Today the Mesothelioma Bill receives its second reading in the House of Commons. The Bill which seeks to remedy an injustice for some mesothelioma victims and their families is a reminder of lives which have been cut short by asbestos. Another reminder of lives cut short came last week, when Sacred Soil from the First World War battlefields of Flanders in Belgium, which had been collected last summer by British and Belgian schoolchildren, was brought to London by the Belgian frigate, The Louise-Marie. The Louise-Marie docked alongside HMS Belfast, and the Sacred Soil was transported onto the deck of HMS Belfast, where it was stored overnight. A ceremonial procession then carried the Sacred Soil to Wellington Barracks where it will be used in creating a memorial garden marking the 100th anniversary of World War I.
As I have previously posted, HMS Belfast, contains vast quantities of asbestos, and its prominent use in marking the arrival and protection of soil which symbolically would have had the blood of vast numbers of soldiers cast upon it, should remind us of all those who have perished, not in armed conflict, but merely going about their daily working and ordinary lives, and being exposed to a deadly substance that cut their lives short.