A Belting Piece of Journalism

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Storeman Norman, Dec 14, 2003.

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  1. Max Hastings. Excellent journalist whom I have respect for (unlike the majority of journalists). Some of the text from his piece, which really does bring it home to you the state the UK Armed Forces are in:

    "You mustn't quote me anywhere that might be sourced," a close associate of the Prime Minister said to me coyly a few weeks ago, "but you should know that Tony would love to increase the size of the Army. It's just that Gordon won't let him."

    Who's wearing the shoes?

    The Ministry of Defence is doing a rotten job of looking after its most precious commodity - its people. Barracks, both at home and abroad, are a disgrace to this country, yet no politician seems to care. How can soldiers be expected to inhabit quarters deemed unfit for asylum-seekers? Yes, really. When the Army recently surrendered some barracks for conversion to Home Office use, senior Army officers noted bitterly that the buildings were deemed to need an expensive upgrade before they would be acceptable to Kosovans or Afghans.

    No shiit Sherlock.

    The services command greater admiration than any other British institution. I remember Raymond Seitz, when he was US Ambassador in London in the early 1990s, expressing astonishment at the Government's parsimony: "Your Armed Forces really can enable Britain to punch above its weight," he said. "They are by far your most cost-effective means of exercising influence in the world."

    Amazing that other countries have pride for our forces.

    With these cut backs, and the length of time it takes to instigate new technology, I despair as to the state of the Army in the next ten years.
  2. Thing is Gunny, most of the decent folk around the UK feel the same - we're just led around by a few cretins with their own agendas and a deeply unpopular political game to play. An excellent piece, in a similar vein was written by Dominic Lawson in the FT a while ago (1995?). Basically he said that we had sold most of our institutions down the river many moons ago - but our Forces remained intact.
  3. and we've known for years that Britain has 2 governments Blair who deals with foreign issues and Brown who deals with domestic issues.
    Max hastings does hit the nail on the head though. Old Labour has no love for the armed forces and see us as a waste of resources. Has anyone the figures on how many MP's have military service? and how many Labour MP's have military service? I know they've Nurses, Doctors, Social workers and professional politicians.
  4. I find it hard, sometimes to reconcile this "Old Labour" hate the Military thing.

    Much as I detest the whole cabal, it is of note, that Denis Healey believed in strong armed forces , and even the Viscount Stansgate , sorry Tony Benn. very anti-Nuke, and pissing billions to have our own deterrent, when the final launch say so , had to come from the Yanks. But a believer in strong defence forces just the same.

    Mind you, they are both combat veterans. I saw the interview with Denis Healey the other night, over the Indonesian confrontation , and he left me in no doubt, as to what his feelings were. Was also surprised about Harold Wilsons feelings on Vietnam ."No, it's a quagmire, I won't lose British troops over it"

    Of course, there was the cancellation of TSR 2 , and the RAF Hercules replacement, but then again, which political party started "The Strategic Defence Review?"

    GAH! Politicians, whatever hue, they're all just bloated runnning dogs, until they prove otherwise, as far as we are concerned.
  5. was it not healey who cancelled (thankfuly) CVA01 HMS Queen Elizabeth & HMS Duke of Edinburgh the replacement for Eagle and Ark Royal IV and scrapped our last big carriers, V bomber Fleet, Retired the Belfast (that we've had to hire every year since) Re oerintated our forces to NATO only. Ordered the waste of money Nimrod AEW3 need i go on.
    we've not had much luck with ministers of defence since.
  6. msr

    msr LE

    Already the Army's reconnaissance vehicles are older than the soldiers who man them

    what else?

  7. as are the 432's
  8. Unknown_Quantity

    Unknown_Quantity War Hero Moderator

    Clansman. Only the most senior serving soldiers and officers can remeber it coming in.
  9. yes but clansman is actually being replaced now.

    432 is to have a mid life update!!!!!!
  10. Unknown_Quantity

    Unknown_Quantity War Hero Moderator

    Mid life update? Would this be like Baldricks broom (6 new heads and 14 new handles - but still the same broom), or would it be having some desk walla say that in his opinion we should stop winging and accept that it is the best we're going to get?

    That wasn't supposed to sound bitter.
  11. Triggers broom mate, Triggers. He got an award for it.
  12. And so we come to the real reason for Tone's enthusiasm for going into Iraq as second violin to the US. Any future conflict will be beyond the capability of our Forces, but he can always pull in a favour...........
  13. Yes, judging by the way USAID has fallen over itself, to make sure British companies got their share of important contracts in Iraq, the cousins know full well, Britains value to them, as a coalition partner :evil: