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SOLDIERS’ DOWNING STREET PETITION FALLEN

12-02-2008

Sgt John Jones

Here’s a curious one. Carol Jones, whose son John died serving his country, can’t find out what happened to the Downing Street petition calling for families of the fallen to visit Iraq. Yet anyone who’s anyone is heading to the war zone.

Last year I set up a Government petition for several families to visit the Memorial in Iraq laid by the soldiers in memory of the fallen.

The petition expired, but to this date I have never heard whether it was accepted or rejected - surely the person who creates a government petition is entitled to know the final outcome.

I’ve even e-mailed to try and find out what’s going on – but no reply.

Normally, when a petition closes, everyone who signs is told by email how many signatures it received – and whether Number Ten will act on it. Curiously, not so in this case.

Twice this year I have tried to open another petition with this government and twice I have been refused, no reason given.

When Tony Blair was Prime Minister he wrote to me saying he would do his utmost to arrange a visit for the families knowing how important it is to us.

He left, then Brown said 'no - too dangerous’.

Its OK for Fern Britton to visit – she went there for four days with an ITV “Good Morning” crew; the classical singer and forces pin-up Catherine Jenkins has also been.

Ross Kemp has even gone into the war zone of Afghanistan for Sky TV (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=4aMZVPDuBnI&NR=1).

Everyone, it seems, can be offered security and protection – everyone, that is, except the most important people, 'the families of the fallen'.

We’re not even asking to go to the front line; my son’s memorial is in the supposedly “safe” green zone in Basra – but in any event we’re all willing to take the risk.

The truth is that once our troops leave, we know that all traces of our lads will be demolished.

Memorials in this country make us very proud of our son; also the fact that his name is in the Birmingham Hall of Memory. But the memorial in Iraq was laid by my son’s friends not a stonemason.

I know its dangerous, my son was murdered there, but I just want to close the book and so do other families.

Carol Jones runs the Military Families Support Group www.mfsg.org.uk

See also an article which updates this one - click here

Have you signed a Downing Street petition? Did you find out the result? And should Carol and the other familes be allowed to go. Leave a comment on the Message Board.

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