In my newspaper last week my eyes fell on a picture of the White Helmet riders from the Royal Signals performing at Chatsworth House. My pleasure at this stirring sight was immediately tempered by the headline beside it. “White Helmets motorcycling team reach the end of the road”.
More cuts, not only to defence but to morale as well, I thought. Apparently not. One paragraph stated that: “Army Chiefs have decided that daring two-wheeled displays no longer reflect the reality of the hi-tech on-screen communications of today’s conflicts.” Further down the article this was supported by comments from the White Helmets’ team captain who ended by commenting that they don’t use motorbikes to move messages around the battlefield any more.
Does it matter that this fine display team doesn’t represent anything that actually happens on the ground today? What about field gun competitions? What about the Battle of Britain flight?
You cannot put a price on service morale, so let’s see no more decisions of this sort. In fact, we could start by reversing this one.