Backlash: Armed Forces face Browns fury

Brown's fury? What for? Speaking the truth about overstretch, underfunding and shameful accommodation? If senior commanders - who have spoken out valiantly recently - are gagged, then we should be thankful that the BAFF initiative has taken root.

As for leak inquiries, these spawn more leaks and if every suspect malcontent was sacked then there would be precious few personnel left!

Finally - we know who the public trust more, and it is not the government. Bear this in mind in Scotland this year and during the next general election.

Armed forces face Brown's fury
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:29am GMT 07/01/2007

Defence chiefs believe that the Armed Forces are now viewed by senior Labour figures as a "Tory organisation", leaving them at risk of incurring the wrath of Gordon Brown, the Chancellor.

Senior officers fear that relations with Labour are so bad that the Chief of the Defence Staff will have to issue official orders at senior level, banning the leaking of stories damaging to the Government.

Months of unofficial briefings by senior commanders have sparked increasing fears that the Ministry of Defence will be left the "poor relations" of Government spending, with defence budgets slashed during this year's Comprehensive Spending Review.

The crisis has been fuelled in recent months by a deluge of leaked documents and a series of bitter attacks on the Government's defence policy by senior military figures, complaining that the Armed Forces are under-resourced but over-committed on operations around the world.

Defence chiefs are also understood to be deeply concerned that the leaking of documents will appear to the wider Labour Party as part of a "corporate strategy" to extract more money from the Treasury ahead of the review.

Defence chiefs believe that the military's fondness for traditional values and conservative tendencies have left them with very few friends within the Labour hierarchy. Mr Brown, who is preparing to succeed Tony Blair as Prime Minister, is known to regard the MoD as one of the most "financially wasteful" departments within the Government and is understood to hold the personal view that the military is a pro-Tory organisation.

Only John Reid, who served as both a minister for the Armed Forces and as defence secretary, is understood to have had a fruitful working relationship with the military.

Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said that it was "disgusting but predictable" that Labour should treat the problems within defence as a party political issue rather than a national issue.

The recent level of leaked stories from within the MoD is regarded as so "grave" that Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, plans to issue a communique to the three heads of the Armed Forces ordering them to clamp down on leaks and unofficial briefings because they damage the military's reputation for being non-political.

It can also be revealed that MoD officials are threatening to launch leak inquires similar to that which exposed Dr David Kelly, the scientist who committed suicide after claiming that the Government had "sexed up" its dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Documents leaked last week showed that half of the Royal Navy fleet is to be mothballed, that there will be no officer promotions in the Navy for five years and that the Army has been forced to raise the maximum age of new recruits from 26 to 33 in an attempt to stave off a recruiting crisis.

Over the past few months, in what is called the military's "autumn of discontent", virtually every area of the Services, from the treatment of injured soldiers to the appalling state of accommodation, has come under public scrutiny.

Details of plans to cancel parachute training for four years as part of a £1 billion cost-cutting programme were leaked to The Sunday Telegraph last month. The officer who provided details said he felt "morally obliged to act because the Government was not listening to the military".

A senior MoD source said: "The leaking going on is severely damaging and there are people within the Treasury who now view the military as pro-Tory and that is going to have an impact on budgets. We all understand the frustration of those who leak documents to the press, but they ought to consider the consequences of their actions."

Patrick Mercer, the Tory spokesman for homeland security who was an infantry commanding officer, said: "The Armed Forces are not a political organisation but they have simply had enough of being treated with contempt by this Government."

Mr Fox said: "The reason that leaks are appearing is because of the build-up of frustration and anger in the Armed Forces about the way in which Labour are increasingly willing to commit our forces to combat without giving the support they require.

"These are men and women who are prepared to pay the ultimate price for this country's security but who have been betrayed by a Government which is possibly the most self-serving and party political in our history."
As an afterthought...

Brown is vulnerable. I know his constituency well as I grew up in it.

Historically the main industries were coalmining and the Rosyth dockyard. When I were a lad(!) the main aspiration of schoolboys was a dockyard apprenticeship. There are plenty of bitter memories of the loss of many dockyard jobs over the years and a general resentment towards Labour in the area. The neighbouring seat was lost to the Lib Dems over hospital closures after the death of the much-respected MP Rachel Squire.

If defence does badly under a Brown premiership it will play very poorly in his constituency, also a recruiting ground for the Black Watch or whichever Bn of the Royal Regiment of Scotland it is now (we had a Scottish Division a decade ago!)
none of this is going to help recruitment and retention along with pitiful barracks standards, I have seen some WW2 nissen huts still being used on camp when they should have been knocked down ages ago.

I have the feeling Gordon Brown is going to be the worst Prime Minister ever !


I am a little offended as being brushed as pro-Tory simply because I am serving.

However, when I joined, John Major was in power. I'm in the pension trap now, i've got another 8 to push, but I sure as fcuk wouldn't have joined up if bLiar was in power when I was 18.

Brown as well. And Prescott. Cnuts, the lot of them. I wouldn't trust them as far as I could shoot them - and i'm a good shot.


Quote:- "Patrick Mercer, the Tory spokesman for homeland security who was an infantry commanding officer, said: "The Armed Forces are not a political organisation but they have simply had enough of being treated with contempt by this Government."

At least theTories have some ex forces in their ranks, not like the current lot of ex left wing tree hugging student lesbian outreach workers who wouldnt know what a days hard work was, im no Tory fan but i fing hate Bliar.
Gentlemen, remember this is the Labour party half these MP's were fully paid up members of CND, many old communists who would love nothing more than to see the armed forces of the United Kingdom to be destroyed.

I don't know a single Labour MP that has served in the armed forces but there are many in the Tory party. Does that show something?


iamaviking said:
im no Tory fan but i fing hate Bliar.

Damn right.

Unfortunately i'm at the level where (if the lying b@stard ever visited our location) I would be expected to make sure the blokes he met would say the right thing, kiss his arrse, etc, etc. Thank fcuk this hasn't happened because I would quite happily sacrifice my pension for the opportunity to deck the cnut if bLiar's odious face ever drifted within my reach.

I hate the b@stard beyond belief, loathe his sh1t-eating grin, and as for that munter he calls a wife, don't get me started on that b1tch.

8 years to push, then shrimps on the barbie for this boy. Labour have fcuked this country up beyond repair.


Well the sole rep for Labour is actually Major Eric Joyce ex Pte 1 BW who then neglected to add (I left the Army and did a uni degree) on his website thus implying he was commissioned from 1 BW into the ETS....wonder why? Especially as the AGC didn't exist in 1987 as he claims on his website!

(He has actually now added a bit since last year about taking time away to do Religious Studies at Stirling which wasn't there on the website before - I know as a senior Tory MP was talking to me about it last year - the man is a laughing stock in parliament and almost claimed some 100,000 last year the highest expenses bill of any MP including those who live further away! )

Oh and he used to LOVE posing in nice clean combats when he was at the centre of the furore about leaking and making allegations in Labour controlled magazines such as the Fabian. Now the boot is on the other foot Labour are whinging about the Forces complaining?

The sum total of Labour's combat experience...I know many ETS officers who have more combat experience than that buffoon!


"departments within the Government hold the personal view that the military is a pro-Tory organisation"


I thought the entire government was a pro-Tory organisation since it is virtually impossible to get an ideological cigarette paper between them!

Brown's fury?

A blatant in terrorum threat of funding 'implications' which they trot out every time an organisation fails to adhere to the party line - they issued the same in terrorum threat over the Kelly affair by dropping vague hints that the attitude of the BBC would be a relevant consideration when it's Royal Charter came up for renewal.

Notice how they do not address the substantive arguments but instead prefer to find a pejorative label as a poor substitute for reasoned analysis!

Every time they kick the military they alienate the voters who feel more affinity for the military than they do for the government. The more they cut funding or threaten to do so, the more they alienate the voting public and hasten their own political demise.

They can issue gagging orders until they are blue in the face. It will make not the slightest bit of difference. Leaks will continue to occur, damaging disclosures will continue to cause severe political damage and will accelerate with every single financial kick given to the military by the political establishment.

The government are running scared at the moment and the smell of it is rank as the realisation begins to sink home that their days in office are numbered!


The c0ck is actually stalking & copying me!

Eric Joyce MP was born on the 13th October 1960. He lived in Perth with his family for most of his infant and teenage years before joining the army in 1978. Initially a private in the Black Watch, Eric went on to attend the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Adjutant General's Corps in 1987. During his time in the army, Eric served in the UK, Northern Ireland, Germany and Central America.

Yeah, yeah. I'd been to all those places in bold before I was even 9 years of age. :roll:

Between 1981 and 1987, Eric took time away from the army to attend technical college and University where he gained a BA(Hons) in Religious Studies from Stirling University.

Stayed there during a school trip when I was 11. The guy is clearly a monumental Walt with a hard-on for me. He even had the audacity to be born in the same month! 8O

He will be hearing from my solicitor!


Another article CLICK

One source said: "The message from the top will be, 'If you want the Treasury to cough up, then shut up'."

Perhaps the treasury should have coughed up before the brass felt the need to speak up.

Threats to cut even more from a government that holds its Armed Forces in contempt despite commiting them to their dodgy political wars :x
After the May elections Brown and the labour party are going to be on a very tight margin politically (a real shock to the class of 97) and in the run up to the next general elections I believe that the Armed Forces and their various commitments are going to be a major issue. Brown is not as petty as bliar in his vendettas - apart from the one he is going to unleash on tonys cronies. He would have to be insane to alienate ALL UK supporters of the Armed Forces given that their votes could be vital to his (doomed) plans to get actually elected by the population.

I think that major spends like the aircraft carriers etc are in grave danger, but he will give a relatively low cost crowd pleaser like pay matching to Police and fire etc plus a one off tax free bonus - from a 'grateful nation'


One source said: "The message from the top will be, 'If you want the Treasury to cough up, then shut up'."

It is the distorted philosophy of the rapist who blames the victim for her own demise. " You are embarrassing me by your screams when I rape you and if you do not stop screaming I am going to rape you more frequently than before since by your screams you are responsible for bringing the rape upon yourself. If you do stop screaming it means that my continued abuse of your body is not happening in reality since no-one can hear your cries."

In other words, you the Military had better stop complaining since your failure to do so makes you directly responsible for accelerating the demise which we had planned for you in any event.

So, senior officers of the Armed Services, the message is clear. bite the pillow hard, bend over and take it up the backside in silence as you are constitutionally obliged to do so and allow your betters to shaft you in secret while we avoid the political consequences of doing so.

You know it makes sense!

I plead guilty to reductio ad absudum to give clarity to the absurdness of the message alleged to have been conveyed by the Government
Ugggh, just got a mental image the "Even Greater Leader Brown" ordering a Purge of the armed forces before Germany tries for the hattrick...


Typical political spin. It is not the leaks causing the problems and embarresment, but the policies themselves ffs.


I never thought I would find myself saying this but: "Reid for PM!!"
This is all a bit rich coming from the very organisation (The Labour Party hierarchy) who made a science out of something that always existed - leaks - only the leaks are now no longer always in their favour.

As things are not going too well, what chance Mandy back on the scene?

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