Humour police on the march!

Achtung! Raus, raus, hier kommt der humorpolizei!

On second thoughts, no need to worry unless you are actually an SO2 named I M Spin, given the competence of the men (and women) from the Ministry, demonstrated in such fields as duty of care for DIS scientists outed in the media and put in front of select committees!,,2761-1237578,00.html

The Sunday Times - Britain

August 29, 2004

MoD targeted by sniper wag over army cuts

CIVIL servants at the Ministry of Defence are hunting a wag who has circulated an official-looking spoof document ridiculing the recently announced cuts to the armed forces, writes Adam Nathan.
The “staff guidance on defence restructuring” memo has circulated in the MoD’s offices in Whitehall. It says it is targeted at staff officers who “seem not to understand how reducing the numbers of aircraft, ships, tanks, artillery and soldiers results in a more flexible, robust and effective fighting force”.

Senior officials are thought to be irritated but many officers say the memo merely reflects anger and disbelief at the scale of the cuts announced by Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary.

The author of the document, who is well versed in MoD jargon, claims the confusion stems from a “systematic misunderstanding of the correct use of military terminology”.

For officers in doubt, the author offers definitions. They include:

Flexible — smaller; unable to operate unless under US protection.
Robust — smaller; lacking reserves or regeneration capability.
Networked — smaller, but still unable to talk to each other.
Reach — the distance the Americans are willing to fly us.
Rapid — used in comparative sense, as in “the rapid erosion of the Himalaya mountains”.
Deployability — this is achieved by reducing the overall numbers. “In future the army will be able to send 50% of its manpower to Africa in the back of a Cessna, thus achieving greater deployability.”
The author, who signs himself Maj I M Promoted of SO2 Spin, the Ministry of Truth, then moves on to the principles staff officers should use when “deploying” phrases. Officers are encouraged to discuss special forces because “no-one in the general public has a clue how many there are, so they can be announced as deploying to every country in the world”.

Terminology should also be used “aggressively” to compensate for lack of actual forces. “For example, in the past effective deterrence of a reasonably capable maritime threat would require the despatch of a taskforce, consisting of destroyers, frigates, submarines and possibly even a carrier.”

The author advises: “In the future this task will still be achieved by a taskforce; but taskforce will be the new description for a minesweeper.”

Savings could be made by abolishing training for chiefs of staff. “After all they haven’t proven remotely as effective at manoeuvre warfare, disruption, dislocation or divide-and-rule as the Treasury.”

The aim of the cuts of 10,500 armed forces personnel is “to have one man, but equipped like Dr Octopus (the villain in Spider-Man 2). He will sleep with one eye open at all times to replicate full-manning”.

Anyone in need of more information is advised to read the memo on “magic mushrooms, their consumption effects and results in the MoD”.
The original has been floating around on the military aircrew thread of Pprune for weeks. The journos and the MoD thought-police are obviously not paying enough attention.

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