Ancram Pledges to Save Regiments

#1
Shadow Foreign Secretary and Conservative Deputy Leader Michael Ancram is undertook a visit in Scotland pledging to save the six historic infantry regiments. Commenting, Mr Ancram said:

"Scotland's infantry regiments have fought with great dedication and professionalism for our country for hundreds of years, including recent operations in Iraq. Our regiments are envied the world over and it is ludicrous to suggest that scrapping them is the right way forward.

"Mr Blair's decision to scrap the regiments whilst many of them were actually in Iraq was crass in the extreme, and it is little wonder that many Scots have seen it as a naked betrayal of our forces.

"I am presenting the people of Scotland with a simple choice because there are only two possible outcomes on May 5th. The end of Scotland's regiments under Labour, or the reinstatement of our regiments with the Conservatives."

Shadow Scottish Secretary Peter Duncan joined Mr Ancram in Edinburgh and demanded further action to ensure that Scottish troops are entitled to vote in the General Election on May 5th. Further to Scottish Conservative research last year highlighting a consequence of new legislation which could lead to members of the armed services not being able to vote, it emerged that thousands of troops had missed the deadline to renew their "service voter" status. However, Conservatives believe that swift action could allow them to use a standard postal vote. Commenting, Mr Duncan said:

"It is clear now that the troops will not be able to register to vote in the way envisaged by the legislation. However this is simply not acceptable. There can barely be a greater injustice than our troops being denied the right to vote in an election where the future of their regiment is at stake.

"The new legislation made it difficult enough for troops to vote, but the government's tardy timekeeping in sending them the necessary documentation made it nigh on impossible. This is a scandalous situation which will leave a sour taste in the mouths of Scots.

"We believe there is still time to act, by ensuring that troops who are registered are sent a standard postal vote immediately which they would be able to return within the time limits.

"It is little wonder that trust in government is at an all time low. People all over Scotland are thinking what we're thinking. Imagine 5 more years of Mr Blair."
 

Auld-Yin

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#3
He can pledge all he likes there is fcuk all he can do about it. In fact if he were Sos Defence then I doubt very much if he would go back on the scrapping of any Regts never mind the Scottish ones.

He's a fecking politician FFS.
 
#4
That's like your Gran turning around in 1944 and saying Hitler must be stopped. Someone of no significance stating the obvious when it's too late to do anything about it.
 
#5
Whats the point? last time the torys were driving the bus, they culled half the fcuking army.
 
#6
There is of course an interesting twist - Dr John Reid (a Jock) is now the SoS. This won't make a blind bit of difference - unless Gordon Brown is made PM. We then have a PM and Defence Secretary who are both Jocks - getting rid of famous Scottish Regiments.

What is the timescale? If it is close to teh next General Election, will they think twice as they try and get a historic 4th term?

Maybe it is not over yet!
 
#7
Countryman said:
Bit late isn't it.
Actually Vimes' quote appears to be from a press release issued by the Scottish Conservatives on 20th April. Thanks Vimes for posting it, I don't think I saw it at the time.
 
#8
It's all well and good, but once they've gotten rid of the Seniors, WOs, commissioned officers and such like, how are they going to raise the regiments again without short-staffing the surviving regiments?
 
#9
MikeMcc said:
It's all well and good, but once they've gotten rid of the Seniors, WOs, commissioned officers and such like, how are they going to raise the regiments again without short-staffing the surviving regiments?
Mike, that question does not arise unless the Conservatives decide to issue a new pledge. Had the Tories been returned to power, the disbandments would have been halted before they happened. You will now have seen that the remarks quoted at the start of this thread were issued before the General Election.
 
#10
:oops:

Sorry - missed that!
 
#11
Balkanexpress said:
There is of course an interesting twist - Dr John Reid (a Jock) is now the SoS. This won't make a blind bit of difference - unless Gordon Brown is made PM. We then have a PM and Defence Secretary who are both Jocks - getting rid of famous Scottish Regiments.
And Blair's closest advisor (spin doctor) Alistair Campbell.
And Milburn's a (posh) geordie - a jock with his heid kicked in! 8)
 
#12
MikeMcc said:
It's all well and good, but once they've gotten rid of the Seniors, WOs, commissioned officers and such like, how are they going to raise the regiments again without short-staffing the surviving regiments?
Especially since the TA was decimated decades ago by Labour.
That is, there are no TA Bns of RA Bns to draw that tradition from.

The whole situation could have been handled much differently. For instance, instead of essencially disbanding all regiments and creating one brand spanking new one, BW could have been increased to 3 Bns, and RScots to 2 or 3 bns.
All other Scottish Regiments could have been preserved by moving them from the RA list to the TA list. This would also have the effect of bolstering the TA, which is said to be undersised for future role/deployments.

Perhaps though, the goal is to destroy tradition
 
#13
Balkanexpress said:
There is of course an interesting twist - Dr John Reid (a Jock) is now the SoS. This won't make a blind bit of difference - unless Gordon Brown is made PM. We then have a PM and Defence Secretary who are both Jocks - getting rid of famous Scottish Regiments.

What is the timescale? If it is close to teh next General Election, will they think twice as they try and get a historic 4th term?

Maybe it is not over yet!

Re Timescale; The all new singing and dancing "SUPER" Royal Regment of Scotland is due be formed on St Andrews Day (30th Nov) 2005.

As for 51 Highland Regiment TA,they are well fooked for recruits.This all due to previous "cuts" in the TA. 51 Highland and 52 Lowland are expected to form two Bns within the new Regt,yeah righto!!! They better get down to Castle Law/Barry Budden ranges and get some fig 11s to fill the ranks.

Does FIS stand for FCUKED INFANTRY STUCTURE?? :x
 
#14
Isnt Blair a Scot.

Will the Scottish Regiment be truely up and going by Nov 05, or will this simply be on Paper. I can see many discussions and arguements over, what the cap badge looks like and how to pass the port and what the regimental march will be. Does anyone or will anyone have time to figure this out...
 

Auld-Yin

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#15
hackle said:
MikeMcc said:
It's all well and good, but once they've gotten rid of the Seniors, WOs, commissioned officers and such like, how are they going to raise the regiments again without short-staffing the surviving regiments?
Mike, that question does not arise unless the Conservatives decide to issue a new pledge. Had the Tories been returned to power, the disbandments would have been halted before they happened. You will now have seen that the remarks quoted at the start of this thread were issued before the General Election.
If you believe any promise by a politician then I am afraid you hev gone right down in my estimation, Hackle.

The seeds of this change were laid many years ago and I doubt, had Howard been returned as leader of the majority party, he would have spent any sweat saving the Regiments, Scottish or otherwise.

Does not mean to say the battle is over!
 
#16
BRIAN said:
Isnt Blair a Scot.

Will the Scottish Regiment be truely up and going by Nov 05, or will this simply be on Paper. I can see many discussions and arguements over, what the cap badge looks like and how to pass the port and what the regimental march will be. Does anyone or will anyone have time to figure this out...
Alledgedly Bliar is a Scottish person,which amongst his other accolades is probably the nicest thing I could say about him.

30 Nov is the day that the new Regt will form up, or put another way,the date on which the current Scottish Infantry Regiments/Division will cease to exist within the British Army :cry: .If this is on paper or not I don`t know but I will keep ya posted if and when I get any info from muckers/ RHQ.

The uniform thing is tricky. The council of Scottish Colonels....AKA treacherous fatherless types :x .....decided that No; 1 and 2 dress for the "SUPER" Regt will be based around the Black Watch kilt also known as Government tartan . This has really pizsed every unit off. BW don`t want other units wearing their tartan,and other units don`t want to wear BW tartan,especially KOSB who don`t want to wear kilts. The new Colonel Commandant Scottish Div; Maj Gen Louden ( RHF) doesnt go for the tartan thing at all,he is known as a confirmed reformer.

A new Regt cap badge will come into being,but apparently some badges/hackles and other recognisable accoutrements will be retained. :? Confused ? So am I.

I expect that one of the two Scottish Div military bands will get the chop. However as Pipes and Drums platoons are primarily infantrymen, I would assume that they will be retained as P&D. The sensible thing would be to have Battalion march pasts as per present Regts march pasts and other duty tunes.The new Regimental march past, could then be a tune not used by any of the antecedant Regts.

This no doubt would be done in a New Labour, tree hugging,overly sensitive manner so as not to offend our peace loving Francophile surrender monkey neighbours,and the rest of the lentil eating world,due to our overtly embarassing warlike manner.

The new march past, under this Govt, would invariably be a pipe tune composed via a competiton and won by some lefty disadvantaged "Jonny Foreigner" type,whose only connection with Scotland is the stale and slightly mouldy packet of McVities shortbread, which he bought with his Giro at ASDA last Christmas.The new Regimental March past would be ingeniously titled "Ken Livingstons/Georgous Georges`/TCHs (Delete as appropriate) farewell to what was The Scottish Division". :evil:

However as Bagpipes are traditional,and New Labour don`t like traditions or elitism,and/or the Army, the new Regt will be expected to march past in review order to the tune played on the Stylophone :!: This in order to facilitate an Army ready for the challenges of the 21st Century rather than the 19th......... SH1T I sound like TCH!!

Getting back on track.... The current Regts are supposidly keeping their old names within the new Regt; Gen Richards, one of Jacksons mates at the MOD , told Lord Crickhowell that this is only a temporary measure.You can find this info in a Hansard debate in the House of Lords. I would assume that this goes for the whole of the infantry,and not just the Scottish Division, so old regimental names even in brackets,will vanish in time.

In a letter I recieved from my old CO; who was on the Council of Colonels it stated that if a former soldier visited the Battalion within the new structure, he would find everthing familiar to him,by way of duty tunes,customs and traditions. Personally I think my old unit, as per every other current infantry Battalion will be totally unrecognisable within a few years

Vive le difference!
 
#17
Auld-Yin said:
hackle said:
MikeMcc said:
It's all well and good, but once they've gotten rid of the Seniors, WOs, commissioned officers and such like, how are they going to raise the regiments again without short-staffing the surviving regiments?
Mike, that question does not arise unless the Conservatives decide to issue a new pledge. Had the Tories been returned to power, the disbandments would have been halted before they happened. You will now have seen that the remarks quoted at the start of this thread were issued before the General Election.
If you believe any promise by a politician then I am afraid you hev gone right down in my estimation, Hackle.

The seeds of this change were laid many years ago and I doubt, had Howard been returned as leader of the majority party, he would have spent any sweat saving the Regiments, Scottish or otherwise.

Does not mean to say the battle is over!
Auld-yin, the point of my post was simply that the Tories' pledge no longer applies post-election. The quote from Michael Ancram was causing confusion because it had not been made clear that he was speaking before the election. I don't entirely agree with your take on the Conservative pledge, but I won't waste time discussing hypotheticals.

Interesting and amusing, if depressing, post from JONESY. It will be the worst of all worlds for the new Regiment if there is no confidence in the new titles, hackles, pipe tunes and what have you remaining in place for the foreseeable future.
 
#18
hackle said:
Interesting and amusing, if depressing, post from JONESY. It will be the worst of all worlds for the new Regiment if there is no confidence in the new titles, hackles, pipe tunes and what have you remaining in place for the foreseeable future.
Agree. Good post by Jonesy. Unfortunately, and I think realistically, the "golden" threads for each Bn of the "new" regiment were only selling points for the idea. A means of convincing the opposition that the traditional Scottish Regiments were not being disbanded, only becoming "Battalions" instead of Regiments.
Jonesy is right I'm afraid, they will not remain in place, and it will quickly become unworkable to maintain. The 'golden threads' will quietly disapear in favour of trying to develop the "new" Regiment identity.
 

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