No one would have missed the absolutely and without question appalling story of the couple Mark and Helen Mullins who were found lying side by side in their home following an apparent tragic suicide pact.
Friends have since spoken out of the pair’s struggle to access the correct benefits – leaving them living “hand to mouth” on food hand-outs from a Coventry soup kitchen which they walked five miles to each week.
Today much is being made in the press of this story because Mark Mullins was an ex-serviceman – oh shock and horror at this mere fact, actuality and thought, how can this happen to someone who has served his country and at this time of the year, whilst the Prime Minister David Cameron engages in the useless unimportant ruckus in regard to the England football team being able to wear a commemorative poppy symbol on their kit when they play Spain on Saturday.
Truth is you could not make this story up, service and mental health charities have now demanded an urgent investigation into the suicide pact of this Army veteran and his wife who was suffering from what is said to be mild learning disabilities.
There are a number of things that come to mind here when I consider this story, first is that irrespective of Mr Mullins service history this really shows up the state, capitalism and the ruling class for what they are and how they use and treat working people when they have no further use for them, and if things continue on the path we are being taken down then we can expect to see ex-service men and women possibly selling lighters in cities and towns just to get by survive and stay alive as they did after the First World War, the disfigured ragged, unwanted ex-soldiers, medalled, but ill, blind, maimed, selling matches, bootlaces, notepaper, trundling barrel-organs or standing with a melancholy dog or monkey beside a decrepit hurdy-gurdy.
Secondly, the whole tragedy and plight of the Mullins is only newsworthy because Mr Mullins had a service record, there are many thousands who's circumstances are just as harsh and only occasionally do we learn of such a tragedy when it happens to them, but how, just how many are being driven to such despair, we I presume will never really get to know as the soup kitchen, the hand out and the food parcel makes its reappearance in our society.