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Call me cynical, but...

#1
OK, further to my last on the "Scottish Regiments to be Saved" thread, I've now tracked down a fuller version of the "Eric Joyce saves regiments" story from the Press Association. See below. Editors please note it is not the fcuking Argyll and Southern Highlanders!

Note that the Joyce 'plan' is identical to what has been trailed for weeks now, since the meeting of the regimental colonels.

Arch-loyalist Mr Joyce seems to be trying to fool the media into believing that there have been concessions. Alternatively, if there is anything in the earlier story and it is true that the Govt are minded to make concessions, Joyce is trying to bounce them back to their original position. Sorry but I can't find any suggestion that he is behaving honourably in this matter.

Historic Regiments Could Be Saved from Axe

By Jude Sheerin, Scottish Press Association

Scotland’s historic Army regiments will “almost definitely” be saved from the axe under new proposals which the Government is set to adopt, an MP said today.

Eric Joyce has advised defence chiefs it would not be politically “feasible” to scrap the battle-scarred regiments after the deaths of Black Watch soldiers in Iraq.

Under the Falkirk West MP’s plan, the Black Watch, the Royal Highland Fusiliers, the Highlanders and the Argyll and Southern Highlanders will remain intact.

But he told the Ministry of Defence it would “seem logical” to go ahead with plans to merge the Kings Own Scottish Borderers and the Royal Scots.

Scottish newspaper reports said the Prime Minister has responded positively to the plan, although the final decision will be taken by the military.

Under Mr Joyce’s plan, the regiments will still come under an umbrella Scottish division but they will retain their regimental names, caps, badges and tartans.

The MP said: “I think the Scottish divisions will remain intact in terms of identity as will the regiments but the overarching sum of regimental function will be put into a collective headquarters across the whole Scottish division.


“Whatever the case, the regimental identity of the Black Watch, the Highlanders, the Argylls, the RHF, should remain intact.

“I think the Ministry of Defence will almost definitely go with that proposal.”

The new plan :?: :?: :?: comes after a storm of public and political protest erupted following Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon’s announcement in July of plans to scrap one of Scotland’s six infantry regiments and merge the remaining five.
http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=3739573
 
#2
hackle said:
Eric Joyce has advised defence chiefs it would not be politically “feasible” to scrap the battle-scarred regiments after the deaths of Black Watch soldiers in Iraq.
Yeah, that's right Eric. Cos the rest of them haven't ever sustained anything more serious than a grazed knee between them in their entire wussy existence.

...and not politically feasible for who exactly, Mr Joyce?
 
#3
I saw Joyce on the news last night. My he's certainly got Bluppets "Sincerity 101" down pat hasn't he?

I wondered how long it would take him to come out from under that stone.

Will Save the Scottish Regiments be making a comment on this Anne? :twisted:
 
#4
Will be interesting to see if this comes up in today's PM Questions.

Maybe a prearranged question from Joyce himself, in his usual place as close to the PM as possible. Poppy in lapel and glowing with self-satisfaction.
 

X-Inf

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#5
hackle said:
Will be interesting to see if this comes up in today's PM Questions.

Maybe a prearranged question from Joyce himself, in his usual place as close to the PM as possible. Poppy in lapel and glowing with self-satisfaction.
Sounds like you have just given the job description for the next SoS for Defence! :twisted:
 
#6
X-Inf said:
hackle said:
Will be interesting to see if this comes up in today's PM Questions.

Maybe a prearranged question from Joyce himself, in his usual place as close to the PM as possible. Poppy in lapel and glowing with self-satisfaction.
Sounds like you have just given the job description for the next SoS for Defence! :twisted:
Oh, sh*t, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
 
#7
I have always suspected that the government like to put out worst case scenario's and wait for the public outcry, then revert back to a more politically acceptable position and wait for the people and media to swallow it as if they had a change of heart and had actually listened to what the country wants.

typical spin from the dodgy gits up downing street!!

agent smith
 
#8
Man's a ****ing menace.

Nothing he has said about "his" plans is anything but a slightly different wording to main MoD / Treasury proposal to bring all of Scots Div (and the other regiments) under 1 umbrella "Uber" organisations.

Nothing in these proposals but spin and drivel (and that's being kind)

Bet he will even have the cheek to claim to be the man that saved the regiments come the election... :evil:
 
#9
You're perfectly right to be totally cynical Hackle. This is what they call "news management" to reach a pre-determined decision and make it look like it's a "victory" for the campaigners and a government which "listens".

They've been trailing stories about this regiment or that regiment being disbanded or amalgamated for well over a year now. It's to cause confusion and initiate a full blown campaign to save all the regiments so they can then look "good" when they come to a "compromise".

However that "compromise" will be what they were aiming for in the first place - disbanding one regiment or amalgamating two. The result is not a victory for the status quo but a win for their pre-determined plans. It's a totally cynical manipulation of people's opinions and hopes.

Save the Scottish Regiments should not fall for this one. It's an attempt to divide and rule. They're hoping that with StSR already set up and running that this will now divide the campaign with those who are not Kosbies and Royal Scots thinking they've won and depriving the campaign of active support. I'm not saying they wouldn't support the Kosbies and Royal Scots but by believing their regiments are safe they will feel less driven to take part.

It would be a mistake. For if they get the Kosbies and Royal Scots amalgamated who is to say that we won't be back here in another few years? Since 1945 Whitehall has been slowly but surely squeezing all the Scottish Regiments into one unit. This latest wheeze from Joyce is no guarantee that this trend will stop.

His idea of creating a Brigade is like you say not dissimilar to what has already been agreed. It won't take that much to just change the labels. They don't have any regard for tradition and identity - I heard recently that regimental belts were to be done away with. I often get the impression that they are going the way of US units and want them all to have numbers.

Maybe StSR has to get Patrick McGoohan to come out and say "We are not a number!"
 
#10
One can never be sure of course but the first real 'leaked' document that I ever saw was connected with the 1995 cuts when four TA bns were changed to Fire Sp instead of being axed. What I saw was the first mooted structure of the new TA and it was significantly different to the final version. So maybe the pressure groups do work.

That said, I also heard that the night before the final announcement, the minister responsible was going through the list of TACs to be cut with a map on the floor and saying things like 'no, not that one, it's in so-and-so's constituency so it stays open'.

Its not a new tactic to run something up the flagpole and see who salutes it before making up your own mind so I'm not so sure that the final form of the cuts is predetermined.
 
#11
Thanks everyone for valuable comments.

Uncharacteristically, I may have gone slightly too far in saying the "Joyce plan" is identical to what was previously proposed. The story claims that regimental names, caps, badges and tartans will be retained. I remain very cynical about this planted story.
 
#12
Today at question time Wednesday November 10, 2004
extracted from http://politics.guardian.co.uk/commons/story/0,9061,1347802,00.html

11.45am:
Tony Blair faces MPs today for the first time since the launch of the US-led assault on Falluja and the death of four members of the Black Watch just south of Baghdad.
He could also be asked about this weekend's fatal rail crash in Berkshire and the Scottish executive's long-tipped ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces.

12pm:
Labour's Calum MacDonald kicks off proceedings, paying tribute to those who fought in the two world wars, ahead of Remembrance Sunday. The PM echoes his words and adds that this Sunday will be especially significant for the British servicemen serving in Iraq.

...

12.10pm:
Scottish Labour MP Mohammed Sarwar asks about the future of the Scottish regiments set to be merged into a super-regiment - the subject of much media speculation. The PM replies that the decision on whether to keep the Black Watch and others has yet to be taken.

The Tory leader, Michael Howard, stays on the subject, asking why the PM can't intervene to save the Black Watch. Testily, Mr Blair repeats that the decision has yet to be made. Mr Howard rises again to accuse the PM of briefing the Scottish papers that he is going to "save" the historic regiments.

Mr Blair says he is "surprised" that Mr Howard should behave in this way and, with voice rising, says that the decision has not yet been made and that the accusation that the government is "undermining" the Black Watch in Iraq is another example of the Tories "shabby opportunism".

12.15pm:
The Lib Dem leader, Charles Kennedy, gets his chance and asks about the Black Watch's current duties in Iraq and whether British troops will have to replace them south of Baghdad after Christmas.

The PM says there are "no plans" to replace the Black Watch with other British troops.

With leading Iraqi insurgents already having fled Falluja ahead of the current attack, would the PM consider British troops assisting US forces in other areas, Mr Kennedy asks.

Mr Blair replies that the coalition forces would stop operations now in Falluja if the insurgents would lay down their arms. "I can't start making predictions" about other plans, he adds.

...

12.28pm:
Another Lib Dem, Tom Brake, asks the PM what he should tell the Sudanese ambassador when he meets him later today - a rare question about an individual MPs diary. Mr Blair says that Sudan should recognise that if it doesn't come into line with the obligations it has entered into it will face a tough international response.
 
#13
hackle said:
Today at question time Wednesday November 10, 2004
extracted from http://politics.guardian.co.uk/commons/story/0,9061,1347802,00.html

The Tory leader, Michael Howard, stays on the subject, asking why the PM can't intervene to save the Black Watch. Testily, Mr Blair repeats that the decision has yet to be made. Mr Howard rises again to accuse the PM of briefing the Scottish papers that he is going to "save" the historic regiments.

Mr Blair says he is "surprised" that Mr Howard should behave in this way and, with voice rising, says that the decision has not yet been made and that the accusation that the government is "undermining" the Black Watch in Iraq is another example of the Tories "shabby opportunism".
Smoke and mirrors again. Seems to think he can dismiss any and all legitimate questioning as 'shabby opportunism'. But perhaps he is just judging Howard by his reptilian Neue Arbeit standards.

What your quote doesn't pick out is Bliar's persistent reference to this being a 'decision that the Army has to take'. Does the man think we're all five-year olds? This is the tactic that I have seen from senior managers who insist that redundancies must be made: 'All junior managers will present their lists of names by midday or I will be forced to do it.'

If he slopes his shoulders any more they are going to have to put the despatch box on the fecking floor!
 
#14
I noticed that Bliar effectively covered his arrse again by saying that Joyce had made an 'unauthorised statement'. Thereby he left him hanging from the flagpole as a useful piece of crowbait, for whenever the next criticism comes winging by.
PMQ'S: Making sure that nothing sticks to Teflon Tony!
Greasy Cnut!
 

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