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Jack Irvine's Column: Darling was dead right.

IT BECOMES more apparent by the day that the bulldog spirit which once epitomised Britain has been replaced by the touchy-feely, limp-wristed ways of the Islington dinner party set.

Cabinet ministers, whose own actions forced them to resign, blame everything on the Press.

Armani-clad BBC bosses ban discussion of the nocturnal activities of elected members.

The latest piece of lunacy comes from Baroness Jay, the Minister for Women.

Please remember that this unelected politician owes her position to the fact that she is the daughter of former Labour leader, James Callaghan.

Lady Jay wants to know what ordinary women are thinking.

And, presumably because her gilded lifestyle keeps her at a safe distance from Mrs Average, she is planning to put a postcard in Take a Break magazine to find out what makes the females of Britain tick. Take a Break?

Give me a break! Perhaps Helen Liddell could formulate an education policy through the pages of the Beano.

How refreshing after all this New Labour claptrap to read the obituary of General Sir Kenneth Darling - the no-nonsense soldier who fought the Eoka terrorists in Cyprus in the late fifties.

Limp-wristed and touchy-feely Sir Kenneth was not. In awe of politicians and diplomats, Sir Kenneth was not.

On the subject of his enemy, he famously said, "The only Eoka terrorist I am interested in is a dead one."

When public opinion back home got a bit wobbly over the prosecution of the campaign, Darling didn't mess about.

"I have got these Eoka bastards on the run. I am going to beat them."

When Eoka leader, Kyriakos Matsis, refused to give in, Darling's men resolved the deadlock by lobbing grenades at his hiding place. Bye bye Kyriakos.

As recently as the Falklands War, Darling blamed the press for giving away too much strategic information.

He said: "Had the Argentine junta a liaison officer in the Ministry of Defence, it could hardly have obtained more information about our operations."

I regret never having met Darling, simply to hear his views on the nancy boys now running the country.

This tough, uncompromising soldier could almost have been the inspiration for the phrase "they don't like it up 'em".

Sadly the opposite appears to be true for the leaders of modern Britain.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Irvine, Jack
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 5, 1998
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