Thursday, 8 September 2016

Ex-Military Paralympic Athletes

A few years ago, at the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, comedian Jimmy Carr made a joke which ended with the punchline: 'We're going to have a fucking good Paralympic team' which prompted waves of moral indignation and newspaper headlines of Carr's disgraceful joke about war hero amputees.
My argument at the time was why do a few words from a comedian bring more moral outrage than the either the wars themselves or the lack of equipment the soldiers received which resulted in these horrific injuries?
Carr issued an apology and everyone moved on but you only have to watch the British team in action at the Paralympics to know that what Carr said was true, we do have an amazing Paralympic team and a good proportion of our athletes came back from Iraq and Afghanistan paraplegic.
As military personnel are usually quite young and physically fit, they make good athletes and most take up sport as a way of rehabilitation or to have a purpose.
Of course if you asked a Paralympian if they would rather have the legs they lost in Iraq back or a gold medal i am almost certain most would prefer the limbs but on our TV for the next 11 days is the worst advertisement for Tony Blair's folly and i hope he is watching and with each mention of the athlete coming to his or her sport after losing a limb he gets a pang of guilt in his shrivelled up heart.  
For me, i will always prefer a poor Paralympic team if it means less young men and women being sent to fight politicians wars and coming back maimed if they come back at all.

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