Saturday, 16 June 2007

On the Box.

Well I’m a little more awake now than yesterday after my trip to the Capital. GMTV left it till the last minute to in form me that they wanted me on the programme and rang me at eight O clock on Wednesday morning ,they obviously have no idea where Cumbria is and think I can just jump on the tube at the last moment. I had no choice than to stay overnight as they wanted me on at six twenty in the morning on the Thursday. The first problem I encountered was at my local station, GMTV gave me a reference number and told me to pick the tickets up from the ticket Office. Not that easy as in this day and age there may be a human there but he told me that I had to get the tickets from the machine I explained that they were pre booked and I did not use my credit card to pay for them. The train was due in ten minutes so I rang GMTV and they said that is how they do things all the time, they said they would ring me back, time as ticking so I made a decision and paid for the tickets myself as if I had waited for them to ring back I would have missed the train altogether. When they finally did ring back as the train was pulling into the station they told me not to worry and they would re-reimburse me at the studio. I eventually got to London Euston and was taken to my hotel the City Inn which was a rather plush place it reminded me of the series on British TV Hotel Babylon, only all the staff seemed to be from Eastern Europe, but they were very polite. I had a meal that night and went to bed before midnight and ordered my breakfast in the room as I had to leave for the studio at five forty five. After I signed in I met Carol Thatcher in the lift, I know it was early but she was in dire need of some make-up, she stood on the opposite side of the huge lift and only spoke when I said good morning so I left it at that, I may have been wearing a South Atlantic medal but I was from a lower class and she probably thought I was the bell boy or something. After having powder spread all over my bald head and face I went in to the already franticly busy green room and sat down on the sofa and watched the TV. I was quickly ushered in to the studio at six twenty and after the news I was introduced by John Stapleton I only had about four minuets to talk and briefly explained about the events of Bluff Cove and the Galahad, then I was quickly ushered out side again and packed off to the rather packed green room again. I was reading a newspaper when the veterans minister Derrick Twigg arrived and he spotted me right away and zeroed in on me, I assumed he would be trying to second guess what I would be discussing and expected a mini interrogation but we ended up talking about Rugby League as he is from Widnes.
We were then ushered back on the sofa and watched a VT about Denzil Connick and the disgraceful problems he has had getting treatments for the nerve endings in his leg after it was blown of in the Falklands War. I told Andrew Castle the presenter how the Army told us to deal with going home by getting totally shit faced and explained truthfully that we were not made aware of the condition PTSD, even though the MOD new about it and had even sent a team of Naval psychiatrists down with the task force but never used them. I told of how a civilian GP had diagnosed me with PTSD over a decade after the Falklands War. I went on to describe in my own words the unsatisfactory use of Selly Oak in Birmingham where British soldiers are treated by the NHS after being wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan and how a British Para was attacked in his bed by a visitor who disagreed with him being in a War in the first place, talk about a duty of care, its pathetic. Twig did his usual Labour spin of how totally professional and wonderful Selly oak was and how our boys get the best treatment and after Andrew Castle had talked of the 300 Falklands veterans suicides, said how psychiatric care was now available to all veterans going back to the Falklands War. All well and good its just 25 years and 300 men to late including Mickey Quinn RIP.

© Mack (RG) The thoughts of a Falklands War Veteran
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