David Cameron was the epitome of a chic mourner as he stood beside the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.
With his expensive black overcoat, his face set in an expression of humble gratitude and his hands grasping a wreath of poppies, you could almost believe he was taking it seriously.
But there are 200 elderly and intensely angry gentlemen who would beg to differ. They are all that’s left of the 66,500 brave souls who endured the wartime Arctic convoys – described by Winston Churchill as ‘the worst journey in the world.’
Time and again these men sailed north into heaving seas and insufferable cold to provide beleaguered Russians with the supplies needed to help sustain their struggle against Hitler.
It was not just the extremes of nature with which they had to contend, but constant attacks from U-boats and bombers as the Germans tried desperately to cut off a supply line vital to the outcome of the war.
More than 3,000 gallant men perished in those unforgiving seas, and the Russians were so grateful to those who survived they commissioned a special medal as a token of their respect.
But the British government chose not to recognise this heroism – a scandalous oversight Cameron promised to rectify when he reached Downing Street by introducing an Arctic Medal.
However, he has now gone back on his word and no such honour will be forthcoming.
We shouldn’t be too surprised, because this weasel has previous when it comes to breaking pre-election pledges. Remember the vow to hold a referendum on the Maastricht Treaty, which was later considered ‘unnecessary?’
He and the desk jockeys in the Ministry of Defence are clearly waiting for this inconvenience to – literally – die away.
Most of the seamen concerned are now in their 90s – but Cameron would do well to remember they will leave behind them families, friends and hundreds of thousands of unknown sympathisers who will not easily forgive or forget this gross betrayal.
As for Cameron himself? A shallow, shifty knave – even in a posh overcoat – is still a shallow, shifty knave.