There seems to be a new militarism in Britain, fuelled by the regular return of bodies from Afghanistan and the parades and funerals that they engender. Now Mr Cameron tells us we should sing the praises of our military "more loudly and more proudly". He wants a massive display of enthusiasm next Saturday on Armed Forces Day.
And what is this Armed Forces Day? Looking through old diaries - and even this year's diary - I see no mention of it. Veterans Day is first listed in 2008, and it seems to be June 27th. What happened on that date? According to Wikipedia it was the day that America decided to send troops to Korea in 1950, and Yugoslavia invaded Slovenia in 1991 - nothing to do with British veterans. I don't grudge veterans their day, but now we are to have a whole military weekend.
Another sign of the times: my neighbour has booked Oxford Town Hall for a concert in aid of the charity Help for Heroes. Well, of course those wounded in our current war should be helped, but out of public funds. As I understand it, the government is trying to fight this war on the cheap, so it is their responsibilty to compensate the victims - and I would hope that would include Afghan victims. But what the hell are we doing there anyway, apart from continuing G W Bush's "Crusade"? You can't conduct other countries' revolutions for them.