Impotence of the opposition

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by crabby, Jan 26, 2007.

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  1. I was going to try and make this intelligent, inciteful and well written: then I remembered my litery skills - so will try and keep this simple.

    The current government has proved time and time again complete inadequacy in providing the armed forces with the equipment, money and political support they need. The armed forces are over-stretched and the Government has failed in its duty of care to not just those currently serving; but those injured, those suffering from PTSD but also those members of the TA who were treated so poorly on return to the UK until outrage caused a change in the way things were dealt with.

    Any viable political opposition would have had a field day. Yet Liam Fox, and to an extent David Cameron have failed to make a this the scandal that it really is; and have failed consistently to remove all support for the Labour leadership from the rest of the party. There have been accusations of incompetence - anyone can do that. Former army chiefs have attacked the current handling of the armed forces; reports of almost half the Royal Navy being mothballed would have any other country demanding a regime change.

    Yet the British Public's relationship with the armed forces is not the issue being explored here. Why have the Tory party not capitalised on the poor leadership? Or the underfunding? The lack of true political support?

    There are, as I see it, two reasons why Liam Fox has failed to bring Des Browne to his knees. The first is that Liam Fox and David Cameron are politcally incompetent. With the Tories doing so well in the polls - despite the "wooly" approach taken by David Cameron, this is not likely.

    This leaves the second, and more depressing option. That is that the Tory party have no inclination - let alone policy - to reverse the decline in the armed forces. We have not heard any firm promises on budget increases, equipment, pay and support. My suggestion would be that the Tories do not intend to change any way in which the armed forces are run or treated. They will continue to be over-stretched - David Cameron was quoted in the Telegraph on the 26th of January as not ruling out pre-emptive action against Iran using British Troops. What British Troops does he intend to commit to this pre-emptive strike? On what grounds would he strike? The British Army is committed in 28 places around the world - and David Cameron fails to commit to anything. ~200,000 service personel and their families have committed to this country, what about one man in power?. Why my obsession with this word "commit"? Well, because every time this word has left Tony Blair's mouth the armed forces have either been sent half way round the world - or it has just been Tony desperately clinging to a legacy that is either not his, or does not exist (think middle east peace process).

    So is there any hope for the armed forces? The Liberal Democrats? I think not... The people get the government they deserve, change will only happen with the strong, vocal support of the public.
  2. Out of interest, do you think this due to the small chance of them getting any meaningful political power or because you don't feel they have a coherent/sensible defense policy?
  3. But the public will never be vocal enough, provided they can afford beer, fags & petrol and watch some cretinous reality show and /or football they'll do nothing.

    The great unwashed & unemployed want the above plus mogadon & benefits.
  4. Because they're looking at a "roadmap" for Iraq giving a withdrawal date as October. I feel it is unwise, in my very limited experience, for any government to commit to leaving; as situations change and it could increase the rate of attacks on our forces.
    Also, traditionally "left wing", "socialist" or "liberal" governments have not invested appropriately in the armed forces. My wise old mother once said (about 2 days ago) "you never voted for labour/sdp if you wanted the army to be looked after".
    Also does Menzies have the will and ability to be succesful in an election and then run a coherent government?
  5. I agree, but thats possibly a different thread? Also not as easy to pin down a cause rather than a general feeling of malaise? Tradition? Has anything changed since Kipling's Tommy?
  6. I listened to Ming banging on about withdrawals begining in May and finishing in October. It seems to me, to be very easy to spout ideas and policies, when there is not a cat in hells chance of you actually being in power to implement them, and be called to account by the country if it goes tits up.

    That being said, its many, many years since the armed forces have been in such a precarious position, getting pulled in all directions, severely underfunded and ill equipped. A succession of Generals lacking spine to properly confront the political masters and civil servants ....what the fcuk has happened!!!!!!!!!

    Rant off, I'm going for a lie down
  7. No proof, just the inane ravings of old jonwilly.
    Some sort of Secret deal has been done with the euro scroats and the Tories are in on it.
    The UK armed forces are to become part of Euroscroat DEFENCE Force. Emphasisis on DEFENCE.
    They can't cancell the Eurofighter, cost too much, so all the other parts are being brought into line first, for Budgetery reasons.
    The Nuc will becum the Euro Nuc when Britian and ze Frog give up there seats at the top table in New York and Herr Richminister for Euroscroats takes his seat.