Monday, 30 November 2009

Cardiff weekend(wet!) Rugby, Nye Bevan and Football

Just spent a great weekend in Cardiff with my wife, except for the heavy rain it was a busy but fun couple of days in the Welsh capital. Even the shopping wasn't too bad!
Started with an Indonesian meal, then shopping, Rugby with my first visit to the Millenium Stadium to see Wales v Australia. then the Sunday saw mine and Ipswich Town's first visit to City of Cardiff Stadium for the football and to top it all, our first away win of the season.
it was not a totally politics free weekend as I managed to get to see the Nye Bevan statue- afraid the sun (or my lack of ability taking pictures) means that you do not get to see the statue in all it's glory.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Staff Sgt Olaf Schmid - one of the bravest men I have ever met

I was fortunate to meet many brave men and women during my six months in Afghanistan, but there is little doubt that Olaf Schmid was one of the bravest.
The teams who defuse the Improvised Explosive Devices that are planted by the Taliban have one of the most difficult jobs undertaken by HM Forces and not only was Olaf brave but he was also superb leader of his team.

Christina Schmid who in her own words called herself a "proud widow" also had these words:

"We might disagree with a war. However, I hope Olaf's death, my public storytelling and appreciation, our community display of respect here today can serve to bridge that gap and unite us once more with our troops."

Mrs Schmid said she hoped the work troops were doing in Afghanistan did not go "unnoticed" by "our leaders".

It is important that we don not forget the likes of Olaf or any of our troops serving in Afghanistan, but it is also the duty of this Government and the Army to get the message over to the British Public, why we are in Afghanistan, why it is such an important role and also the tell the public of the successes of the British and coalition troops.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Against the Odds

Video played at the Labour conference- many believe we should use this as our TV Political Broadcast - it does make you proud to be a member of our great Party

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

We MUST Remember them.

We MUST and will Remember them

Swift and Bold

Saturday, 7 November 2009

We will remember them

Tomorrow, I will be joining most of my fellow Ipswich Borough councilors at the War memorial in Christchurch Park.

Remembrance Day has always been an important event in my family but this year will be even more poignant as I remember the 24 soldiers we lost from our Battle Group in Sangin this year. whilst we are holding our service, the Rifleman of 3 Rifles will be holding a similar service at the small memorial inside the Sangin District Centre.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

...and hello Ipswich

In my last post, I said goodbye Sangin, Afghanistan and in this one I say "Hello, Ipswich"
My Labour colleagues managed to get me a welcome home announcement on the electric scoreboard at Ipswich during half time in the match last Saturday against Derby County. A nice touch and an even better welcome was being able to see us win our first three points of the season!
Good to be coming home, but I will never forget serving with 2 Rifles in Afghanistan as our commander stated, "it was the fight of our lives". the tragic news from Helmand today reminds us all in the Rifles of what we went through and watching the news today it made us realise the roller coaster ride our families went throughwhilst we were away.