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  • Robin Horsfall

If they won’t listen the veterans must shout louder!

Campaign for Northern Ireland Veterans

Politicians are experts at maintaining a voice especially when they are in a minority. The leader who loses a vote continues to shout, the party that loses seats continues to shout and the suspect accused in court and named by the press continues to shout.

To win their campaign veterans must continue fighting. They must argue and shout, kick up hell and maintain a voice - a loud voice. They must shout until that voice is heard. This is no different to physically fighting back; this approach also requires self-belief, courage and commitment. It might be hard to find - but for those with the drive and energy it is vital and worth it.

Veterans have presented petitions, letters and legal arguments to Downing Street regarding the historical investigations of servicemen. They have organised rallies and marches. The government simply regard this as a way of allowing the masses to let off steam while they are busy with more important things.

If the veterans from Northern Ireland are to maintain a voice they must continue to shout, sometimes at rallies, sometimes in writing and sometimes by standing up to those in authority and refusing to follow the rules. Power flows, it moves from one group to another. For veterans to obtain some of that power they must have agency. Their voice must be heard day after day, week after week with energy and force.

It’s no good pleading and saying ‘it’s not fair’ or reminding people about the past, those who died or by laying wreaths and playing bugles; the politicians don’t listen. Marx said ‘Change creates conflict and conflict creates change’. If the veterans groups want change then they must include a level of conflict in their agenda. They must fight to make themselves heard.

The veterans must be clear and state who their enemy is. It is not the terrorists or the lawyers it is the politicians. The power to make change lies with government and government will only makes changes when it is pushed.

If they won’t listen the veterans must shout louder!

Robin Horsfall © 27 June 2017

Campaign for Northern Ireland Veterans.

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