This is huge to me, and I mean on a personal level. I don't often take things personally lately. Something occurred in my life in 2007 that put everything into sharp perspective (I will get to that later) and since then I have become almost immune to personal stuff.
I despair at the personal levels much of our media revels in when deciding they need to drag somebody down or destroy them, think Meghan Markle or more obviously Jeremy Corbyn. The sad fact is that we are all now desensitised to that sort of bilge because it has now become common place.
However, one should not expect the establishment or the Police force to pick up where our gutter level media stops. It seems that they indeed are. This is not acceptable. This is the sort of "control" you would come to expect in North Korea. It seems you can now expect it in the Victorian tax haven that is the UK. Strange that things have become this way ? No, not really. Most ultra extreme right wing governments behave like this. It is though something of a shock to most people who value what was once seen as a very fair system of law in this beleaguered country. You can now forget that.
What am I going on about ? Well, it has been brought to my attention that "Stop The War" now appears on some Police documents as being a group worthy of being on a list to be classed as ones to watch regarding "Counter Terrorism". I am enraged and shocked. Now I will explain why this REALLY is personal.
Back to 2007, the nice sunny morning of January 13th. An ordinary day, watching soccer AM, yakking with Liz about doing the daily shopping. All is well. The phone rings and Liz answers it, looks at me and says "It's the army", sun still shining, me being a bit dim I take it and place it to my ear, A voice (can't remember who) says " It is my unfortunate duty to have to inform you that your son Alex ,,,,, I cannot remember the rest, it just will not come back to me. Sun at that point stopped shining. Massive slow motion explosion starts in my mind. My soul is damaged beyond repair. Thirteen long unwanted years ago. Hell via the phone. Battered beyond belief.
So, a long chain of events unfolds in my despised life. Many times I have questioned myself, looking in the mirror has taken on many massive connotations. How could I live with myself having given Alex my blessing when we had the jokey conversation as he told me he had joined up ? Do I really have the right as an adult human being to reconcile that ? Maybe I do not. However I have. Terribly difficult thing to do and for me to say here. He was honest, I am honest, all intentions were honourable. To this day I can honestly say that I did the right thing. He understood, he knew what he was getting into. He was his own man and made his own calls. It killed him. Aged 21. He left a son.
Immense psychological wreckage. Many disagree. I don't care.
Along the way all sorts of "important" people shook my hand, offered the usual trite words, and some said that if ever I wanted anything to just ask. I am asking here and now. Stick my name into Google or Youtube and you will see examples of how I have conducted myself through that entire mess. You will not find me demanding any heads on sticks or courting newspapers for money. Quite the opposite, one national rang me and said they had an article written and would I put my name to it, obviously they would "make it worth my time" the answer I supplied ensured they never rang me again.
I did not conduct myself in this manner to impress those with doors along marble corridors in Whitehall or in the higher levels of our Victorian establishment, it's just how I do things. I never did see Als death as an opportunity to feed my bank account nor as a political football. I call it personal integrity. Maybe I am wrong.
Here's a thing. I spoke at a "Stop the War" demo in Sheffield last week- I hope to speak at many others- for free, in my own time. This I did because I know only too well about the REAL horrors of war. I have dedicated the rest of my damned life to helping anyone who requires it regarding losing a loved one due to armed conflict. I detest it all.
This troubled planet really is a battleground. Civilian planes being shot down. Poor countries having the misfortune to be located in "strategic" areas. Arms companies raking it in. Elections being the precursors to war because wars win elections.
So now I sit here on a sunny Sunday morning. Does my name appear on certain "Counter Terrorism" lists ? Am I classed as some sort of risk ? Am I to be monitored by spooks ? Is the daily suffering I already endure not enough ?
I say this to all those in certain positions, I want answers. I want to be reassured. I actually DEMAND explanations. Before you even start to consider any of this, I am in a different position to you. I see through a realistic prism. Freedom and Liberty are huge to me. My son DIED to defend these things on behalf of others. All I want you to do is answer me. You show me how it is reasonable to class my attitudes and actions as worthy of being on such lists and I will say that on your behalf. I'm just a bloke on the side of a hill in South Yorkshire. I am deeply offended by this.
My personal integrity is intact, show me if yours is ?
I will need much assistance with this. It is simple to ignore those in my position. This should not be hindered by political tribalism. PLEASE spread this post as far as you possibly can. If you are able to put me in contact with anyone you think could assist please do so. I am used to live national television stuff and reporters etc. A huge principle is being compromised. It is not just about me. I don't have much of a future.
My son has had his future. Our/Your children must not lose theirs.
Please spread this as far as you can. Thanks on behalf of the Fallen Kingsman.