>Not that you would have guessed from the BBC News coverage yesterday, which tried to make out that Nick Clegg and David Cameron were slugging it out over a hung Parliament while the saintly Gordon Brown concentrated on policy, the Liberal Democrats launched their manifesto for the Armed Forces.
Typically, this concentrates on righting the wrongs meted out to those who have least power – those at the bottom end who have to suffer low pay and poor housing. We’ve all heard about how horrendous some military homes are, with kitchens and bathrooms not changed in decades, damp, mould. We will double the rate of refurbishment so that troops don’t have to go to fight on the other side of the world knowing that their families are stuck in poor housing which affects their health.
We’ll also pay troops a decent wage. It’s not right that young men and women come into the army earn less than new police constables. We will increase their pay and taper up an increase through the ranks from the bottom.
It’s the Liberal Democrats who have been speaking up for troops all through this last Parliament – whether it’s about housing, pay or the disgrace of them being sent out to fight for the country without even decent basic equipment. Again we are standing up for fairness in the way the lowest paid and those with least power are dealt with.