Defence plans criticised by MPs


Serious problems of under-manning and overstretch in the armed forces could put British troops at risk, an all-party committee of MPs has warned.

The Commons Defence Committee was reporting after a five month inquiry into the Defence White Paper.

The Ministry of Defence had prioritised hi-tech innovation at the expense of army personnel, the MPs said.

The plans could result in troops being sent "unprepared" into "complex and dangerous situations".
Now tell us something we don't already know/fear.

NO British Forces serviceman or woman , can surely still be contemplating voting Labour in 2005?

We are a powerful lobby, and a voting bloc of nearly half a million , with friends and family, maybe more.

We can't stand by and watch this evisceration go on unchallenged.

And I know the bloody Conservatives will carry on the rot if they aren't challenged , sort of the return match for SDR 1999.

Maybe someone with more time than me, can post a precis of Defence policies/manifesto from the parties at the next election?

Vote for you yourself, your oppos and your families. Just this once, put aside Party allegiances , and vote for the party that will look after us and our interests

Whomsoever it may be.

Maybe it's time to dust off that "Forces Party" idea?

Open Invitation

I would appreciate input from an MP at this point , if you're up for being errr "Seriously debated with" that is.

Come on, come and talk to the Forces about what YOUR parties policies will mean for the Defence of the Realm.

I think we can set up a closed chat session for this, and I do know at least one MP who might be willing to come and talk. Maybe there are others?
Think of it, as an online surgery.

What does everyone else think? Is it worth pursuing?
New Labour - No Morals

If anything was indicative of the splits in New Labour (I don't mean Margaret Beckett et al), this is it. Bliar toddling happily along in Bush43's footsteps, playing the international statesman and committing HMF here, there and everywhere: Hoon flaccidly wringing his hands and doing as he's told by Grasping Gordon, who dislikes spending on defence and is determined to use the funds to cover his economic co*ck-ups. Bliar is unable to stop the Scottish Thief, presumably for fear of starting a leadership war.

Some responsibility must also lie with CDS and other Very Senior Officers - they need to forget the peerage for a minute, and stand up to this dangerous gang of lunatics.

Can anything be done to retrieve the situation? I have serious doubts about the Conservative party's ability to mount a successful campaign against them.

Whilst there may not be sufficient resources for a whole new party, I like the idea of MPs 'sponsored' by forces members.

I second PTP's excellent idea to invite MPs to debate the issues on the ideal forum - ARRSE. Perhaps the luscious and wholly attractive Ms Purves would give it some column inches.

Why restrict it to MPs? What about some peers, who even if not still sitting in the Lords still have influence?


Book Reviewer
I am sitting here waiting for someone to claim that the Conservatives would treat the armed forces with more respect...remember the good old days of Maggie etc.

I am old enough to have served through Maggie's cuts, below inflation pay rises, equipment shortages, clothing fiascos and all this as the nation sung the armed forces praises post Falklands.

No democratically elected british politician will voluntarily spend on defence at a grass roots level but would rather show the size of their international ego with pointless white elephants like Trident whilst the blokes can't get boots from the stores.
I'm out very shortly and at the very least will be writing to the local newspapers in the constituencies of Buff Hoon, Ingram, Bliar etc with a simple message: "I have resigned from the Armed Forces. Most of us have no confidence in the MP for your constituency Mr (insert name), who has been responsible for immense damage to the Armed Forces. If you care about this nation's defence, or about the welfare of those who serve in the Armed Forces, or if you are ex-serving or have a relative in the Armed Forces, then vote for any other candidate than Mr (insert name) to send a clear message that defence is important. Yours faithfully (name and rank when it is safe!)"

A single issue vote worked in Kidderminster, where a doctor toppled a health minister.

Anything else I can do to send a message to these liars and cheats, I will!
But look what happens when these Tw*ts get caught cutting corners to save money more litigation more successful claims against the MOD more money lost than saved, they will never learn :roll:
Many officers knew that stealth cutting systems was being abused to lessen the amont of soldiers serving more then ever during the late 90s but would they stand up and gob off to Glasgow explaining they was fighting a manning crisis in their units? not on their next posting/rank/pension they wouldn't

Hoon faces inquiry calls over army job cuts

Defence secretary Geoff Hoon has been urged to launch an inquiry into claims that soldiers were forced out of the army to cut costs.

Newspapers claimed on Monday that leaked documents revealed that officials dismissed soldiers rather than medically discharge them in order "to reduce the budget requirements on MoD".

The Liberal Democrats challenged both the official policy and the claimed number of personnel involved.

Paul Keetch, the party's defence spokesman, called for an inquiry into the affair.

The Ministry of Defence is currently facing a court case brought by some of the thousands of soldiers who say they were forced out of the army.

When an individual joins the army they sign a 22-year contract which allows them to leave after three, six and nine-year intervals.

If a soldier serves the full-term of the contract they become entitled to a full pension but, like many long-established companies, the MoD is facing a pensions crisis.

To tackle the problem, a policy of "manning control" was created under which staff were given the option to either leave or switch to short-term contracts which do not carry pension obligations.

The Liberal Democrats claim that the controversial scheme, pushed through at a time when the army is facing shortages of frontline staff, has hit at least 10 times more than the 2525 people the MoD claims have left under the scheme since 1988.

"The army should come clean about how many soldiers were told they would be sacked," said Keetch.

"Existing figures may mask the true extent of the sackings. The real numbers could be much higher.

"If there are genuine manning problems, qualified personnel should not be forced to leave the forces, they should be invited to join another unit.

"In the current climate of under-manning, this outdated policy should be scrapped. And those who suffered under it deserve redress."

The Ministry of Defence is facing a damaging court case brought by some of the thousands of soldiers who were forced out of the army in a bid to save money on pensions.

At a time when the army is facing a shortage of 5000 troops, thousands of personnel have been pressured out "to reduce the budget requirements on MoD", according to a leaked document.

Meanwhile, the Independent reports that soldiers injured in the Iraq war are now having to pay for private treatment to avoid long delays on NHS waiting lists

Just seen Hoon on tv news. He said he 'doesn't accept that the forces are overstretched and undermanned', though he did think that the 'we have asked a lot of the logisticians and enablers'. With an attitude like that, is it any wonder the whole thing is going down the pan?

Fukcing tw*t. :evil:
Although a Civillian 'lurker' on this forum, I find the present governments constant cuts to Britains armed forces shortsighted, frightening and frankly disgusting.

I think you'd be suprised how many people outside the armed forces aren't happy about this state of affairs.

I wrote a letter to my MP a month or so ago (First letter to my MP I've ever written :D ) complaining about this very subject. She promptly replied in a fairly patronising 'be assured we know best' fashion and helpfully enclosed an unfathomable white paper on defense reviews to clarify it for me.

A guy I work with recently wrote a letter to Geoff Hoon complaining as well.

The thing is, I'd vote for a party that wasn't so shortsighted about this and other important issues, but to be honest...the alternatives are currently, no alternatives at all 8O

Saw the same piece. Is it me, or does Buff have a "chubby voice" if you know what I mean. Not cuddly and warm, just pompous and full of conceit.

I know Poltroon is not an onomatopoeiac word, but damn me, it should be.

He absolutely stood there, and told the interviewer Black is White. Meanwhile Bruce George (Spared the pit) is pulling what's left of his hair out.

It's pre-expansion period all over again, except there ain't expansion on the horizon

His comment about loggies and signals was beyond belief. I know the boys and girls in Support Arms are working their tits off , but surely he remembers the part of the Army that have sharp pointy things on the end of their rifles.

He bloody well should, seeing as he's about to chop bloody chunks off them.

Or is the end plan, a support arm for the Septics, with self contained Infantry cover?

Agreed - Hoon is clearly utilising the slippery techniques he learnt as a lawyer. It's the same type of patronising timbre used to goad witnesses in court. He comes across as shallow but conceited and arrogant - the perfect New Labour minister.

His performance was quite clever in one way; he didn't mention the teeth arms (or the RAF or RN) because that's where the cuts will come, so it'd be an own goal to admit the truth that they had also 'asked a lot' of them. I note he also failed to mention the medical services, presumably because of the controversies over lack of kit and staff.

Let us not forget that Hoon should have resigned months ago after he misled Parliament over both the Kelly case and the 'just in time' procurement fiasco. Quite clearly he has no sense of honour, so his uncaring and glib attitude now should come as no surprise.
Just read the Times this morning re this. Thier article is quoting figures for deployment of Forces abroad that include 12,600 in N.I. and 22,500 in Germany. WTF do we still have this level of troops in these places. I thought thier was a peace in NI and I seem to recall something about the the Soviet Union collapsing ( I know Ronnie Regan claims he did it, but it was'nt him deploying on Active Edges that put the wind up the Commies, that was me and the boys !)

What's everybody doing, especially in ex BOAR ? Surely they can't all be REMFs and handbags ?

Just wondering....before ye start !!
To say there is peace in NI is probably not correct, despite what Bliar would have us believe. Having the troops there helps to maintain things at a tolerable level.

A few years ago there was some thought that troops should come back from Germany, but there wasn't enough space to accommodate them. Since then, Bliar et al have been selling off both barracks and FQs at an unsavoury rate of knots, so there is now even less space to put returning troops.

Wherever the troops are based, the fact remains that the government have to properly fund the military at a size consistent with what they are asked to do.
I have 3 years left in the mob and for the first time ever in my career I look forward to leaving.


The overstretch for one, I personally spent 7 months in Iraq last year and 3 months before; 4 months in Kosovo.

Then there is also the current trend of feeling in the DMS about how much we are valued and taken for granted. The MoD does not move fast and in my profession changes are happening which will impact on the military, yet I am witnessing a breath taking complacency from the higher echlons. These changes affect the training and level of responsibilities taken by my trade, such as attaining Doctorates (of science) and also the pay. With PAY 2000, this scuppers the chance to equal what my civilian counterpart earns!

Then there is the seriously sticky part of MDHUs, which do not work and you become a second class citizen as the NHS views you as nothing better than a slave.

I could go on and on but I've said enough.

PTP, it would be good to look at manifesto's for defence and I for one will willingly try to find them and post links from here. Should be good reading :roll: but I can see no change from any of the parties.

On that note I am off to drown myself in the Solent :cry:
Auld_Sapper said:
Just read the Times this morning re this. Thier article is quoting figures for deployment of Forces abroad that include 12,600 in N.I. and 22,500 in Germany. WTF do we still have this level of troops in these places. I thought thier was a peace in NI and I seem to recall something about the the Soviet Union collapsing ( I know Ronnie Regan claims he did it, but it was'nt him deploying on Active Edges that put the wind up the Commies, that was me and the boys !)

What's everybody doing, especially in ex BOAR ? Surely they can't all be REMFs and handbags ?

Just wondering....before ye start !!
The figure for ex-BAOR's misleading. They keep deploying brigades from the Germany garrison to sunny-Iraq-by-the-sea. :roll: The NI garrison strength is also misleading. There are usually units based in mainland UK on standby for emergency deployment to the province. Er.....come to think of it, some might be ready to go, since the marching season's now under way.
Dui-lai mentions complacency in the higher echelons.

A valid point. J'accuse:

CDS's current silence on the damage being done by the government is deafening.
Sorry Shortfuse , had to delete that one , because I have personal experience of incurring wrath from that general direction , and don't want a repeat , ta very much :D

..and then Kosovo blew up . Still , I almost got Macedonia for my Summer Hols that year , and with soooo little notice too 8O

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