London’s attitude to the veterans of armed forces, many of whom are in Northern Ireland, is appalling. The author has experienced problems with the Belfast Head Office as well. In London, it appears that Northern Ireland veterans are treated with contempt and as second class citizens.
I had an unfortunate experience with the Royal British Legion in London, which was eventually resolved, but ended in my membership being cancelled, just because I had the audacity to complain that they had taken my money twice. The Portadown branch did their best to resolve the situation, but the I, a veteran Corporal of 219 Wessex General Hospital, was summarily removed from the membership list. I am still waiting for an official response from London, three months later. I am a journalist, I will not give up.
It is not Northern Ireland which is the problem, although the Belfast office do not help. Inefficiency and deference to London does not begin to cover it. It is high time the Royal British Legion was reevaluated across the board, and their books audited. Fat cat salaries being paid in London while the veterans are expected to do everything on a voluntary basis. There are of course dedicated volunteers, but that is not the point. Northern Ireland should be treated better in many ways, as pointed out by Lyra McKee’s partner to the British Prime Minister last month.
I received the following from the RBL as a so called response to a request for a response to my letter of over 3 months ago.
If I can help in any way alleviate this situation, please do not hesitate to contact me, and I will endeavour to ask the various organisations I am a member of to assist. email@example.com
As I have previously informed you, you asked for your money back meaning that of course you are no longer a current member. You were certainly not “ejected” to use your terminology. Of course if you want to pay again then you will become a member once more. If you would like to join you can either go online, fill out a paper application form available at your local branch or join over the phone on 0800 307 7773. We do hope you do re-join so we can welcome you back as a member soon. If you do need any further advice please do not hesitate to contact us.
I said that I was “ejected” I did not ask for my money back from the Branch – the then committee gave it to me because London wouldn’t. Then they did refund the money and informed the Branch, not me, that I was no longer a member. This is totally unprofessional.
Now they have closed the ticket, and refused to respond. Respond they will. They will get an email every day until I receive a proper professional response to my letter. This is sent automatically from the software I use. I will not respond to them further.