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4000 British troops wounded - no visit from Bliar

This is probably not a bad thing from the point of view of the recuperating squaddie, but it is a disgraceful dereliction of duty on the part of the disgusting individual who is happy to round up the troops for a photocall whenever it suits him and spout on about the "blood price" but who is not enough of a man to witness the results of his actions.

Downing Street have been trying to wriggle out of releasing details of his visits for some 8 months or so now...perhaps enlightenment will follow soon!


4,000 soldiers flown home for treatment, but no visit from PM


Key points
• Blair criticised for not visiting injured soldiers
• 4,000 troops have failed to recieve recognition
• PM accused of 'lack of respect' for troops

Key quote
"They feel that they have been treated disgracefully," she said. "They have done their bit and it is a disgrace that they are being treated in this way. But from the way Tony Blair treats the families of those who have been killed in Iraq it doesn't surprise me that this is how they treat the wouned." - Rose Gentle

MORE than 4,000 British soldiers have been flown home from Iraq for medical treatment since the start of the war in 2003 - but not one has received a visit from the Prime Minister in hospital on their return.

The previously unreleased casualty figure reflects the true human cost of the war in Iraq. It is the equivalent of eight infantry regiments, or half the army's current strength in Iraq.

US soldiers flown home for treatment have received regular visits from senior figures in their administration, including the president, George Bush, and vice-president Dick Cheney.

Britain's wounded have been denied any such recognition, with only the Defence Secretary and a handful of junior defence ministers bothering to visit the Selly Oak hospital in Birmingham where the injured are treated.

Downing Street refused to discuss the reasons for the Prime Minister's decision to stay away from the hospital.

But opponents of the war said the government's failure to acknowledge the growing number of casualties reflected a lack of respect for the soldiers who had been sent to the Middle East to fight and they accused Mr Blair of being afraid of the negative publicity which might be generated by images of injured soldiers.

Rose Gentle, who lost her son Gordon in a bomb attack on a Royal Highland Fusiliers patrol in Basra last year, said she had spoken to soldiers who had returned injured from Iraq who felt that they had been ignored.

"They feel that they have been treated disgracefully," she said. "They have done their bit and it is a disgrace that they are being treated in this way.

"But from the way Tony Blair treats the families of those who have been killed in Iraq it doesn't surprise me that this is how they treat the wounded."

The SNP leader, Alex Salmond, said: "This situation is a damning indictment of a failing Prime Minister who is refusing to confront the horrific consequences of his own actions. While he is happy to go on triumphalistic media-friendly tours of Iraq, the fact that he has failed to meet those soldiers who have put their own lives on the line for his unjust cause, speaks volumes for his lack of honour and integrity."

Andrew Burgin, a spokesman for the Stop the War Coalition, said soldiers deserved more respect. He said: "Because of the difficulties of the government in Iraq they are trying to hide not only the casualty figures but the wounded themselves."

He said he believed that Mr Blair was afraid to be photographed with the injured in case the images were later used against him by protesters.

Exact casualty figures for the British Army in Iraq are hard to come by because the Ministry of Defence claims that it does not keep a log of injuries.

The picture is further muddied because many of those injured in action are treated in Iraq and return to duties without having to seek medical attention back in the UK. However, defence sources said about a third of those evacuated from Iraq are understood to have sustained their injuries in action.

The latest available figures for show that up to the end of September, 3,836 soldiers had been brought home for treatment, an average of four soldiers every day. Army sources said that at that rate, the figure was now expected to have passed the 4,000 mark.

Challenged previously on the subject of his failure to visit injured soldiers at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Selly Oak Hospital, Mr Blair told the Commons that the armed forces were courageous people who had done an immensely worthwhile job in Iraq.

Some members of the Royal Family have made visits to the troops, however, including Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
To be fair though. Speaking on behalf of a few of my mates. They wouldn't want him to. They wouldn't want any of the MP's or HRH crew to show up. What did go down well was Lads from the Legion visiting. Veterans from WW2 - Gulf 1 Etc. These are the type of visits that should be increased. Or even better why not employ ex serviceman who know the script to do these rounds!
I dare say that more soldiers would be interested in these visits if they could ctually speak frankly to the visitor, but the usual form is that they are surrounded by the hospital heirarchy and the MOD minders, so it's all very superficial. Far better if visits were carried out privately, with no PR for the NHS or MOD. I understand Prince Charles does this quite often.

Perhaps what is more important is the lack of follow-up for some wounded after they have left hospital - the system is hopeless. In general, the attitude of units to supporting soldiers in hospital seems to have declined; I have recently had two cases of soldiers in hospital for over a week who were not visited at all by their units - one based 13 miles from the hospital, the other 4 miles.
Imagine you've been hit by a bit of shrapnel. There you are, bandaged up in a military hospital.

Now imagine the top ten people you want to visit. Your other half, kids, close family and best mates are all in there, closely followed by perhaps Jenna Jameson or Girls Aloud covered in baby oil. Where, in the name of god, does Tony Blair figure?

I rest my case.

Make like the SF involved in the "Black Hawk Down" op. in Somalia who refused to meet Clinton. Much better message than letting him visit and make sympathetic noises, unless you actually want to see him.

They probably put it to a focus group, and found that the PM visiting recuperating Sqaddies didn't play well with social classes A-C, and with voters in key marginals.....
4000 lads to visit. How much time? Seriously, how could any PM (forget it's Blair) do that? Come on, lets have a reality check here. Anyway, as the others have said, if it were you would you want such a visit? Much better to have Richarn n Judy, Ant n Dec, Shayne from X factor or Tara Para Wotsit surely? Nah thought not.
The man is a coward, both morally and physically. A few years ago I'm sure this man would have been sent white feathers.

If he were to visit me whilst I was in hospital I'm sure I'd give him my opinion, after all, what else could I possibly loose my job? That's a shame.
Also how many Soldier's funerals has bliar attended or even met the coffins when flown home? he was quick enough to shove his nose up the bigley family's arse and go to ken's funeral,mass media coverage had sod all to do with it of course.The w*nker!!!!
Blair visiting troops "to raise morale". What a treat for them! Their sandy sunburned little faces must have lit up with Christmas joy.

Would your morale be raised by a visit from that slippery insidious lawyer?
They were probably hoping for the Girls Aloud, or TV funnyman Eddie Izzard. He packs them off to some pitsville desert to get shot at, then expects them to be pleased to see him. The Prime Minister, I mean, not Eddie Izzard.

It probably raised Blair's morale, at least. There are few things he enjoys more than screaming around in helicopters and making mad speeches to impress the tabloid press. cnut.
I am not a Blair supporter, but just where would he find these men, scattered across so many NHS Hospitals. It is not as if they are in one place they are not, and 4,000 over what period of time?. Also these days they seem to send them back even for dental treatment as it it quicker and simpler, but they are still listed as sick returned home. What this does not say just how many of this 4,000 returned there after a short spell back home.
Almost all aeromed patients are treated, at least initially, at the RCDM, aka Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, site of the DMS's biggest Faustian bargain. The period of time that the 4000 have been injured in corresponds, oddly enough, with the period of OP TELIC. Presumably the figures quoted are taken from the aeromedical evacuation stats, and so they won't include those returning for routine appointments such as dental treatment because they do not return through the AE system.

How many have returned to duty in Iraq - quite a few, but why this should make a difference to Bliar paying at least occasional visits to the wounded is beyond me. No-one is suggesting he should visit all 4000; just that an occasional quiet, non-media circus visit would show some respect for those involved in a war he got the country involved in.

Exact casualty figures for the British Army in Iraq are hard to come by because the Ministry of Defence claims that it does not keep a log of injuries.
This is no more than a bare faced lie, but it points to the lengths MOD & New Labour are prepared to go to, not least because they keep repeating it. Of course details of injuries are kept - every medical unit maintains statistics, as does aeromed - it would be medically negligent not to.
How many PMs have visited wounded troops on their return. Did the wounded going home from Aden or Malaya or Kenya or Korea or Cyprus or Suez have visits from PMs?

just so we know how B liar stacks up with his predecessors

"Exact casualty figures for the British Army in Iraq are hard to come by because the Ministry of Defence claims that it does not keep a log of injuries. "

Oh Really.
How many of the 4,000 have come home due to non-operational medical reasons?

The writer of this article is using those serving in Iraq for political ends just as much as those who laud "our boys" for the job they are doing.

Spin doesn't just go in a leftward direction.
Oddbod said:
How many of the 4,000 have come home due to non-operational medical reasons?
The answer is none. They're all operational medical reasons - when patients are aeromedically evacuated, it is to save life, to prevent deterioration or because they need treatment that can't be provided in theatre. Patients may also be AE because their condition, whilst not serious, renders them unfit to serve in theatre. Or did you mean how many patients were suffering from conditions not directly attributable to operational service, or perhaps those who were not wounded in action? We don't know, because although the stats are kept, MOD are either incredibly stupid, very naive or have decided to pretend that they don't exist (or d. all of the above).

The vast majority of patients admitted to the Fd Hosp are suffering from conditions related to ops - this includes heat injury, D&V, sprains and fractures, mental health problems and so on. Normal medical management and pre-deployment screening should ensure that the number of individuals presenting with old injuries or disease is minimal, though some are bound to suffer unforeseen exacerbation of chronic conditions which may result in AE. Additionally, there will inevitably be some who suffer acute conditions such as appendicitis, or who are newly diagnosed in theatre with conditions such as diabetes. There are a few who perhaps should not have been deployed in the first place, and this tends to be due to the pressure on manning caused by cuts and overstretch, or (particularly with TA), individuals not disclosing full information pre-deployment.

Just because an individual is AE for disease or non-battle injury doesn't mean they are any less deserving, despite MOD's attempts to make it appear so.

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