Finally, payback time for Gordon Brown Forces Wrecker

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by nigegilb, Aug 25, 2007.

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  1. Gordon Brown attacked over Forces funding

    By Gethin Chamberlain, Sunday Telegraph
    Last Updated: 11:43pm BST 25/08/2007

    Gordon Brown has come under fire on both sides of the Atlantic for starving the Armed Forces of funding, leaving them struggling to fight on two fronts, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Robert Foster, Aaron McClure and John Thrumble

    The Prime Minister was attacked by Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, and a White House adviser over ten years of "underspending".

    He was accused of refusing to give British troops the money to defend themselves as they combat insurgents in southern Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    The claims came as the three soldiers killed by a US jet in a "friendly fire" incident in Afghanistan were named as Privates Aaron McClure, Robert Foster and John Thrumble.

    Critics said that the men, who were hit by a 500lb bomb in Helmand, should have been protected by high-tech systems to identify them to friendly forces.

    Dr Fox said that cuts in defence spending demanded by the Treasury had left the Army unable to invest in equipment that could have saved the soldiers' lives.

    "Gordon Brown showed no interest in the Armed Forces in his time as chancellor," said Dr Fox. "We know what he thinks about casinos and cannabis but we have heard scarcely a word from him on Afghanistan. When it comes to people putting their lives on the line there is a deafening silence.


    "As chancellor, Gordon Brown never gave defence much priority and now the skies are black with chickens coming home to roost."

    Since Mr Brown became Prime Minister on June 27, 13 soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan and 15 in Iraq.

    Frederick Kagan, an adviser to President George W Bush and the architect of the US surge strategy in Iraq, said the special relationship between Britain and America was under threat because defence cuts had left the Army unable to sustain simultaneous operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "Britain has a lot of problems, principally that their ground forces are too small and are now paying the price," Mr Kagan said.

    He disclosed that 3,500 US troops would have to be taken out of the surge to step into the breach when the British leave southern Iraq. "I do worry about the short-term effects on the relationship between the two countries. It will create bad feeling with American soldiers if they can't go home because the British have left."

    The commander of British forces in Helmand last night paid tribute to the three soldiers from 1 Bn, the Royal Anglian Regiment, who died in Thursday's blue on blue attack. Speaking in Lashkar Gar, Brig John Lorimer said that their deaths were a tragedy that had dented morale.

    The incident is under investigation and serving officers were at pains not to lay the blame on either the American pilots or on shortages of combat identification systems designed to reduced the chances of such tragedies.

    Liam Fox: 'Gordon Brown never gave defence much priority'

    But a powerful Commons committee and the National Audit Office have publicly condemned the Government for its failure to invest in equipment to prevent blue on blue, or friendly fire, incidents. In 2003 the public accounts committee criticised the MoD for diverting billions of pounds that should have been spent on battlefield recognition technology into other projects.

    In May this year, the committee's Conservative chairman, Edward Leigh, said: "At the moment, pretty well the only solution to avoid being shot at by an American aeroplane if you're in a war... is to have a great big Union Jack flying on top of your tank."

    An MoD spokesman said: "We take the risk of fratricide very seriously and continue to invest in combat ID technologies to help prevent it."

    The Government claims that defence spending has risen, but its critics say it has fallen compared with other areas.

    The Conservatives say that the proportion of GDP spent on defence is at its lowest since 1930. Spending on health and education has more than doubled since 1999 while defence has risen from £22 billion to £32 billion.

    Col Clive Fairweather, a former deputy commander of the SAS, said that it was cuts imposed by Mr Brown that had reduced the Armed Forces to having to call in the Americans when they needed close air support in Afghanistan.

    "It is the fault of Gordon Brown's Treasury that the Army is under-resourced," he said. "We don't have enough aircraft, troops or equipment".
  2. And do you really think that he will loose a minute's sleep over this article. There will be another attack on the military spending money entertaining foreign dignatories?SP and sorting out their grace and favour mansions so as to take the heat off the Arrsewhole in No10. He loaths us and always will. He probably only sees us as strikebreakers.
    There is a lot of pent up loathing in the man from the manse.
  3. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

    Liam like getting savaged by an inebriated sheep then...ooooh scary.
  4. " "Britain has a lot of problems, principally that their ground forces are too small and are now paying the price," Mr Kagan said."

    At last a Yank who understanads.

    and how I agree with both Resurgam & Schaden, not a seconds loss of sleep and a sever muffing by Ba Ba Larry lamb.
  5. So it's Gordon Brown's fault that the three Vikings lads were killed by a bomb? That Tory prick Fox has gone too far, what a cheap poxy jibe. If Blair had ordered Brown to stump up the cash he would have done so. To blame Brown for deaths in Afghanistan is utter shiite.
  6. To be honest its only when articles like this appear in the Sun and the Times that Brown will announce that he will do something
  7. You obviously believe in the manse dweller. I suspect more of us see him for the dickhe+d he really is. If brown was so wonderful why didn't he stump up the money in the first place without Blair having to order him to. You really are very naive.
    There has been a change at the top to a man with Stalinist urges who hates the military with a passion.
    The treasury - brown's former feifdom- was behind all the spending curbs that we ever saw.

    But PD you just go on believing that he is wonderful.
  8. What is it going to take to convince brown that the most dangerous jobs are the ones where the most money needs to be spent to safeguard lives?
    It seems under labour, people who work fcuking hard are being shafted while the useless fat lazy layabouts are rewarded with mansions and huge pensions and massive allowances.
  9. As opposed to the lavender-tinted spectacle-wearing right wing reactionaries on here who lionise Mrs T? If ever any hated the working classes and manufactured a war to gain re-election it was her. Don't you remember the largest cut to the armed forces in recent history - the John Major government's Strategic Defence Review? The Conservatives are no friend of the Armed Forces.

    So tell me who would do better for the Armed Forces then. David Cameron, a wet PR man with no backbone? Menzies Campbell, a doddering old fool? At least with Brown we know we have a political heavyweight who isn't driven by vanity (and the obsession with egotistical self-legacy) to the same level as Blair or Thatcher.

    Who we talking about by the way. Surely that's a capitalist trait?
  10. The more I read of history the more I learn that it's traditional for the Governement of the day to cut the Armed forces to the bone at the end of any war.
    Armies are exspensive and really once the 'Troops' have done their duty then they are cast aside so the Politico of the day may spend the exchequer on sensible vote buying policies or sqander it on their fashion of the day.
    Brown does seem to have a hatered of the armed Forces who he considers ' Conservative ' by nature.
    I do not think for one second that Dave would be an improvement, he is a lost cause from day one.
    Labour has held power for 10 years and it is their policies and lies that have got UK into the mess it is now, both Civil and Military.
    The Opposition have just winged and winned and it's Poor Tom who must place his life and limbs on the line to try and save His Nations Honour.
    And history says it was always so.
  11. Regardless who is standing on the top stair, it always comes down to asking poor old tommy aitkens step up2 the mark Tom,...over the course tommy and his lads have answered the call at every turn !..pulled old jack out of the pan more times than we want to admit, but hey " i'll tell ye this sur, ..when the shit comes down all i ask for, isnt ur fancy bullets and bombs, noo just give me old tommy aitkens cause then we'll know we wont be let down !!.... british born and beater's at every turn !!!..........courtesy of the "Royal British Legion".
  12. poisondwarf wrote:

    Huh, it's cabinet government and in Bliar's time a very small one with the major decisions made by a few key ministers, including Brown, and a bunch of political advisors. I don't understand how people can leave Brown out of the responsibility for this.

    resurgam wrote:

    Personally, I think this is exactly the kind of thing they really hate and very badly want to avoid, hence the DIN. The only things that can cut through the media snowstorm and affect this government are very simple, clear ideas, even more so if they have a moral component. Things like people getting killed or f*cked up because of lack of body armour and lack of medevac is precisely what will shift them imo.

    Cameron nicking the word "covenant" and muddying the waters don't help but otherwise the Tories, and hopefully the Lib Dems, jumping on the RBL bandwagon should help get something done.

    (Generally the tories would be better off focusing on changing the things the government is doing wrong rather than thinking of the next election. Being a good opposition seems like a better way of becoming electable imo.)
  13. Is that the same Brown who paid 100 quid an hour for private treatment at the London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry and gets his hair done at the Michaeljohn beauty salon in Mayfair?

  14. Are you talking about the Artic Monkeys 'fan' who underwrote every aspect of the Bliar years (which I assume you were not a fan of)?

    This lack of vanity you speak of would be why he throws tantrums when even the mildest of critics questions any aspect of of his output of the past 11 years?
  15. Yes PD, we hate to break it to you - but New Labour are bigger capitalists than the Tories.

    At the end of the day - successive governments have consistantly cut defence spending to the bone. But it IS Labours fault that they have embroiled us in 2 wars and haven't increased defence spending to reflect that. After all, it's cheaper to lose a few soldiers than buy the equipment that may have saved their lives! :x :pissedoff: