killed: 219 Old Radleians, 7 teachers
Decorations: 1 VC, 57 DSOs, 2 DSCs, 117 MCs, 1 DFC and 4 AFCs
WW2 About 1800 were in the Services
Killed: 220 Old Radleians, 3 teachers
Decorations: 28 DSOs, 13 DSCs, 78 MCs, 24 DFCs, 6 AFCs, 239 mentioned in despatches, 1 GC
Killed: 4 (One in each of Korea, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and Falklands).
Lord Inge is an old boy of the Wrekin College which has 45 on its WWI memorial and 100 on its WWII memorial, and has this year unveiled a new memorial for those who have died since 1945
Mr Hamilton is a former miner whose proudest boast is that he was gaoled during the miner's strike. And pray sir, what gives you the right to denigrate the service and sacrifice of an entire class, a class whose casualty rate was the highest on the front because they understood what it means to lead from the front? You are not fit to lick their boots.
A final thought should go to one of the commentators on the Telegraph article,
"Tell David Hamilton that I'm not a public schoolboy; I'm not even a grammar schoolboy. In fact I went to a secondary modern and now I'm an Infantry Lieutenant Colonel serving in the Middle East who agrees with and supports everything that that so called "bunch of public schoolboys" is saying.
Your readers may be interested to learn that I met Mr Hamilton on visit he made to Afghanistan (I had to return to Kabul as our AOR was too dangerous for him). A more opinionated and ignorant man would I think have been difficult to find.
Give servicemen back the right to speak out freely and then you'll hear the truth.