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KEITH NEWBERY Another betrayal as Arctic convoy heroes snubbed

David Cameron was the epitome of a chic mourner as he stood beside the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

With his expensive black overcoat, his face set in an expression of humble gratitude and his hands grasping a wreath of poppies, you could almost believe he was taking it seriously.

But there are 200 elderly and intensely-angry gentlemen who would beg to differ.

They are all that’s left of the 66,500 brave souls who endured the Arctic convoys during the last war – described by Winston Churchill as ‘the worst journey in the world’.

Time and again, in conditions so foul they almost defy description, these men sailed north into heaving seas and insufferable cold to provide beleaguered Russians with the supplies needed to help sustain their struggle against Hitler.

It was not just the extremes of nature with which they had to contend, but constant attacks from U-boats and bombers as the Germans tried desperately to cut off the supply line they knew was vital to the outcome of the war.

More than 3,000 gallant men perished in those unforgiving seas, and the Russians were so grateful to those who survived they commissioned a special medal as a token of their respect.

But the British government chose not to recognise this heroism – a scandalous oversight Cameron promised to rectify when he reached Downing Street by introducing an Arctic Medal.

However, he has now gone back on his word and no such honour will be forthcoming.

We shouldn’t be too surprised, because this weasel has previous when it comes to breaking pre-election pledges.

Remember the vow to hold a referendum on the Maastricht Treaty, which was later considered ‘unnecessary’?

He and the desk jockeys in the Ministry of Defence are clearly waiting for this current inconvenience to – quite literally – die away.

Most of the seamen concerned are now in their 90s – but Cameron would do well to remember they will leave behind them families, friends and hundreds of thousands of unknown sympathisers who will not easily forgive or forget this gross betrayal.

It will cost the Conservatives a lot of support at the next election.

As for Cameron himself? A shallow, shifty shyster – even in a posh overcoat – is still a shallow, shifty shyster.

* No airtime for Cliff is absolute rubbish

I’ve waited a long time for a radio station dedicated to the Sixties. Now one has finally arrived, it’s been put in the hands of complete chumps.

Absolute Radio 60s has decided to ban all Cliff Richard records on the grounds ‘his songs don’t fit the cool sound of the swinging Sixties we are trying to recreate’.

They reckon Sir Cliff is not ‘one of the timeless acts which remain relevant today.’

But surely the idea of a station dedicated to this decade is that it fairly reflects all the sounds which made it so memorable.

Otherwise it has no business including the word ‘absolute’ in its name – the dictionary definition for which is ‘not limited by restrictions or exceptions’.

 

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