Petition Time Again – Support the Armed Forces!
The door staff guessed that we were in the forces because of our haircuts, mixed accents, general physique, the way we carry ourselves, and sometimes what we talk about (work). While in training I accepted that this is just the way it is and let’s not make a fuss. However this goes beyond just training. I am still unable to gain entry to Exeters pubs & clubs even when I am out with my wife. She can go in but I can’t.
Last year the Express & Echo wrote an article about a Royal Marine who was charged with assaulting a civilian in Exeter. In court the Marine stated that he had been unable to gain entry into several pubs that night because the pubs and clubs in Exeter discriminate against armed forces, on his way home he was then taunted by a civilian about how his friends will be coming home in body bags, and from there the assault happened. Ben Bradshaw MP made a comment stating that the Marine was lying and that the pubs & clubs in Exeter show armed forces their full support.
This comment prompted me to inform Mr Bradshaw that actually the Marine was not lying and this is actually an on-going problem in Exeter. In fact for as long as I have been a Marine (5 years), and I am told by my peers that it dates back at least 15 years. To put this into perspective, armed forces are welcome in every pub and club that I know of in Exmouth, Plymouth & Taunton.
Pub landlords are allowed to refuse entry to anybody without reason, however if they refused to allow black people or disabled people they would contravene discrimination laws. I have been informed by Mr Bradshaw that the Armed Forces are not protected under the discrimination laws and that the government has no intention of changing the law to include somebody’s occupation.
My personal view: I think this is disgraceful, I am willing to fight and die for this country and yet this country believes that it is acceptable for me to be discriminated against in this manner. The response I received from Mr Bradshaw prompted me to set up this e-petition:
It only needs another 500 signatures for an official public government statement on the issue and it has 3 months in which to get them.