Collins: Defence Secretary bad at his job

Defence secretary 'bad at his job'

Colonel Tim Collins has attacked defence secretary Des Browne for being "bad at his job" and has called for a UK equivalent of America's 'GI Bill'.

Collins, whose eve of battle speech before the invasion of the Iraq war brought him international attention, left the army after being falsely accused of mistreating Iraqis.

He said the lack of support he received demonstrated a more general failure to back armed forces personnel.

In an interview with the Parliamentary Monitor, Collins said his treatment was "symptomatic of the fact that service men and women are not well regarded in this country. It is a great pity, a great source of regret and is a real shame."

And in the wake of accusations that ministers have broken the welfare 'covenant' between the government and armed forces personnel, Collins said Britain should look to the US.

"The character of the nation has changed. American society is more appreciative of their service personnel for historic reasons whilst ours is becoming a more loosely based society," he said.

"We could take a leaf out of the US book and one thing I would call for is an equivalent of the GI Bill which guarantees the rights of personnel during and after their service. That would have to include a guarantee of decent healthcare and retraining after service."

Collins was also highly critical of the ministerial leadership being shown on defence issues.

"Des Browne is a part-time defence secretary. He is only there because he is bad at his job and therefore Gordon Brown can take charge of the train-set all on his own," said the former soldier.

"Brown regards the armed forces as an attractive accoutrement but not much more than a useful electioneering prop, and he is certainly not prepared to spend any time or effort on them."

Whilst supporting the decision to drawdown troops from Basra, Collins is scathing about what he sees as a lack of direction from both the government and the Conservatives'.

"Withdrawing the troops from Iraq is sound but it is not connected to any policy because as far as I'm concerned this country no longer has a foreign policy," he told the magazine.

"I believe the withdrawal is more to do with the severe overstretch of the armed forces, coupled with the fact that NATO has failed in Afghanistan and now the UK is going to have to find the thousands of extra troops that are required.

"One of the problems has been that there has been no effective pressure from the official Opposition party because they haven't formulated anything like a clear foreign policy of their own – it's just incompetent.

"The Conservatives have approached me to support them and I have no regrets about not doing that.

"I wouldn't support them unless they came up with a foreign policy, and I see no evidence of that happening.
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Defence Secretay bad at his job, eh?

Pope seen eating fish on a Friday. Bear seen defecating in woods...

While I like the idea of a GI Bill, how many votes would it win?
Collins should stand for Parliament or not be given airtime - he is one of a few rentaquotes (Stewart, Cordingley) always there when the media dosh is avail.

US DOES look after its servicemen but at a price - tax revenue has to be prioritied - US has no NHS, no political party would get elected in UK if they suggested stopping the NHS (and it is not a policy on any political parties agenda)

So Collins (et al) need to get real and identify how we can pay for what they want...I suggest that UK taxpayers will not agree to pay for this:

In Context: U.S. Military Spending Versus Rest of the WorldWhile FY 2008 budget requests for US military spending are known, for most other countries, the most recent data is from 2005 (at time of writing). Using US spending at that time, we can compare US military spending with the rest of the world:

The US military spending was almost two-fifths of the total.
The US military spending was almost 7 times larger than the Chinese budget, the second largest spender.
The US military budget was almost 29 times as large as the combined spending of the six “rogue” states (Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) who spent $14.65 billion.
It was more than the combined spending of the next 14 nations.
The United States and its close allies accounted for some two thirds to three-quarters of all military spending, depending on who you count as close allies (typically NATO countries, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan and South Korea)
The six potential “enemies,” Russia, and China together spent $139 billion, 30% of the U.S. military budget.
Swiss Toni is shite but he is about on a level with all the crap SofS we have had under Labour (although Hoon took the biscuit).

I reserve my real hatred for Derek Twigg, who has taken things to an all-time low...

The man's a media whore.
I am not a fan of Des Browne as I consider that he may have had a charisma bypass. That is not to say he is bad at his job..time will tell. At least he has been successful at the ballot box (unlike Collins).

Ex-Lt Col Collins speaks 'as a former Commander in Iraq', Ex-Lt Col Stewart is normally introduced as 'the former Commander of UK Forces in the Balkans' and Cordingley similarly. By association, they can represent the views of the Armed Forces (I could get a disgruntled LCpl to do that !!) 'a former Commander' should be circumspect rather than bathe in the overstated glamour of their former responsibilities.

Collins' pot is bitch, pitch black rather than speckled grey.

As a CO, despite an exceptional warcry speech (perhaps carefully crafted and well practiced for the attendant world media), Collins was absolutely detested - retention figures in his Battalion tell a tale. Apart from that speech, he was forgettable.

Noone HAS to appear in the media, some people SEEK publicity and Collins certainly does. Collins should run for Parliament or shut up - he should stop speaking to represent the Army because he certainly does not represent my views.
agoodgrouping say.............Noone HAS to appear in the media, some people SEEK publicity and Collins certainly does. Collins should run for Parliament or shut up - he should stop speaking to represent the Army because he certainly does not represent my views.

Well you don't represent mine either. Whatever your opinion of Collins and Stewart they will attract more interest than your L/Cpl and if they get a benefit from pushing the case for the forces good luck to them. The point is they are putting forward a case and the public do notice what they say. Incidentally a CO does not have to be popular to be a good CO. Was he too heavy handed? Or did he have control of his battalion.I suppos eanyone who wants to speak up about the way the forces are treated should stand for parliament or shut up according to you, what happened to the free speech that millions died for?
Sven, Provost_Marshal and Poison Dwarf.
You're all spot on. I bear Tim Collins no grudge personally, I've never met him or worked for him, but I really can't help but think that the "ex-military media personalities" have had their day. Purely my humble opinion, but isn't their information dated (to say the very least - when exactly did Col Bob leave the Army precisely? - and don't even get me started on that ex-RAF plonker Nichol).
If they are getting in depth info from inside sources regarding current ops to facilitate and formulate their opinions, aren't those sources in breach of the Official Secrets Act? Alternatively, if all they are doing is commenting on what they see in the media, what exactly are they bringing to the party??? Anyone on this site could do that, and we probably wouldn't charge Sky News HALF the fee these guys get!!
Bottom line, Sirs (Retd), you've had your day, hope you enjoyed it, but now you're beginning to look like the guy who has had his 15 mins of fame and won't let it go........

P.S. Has anyone seen Twiggie's reply to the "Covenant is broken" question on the news? The c**t!
Browne is a munchkin - god only knows how he has attained high office. Collins strikes me as someone who wants to appear have integrity.

To argue that browne has "At least he has been successful at the ballot box (unlike Collins)" means bugger all in a one party system that is run in the UK - hell seb coe and gyles brandreth have been "successful at the ballot box".

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