Breach of Military Covenant

A comment received on our blog from J A Bosworth sums up how some ex-service people without the right to vote consider this a breach of the spirit of the Military Covenant.

I have just watched the final ceremony at Wooton Bassett, where the town has today been granted Letters Patent designating it ‘Royal’ because of the respectful honour it accorded — during almost 4 years — to more than 350 dead service(wo)men returned to the UK through the town. The Princess Royal, Prime Minister and (new) Defence Secretary were present. Once again, expressions of praise, gratitude and remembrance were freely made.
How, then, can the government allow, let alone support, the disenfranchisement of retired military personnel simply because they now live abroad. There are both moral and democratic deficits in this situation, especially since the government is proud of having put the Military Covenant on a legal basis. How can it not see the blatant discrepancy?.
The people of Royal Wooton Bassett have shewn what they think of our armed forces. Are our politicians shewing what they think of them by denying their right to vote in their homeland?.
J. A. Bosworth

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One Response to Breach of Military Covenant

  1. Peter Courtney-Green, Luxembourg says:

    After 47 years continuous service to my country and its allies – 30 years in the army and 17 years working for NATO – I agree that it is a breach of the Military Covenant (and a diabolical outrage) for people like us to be denied the vote. Many of those who have commented are in the same boat – retired service people whose military pensions are taxed at source in the UK. This provides a good example of the blazing unfairness of the 15 year rule, but it doesn’t make us any more entitled to a vote than any other British citizen living abroad – there are as many stories as there are people. ALL British citizens living abroad, whatever their personal circumstances and whether they pay taxes in the UK or not should have the right to vote in UK elections, as long as they’re not otherwise debarred from voting.

    Sooner or later this unjust rule will be overturned by the courts, British or European. All the government will achieve by procrastination is to waste huge amounts of money on the legal costs of fighting a palpably unjust and ultimately unwinnable case.

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