Accommodation Campaign - BAFF latest

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hackle, Oct 28, 2007.

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  1. First off, BAFF doesn't claim a monopoly on campaigning for decent living accommodation for our serving men and women.

    Since its launch at the end of last year, BAFF has been prominent enough in the media quotes on the subject, but this isn't about competing organisations and spokesmen -

    * This is about working to increasing the pressure on the Government;

    * about making it ever more politically painful for the Govt NOT to provide decent home accommodation for all our sailors, soldiers and airmen;

    * to put it more kindly, about making it ever more politically attractive for the Govt to allocate more money to providing decent home accommodation.

    It should not have been necessary to add that if the "usual suspects" who comment on the issue were somehow to amalgamate or "speak with one voice", instead of three or four quotes in a typical media report you would end up with just one.

    BAFF has a unique voice which cannot be replaced by the great and the good, nor in fact do they seek to, although we often agree on the big issues.

    And I'm not sure that Shadow Secretary of State Liam Fox would really appreciate his party being renamed as the "Conservative and Unionist British Armed Forces and Army Families Federation" - although he might be tempted!

    So that's some of the background. Recent media stories to follow.
  2. Today's News of the World - "Slums for squaddie heroes - Scandal of the squaddies who live in squalor"

    See the full story and the photographs.

    But for the 'ARRSE' record, this is the bit quoting BAFF:

  3. And in yesterday's Sun

    From Helmand to hellhole - barracks worse than jail (LINK)

    My bold. More to follow.
  4. Hackle,

    The historic raiding of the Estates budget to fund shortfalls in other capability areas is well-documented and recognised. It must also be acknowledged that the Government is committing funding to resolve the issue, although the quantity and timing of the funding, coupled with the huge lead-in time to sign off contracts, will ensure that delivery of new accn is not as fast as we would perhaps desire.

    I imagine that all the SLA referred to is currently classed as Grade 4 for accn charges which effectively means, quite properly, that very little or nothing is paid for accn.

    Soldiers do, however, pay full food charges whilst occupying this low-grade accn, and it would be a thoughtful, and well-received gesture, if the Treasury were to authorise field conditions, where appropriate, whilst this situation persists.
  5. Sound points, if I may say so.

    Incidentally, I have been the first to acknowledge the commitment of additional funding to accommodation, often drawing attention to such announcements right here on ARRSE.

    I have gone out of my way to stress in both TV and radio interviews that there is some very good accommodation now available.

    Despite that, we have also had to mention that even with the additional funding allocations, the refurbishment programme means that it is still possible for an individual to join HM Forces tomorrow, and spend a reasonable number of years in uniform with perhaps several operational tours, and yet never get the benefit of the improved accommodation.
  6. So, here are three different quotes from the SUN: Barracks worse than jail story mentioned earlier.

    Comment: The three quotes surely complement one another, but each speaks with their own voice. If they had been forced into the straightjacket of "speaking with one voice" as suggested elsewhere, we would surely have ended up with a single quote - produced by a committee.

  7. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    I agree with you 100% on that Hackle. A classic example was the uniting of the Field Sports Groups under the one umbrella organisation of the Countryside Alliance. The concept was one united voice, which has a reasonably powerful punch; but the effect was to have 1 quoted comment from our side against the 3 or 4 opposing views quoted.
  8. To take Hackle's point:

    The more (separate) voices, the better. If one were to channel all of these protests through a single organisation Ministers would have a relatively easy task in stifling public comment. The very fact that there are many voices makes that process so much more difficult for them.

    We're dealing with a Government which has specialised in 'news management' from day one. It is in its interests to reduce the number of individual protest groups down to one. You can bet that it will at some stage suggest a 'joint meeting of all parties' - in order to acquire a measure of control. That is (or should be) a standard manoevre for any 'news management' team.

    If this campaign is to get anywhere it needs very widespread and vocal protest. So, as and when such a suggestion is put forward by HMG, it would be as well to bear that in mind. I'd suggest that any such 'joint meeting' should be followed by press releases from each of the organisations invited, and that any hint of a post-meeting 'joint statement' be strongly resisted.
  9. msr

    msr LE

    Until everyone gets bored of 'whinging soldiers'.

  10. Well that's a possibility - so shall we give up now, then? And what about 'moaning cops' or 'rebellious teachers' etc, etc.

    No, all the time our people are visibly involved in these wars, fighting and dying, the sympathy balance is in favour of the military.

    And that has actually been the trouble. Once there is relative peace the great British public will, as you say, get bored with the 'whinging'. The armed services will slide off the front pages of newspapers, the television news, and that means less public support for decent conditions, pay, kit and so on. Before we know where we're at there'll be public support for troop reductions and 'modernisation'.

    Not being too cynical, but I say that right now is the moment to campaign for these necessities.
  11. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    Recieved an interesting letter from "The Rt Hon Don Touhig MP" (his words not mine) yesterday after I wrote to him after his shoody display in the Defense Policy Debat.

    The under investment in service accommodation is due to the Tory's defence spending policies of the 80's so come on folks stop blaming these nice guys in government. Its not their fault, it happened under someone else's watch.

    How many years do they need??????????
  12. Thank you both for those points.

    On 'whinging soldiers', BAFF spokespeople (not just me) do take a balanced position, and I always try to throw in a positive comment where I can. After all, one of our prime aims is to uphold the status of the military profession.

    As well as down-the-line interviews, I've been a studio guest on a few phone-ins. (Most recently, I had the great honour to be the 'on-side' speaker in a phone-in to mark this week's launch of the Annual Poppy Appeal in Scotland.)

    True there has been the occasional caller to say "in my day we had to march 5 miles to the cookhouse and 5 miles back again, both times uphill ... Boots? we had to make our own boots out of wood...", etc

    But in my experience, most of the anti "whinging soldiers, they knew what they were getting into" brigade have been just as anti HM Government as they are anti-today's serving personnel.
  13. All very true, but prisoners have better accomodation and dont pay for it or the food charge either. Pretty undefensible either way......
  14. I agree with hackle. Metaphorically speaking the only thing that gets action out of modern day politicians is getting them down on the floor in a Half Nelson and threatening to cut their throats! From pay and conditions to accommodation the money that is being given to defence will not solve these problems during the careers of many of today's serving personnel.

    Why is it that if Iraq but most importantly Afghanistan are so important to the security of this country is defence such a low priority? If the personnel of the armed forces are so important to defending our way of life why is it that morale is being allowed to be eroded away at such an alarming rate by lack of investment? Why is it that if Afghanistan is such a pivotal position of foreign office policy the government is allowing the forces to disintegrate by lack of care and attention? Just how does the Foreign Office aim to carry out its policy without well motivated armed forces? None of it really makes much sense does it?

    BAFF led by hackle are doing a first class job, within their resources, but we need more hands to the pump. To get your point through to the present government you need armour piercing PR shells.
  15. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    The was also a piece in the times yesterday. Just a thought, l was at magilligan training center last month. The acf has a brand new, purpose built center with indoor .22 range & lifts to the upper floors. So how come they can find the dosh for that & not maintbining a soldier's home? A year or so ago while working for sky i was in one of the rooms io one of the old blocks. The new occupant had to put buckets around the room to catch the rain. And then the cieling fell in!.