In Reading, Berkshire, where I grew up, there’s a great big statue of a lion in a park. Sixteen tonnes worth of cast iron. It’s the Maiwand Lion and it commemorates those from the “Berkshire Regiment who gave their lives for their country at Girishk Maiwand and Kandahar”. Where, you might ask? Afghanistan, in the Second Anglo-Afghan war, in the year 18-something-or-other.
I can only think of the line from Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life”, about trying “to remember the names of all those from the Sudbury area who so gallantly gave their lives to keep China British”.
Anyway, in today’s news, another Kiwi soldier has been shot in Afghanistan: Soldier’s death devastates family. John Key has offered the family his condolences and declared that NZ’s presence in Afghanistan is necessary. Well, right up until 31st March 2012, when our presence isn’t necessary and our people get to come home.