|Posted by JMac on October 16, 2011 at 9:55 AM|
Now that the Wiltshire town of Wootton Bassett is now officially 'royal', it is not certain what benefit this will bring the town that has proudly and with dignity welcomed back our fallen soldiers through its streets?
The residents of Wootton Bassett and the surrounding district quite rightly are proud of being granted the right to call their town 'royal', but when I visited there earlier in the year I discovered quite a different mood.
A talk with some of the British Legion flag bearers following a repatriation that day led me to believe that a lot of the residents are duly worried about the nearest RAF base, RAF Lyneham closing and the effect the resultant lack of trade and probably loss of local jobs would have on their lovely market town. Even the town's notice board contained details of a campaign to keep the repatriations and stop RAF Lyneham closing.
Repatriations have now moved to RAF Brize Norton. The cortege will not progress through the nearest town, Carterton and instead a £3.2m purpose-built repatriation centre has been built 15 minutes walk away from the town. RAF Brize Norton is in David Cameron's constituency.
Is this a cynical ploy to stop residents honouring the return of our war dead? Is Cameron just standing up for his constituency? Or is it a way of trying to stop the newsworthy fact that a 'big society' turned up overnight in Royal Wootton Bassett, but one that Cameron did not want us to see?
See what servicemen and women think about this on the Defence Management Journal's website: