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Book review: Andrew Murrison on the military covenant

August 15, 2011 9:38 AM
By Mark Pack

I suspect the time pressures of being an MP meant Murrison did not have quite enough time to dedicate to writing the book, for some parts are very well-written, especially his moving eulogies to those who served in Bomber Command and his deft combination of praising their bravery and service whilst acknowledging the many doubts over mass bombing raids on German cities that form the most high profile part of their service.

He also makes the case well that the particular circumstances of military service, with the ceding of control over their own lives and the willingness to die if necessary that those in the front line consent to, means people are not simply filling another public sector job. Their treatment should reflect that.

Even if the structure of the book - and Murrison's habits of making references to events that only the very knowledgeable reader will understand without further reading or research outside the book - can make the arguments hard to follow and evaluate at times, the book is also a handy and concise summary of many of the issues about how the armed forces are treated.

You can buy Tommy This An' Tommy That: The Military Covenant by Andrew Murrison from Amazon.