For all the richly deserved ‘scrambled egg‘ that decorates Lord Bramall’s formal dress, none can mean as much to him as the discreet star depicted here – which signifies that he was the 973rd person personally chosen by the reigning monarch to join the select 24 Knights of the Garter. He is currently the second most senior Knight of the Garter, second only to Lord Carrington.
Other titles and decorations that he holds are the result of meritocracy in the military, or were suggested by the Prime Minister of the day – decorations notorious for being politically motivated. Although there were periods in history when the government of the day was involved in choosing new Knights of the Garter – since 1946, it has been entirely a personal choice for the Monarch in recognition of exceptional service, either to the Monarch or the country. Lord Bramall must have been mortified, on behalf of his Sovereign, to have had that honour overshadowed by the events of the past ten months.
Now the man who stormed up the beaches of
Dunkirk (Whoops!) Normandy on our behalf, and oversaw the Falklands war, is at war with the Metropolitan Police. Their mealy-mouthed announcement, carefully concealed within the Janner furore:
“Following a thorough investigation officers have concluded there is insufficient evidence to request the Crown Prosecution Service to consider charging the man with any offences.”
Is simply not good enough. ‘Insufficient evidence’ could mean anything from ‘no evidence’ to ‘not enough evidence to mount a successful prosecution’ – and Lord Bramall is entitled to having it made clear whether there was, in fact, any verifiable evidence at all.
Nor is the derisory ‘the man’ necessary considering the manner in which they went about investigating the lurid claims of yet another of Exaro’s stable of ‘victims’. The fact that they had carried out a flat footed and very public search of his house and subsequent interview meant that Lord Bramall had been more than publicly identified.
I am not suggesting that no investigation should have been carried out into ‘Nick’s’ claims, nor that Police officers should take to doffing their caps when dealing with anyone of any public standing – all are equal under the law.
However, 22 policemen arriving unannounced, to turn your house upside-down, during the quiet breakfast being enjoyed by a 92 year old man and his deeply confused 93 year old wife in the final weeks of her life is utterly unnecessary.
It is street theatre; designed to appease the social media mob that the Met appear to be in thrall of, it is not a proportionate response to one of a number of lurid claims, none of which have been substantiated.
Nor is it necessary for the 22 strong squad to then take off to the local pub for a gossipy lunch; leading, in a small village, to untold calls to the main stream media. Tell them to take sandwiches next time!
In short, investigate by all means, but do it in a discrete manner that leaves the dignity of the allegedly ‘accused’ intact until such time as you actually have verifiable evidence that they might have a case to answer to.
Pity ‘Nick’ hadn’t claimed that he been raped by aliens – we might have had the welcome sight of some of the ‘Midland’ squad being blasted off to Mars, never to be seen again.
Fortunately, we have some common-sense being whispered quietly. Anthony Stansfield, one of the Independent Police and Crime Commissioners, has spoken out:
‘This is a man who has commanded our nuclear deterrent, was in charge of all our armed forces.
He would have been surrounded by staff, he would have had a very, very detailed diary of every day. It is utterly inconceivable and the slightest investigation would have shown that.
Instead they seem to have barged into the house of a 92-year-old. His wife was dying of Alzheimer’s in the house…
The victim in this entirely is Field Marshal the Lord Bramall.’
Indeed, it is Lord Bramall who has been the victim.
It is time the Metropolitan Police showed some of their much vaunted sympathy and support towards victims – starting with a fulsome apology for treating this investigation as though it was an episode of ‘Meet the Kardashians’.