Happy 100th Birthday to the RAF
Happy 100th Birthday to the RAF!
Towards the end of WW1, in response to problematic defence against German air raids, an unlikely coalition set about creating what we now know as the Royal Air Force. South African Field Marshal Jan Smuts and Lieutenant-General Sir David Henderson, under instruction from Prime Minister David Lloyd George, were tasked with investigating the UK’s air defence and were consequently intrinsic to the development of an independent air force.
Fast-forward to 2018, the RAF has been a remarkable success and the achievements of all of its personnel will this year be marked and celebrated; not only in its greatest feat, victory in the Battle of Britain but also in its unheard success in continually “ensur[ing] the security and defence of the United Kingdom and overseas territories.”
Whilst reflecting on the achievements of the RAF and its personnel, we believe there should be a renewed focus on how those in the Armed Forces are undermined by the democratic process and action should be taken to resolve this.
During election periods, thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and their families, live abroad and many of them face challenges voting in elections due to delays in the balloting process. The Army Families Federation points specifically to issues with postal voting forms arriving too late or not at all. In the 2017 General Election, on the announcement of the election, for those living in Cyprus, it was already too late to complete the postal vote process. Consequently, for those unable to proxy vote, they could not vote at all.
We believe this is unacceptable, particularly given that it is these very individuals that protect our democracy.
For more information please read the Army Family Federation report here.