'Our Military Represent the Best of British: Their Values, Courage and Patriotic Belief' in a Wide-Ranging Interview, Prime Minister David Cameron Applauds Our Homeless Veterans Campaign and Tells Evening Standard Owner Evgeny Lebedev That Relations with Vladimir Putin Can Be Mended

The Evening Standard (London, England), February 20, 2015 | Go to article overview

'Our Military Represent the Best of British: Their Values, Courage and Patriotic Belief' in a Wide-Ranging Interview, Prime Minister David Cameron Applauds Our Homeless Veterans Campaign and Tells Evening Standard Owner Evgeny Lebedev That Relations with Vladimir Putin Can Be Mended


Byline: Evgeny Lebedev

'THE Prime Minister will be down in a few minutes," said the charming housekeeper, "once he's finished taking exercise." Of all the men (and one distinguished woman) for whom Chequers has been a country retreat since 1921, few were as devoted to fitness as the present one, who runs regularly and makes extensive use of the gym here. When David Cameron comes downstairs five minutes later to meet me in his wood-panelled study, wearing a navy-blue suit, open-neck white shirt with blue checks, polished black shoes, and with flushed cheeks, he is slightly out of breath. Ordering black coffee I ask for the same he wonders aloud when he and I last met. I was invited to his residence in the rolling Chilterns to discuss this newspaper's Homeless Veterans appeal, which has been an extraordinary success. Together with its sister papers, The Independent, Independent on Sunday, and i, we have raised more than PS700,000 for the brave men and women who serve our country overseas but fall on hard times when they return to civilian life. Or rather, you have raised it, because it is above all thanks to the generosity of you, our readers a point Cameron makes several times himself.

All prime ministers are effusive about the armed forces partly, no doubt, because they hope some of the heroism and splendour will rub off on them, within voters' line of vision. But over the course of an hour, it becomes clear to me that Cameron's respect for our servicemen and women is deep.

"I think we have an enormous duty to those who serve us," he says, after offering warm congratulations on our success. "Obviously many veterans find their place in life afterwards and get on with life. But some tragically do fall through the net and suffer from problems of mental health and other issues, and it's to them that we owe the greatest debt of all."

I had asked him to outline what, specifically, the coalition Government had done to improve the lot of veterans. Cameron appointed Lord Ashcroft, a donor to our campaign, to review the support veterans receive upon their return. The list of changes made is impressive: he mentions redirecting funds from the Libor scandal in the City toward veterans; putting the military covenant into law; and the new military covenant committee in Whitehall, which meets monthly.

"There's a whole list of things," he says, "from the pupil premium [going to veterans' families] to dealing with inquests better, to scholarships for those who lost mums and dads in action, to council house discounts, to better rights to healthcare." This commitment, he says, is partly a result of his 13 visits to Afghanistan, and of the fact that RAF Brize Norton is in his constituency. But won't the coming cuts to expenditure across all government departments, which the Institute for Fiscal Studies describes as "colossal", jeopardise all this? "No it won't, because we've made sure the Ministry of Defence isn't just the Ministry of Defence, but also the Ministry for Veterans and their families. In terms of the defence budget, we've said that we're going to keep increasing its size."

PERHAPS so; but aren't the stories uncovered by this newspaper, of veterans enduring extreme hardship, shocking? And why should it be up to readers to provide for them? "First of all," he says, "full credit to your campaign because I know it has raised awareness of a very important issue, and I know it has brought forward funding from, for instance, the Mayor of London... The truth is there's always been a role for veterans' charities." Such as, of course, the two that this campaign has supported: Veterans Aid and ABF The Soldiers' Charity. I suggest that the outpouring of respect for our military, not least during commemorations of the Great War last year, with all those poppies at the Tower of London, has been deeply humbling. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

'Our Military Represent the Best of British: Their Values, Courage and Patriotic Belief' in a Wide-Ranging Interview, Prime Minister David Cameron Applauds Our Homeless Veterans Campaign and Tells Evening Standard Owner Evgeny Lebedev That Relations with Vladimir Putin Can Be Mended
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.