The latest brilliant Mark Steel column in the Independent that really needs no introduction:
I should think when the British Legion appears at the International Court in The Hague, they’ll claim they had no idea the …£4.6m “gift” they received from warlord Mister Tony Blair was blood money from a criminal. “We just thought it was a charming present from an admirer”, they’ll say, although Mia Farrow will contradict this by suggesting she’d warned the Legion about the origins of the donation, and add she’d witnessed them being “flirtatious” with Mr Blair on a number of occasions.
You can’t blame the British Legion for accepting this money, because we seem to have devised a system for looking after disabled soldiers that depends on donations from book advances. Other more backward countries still use the old-fashioned method of providing money from the society that sent them to war. But we’ve developed a more reliable method of waiting for someone’s book money. I suppose when a limbless soldier first applies for assistance, they’re told, “If JK Rowling comes through you’re in luck. Otherwise you’ll have to get about on a wheelbarrow I’m afraid.”
So they have to appear grateful, but it seems many soldiers and their families are uneasy, seeing as the donor was the man who caused them to need the donation in the first place. Still, I’m sure they see the positive side, and say, “I might have lost a leg, but with these facilities I can represent the West Midlands at disabled table tennis so it’s all worked out in the end.”