Guardian Cutback Story

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by MrPVRd, Sep 6, 2004.

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    Enough is enough. Any block or MFQ defects - drop a line to your unit health and safety officer, put in a redress, threaten legal action on the grounds of health and safety, get the missus to write to the press. Then, post 2005, use the Freedom of Information Act to get hold of any minutes, letters or policy regarding cuts. Publish these and let's see TCH's party get the kicking they deserve at the election. No serviceman or woman, or their relatives or family, should vote Labour.

    I was in charge of an ORs block some years ago and the only way to get anything done was to leave the offending article in a glaringly obvious state of disrepair at CO's inspection time - broken doors off hinges, slime-filled showers. They would then get fixed post-haste! I thought we were moving away from this state of affairs, but we are obviously regressing in our treatment of the troops and their standard of living!
  2. Interesting point here, I recall many years ago the Southern Irish defence forces had an even worse (hard to believe I know) problem than us as regards pay, equipment, training and MSQ's.

    As any armed forces should never have a union, the Irish soldiers wives formed a pressure group called PDFORA (I think) as their husbands could certainly not raise a stink their wives became such a visible and very annoying thorn in the government of the days side things eventually did improve.

    Food for thought? I would imagine Buff would find it rather hard to discipline such individuals. While wifes/husbands are to a degree subject to military law, the PR repercussions of directly or indirectly punishing a civilian would put the sh1ts up the ever sensitive "right on" governments of today.

    Secret untouchable weapons?
  3. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    The Army Families Federation and its RAF & RN counterparts, have campaigned endlessly for improvements to FQs. The Service Families Task Force was set up partly as a result, though it seems not to be listened to by the holders of the purse strings.

    The Grauniad story has all the hallmarks of Grasping Gordon setting about making the military pay for his dislike of defence spending.
  4. To the best of my recolection, the Irish lot were rather robust to say the least in their campaign against government tomfoolery. Some of their tactics resulted in lots of press coverage.

    My concern is that existing oranisations have almost been tamed and would appear to be rather toothless, would I be correct in saying that there are various links to offical channels which would by their very nature influence and prevent anyone making too much of a fuss lest it upset the grown ups?

    If you dont complain nothing changes, if they dont listen sometimnes you need to raise your voice and make them listen!!
  5. Mind you, they also point out that Chicksands is in Wiltshire - when I was there, it was outside Bedford... Unless they're planning on packing up the whole camp and moving it en masse... :roll:
  6. You can also add Blandford to that list, we have recieved notification that the much need estate upgrade has been put on hold AGAIN!!

    For crying out loud I dont even have a shower in my MQ.

    Luckily for me I am posted to a better estate.

    Oh well back to the tin bath in front of the fire, just need to knock on next door at No2 and see if they have finished with it.
  7. See for info - although it won't tell you any of what follows ...

    For fans of employment law as it affects soldiers, the PDFORRA (Permanent Defence Forces Other Ranks Association) is an interesting example. Membership of a union was illegal for soldiers in the Irish Army. Pay and conditions were so awful in the 1980s that the Army Wives' Association was formed. Their protests became louder and louder. Some Army wives ran for election to the Irish parliament, attracting enough votes (under Ireland's voting system, fringe parties make a bigger impact than here) to make the then government wake up.

    Since 1990, the PDFORRA is a recognised union. The Defence (Amendment) Act 1990 permitted Irish soldiers to form unions. It was brought in alongside a long-overdue examination of the lousy rates of pay which soldiers were getting.

    Its membership consists of soldiers themselves rather than their other halves. As Ireland's domestic politics are a bit further to the left than in Blighty, the union is accorded all sorts of consultation rights as a "social partner" in enhancing "social partnership" and other Euro-style blather.

    The Government retained the right to suspend the unions' activities in times of a declared state of emergency (so no "Can't fight - I'm on me tea break, sor" excuses allowed).

    Officers have their own, separate union (sound of chinless jaws dropping in arrseland ) called RACO, the Representative Association of Commissioned Officers.

    There is also a union for members of the Army Reserve (officers and ORs) called RDFRA, the Reserve Defence Forces Respresentative Association.

    Oddly enough, the 1990 Act was brought in by Fianna Fail, an ostensibly right-wing party. I wonder what an ostensibly left-wing party in the UK would think of it?
  8. They don't want to pi55 off the people who live at Credenhill :)
  9. Its not just the MQ's mate. The whole place is in something of an estates spending vortex.

    Basic amenities in accommodation are in states of dis-repair. Doors in the old school building are rotting out of their frames and the condition of the various messes is an old and much debated subject!!! Basically the list goes on and on.

    There are explanations of why this is happening, which all boil down to a lack of money. I can accept that - if the system doesnt have the money to do the repairs/upgrades, they cant be done, the funding needs to be looked at again.

    It does however seem ludicrous to me. If you dont keep up with the estate management, things detereiorate into an even worse state, which costs more to put right. Surely the MOD has a duty to adaquately maintain its property? And a moral (and possibly legal) obbligation to provide satisfactory living and working accommodations for its workforce?

    Sorry, i forgot, theres no money :?

  10. Thanks for the research Dr Evil, Unions for OR's and Officers??? 8O :x :x

    I know things in Oireland can sometimes be a bit...well a bit incomprehensible but thats just ridiculous.

    The interesting thing to be learned is the action the wives took. Certainly one group Buff and our senior ranks would have difficulty lecturing let alone disciplining :D
    I am familiar with Fianna Fail (translation - Soldiers of Destiny 8O ) when they want to be they can be extremely right wing anyhoo I digress. The state of MSQ's etc will not be rectified unless ttere is a public outcry or enough press attention to make the powers be look useless.

    As usual nothing will be done until someone or a department or a certain policy is shown to be lacking, and as we all know the only thing that achieves this is regretfully, the UK press.
  11. We cannot be stopped from forming or joining unions. The Human Rights Act allows "freedom of association" and there is a Council of Europe directive (alas not law) that calls on member states to allow Armed Forces personnel the right to freedom of association by forming unions (with a bar on strike action) and by allowing them to join political parties.

    However, exercising said rights in the meantime may cause "career problems!" Also, unless the organisation can speak out collectively (and avoid individual punishment for unauthorised media contact) it would be pointless.
  12. Sorry, MrPVRd, but you're tackling me on my home ground.

    You say:

    The Human Rights Act incorporates the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights in to United Kingdom law. Unfortunately, the Convention right you are talking about specifically allows for its restriction in the case of the armed forces:

    Equally, as you rightly pointed out, the Council of Europe directive calling on states to allow members of the armed forces to form unions is just a recommendation. There is no sanction against states which are party to the Convention if they don't implement the recommendation.

    So, for now, British servicemen and women cannot form unions. Time to get the Mrs to chain herself to the railings of the Palace of Westminster, I reckon.
  13. Would love some of the 'Labour activists' to see these MQs.

    How do these feckers live with themselves, supporting a corrupt government that houses it's workers in conditions a 19th century Pit Boss would be ashamed of!

    Only two types of people vote for the Labor party-

    1. The mind numbingly stupid.

    2. Those too lazy to think.
  14. Whether it's of interest or not I dunno, but the Irish Army relatively recenly suffered a few accidents with WMIK equipped Lannies. At least one of which was fatal.

    In reaction, the O'Toms point blank refused to drive or ride in them, result:- Lannies sold at auction (first Irish defence equipment ever legally sold on) and the troops have Ford F350's....
  15. 2.6m off the schools budget. Didn't Blair say something about educashun, educashun edu - what was it Gordon?