THE shameful attitude of the Government and the Ministry of Defence when it comes to tax breaks and wages for those who risked their lives in Iraq, reminded me of the poem 'Tommy,' by Rudyard Kipling.

If I had my way, I would make it compulsory reading for everyone, for it clearly shows how attitudes, particularly those of the politicians, change, once the job has been done. I hope that the great man won't be offended if I add a few lines of my own...

"Making mock of 'eroes, o'ove bin an' fought a war, as, if you've knows yer 'istory, all bin dun afore.

"So, why should gallant lads and lasses, jus fer a politicians whim, set off fer some foreign field, an risk both life and limb?

"Fer when they get back to Blighty, there'll be no pats on their backs, just a letter from the guvment claiming all its tax!

"For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, we'll mek sure you are all right when they canvass for our crosses, or send us out to fight.

"But when they get elected, or the battle as bin won, promises turn to weasel words, an' it's stuff you, my old son!"

DAVID WALKER, Ashfield Close, Barrowford.