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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:37 am on 3rd March 2016.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 10:37 am, 3rd March 2016

It is open to the hon. Lady to bring forward an Adjournment debate on that subject if she wishes. From my perspective, I do not think that medals should be handed out without consideration of the contribution that has been made and the individual’s circumstances. If we start to have medals for all, the value of the medals for particular examples of valour and service in particularly tough circumstances will perhaps be slightly devalued. I praise unreservedly all our armed forces, but the medals system that we have always had in this country is designed for those who go beyond the routine and put themselves in danger in the service of this country.

Annotations

John Proffitt, Chairman, British Airborne Forces Bureau (Commonwealth Veterans Association)
Posted on 5 Mar 2016 11:16 am (Report this annotation)

I believe the House should fully support the Hon. Lady who requested this debate regarding Veterans who served in HM Armed Forces and left the military with no recognition for their defence service to United Kingdom. It is appropriate to have this debate as there is growing feeling across the nation and in Commonwealth Countries that tens of thousand of our service men and women have been forgotten or ignored by successive Governments since 1945.

George Morley
Posted on 6 Mar 2016 9:50 pm (Report this annotation)

I agree with John Proffitt and have personally received the LSGC (Long service and good conduct medal) for 18 yrs service but another for a lesser time would be a good idea to recognise the commitment made by the individual , say 10 or 12 years. We had to fight for about 7 or 8 years to get recognition for service in Malayan medal PJM (Pingat Jasa Malaysia) which I proudly wear. it is all very well for politicians to send servicemen & women to foreign lands where some conflict is probably taking place while they sit back in comfort. Maybe all politicians should be made to serve a minimum of 5 yrs before being eligible to enter politics.

Tony Squire
Posted on 7 Mar 2016 3:44 am (Report this annotation)

Mr Grayling, you have obviously never served your country in the Armed Forces so have no right to make the comments you have made. If it wasn't for millions like myself who served in the Cold War and numerous other "phoney", but definitely real wars, you would not have a voice in Parliament. I assume that if in the future you are offered a MBE or Knighthood that you will turn it down, as awarding such honours to people with no honour will devalue the system. HM The Queen has seen fit to permit the award of a National Defence Medal to the veterans and serving personnel of the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces, for service to their country, during war and peace. Their personnel and Government of those countries do not see this medal as devaluing other medals, but wear it with pride. You need to recognise that it is people like us who vote people like you into Government and that without us you would be no one. The current medal system in Britain is out dated and, sadly, controlled by people who think they are better than the ordinary people in the street, who make Britain what it is. I say to you, get into the 21st century, as have our Commonwealth brothers and sisters, and recognise those who have risked their lives for their country to keep you and the citizens of the free world safe and secure from harm.