30 March 2006

No defense of tradition

[source, source]

Yesterday the Royal Scots was the oldest infantry regiment in the world, boasting battle honours from Marlborough’s victories at Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet. Today the regiment is no more.

In 1745, the Black Watch was described by a French officer at the Battle of Fontenoy as “Highland Furies who rushed in on us with more violence than ever did a tempest-driven sea”. Today that regiment, too, is no more. Six Scottish infantry regiments are being merged into one, and all these historic regiments have similar proud stories.

Pride in tradition is at the heart of the fighting spirit. Men die for it. That tradition is being destroyed, on grounds of economy. While the Army is at a stretch round the world, these regiments are scrapped at the behest of Gordon Brown - the man who’s just come up with the idea of a “Veterans’ Day”. Today those traditions are no more.

I guess they weren’t cool enough for Cool Britiannia. And it’s not like the UK is at war, right?

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