General Jackson Accuses Brown

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Sep 9, 2007.

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  1. Jackson backs 'IoS' campaign and sets his sights on Brown
    The former army chief says PM shoulders blame over Iraq
    By Cole Moreton and Marie Woolf
    Published: 09 September 2007
    Gordon Brown is responsible for running down the British Army so that it is not ready for the new "generation of conflict" that soldiers now face, says the army's former boss General Sir Michael Jackson.

    The man who retired as Chief of the General Staff just a year ago attacks Mr Brown in his new autobiography, Soldier, to be published tomorrow, saying the promises made by Tony Blair when in power were not kept because of the attitude of his Chancellor. "The Prime Minister was quoted as saying that the Army could have anything it needed – to which the cynical response was, 'Tell that to your next-door neighbour'."

    In an exclusive interview Gen Jackson told the IoS: "That quote means it's all very well for the [then] Prime Minister to make such a generous statement but it has to be backed up with money. And we all know where the money comes from."

    The general said he backed "wholeheartedly" the IoS campaign to repair the Military Covenant – the contract between soldiers and society – which has been broken by poor housing, inappropriate care of the wounded and injury compensation levels he said were "almost insulting".

    Nearly 40 high-ranking military officials are now behind the campaign, including the former chief of defence staff Lord Bramall and the former commander of UN troops in Bosnia Colonel Bob Stewart. Serving and former soldiers and their families have flooded the newspaper with messages of support. "Military operations exact costs in blood and treasure," said Gen Jackson. "Our soldiers pay the cost in blood; the nation must therefore pay the cost in treasure."

    The 63-year-old said the present Ministry of Defence budget would not give soldiers the resources needed to fight the long campaign expected in Afghanistan. The only way to afford the war under current spending plans, he says, would be to axe "big-ticket items" such as aircraft carriers to free up funds for ground troops.

    He is calling for an immediate defence budget increase of 10 per cent – about £3.4b a year – and a review of MoD spending.

    But asked if he expected that to happen under the present PM, Gen Jackson said: "I don't know whether the change from Chancellor to Prime Minister will give Gordon Brown a different perspective on the armed forces."

    Yesterday the Ministry of Defence announced that the 250 members of the King's Royal Hussars Battle Group would leave Iraq early this month, and another 250 troops by Christmas, to reduce numbers to around 5,000 after the withdrawal from Basra Palace.

    The current head of the Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, told top soldiers last month that they must prepare for a "generation of conflict" in Afghanistan. Yet the support for our campaign at the highest level of military life expresses anger at Whitehall thrift undermining troops.

    Now the IoS has learned that the MoD told insurance companies bidding to provide life cover for soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to "dissuade" personnel from increasing the amount of insurance they took out before they went to war and decreasing it when they came home.

    The military insurance policy, launched in May, offers private insurance cover for soldiers in combat. But the MoD, which underwrites the policy, said in the tender document Invitation to Negotiate sent out to the insurance industry last year: "Suggestions must include mechanisms for controlling the increase and decrease of units by personnel. In particular, the scheme design must dissuade personnel from increasing just prior to deployment and decreasing on return. Tenderers are to provide suggestions as to how this can be achieved."

    An MoD spokesman said the insurance cover now offered did include a penalty for those who cancel cover when they come back. "Individuals who cancel cover cannot reapply until the third anniversary of their policy's start date," he said. The scheme "complements the existing death-in-service benefits paid by the Armed Forces Pension Schemes."

    Another attack on the MoD will come this week when a committee of MPs is expected to criticise shabby accommodation for soldiers serving overseas. An inquiry by the Commons Defence Committee will say the families of personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan live in sub-standard accommodation while their loved ones risk their lives.

    A call to arms: generals and senior ex-servicemen add names to the Covenant cause

    Nearly 40 senior military officials have backed the 'Independent on Sunday' campaign launched last week to honour the Military Covenant.

    Supporters of our campaign include senior commanding officers who have led soldiers in some of the most prestigious parts of the British military. They include:

    Lord Bramall, former Chief of Defence Staff; General Sir Jack Deverell, former Commander-in-Chief of Nato; General Sir Hugh Beach; Major General Julian Thompson, former Royal Marines Commander; General Patrick Walker; Major General P R Davies, CB, ex-Colonel of the King's Regiment; Major General Robert McFarlane; Major General Mike Tennant; Major General A L Watson, CB, former Chief of Staff, Nato Command, Northern Europe; Major General Mike Regan; Major General Patrick Cordingley, former Commander of the 7th Armoured Brigade during the Gulf War; Major General Christopher N Last; Major General David Burden; Major General Walter Courage; Major General Peter Russell-Jones; Major Nigel Quinn; Major J D M Crichton Maitland; Major General Frederick Brian Mayes, former Director- General, Army Medical Services; Major Jeremy Whitaker; Colonel Sir James Stirling; Colonel Bob Stewart, former UN Commander in Bosnia; Colonel Garry Barnett; Colonel Robin Clifford; Colonel Guy L Wathen; Colonel Andrew Carter; Colonel Malcolm Grant Howarth; Lieutenant Colonel Mike Lerwill; Lieutenant Colonel Charles Holden; Major James Pertwee; Brigadier Allan Alstead; Brigadier K H Olds; Brigadier Chris Day; Brigadier Christopher Hammerbeck, former commander of British garrison in Hong Kong; Brigadier Robert Baddeley; Captain Robin Wheeler; Captain Michael Wardlow; Captain T P Lambert; Captain David Orr, formerly 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards; Captain Patrick Watson, former Company Commander, Black Watch

    Our aims

    We want soldiers to have the right to expect any war to be lawful; to have adequate resources; the right to be properly cared for in the event of injury; and the right to know that, in the event of their death, their families will be properly looked after.
     
  2. The 63-year-old said the present Ministry of Defence budget would not give soldiers the resources needed to fight the long campaign expected in Afghanistan. The only way to afford the war under current spending plans, he says, would be to axe "big-ticket items" such as aircraft carriers to free up funds for ground troops.

    He is calling for an immediate defence budget increase of 10 per cent – about £3.4b a year – and a review of MoD spending.

    How pitiful, when you consider that NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME repaid the last World WAR II loan of £45.5 million in December 2006. NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME, Mr G. Brown is aware of this being the last chancellor. Or does the man protest too much - that once again he knows absolutely NOTHING about it.

    Just where is this spare £45.5 million being spent?

    An MoD spokesman said the insurance cover now offered did include a penalty for those who cancel cover when they come back. "Individuals who cancel cover cannot reapply until the third anniversary of their policy's start date," he said. The scheme "complements the existing death-in-service benefits paid by the Armed Forces Pension Schemes."

    This is disgraceful, damned if you do and damned if you don't. Look at how many soldiers had insurance cover, Pax. Then went in to war came back injured or in a bodybag, those that were unjured i.e shot at, blown up, and survived recieved payment from Pax, however, those that came back and were physical injured with PTSD GOT absolutely - Jack Diggerly - NOTHING!

    Did Pax get penalised for taking the soldier's money, and running when it came to paying out for PTSD? No, Pax blamed the MOD, MOD blamed Pax - the party line is:- its in the small print! But, hey ho, not to worry - we'll still take your premiums each month. Now, thats what l really call - duty of care!


    Perhaps the MOD, should look at being able to reduce units when not in conflict, and up-ing the cover when deployed, a basic level of cover that is flexible. lf a soldier does go to war, he wants to know that he is covered in ALL eventualities, that his family will be too.

    Sometimes it appears that the MOD, always takes the outsider's view that the soldier should be penalized. Surely, then, they should ask themselves what about the soldiers that do not take out ANY insurance cover. Thinking that the MOD will look after them. The MOD has a very poor record of looking after it's injured soldiers, perhaps its the chain of command, that really haven't seen any active duty (a bit like NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME really!), so, they really have no idea just what contemporary warfare is about these days. lts OK reading it from a text book/theory, try practising what you preach guys; get out there and try your hand at it. You never know, you just might be good at your job; work hard enough and you may also get a promotion. ln other words, you'd then get experience of what the ground-troops are going through. Then be able to treat them more accordingly, with a little more compassion.



    Another attack on the MoD will come this week when a committee of MPs is expected to criticised shabby accommodation for soldiers serving overseas. An inquiry by the Commons Defence Committee will say the families of personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan live in sub-standard accommodation while their loved ones risk their lives.



    Accommodation has always been a bone-of-contention with the Armed Forces, whether it is overseas or in the United Kingdom. l think it is truly disgraceful, that we have a government, NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME that is prepared to ill-equip our OUTSTANDING soldiers, to go into WAR based on a LIE, and expect them, as well as their families to live in sub-standard accommodation.

    l bet none of these families - won't be receiving the one off payment, for pregnant mothers' to eat well. l forgot only those living in poverty will receive it.

    Pardon me. But if you increased the Armed Forces salary - then some of them might like to get out of the bad accommodation that they are actually forced/ordered to live in.

    What government, would allow foreign nationals into their country and offer better accommodation to them than their Armed Forces?

    What government, would allow foreign nationals to complain regarding their poor/sub-standard accommodation and re-house them?

    What government puts foreign nationals ABOVE it's own Armed Forces when it comes to that all to famous line:-
    LOCAL CONNECTION?

    NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME.

    This is the government that really has no scruples, in the way it treats it Armed Forces Personnel.

    lf you DON'T want this type of shoddy treatment to continue, for you, your family, daughter, son, brother, sister, mum, dad, colleague (please fill in, any that are missing) - then DON'T NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME.

    As for my namesake, SHAME on YOU, for NOT speaking up earlier!

    How many more of our truly OUTSTANDING troops, have to be MURDERED by NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME'S policy (what-policy) on Iraq & Afghan?

    The only apology l will make is for the colour, in this thread - a bit like my namesake, will ONLY work when there is something in it for him ££££££££ SHOW ME THE MONEY....................MIKE! SHOW ME THE MONEY....................£££££££££££££££££££

    Just where is this spare £45.5 million being spent?
     
  3. I would rather suspect that much of this will come to an head in the next year. I rather suspect that experienced officers and NCOs who are not caught in the career trap will not be prepared to continue with the present terms of service. This will result in a significant exodus of key personnel making it difficult to continue with a generation of expeditionary wars. There is a clear mismatch between the aspirations of the foreign office and the ability of the forces.
     
  4. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Well, there I was, slagging him off for saying nothing whilst in the job, but he sure is making up for it now. Despite his failures whilst head of the army, I must doff my cap to him if this book is having such a massive effect before it's even been published.

    Good drills.
     
  5. msr

    msr LE

    The trouble is, we have no idea what he was saying in private - I have a hunch it was much the same as he is saying now.

    msr
     
  6. Sorry to P on your parade but I imagine he will slide back to whence he came once the book launch is over.
     
  7. I wonder why none of these senior officers gave a sh*t about poor housing, sh*te pay and substandard equipment in the years before we went to war? Or did their continuous attitude surveys tell them that we were all happy, wives in quarters and our boots fitted.

    They must surely have had an idea then, that if the Army was to get involved in future campaigns that there would be problems.

    Or perhaps they were too interested in their own careers then and book sales now.

    This isn't a sign of support for Brown, Bliar an Co. It's just something which has been bothering me for a while now.
     
  8. msr

    msr LE

    Did not Jacko say that housing situation was 'frankly shaming'?

    I appreciate that it is a soldier's god-given right to whinge at every opportunity, but it is hardly the public behaviour expected of a General.

    msr
     
  9. I visited the National Army Museum yesterday to look at the Helmond display and attended the lecture by the general. I asked a number of very pointed questions but suffice to say no honest answers. The whole lecture was a disappointment and certainly not value for money. I did though enjoy the NAM. Its not too big but about the right size for a days outing and not come out feeling overwhelmed.
     
  10. He said it recently, but housing has been a problem for longer than the current campaigns have been going on. It's not a whinge mate, it was a generalised comment from someone who served in the regular Army at that time. Housing has been sh*t for as long as I can remember with the exception of one or two areas.

    My point was, they may give a sh*t about these issues now, but why didn't they then? The cynic in me tells me that they had careers to worry about and didn't have books to sell then.
     
  11. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    Sir GJ,

    I take it you do not care for Labour. They are not the forces sweetheart but lets not forget - they have only followed the Conservative line on spending on the armed forces. A chunck of my 22 years was spent under Tory rule and although I admit things appear to have got even worse, they got pretty bad under the other useless gits as well.
     
  12. Go on then a good public behaviour story which might explain the senior officer’s attitude to money. A few years ago on one airborne forces day I was on the Waterloo to Salisbury and beyond train when a loud and exuberant group of individuals got into the carriage wearing suits and various 'Airborne' ties. It was quite obvious that these were in the main officers or ex officers and they were to put it mildly a bloody nuisance, I however understood their behaviour a lot of civvies around me did not.

    Amongst this group was one Mike Jackson and I think his wife. Remembering that I am a tight wad, this was in second class and at the time he was either at 3 Div or had moved on to the MOD. Whatever, he was entitled to a First Class warrant so I assumed that he wanted to be with his retired buddies who probably couldn't afford, or chose not to travel first class.

    During the journey the ticket collector came along and he was required to buy a ticket for his wife. Fair enough I thought and that settled my curiosity as to why he was in second class. There then followed a lengthy exchange where it was 'suggested' that the first class part of the ticket should be taken into the calculation when pricing the second class ticket. I can't remember the outcome but I think the ticket collector stuck to his guns a made him pay full price.

    I’m not suggesting that anything unlawful or improper was done but the whole debate was over a Tenner or so in the hearing of about thirty civvies with the conversation being conducted at ten decibels. This by a guy who at the time was at least a three star on a decent wage living, I presume in a Quarter with servants.
     
  13. During the questions after the lecture by general Jackson I did ask him if in view of the deteriorating conditions of service life there was a need for a Armed Forces Federation. The answer was no and he thought it would damage the chain of command. I thought I was going to get nowhere here the need for BAFF was brought about by a chain of command which did not look after its most important asset, its personnel.
     
  14. What's all the fuss about? Some retired senior officer who was so concerned about the shameful treatment of the Forces while he was serving that he said... nothing. And now he's thumping the tub since he's outside, the Knighthood's secure and has a book to promote?

    Quel surprise.
     
  15. 4 wot its worth: if he was CinC LAND at the time - he had Peacocks in the garden as well . . . :D