Coroner says MoD kit shortages unforgivable

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Feb 15, 2008.

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  1. MoD kit shortages 'unforgivable'
    Army Captain James Philippson was killed in Helmand Province

    A coroner heaped criticism on the Ministry of Defence for failing to supply soldiers serving in Afghanistan with basic equipment.
    He spoke out at the end of an inquest in Oxford into the death of Captain James Philippson, 29, of 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, in a firefight with Taliban fighters on June 11, 2006, in which British forces were "totally out-gunned".
    Full story on the link
  2. Shame it takes so long for these things to come out, by which time equipment issueshave moved on and it really does no-one any good.
  3. Well said, Mr Walker.

    The one thing I can't understand is that, while Mr Walker constantly and correctly criticises MoD, no one is ever held responsible. Nor does he, apparently, draw parallels between this and other cases - or rather, I think he does but isn't permitted to speak his mind. Do his powers as Coroner extend to asking simple questions? The MoD may seem labyrinthine but it is a very simple job to ask, for example, "What DEC is sponsor for (in this case) lethality (as UGL and Minimi have been specifically mentioned) and which IPT is responsible for (a) delivering (b) maintaining and (in this case) (c) enhancing that capability? Hint - the same one.

    A quick look at the (unclassified) organisational chart and you've got it down to two identifiable individuals at any given rank or grade. Were they called to give evidence? What did DEC ask for? Was it enough? If it was, why was the quantity cut? By whom? Under whose instructions/authority? This is a ten minute job.
  4. Andrew Walker, assistant coroner for Oxfordshire, said: "They (the soldiers) were defeated not by the terrorists but by the lack of basic equipment."

    He said sending troops into a combat zone without basic kit was "unforgivable and inexcusable" and "a breach of trust between the soldiers and those who govern them". He recorded a narrative verdict in which he said Capt Philippson was unlawfully killed.

    How many more?
  5. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    That is the bottom line - strong words aimed at a concrete building will achieve FA.
    Whose responsibility is it to act on a coroner's report, is there even any question of illegality raised? Negligence even?
  6. The OMLT group that were on the ground were carrying only 6 mags each, NO tracer, NO NVD, NO heavy weapons, No Minimi's, NO UGL, they had a few grenades. This was pointed out at the start of the tour with request in. After the incident we received the kit requested towards the EOT but still sharing Osprey and UGL and Minimi. This Coroner's inquest however, is still on going.
  7. It is probably up to the families to sue for compensation. There is nothing to stop the individual filing for negligence then the evidence can be brought into the public. MoD will probably settle out of court for a lump sum. I hope in this case, they are brought to book.

    The only way to achieve accountability is to do it through the courts.
  8. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    So more cash comes out of the depleted MOD kitty = compounding the future problems - not that the families don't deserve something, but that is only part of the point.
    What about individual accountability?
  9. I am working on a case against Hoon at the mo. Guess who decides? The Attorney General, no reply yet. To an extent it is a stitch up, but I am not giving up hope yet.
  10. Don't jump on me here but what exactly are you going to sue the MOD for?

    Not makeing sure that soldiers have more weapons and ammo and high tec kit than the enemy? How is that supposed to work?

    The report says that the guys were not given "basic kit" since when has night vision equipment and UGL been basic kit issue?

    If it is issued to all and sundry as "basic kit" then forget all the above.
  11. It is 'basic issue' to an Infantry Section with a set task! We didn't even get tracer till mid tour for fu**s sake!
  12. "He (the coroner) laid into them, particularly badly for the lack of equipment.

    "They were outgunned by a bunch of terrorists. I do hold the Ministry of Defence (MoD) responsible for James's death but it is not just the MoD - it goes much deeper than that.

    "The Treasury and the then chancellor, Gordon Brown, will be really to blame for what happened.

    "It's not really the MoD who are responsible - it's that miserable, harsh, parsimonious Scotsman we now have as prime minister who starved the MoD of funds."

    These are the words of the dead captain's father. How true and how accurate.

    Is there no way of bringing Brown to account? Not just for his refusal to fund the military properly but for his other financial errors? Can the man simply continue to exist unscathed, despite his appalling conduct at the top of government over the last ten and three quarter years? Financially he has all but ruined this country and continues so to do. How can he be stopped?
  13. I'm not being deliberately bone, but is the equipment on board UAV's particularly sensitive, or were men's lives risked, and lost, to save money?
  14. " Financially he has all but ruined this country and continues so to do. How can he be stopped? "

    I'm hearing very intersting rumours now that the Party intends to launch a coup sooner rather than later. Brown is as unpopular within Neu Arbeit as he is outside it, they know this and know the chance of clinging to power goes down by the day. Based on what 've heard, from some very good sources indeed, I'd be amazed if Brown is still here by the end of the year.
    Rumour has it that there are documents in the treasury that are so damaging, that if they are true then his political career is over. Its a matter of time till they're released apparently...