Did Swiss Tony fib?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hansvonhealing, Dec 13, 2006.

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  1. Telegraph
    MPs ‘misled over troop payments’
    By Graeme Wilson, Political Correspondent
    Last Updated: 2:50am GMT 13/12/2006



    Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, was accused of misleading Parliament last night after he told MPs that plans to scrap allowances for troops who spend long periods away from home would "not take one penny away from anybody".

    Mr Browne came under fire after a leaked Ministry of Defence document, seen by The Daily Telegraph, revealed he had been told a week before his statement in the Commons that there would be "losers" under the reforms.

    He was one of a handful of people who received the memo, which was stamped "Restricted - policy".

    The memo - written by Chris Baker, the MoD's director general of service personnel policy - was sent out the day after it emerged that thousands of soldiers faced losing hundreds of pounds under proposals to scrap so-called long service separation (accumulated turbulence) bonuses.

    Mr Baker's memo spells out the Government's case for scrapping the allowances, and introducing a new system of payments, before concluding: "It has always been recognised and accepted that there will be a few potential losers as those who have qualified due to high separation are unable to do so [under the reforms]." The memo added that Tony Blair had been briefed on the issue.

    The full impact of the changes was underlined last night by a separate leaked memo from Lt Col David Russell-Parsons, the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, which revealed that more than 500 of his troops stand to lose £1,350 each. Despite the clear warning in Mr Baker's memo that some soldiers would lose out, Mr Browne brushed aside concerns about the allowances raised by Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, at the end of October.

    Instead, Mr Browne told the Commons that "the reconfiguration of the allowances does not take one penny away from anybody or from the armed forces. . .Money is not taken away from anybody." In his memo – written in September – Lt Col Russell-Parsons said his men will have spent around 20 months away from home on a series of operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia between Aug 2004 and Nov 2007.

    He estimated that 505 of his men would have qualified for £1,350 each under the old system. He warned that withdrawing the allowances – which started to be phased out last month – would send an "appalling message after a seven-month tour interval". Retaining the payments would be a "key signal to the soldiers of their value over a considerable period of additional turbulence."

    Lt Col Russell-Parsons added that his troops were looking forward to their deployment in Afghanistan "without concerns of a considerable loss of money".

    Last night, Mr Fox said: "It is very clear that Parliament, the public and the Armed Forces were all misled and are due an apology. The Secretary of State promised there would be no losers when clearly he understood there would be." He added: ''This slashing of pay is very damaging to morale and yet another kick in the teeth for our brave Armed Forces." Responding to the memo from Lt Col Russell-Parsons, an MoD spokesman said: "The Secretary of State's office now has a copy of the memo and the department will be looking into it to make sure no soldier has been treated unfairly."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/12/13/narmy13.xml

    Web-page also has copies of the letters

    Also, see this article:
    Soldiers shed blood for shameful MoD

    By Con Coughlin
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/12/13/do1302.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2006/12/13/ixopinion.html
     
  2. Surely your not accusing New Labour of deceit and lies??? Remember they all get up each morning , work a few miracles and sort out the worlds problems before they have their cornflakes all for just a pittance by way of pay, working all the hours in the day and never having any time off.
    Sod it just woken up and realised it is the usual pantomime
     
  3. If there is truth here, I sense a 'big clunking fist' pulling the strings. 'The Fist' is after all the de facto head of the government and the limping duck can do nothing to deny 'The Fist' having his way.
     
  4. From DG SP Pol's memo:

    What - sufficient to cover £1350.00 worth of lost AT/AT+??

    I don't think so, Swiss Tony. Is it just me or are Labour's lies becoming increasingly desperate and transparent?
     
  5. Sven will be along in a bit to tell you chaps that the Conservatives were worse and New Labour is a serious blessing for the Armed Forces, in fact ingrates in green should volunteer at least half of their wages to assist our Dear Leader defeat his troubles.

    So shut up and return to your duties
     
  6. But hold on, there's praise for the MoD...

    MOD's overall performance 'satisfactory' say MPs



    The Ministry of Defence welcomes the Defence Committee's report on its Annual Report and Accounts 2005-6. The Committee concludes that overall performance is satisfactory. It commends the Department's overall success in delivering its objectives, particularly in procurement. We welcome the fact that the Committee has recognised that these achievements are being made, despite the demands generated by the high tempo of operations.

    The Committee also commends the MoD for its efforts to improve retention of military personnel. The MoD is keenly aware of the burdens which operations place on our people and, although the current level of operational activity is higher than planned, it is sustainable. Commanders are content that the Armed Forces can cope with the current level of military commitments.


    Now, can you guess which organ this 'fair and unbiased view emanates from?
    GOVERNMENT NEWS NETWORK - Ministry Of Defence (National)
    http://www.gnn.gov.uk/Content/Detail.asp?ReleaseID=249950&NewsAreaID=2

    I suggest you read it in full, it's priceless.......
     

  7. Priceless is one word - I think the award for stating the bleedin' obvious, must surely go to the PR "God", that managed after days of deliberation to come up with the following:

    "...The Armed Forces have a higher level of operational commitments than set out in the Defence Planning Assumptions. Consequently, some people, e.g. Infantry, Royal Marines, Medical specialists and elements of the support helicopter force, are busier than intended..."
     
  8. My bold.

    Criteria for this particular award. The last sentence is interesting
    And the winners - in a news and info arena the ,ost appropriate person to send is the chap from Finance . Goes to show who's really running the show.

    If the MoD has won this award it says a lot about how poor the rest of the Public Sector is.
     
  9. Oh, and Yes. I think Swiss Tony lied to MP's in the full knowledge that many Marines would be disadvantaged. Fibbs are the answers that I get from my children if I ask them if they have been in the cookie jar.
     
  10. Sven is indisposed today so i have been asked to read this short statement:

    "Ah but under the tories defence secretaries lied ALL the time. John nott once replied to the commissionaire at MOD MB's cheery "Good morning sir" by snarling no it isn't. Michael Portillo refused to even admit he had ever been defence secretary. Oh and we got paid less then, whenever you like when to have been. Finally may I just say how excellent the Celestial Navigator's choice of military generalissimos has been - the rugged resolute Geoff TC Hoon, John "Must go, that last policy looks like it might be failing, taxi!" Reid and Des Browne, possibly the greatest military mind since Fuller."
     
  11. Cuddles, I disagree strongly with your statement and believe you only to be a mere tool of this government.
     
  12. And I'll give £1,000,000 to the RBL if I'm wrong, although I won't be, even if I am...
     
  13. Yes, but WHAT a tool!
     
  14. Latest:
    MoD just stated, 'Cuddles' tool can cope with the current level of military commitments, there is no suggestion of overstretch...
     
  15. Cuddles

    I don't believe you are actually quoting a statement from Sven. The authentic article would have been more along the lines of:

    'But what proof have you got that the SoS Defence actually did say that - other than some Tory newspaper (and that reactionary rag Hansard). Furthermore, what proof have you that some troops will be disadvantaged and that the SoS knew this (other than the actual memo which could easily be forged)?

    In fact, what proof do you have that Des Browne is in fact the Secretary of State for Defence and not a Sun reporter in disguise, out for a cheap story?

    In fact, what proof do we have that you exist, and are not a computer virus created by Charles Moore and Michael Howard to respond negatively to every story about the Government?

    Until proved otherwise by DNA evidence corroborated by 3 independent forensice experts, PC McGary no 452 and the Tooth Fairy, I consider the whole thing is an obvious plot by the forces of Conservatism to besmirch the virginal purity of the current Administration with trumped-up Dreyfuss-like allegations. I cannot believe that people on this site are so stupid as not to see this. you can't believe everything you read in the papers (unless it is supportive of the current Government, in which case the words do cometh down from high)."

    (And I voted for the b**gers.....)