Afghan envoys get a pool as our troops go thirsty

#1
The Foreign Office has built a swimming pool for diplomats at Kabul's British Embassy - while soldiers complain of water shortages on the front line 400miles away.

The 18-metre pool, which has been built inside the high security compound in the Afghan capital, was completed a fortnight ago for the Embassy's 152 British and 76 Afghan employees.

It takes an estimated 50,000gallons of water to fill - enough to supply soldiers fighting the Taliban in the southern Helmand Province with 750,000 250ml bottles of water.

Last night, the Foreign Office insisted the pool, which cost tens of thousands of pounds, and a gym were leisure facilities for staff, who can spend up to two years in their posts.

But Iraq war hero Colonel Tim Collins said: "This is what happens in Kabul amongst the NATO allies. They have barbecues themed on individual nations and go swimming.

"It illustrates the stark difference between life in the British Army and life in the Foreign Office. If Labour could turn down the oxygen on the Army, they would.

"Sadly, it reflects the value this Government places in the Armed Forces in contrast to its attitude towards the diplomatic service."

Many of the 7,100 British soldiers currently serving in the searing heat of Afghanistan have complained regularly of the shortage of fresh water while facing the enemy.

Seventy British troops have died on operations in Afghanistan since 2001.

Shadow Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: "The brave men and women of our armed forces who are putting life and limb on the line in Afghanistan will no doubt question the priorities of the Foreign Office.

"With troops suffering shortages of equipment in Helmand, this revelation will do little to raise morale."

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "There is no public pool for staff to use, so we have provided one to give them somewhere to relax."

Source: Sunday Mail
 
#2
Malteser said:
The Foreign Office has built a swimming pool for diplomats at Kabul's British Embassy - while soldiers complain of water shortages on the front line 400miles away.

The 18-metre pool, which has been built inside the high security compound in the Afghan capital, was completed a fortnight ago for the Embassy's 152 British and 76 Afghan employees.

It takes an estimated 50,000gallons of water to fill - enough to supply soldiers fighting the Taliban in the southern Helmand Province with 750,000 250ml bottles of water.

Last night, the Foreign Office insisted the pool, which cost tens of thousands of pounds, and a gym were leisure facilities for staff, who can spend up to two years in their posts.

But Iraq war hero Colonel Tim Collins said: "This is what happens in Kabul amongst the NATO allies. They have barbecues themed on individual nations and go swimming.

"It illustrates the stark difference between life in the British Army and life in the Foreign Office. If Labour could turn down the oxygen on the Army, they would.

"Sadly, it reflects the value this Government places in the Armed Forces in contrast to its attitude towards the diplomatic service."

Many of the 7,100 British soldiers currently serving in the searing heat of Afghanistan have complained regularly of the shortage of fresh water while facing the enemy.

Seventy British troops have died on operations in Afghanistan since 2001.

Shadow Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: "The brave men and women of our armed forces who are putting life and limb on the line in Afghanistan will no doubt question the priorities of the Foreign Office.

"With troops suffering shortages of equipment in Helmand, this revelation will do little to raise morale."

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "There is no public pool for staff to use, so we have provided one to give them somewhere to relax."

Source: Sunday Mail
Ahhh. Silly season at the Daily/Sunday Hate- and good old Tim collins doing his usual "Disgusted from Aldershot" act. What a total non-story.
 
#3
What planet you on, how the hell can the lack of supply to front line troops who are comming down with dehydration be a non story when the very same government who cant supply them build a swimming pool for diplomats who are kept safe by the very same troops who are under equipped.

Are you saying the lack of supply of essential supplies isnt important?
 
#4
crabtastic said:
Ahhh. Silly season at the Daily/Sunday Hate- and good old Tim collins doing his usual "Disgusted from Aldershot" act. What a total non-story.
Hummm I am not sure if those now in Theatre would agree with you.

A non story? Is it lonely up there on your pedestal?
 
#5
Edited, let's keep it on thread.
 
#6
"The Civil Administration has issued a demolition order for the picnic site following complains by the Palestinian residents, and stated that the order would be carried out in the coming days."

Funny how sergey forgot this bit from the same story which rather undermines the point he was trying so desperately to make.....

Thus the settlers are being made to demolish the pool (which is apparently only a small hole not a fully lined pool with diving boards etc!). This has NOTHING to do with the main story about the Afghan chairborne warriors and their comforts so why did sergy stick it in here...? Hmm.....

EDITED BY POSTER: I note the MOD removed sergey's ridiculous attempt to tie the Israelis into this thread. ......
 
#7
Malteser said:
What planet you on, how the hell can the lack of supply to front line troops who are comming down with dehydration be a non story when the very same government who cant supply them build a swimming pool for diplomats who are kept safe by the very same troops who are under equipped.

Are you saying the lack of supply of essential supplies isnt important?
Vonshot said:
Hummm I am not sure if those now in Theatre would agree with you.

A non story? Is it lonely up there on your pedestal?
What are you suggesting? That they siphon the water out of the pool, put it into jerrycans and send it South?

Firstly, go away and ask a loggie (or your local water company) about water supplies and how it gets from somewhere where there is lots of water to somewhere where there isn't. Next, go and find out how much it would cost to build a pool in the UK- then factor in the pitifully low cost of local labour. My guess is you're going to see plenty of change from ten grand- in other words- absolutely fcuk-all in a 5 year plan which would buy you about 1/4 of a bowser. Lastly, it's the FCO's cash, not the army's and the FCO will be there long after the army has left.

And if you are under the impression that the FCO has more money than it knows what to do with then you're in Cloud-cuckooland. If you want to piss and moan about civil-servants wasting taxpayers money on pointless extravagances I suggest you take a tour around MoD Main Building.

Or is this answer too rooted in practicalities for you?
 
#8
crabtastic said:
and the FCO will be there long after the army has left.
Just like Basra Palace, right?

msr
 
#9
Cabarfeidh said:
"The Civil Administration has issued a demolition order for the picnic site following complains by the Palestinian residents, and stated that the order would be carried out in the coming days."

Funny how sergey forgot this bit from the same story which rather undermines the point he was trying so desperately to make.....

Thus the settlers are being made to demolish the pool (which is apparently only a small hole not a fully lined pool with diving boards etc!). This has NOTHING to do with the main story about the Afghan chairborne warriors and their comforts so why did sergy stick it in here...? Hmm.....

EDITED BY POSTER: I note the MOD removed sergey's ridiculous attempt to tie the Israelis into this thread. ......
And it has been done quite rightfully. It was a joke (as ever), not serious post.

Back to the theme. What is wrong with the pool in Kabul? I believe that British diplomats working in difficult conditions in Afghanistan have right to it. As for water supplies for the troops then it is a separate problem.
 
#10
msr said:
crabtastic said:
and the FCO will be there long after the army has left.
Just like Basra Palace, right?

msr
Well,that's the plan... there are no guarantees though, are there?
 
#11
crabtastic said:
What are you suggesting? That they siphon the water out of the pool, put it into jerrycans and send it South?
Now you be being compeltly stupid. What the Government SHOULD have done is ensured that the troops were full equipped FIRST.

crabtastic said:
Firstly, go away and ask a loggie (or your local water company) about water supplies and how it gets from somewhere where there is lots of water to somewhere where there isn't. Next, go and find out how much it would cost to build a pool in the UK- then factor in the pitifully low cost of local labour. My guess is you're going to see plenty of change from ten grand- in other words- absolutely fcuk-all in a 5 year plan which would buy you about 1/4 of a bowser. Lastly, it's the FCO's cash, not the army's and the FCO will be there long after the army has left.
It is the Money of the British Government in case you have missed it, last time I checked the FCO were part of that. It is the simple fact that front line troops are suffering that another government department wastes money that could have been spent on more worthwhile items, you also seemed to have missed out the security costs in bringing in these supplies.

crabtastic said:
And if you are under the impression that the FCO has more money than it knows what to do with then you're in Cloud-cuckooland. If you want to urine and moan about civil-servants wasting taxpayers money on pointless extravagances I sugget you take a tour around MoD Main Building.
I would feel the same way about waste there as well, this government no matter what the department has a retarded sense of responsibility choosing to waste Billions of pounds when they are risking peoples lives.

From the tone of your email you give the impression of being one of the anti military burocrats in the Government??
 
#12
crabtastic said:
Malteser said:
What planet you on, how the hell can the lack of supply to front line troops who are comming down with dehydration be a non story when the very same government who cant supply them build a swimming pool for diplomats who are kept safe by the very same troops who are under equipped.

Are you saying the lack of supply of essential supplies isnt important?
What are you suggesting? That they siphon the water out of the pool, put it into jerrycans and send it South?

Firstly, go away and ask a loggie (or your local water company) about water supplies and how it gets from somewhere where there is lots of water to somewhere where there isn't. Next, go and find out how much it would cost to build a pool in the UK- then factor in the pitifully low cost of local labour. My guess is you're going to see plenty of change from ten grand- in other words- absolutely fcuk-all in a 5 year plan which would buy you about 1/4 of a bowser. Lastly, it's the FCO's cash, not the army's and the FCO will be there long after the army has left.

And if you are under the impression that the FCO has more money than it knows what to do with then you're in Cloud-cuckooland. If you want to urine and moan about civil-servants wasting taxpayers money on pointless extravagances I suggest you take a tour around MoD Main Building.

Or is this answer too rooted in practicalities for you?


I doubt those actually on the ground there today would share your "non Story" "what about MOD main building" malarkey. Are you a University lecturer or something?

Muddying the waters, If you dont get it then fair enough.
 
#13
crabtastic said:
msr said:
crabtastic said:
and the FCO will be there long after the army has left.
Just like Basra Palace, right?

msr
Well,that's the plan... there are no guarantees though, are there?
How is it when this Government can find the supplies, staff and funds to build this pool at the same time as neglecting essential supplies to the troops.
 
#15
Old dit same as the Basra Palace pool shame story!!

Don't get fecked off because the FCO looks after its staff, be fecked off that your hierachy fails to support you correctly

FCO staff in these gigs are all volunteers, they want to be there and have to be looked after as they have the choice not to be there. Unlike Britmil plc

And if you believe that the Basra palace FCO staff readily jumped ship you are badly mistaken. These decisions are made much higher up. The palace staff battled to stay on the location till the bitter end

Anyways was a mail story so bolliks anyhoo
 
#16
Ahhh. Silly season at the Daily/Sunday Hate- and good old Tim collins doing his usual "Disgusted from Aldershot" act. What a total non-story.
Dictated crabtastic to his secretary, as he lounged with a large Martini, by the pool, at the embassy, in Kabul.
 
#17
thegimp said:
And if you believe that the Basra palace FCO staff readily jumped ship you are badly mistaken. These decisions are made much higher up. The palace staff battled to stay on the location till the bitter end
I am quite sure their 'hardship posting' salary supplement ensured that...

msr
 
#18
Malteser said:
What planet you on, how the hell can the lack of supply to front line troops who are comming down with dehydration be a non story when the very same government who cant supply them build a swimming pool for diplomats who are kept safe by the very same troops who are under equipped.

Are you saying the lack of supply of essential supplies isnt important?
Don't let the Mail wind you up so easily. Of course an under supply of fresh water to front line troops is a serious matter. But that's got b'ugger all to do with a swimming pool in Kabul. The pool for the embassy and water from the troops come from different dept. budgets.
The Mail being the nasty petty minded rag it is is trying to suggest that embassy staff are swimming in stuff that the soldiers could be drinking. That of course is patent nonsense.
That rag is just mixing it. And don't think they give a toss about the troops either, they were just using them for a point scoring exercise.

In fact its really odd and I hope its not lost on the common soldier. The conservative rags will pick up and drop soldiers concerns when they want to use them for their own agendas, But the papers not liked by the soldiers like the Independent and the Guardian seem to be doing a proper job publishing articles portraying accurately the soldiers plight.
Time to jettison a few prejudices and review who your friends are.
 
#19
Fellas. It's not rocket science.

Kabul- plenty of water.
Helmand (400 miles away)- not very much water.

If it was troops in Kabul who were suffering from water shortages then you'd have a case. As it is, what you're complaining about is much the same as a Tom fighting in the Libyan desert in WWII complaining about all the water they're using up in Alexandria (also 4-500 miles away).

Next, the FCO has a budget in the region of £1.15-1.2 billion a year. The UK defence budget (and this doesn't include the money being spent on ops- which comes from a Treasury contingency fund) is over £30 billion. In other words, the people whose job it is to keep you out of trouble in the first place have about 4% of the budget that the armed forces has. Tell you what, if money's that tight, why not shut down the pool at MoD St Athan? That's a 30m pool- lots more water than the one in Kabul. While we're at it, why not shut down the Hives on camps all over the country to save some money? It's the MoD's money being spent on non-operational luxuries such as providing for the welfare of families. You wouldn't even have to bother involving the Treasury.

Tell you what, boys and girls, if you can make an honest and convincing case that the cost of building a swimming pool in Kabul is going to have a significant impact on the ability to supply water for the people on the front line in Helmand, then I'll write a cheque to Gordon today.

I'm being facetious for a reason. This story is good for rabble-rousing, nothing more, and it pays absolutely no attention to the practical difficulties involved in providing much-needed resources. The Daily Mail and their ilk are excellent at telling you what to be angry at, but they're not very good at telling you how to fix the problems they highlight.

So, putting a serious tone on things for a minute. Somebody explain to me how the few grand that is being spent on this pool would substantially improve the way of life for the boys and girls in Helmand. If you want, you can even provide other examples of such rampant and endemic FCO waste that could be put to better use by HMF.

Or would you rather just be angry?
 
#20
" The pool for the embassy and water from the troops come from different dept. budgets. "


It comes from the same place gootkurtz,the taxpayers wallet.
 

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