Sunday, December 30, 2007

UK: Nuke Test Victims Twist in the Wind

Nuke scandal brought home

Gordon Brown doesn't have to rely on reports from campaigners to understand the scandal over the British nuclear test veterans. He can ask his wife Sarah.

The man she grew up calling "grandpa" - her grandfather by her mother's second marriage - died from a rare form of cancer after witnessing a test in the South Pacific.

Squadron Leader Stephen Pooley flew through the mushroom cloud to collect fallout samples. Yet when he died in 1996 from myelodysplastic syndrome, the Ministry of Defence lied to his inquest and said there was "no proof" that he had been anywhere near the explosion.

UK: Nuke Test Victims Twist in the Wind

Such a shocking story will come as little surprise to anyone who has followed the scandal of the nuclear test vets, though that does not diminish the outrage at each new case.

But Squadron Leader Pooley's story brings the shameful treatment of thousands of servicemen right to the door of the current prime minister.

It is time for Mr Brown to immediately order decent treatment for the dwindling number of veterans who remain alive - and the relatives of those who have died.

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