A Just War Is A Hero’s Right

Words from 2006, offered in memory of Kingsman Jamie Hancock, killed in Basra at the age of 18. Reposted in the light of Chilcot’s damning verdict on why the war was fought.

bd42937d139c419723fc3a5c526d987aKingsman Jamie Hancock was killed within moments of starting his first ever sentry duty at the Old State Building in Basra. He was 19 years old. He had been in Iraq for two weeks. His father, Eddie, 60,  said: “It makes no difference to Jamie whether he was killed accidentally by one of his own side or by insurgents. He still died a hero and a man, serving his Queen and his country. I get some comfort from the thought that he would have died instantly, without suffering.”

Mr Hancock previously accused Tony Blair of treason and called the Prime Minister “the mother of all liars” for sending troops to Iraq under false pretences.

In the last letter Jamie wrote home, on the night before he was shot, he says: “I had my first rocket attack about two hours ago. I was on the roof just looking at the view and I heard a whizzing noise and then a big bang. One of the rockets didn’t explode it went straight through the toilets. Unlucky.”

Next to that word he drew a smiley face. Hours later he was dead. The letter was passing through the Army mail system as uniformed officers called at the family home that evening, and over the days that followed, as those who loved him grieved.

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I have created a new site telling the story of the day Dr Mike Carney risked everything to return to the place of his birth, the remote Great Blasket Island, at the age of nearly 93. He was the last of his kind, the men and women who had grown up and worked on that windblown, isolated island of stories, where they spoke a form of Irish that had not been heard on the mainland for a century and still told each other the old tales by firelight every night for fun.

The day we took him back on a boat was extraordinary, and none of us were sure whether he would make it back alive. He was an inspirational man, who passed away at the weekend and is being laid to rest in Springfield, Massachusetts, tomorrow. Please find out more about the 93-year-old man who climbed out of a boat and onto an island by visiting www.thelastislandman.com.

Why All Dog Owners Are Fascists

Got a dog? Then face it, you’re a fascist. No point in protesting. Even if your politics are outwardly liberal, inside you are a secret dictator. You like having another living creature to order around. You love being the big man, the alpha male, the top dog in your pack: even if the pack is just you and a toy poodle called Fluffy. As Aldous Huxley said, “To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.” And that quote comes to you courtesy of Nick Haslam, Professor of Psychology at the University of Melbourne, who has just published a paper suggesting that people who are competitive and want to dominate others are more likely to have dogs. A column for Telegraph Men.


'Thatcher, the miners, Hillsborough, the rise and fall of Lady Di and New Labour … Moreton writes about these brilliantly,' says Richard Coles

Richard Coles used to be the piano player in the Communards, now he’s a broadcaster and a priest. Here’s an extract from his new review of Is God Still An Englishman? “We grew up through the same dramas: Thatcherism, the miners’ strike, the rise and fall of Lady Di and New Labour. Moreton writes about these brilliantly, with a journalist’s sense for the telling detail and for seeing which were important and why.”

Continue reading “'Thatcher, the miners, Hillsborough, the rise and fall of Lady Di and New Labour … Moreton writes about these brilliantly,' says Richard Coles”