The Victoria Cross is Britain’s supreme medal for gallantry in action, and it is not awarded lightly. Corporal Bryan Budd of the Parachute Regiment has just received it in the course of fighting in Sangin, a Taleban stronghold in Helmand province in Afghanistan — fighting so severe that he himself was killed and his VC is therefore posthumous. In a first action, he stormed a house to kill the Taliban firing from it, while also rescuing a wounded colleague. In another action, his section was out in the open when it came under fire from Taliban. Budd set his weapon at automatic fire, and charged, killing several Taliban and assuring the safety of his section. This is true heroism.
The SAS is Britain’s elite Special Assault Section. Handpicked commandoes, all of them. Most of their feats are unpublicised. Their headquarters is not so far from where I live on the Welsh borders. Word crept up my hilltop that the SAS a few days ago gave a seasonal party, and had various exhibits on show, among which were the boots once worn by Uday, the late and very unlamented son of Saddam Hussein who was caught in a shoot-out in Iraq.
Lately I have been perturbed because so many thoughtful commentators now take decadence for granted in Europe, Britain included. Evidently Corporal Budd VC and the SAS prove that some — and hopefully all of us when we have to — can still praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.