A hero on many levels

Most Brits of I’d guess thirty years and up will probably be aware of who Simon Weston is. For those who don’t I’ll summarise: Simon Weston is a former soldier, a member of the Welsh Guards, and is a veteran of the Falklands War in which the ship he was on, the RFA Sir Galahad, was bombed by an Argentine fighter. This caused many casualties, including Simon Weston himself who suffered nasty burns and had to go through a long period of plastic surgeries and recovery. Unsurprisingly the guy had his ups and downs but he went on to become a quite remarkable man, allowing documentary makers to record some of what he went through as was treated and recovered from his injuries, setting up the Weston Spirit charity, becoming a motivational speaker, meeting and becoming friends with the pilot who’d dropped that bomb on the Sir Galahad. Yep, the man who dropped the bomb that killed many of his mates, and nearly killed him, leaving him with almost 50% burns instead, Weston has met and shook hands with and told that he knew it was nothing personal. And despite all that he still finds the time to be a husband and a dad to his family.

I make no bones about it, Simon Weston is a man I admire for many reasons. As much a hero as any man or woman who joins up in the knowledge that that choice potentially could cost their life or alter it as dramatically as it did Weston’s, but also heroic for the way he’s lived since then. In fact apart from the typical tendency of a Welshman to support absolutely anyone playing against the English rugby team up to and including the Underworld First XV there’s not a lot you can say against the bloke, and a short while ago I read something he said in an interview that means I’m inclined to let him off even that.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE ANTI-CAPITALISM PROTESTS?

Some people have no understanding of reality and have a chip on their shoulder about money and seeing people living in wealth. They don’t realise that wealthy people are wealth creators and it’s a foolish standpoint because socialism doesn’t work….

Oh, wait, that’s not all of it. There’s some more.

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM?

I would make the taxation system fairer – I don’t think you should have to pay 40pc. If you’re earning more, you’re paying more, end of. Why should you be penalised for being more successful?
I don’t actually mind paying my taxes, but what really gets me is that we don’t seem to adequately punish those people who scrounge off the system and, quite frankly, we make it too easy for them to do it in the first place. There’s far too many people spuriously claiming benefits, including disability benefits, costing us as a country in excess of £3 billion annually, who are preventing the genuinely needy from getting proper support and helping those honourable ones who do want to contribute to society in whatever way they can….

I’ve no idea about the guy’s politics and for all I know I might disagree with him on dozens of other things – actually I even disagree with the bit about minding taxes, mainly because so much of it is spunked away on useless vanity projects – but this… this he gets. And at a time when it seems almost fashionable to blame the world’s financial woes on a free market that didn’t exist and an perfectly reasonable desire to minimise tax exposure rather than the real villains, government profligacy and deliberate policies of boom inducing unrealistically cheap credit, it’s good to hear a well known and respected figure like Simon Weston say otherwise when no politician of any main party would dare to.

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Posted on November 14, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on A hero on many levels.

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