I felt and heard ‘bang, bang, bang’

First published in AirMail Magazine in April 2022.

Forty years on, Jeff Glover has mixed thoughts about the Falklands War. He is glad to have played a part in a winning campaign but for a very long time he felt he had “let the side down”. This was because he was shot down on his very first combat mission, thereby losing one of the six aircraft from his squadron and becoming the only British pilot to be taken as a Prisoner of War during the 1982 conflict.

Read more …

See the April issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.

The April issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Major Sir Ambrose Joseph McGonigal KBE, MC & Bar, who displayed outstanding bravery while serving with the Special Forces during the Second World War. (more…)

For now, Russia backs Putin and the invasion – but younger people are sceptical of the Kremlin line

Two weeks ago I published survey in Ukraine that showed the determination of its population to defend their country and their view that Britain was doing more than most allies to help.

My latest poll, conducted by telephone in Russia from a neighbouring state, comes with two obvious caveats.

Read more …

The Falklands hero who lost an arm trying to defuse an Argentine bomb, but still feels a right plonker for calling the Queen ‘sir’ as she pinned a medal on his chest.

First published in The Mail on Sunday on 13 March 2022.

Military historian Lord Ashcroft has followed up his latest book about bravery, Falklands War Heroes, by writing about those whose valour has largely gone unsung.

In yesterday’s Daily Mail, he saluted the remarkable efforts of the Falklanders themselves to repel the Argentinians. Here, he tells of the courage of key British servicemen.

Every time John Phillips looks in the mirror he is reminded of the Falklands War 40 years ago. That’s because the left sleeves of his shirt and jumper are always neatly tucked away out of sight.

As his left arm was ripped off at the shoulder while undertaking dangerous bomb disposal work, the sleeves are surplus to requirements.

For a time, he sported one of the three prosthetic arms provided for him by the Army but then he discarded them all.

Read more …

Unsung Falklands heroes who helped liberate the islands 40 years ago include vet who used castrating scissors to sabotage Argentine army phone cables and a farmer who led British soldiers to safety under cover of darkness

First published in The Daily Mail on 12 March 2022.

Today, Trudi McPhee, a sixth generation islander, farms her 8,500 acres of land populated by 1,700 sheep on East Falkland, where she was born and raised.

In fact, her ‘little plot’ is too small to be economic, so she also, with her partner, manages three other farms with a further 10,000 sheep.

Her peaceful existence is in stark contrast to the dangers she faced exactly 40 years ago when a huge Argentine force invaded the Falkland Islands. (more…)

Life Support – book launch speech

Speech made on 09 March 2022.

Watch the speech made by Lord Ashcroft at the official launch of the book he wrote with Isabel Oakeshott, Life Support: The state of the NHS in an age of pandemics, on 09 March 2022.

Get your copy of Life Support here … 

My new book on the NHS – and what the voters really think about their favourite institution

My new book, published tomorrow, could be my most controversial yet.

No, not that one. I mean Life Support: The State of the NHS in an Age of Pandemics. In it, my co-author Isabel Oakeshott and I ask hard questions about how good the National Health Service really is, and what needs to change if it is to offer the consistently high quality of care that patients and taxpayers deserve.

Read more …

Billions gobbled up by the NHS should be spent on making us all healthier… not fixing us.

Serialised in The Mail on Sunday on 06 March 2022.

Final extract from LORD ASHCROFT and ISABEL OAKESHOTT’s new book prescribes the real cure for the health service’s woes.

The first part of our serialisation last week of an authoritative new book explained how radical reform – not yet more taxpayers’ billions – was the only way to tackle the NHS’s gross inefficiencies. Today, the final extract sets out why there needs to be a revolution in the way we think about – and treat – the nation’s health…   

The biggest NHS conference of the year is a two-day trade extravaganza for health policy luminaries celebrating ‘innovation, enterprise and collaboration’. The best entertainment usually takes place in the buzzing exhibition hall, where, at the event in 2019, a dishevelled-looking man with a long ginger beard was strumming a ukulele. (more…)

Ukrainians want to stay and fight, but don’t see Russian people as the enemy. A remarkable poll from Kyiv

We have all seen the extraordinary bravery and spirit with which the people of Ukraine have responded to Putin’s brutal invasion. The results of a survey which, somewhat to my astonishment, a research firm in Kyiv was able to conduct for Lord Ashcroft Polls in the past few days only add to my admiration.

You might think an opinion survey is a rather trivial distraction given the magnitude of events that are unfolding. If so, let me say that our partners in Kyiv were pleased to have the work and – most importantly – the chance to show the world something of what Ukrainians are thinking and feeling as they defend their country.

Read more …

See the March issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.

The March issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Warrant Officer Justin Bell QGM. It is a special tribute to a man that Lord Ashcroft knew and admired.

Lord Ashcroft first met Bell 12 years ago, before writing his third bravery book, George Cross Heroes and while attending a bomb disposal course. Because so many GCs have been awarded to bomb disposal experts, Lord Ashcroft wanted to obtain an insight into the difficult and hazardous job that they faced. (more…)

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