All 306 British first world war soldiers executed for desertion or cowardice are to be pardoned, Des Browne, the defence secretary, will announce today.To the extent that this gives families some comfort this is a good move, but it's completely the wrong way round.
The British government should be the ones seeking a pardon. They should start by seeking a pardon for soldeirs who were shot for desertion or corwardice, and then move on to everyone else who was shot by their superiors during the war, and every conscientious objector who was punished for his beliefs.
I would suggest they also seek a pardon for every soldier who was sent to his death over the top of those awful trenches, and every soldier who was wounded. Every person who served at that front in those four years, and for the lies and force the government used to get them there.
Then the government can seek a pardon for those who were affected by the death, injury of those men. The children who never knew their Dad, the women who looked after their shell-shocked husbands, the women who suffered at the hands of men who had been damaged by that war.
Once they'd done that the British government could start seeking the pardon of those outside of Britain - it'd be quite a long list.