Mirror Broken Covenant article and part time SoSs response

#1
I think Browne's claims deseve further analysis, such as the "small number" of troops not meeting harmony guidelines, and what exactly this government has done on accommodation since it "inherited" the defence estate some....err....ten years ago.

http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/sunday/2007/08/19/justice-for-our-heroes-98487-19657906/

Justice for our heroes
By Rupert Hamer Defence Correspondent 19/08/2007

Crippled by stress and grief, widow Debbi Allbutt is still struggling to cope with her soldier husband's death from "friendly fire" in Iraq four years ago.

Stephen Allbutt had believed serving his country was the highest honour - and that if anything happened, the nation would look after his family.

But his death left Debbi, 37, so devastated she could not continue her own demanding job as a store manager. Then she had to wait an agonising 1,542 days for an inquest to tell her how Stephen died. Now she been left penniless, bringing up two teenagers on a war pension that barely covers her mortgage.

The family of paratrooper Ben Parkinson also feel deserted in their hour of need. A landmine blast in Afghanistan last September left Ben, 23, without legs, and able to communicate only through a computer. The £150,000 compensation is "just not enough" says mother Diane. They are just two examples of families betrayed by this Government "breaking" the Military Covenant between soldier and nation. The pact, dating from 1918, promises troops fair treatment in return for fighting for their country.

Today the Sunday Mirror joins the Royal British Legion and the British Armed Forces Federation in a campaign to restore this vital bond. They are demanding action on the key issues of treating and compensating the injured, speeding up inquests, gruelling, repeated tours of duty, shortages of kit and poor housing.

The Covenant states: "Soldiers will be called upon to make personal sacrifices - including the ultimate sacrifice - in the service of the nation. In return, British soldiers must always be able to expect fair treatment, to be valued and respected as individuals, and that they (and their families) will be sustained and rewarded by commensurate terms and conditions of service."

A Royal British Legion spokesman said: "Our servicemen and women deserve more from their Government. It is time that the Military Covenant was restored to its rightful and honourable place."

THE GRIEVING MUM

Bitter Elaine McCulloch's son Luke was killed by mortar shrapnel after he removed his helmet at a time when superiors knew there was a risk, but had not alerted him.

Like dozens of other distraught relatives, Elaine has been frustrated by long delays in the inquest process, which she blames on the failure of military police to investigate properly.

An initial hearing into the 21-year-old lance corporal's death was told that an order had gone out for troops to move beds under cover - but had not yet reached the men on the ground in Afghanistan last September.

Mother-of-two Elaine, from Gillingham, Kent, said: "The unanswered question over why the order was not carried out means the inquest will now not begin again until October - over a year since Luke died.

"I think a lot of these inquests are being delayed because soldiers' deaths have not been properly investigated. People in the Army keep telling me that I have to 'move on'. But how can I do that when I still have not got to the bottom of his death and have not had all the facts? And there are parents who have had to wait far longer. It is disgusting the way we are being treated and I certainly back the Royal British Legion's campaign.

"Not only that I have never received my son's possessions back from Afghanistan. I asked for his dog tags to be returned last October and did not receive them until March this year - after repeated phone calls and letters.

"My son made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. The least the Army could do is respect the wishes of his family."

THE WIDOW

War widow Debbi Allbutt struggled for four years to discover the truth about husband Stephen's death from friendly fire - while battling to make ends meet.

The Queen's Royal Lancers corporal was killed instantly when a British tank opened fire by accident on his Challenger II tank near Basra.

Mother-of-two Debbi, of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, said: "I was a store manager but with the stress of coping with what happened I had to give up work.

"We were not in Army accommodation. My war widows' pension just about covered our mortgage. It is little more than a few hundred pounds a week.

"It has been a real struggle to get by. I have had to use up my own savings to make ends meet. Those are all gone now.

"My son Joshua is now 18 and Connor is 13. Obviously it has affected them.

"They have had to go without with some things that other children take for granted. I have had little choice. Before Stephen's death we were financially secure. I think the amount of financial support available is shocking and I completely support the Royal British Legion's campaign."

The coroner criticised Lieutenant Colonel Lindsay MacDuff, now commander of the Black Watch infantry battalion over the sequence of events that led to the tragedy, and Debbi is considering suing the Ministry of Defence for negligence.

Debbi, who needed anti-depressants to cope with the stress of the inquest, added: "I am still owed money in expenses by the MoD just for attending."

Her lawyer Sapna Malik said "We completely support the Legion's campaign. It is clear that those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country have been badly let down."

WOUNDED OFFICER

Major David Bradley paid a heavy price for his heroism in Iraq three years ago.

Leading a column of Warrior Armoured Vehicles going to rescue nine soldiers surrounded by insurgents in Basra, he was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

The officer, who is in his mid-30s, lost a finger and his sight in one eye, and nearly drowned as his lungs filled with blood. He is unlikely to be able to fight again.

While being treated at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, he contracted the killer superbug MRSA.

But he vowed to stay in the Army and applied for compensation under the Criminal Overseas Compensation Scheme, under which injured troops who can continue to serve are entitled to a lump sum of up to £500,000. The success of the claim rests on whether a soldier was injured by a criminal act as opposed to an "act of war".

After May 2003 Coalition forces were no longer at war with Iraq but on a peacekeeping mission. On that basis any injury to a soldier after that date must be termed a "criminal act". But MoD lawyers are believed to be unhappy with the interpretation, causing a huge backlog in deciding claims.

As a result Major Bradley has not received a penny despite assurances by officials that a claim should only take two months to process.

A further 39 soldiers have applied for the awards, which take into account emotional cost and loss of promotion. Only four cases have so far gone before the panel which rules on the claims and none has been decided.

Last year Army officials said they expected the first payouts this Spring.

Major Bradley, who is a keen fly fisherman, said after his return to England: "I cried a lot when I got back, often for no reason. But that didn't bother me - it was a very emotional time."

LOST HIS LEGS

When paratrooper Ben Parkinson's Land Rover was blown up by a landmine in Afghanistan last September, he sustained 37 injuries inclding the loss of his legs - and will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life.

His family were told he would probably receive about £285,000 compensation to pay for the care he will need. Almost a year on, the Ministry of Defence has agreed to compensate him for just three injuries, and the compensation has almost been cut to £170,000.

Ben, who was a 22-year-old lance bombardier with the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, has had repeated surgery at a neurological unit in Putney, south-west London.

In a formal assessment sent to his family, 34 of his injuries had "£0.00" next to them. Ben, who will also get about £20,000 a year in reduced salary, was awarded around £120,000 for loss of his legs, £30,000 for a head injury and £1,000 for a broken elbow.

Mum Diane of Doncaster South Yorks said: "They choose which three are the most severe. He's broken every bone in his torso, had a splenectomy, crushed vertebrae, fractured nose, cheekbone, jaw and pelvis, and lost three years of memories. The MoD said those were worth nothing. It's disgusting."

Diane added: "His regiment have been fantastic but the Ministry and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme have let him down.

"The ministry said his crushed vertebrae was a relatively minor injury, which on its own it would be. But along with his other wounds it's much more serious.

"We did want to bring him home to Doncaster, and buy and kit out a bungalow for him to live in near us. There is no way we could do that now.

Diane has met Defence Minister Derek Twigg, who refused to intervene, and she is now appealing against the compensation assessments.
http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/sunday/2007/08/19/browne-we-re-not-failing-troops-98487-19657908/

Browne: We're not failing troops
By Vincent Moss Political Editor 19/08/2007

Des Browne today issues a robust denial that the Government is failing to honour its commitment to our battle-weary troops.

The Defence Secretary insists the Military Covenant between the Government and the boys on the ground is not broken. But he admits the welfare of our troops must be improved. Here's what he had to say:

Q The Royal British Legion has accused you of failing our troops. They say you have broken the covenant.

A i Don't accept that it is broken but I think that we have to be careful that we live up to it. It is our duty to live up to it.

I agree with the British Legion that we have a responsibility to support our troops and their families, particularly when we are asking people to do very difficult and dangerous things for our security. I think we are improving. I'm not saying that there aren' things we need to do. We have to continue to get better in the areas that they have identified.

Q What would you say to the families of service people who feel betrayed by the Government when it comes to fair treatment?

A i understand why families and service people want the best for their young people when they are working in a very dangerous environment. Every single day, we are addressing these issues.

Q What about the stories of soldiers being treated in civilian NHS wards at the military hospital at Selly Oak in Birmingham?

A the hospital is in the process of being totally rebuilt by 2010. There is a 34-bed ward there which is being managed by military staff. So we have got the capacity.

Q Some relatives have to wait years for inquests to find out how their loved ones died. Why are you unable to speed this up?

A we have improved it considerably and we should improve it more. The delays that families were suffering were unacceptable. There were a combination of factors behind that. I took charge of this personally not long after I became Secretary of State. We invested more money and engaged more coroners and have substantially reduced the backlog. I checked today and I was told that there is presently no backlog of cases.

Q Then, why are some military inquests - like that the one in to the death of Elaine McCulloch's son Luke - still taking ages?

A i Cannot comment on individual cases. But I know that case has been adjourned by the coroner with the request that we carry out further investigations. There are ongoing cases, complex cases that take time.

Q But what about giving families help with legal advice and bills?

A my view is that if the cases are complex and they need legal support, they should get legal support. There is a legal aid process which should be providing that, in my view.

Q There are huge discrepancies in the sizes of the compensation payouts for soldiers injured in combat. Can you speed up their payments and make them fairer and quicker?

A these compensation claims, which were introduced a couple of years ago, are now being processed within 35 days on average. But some are more complex than others. The second element of this is that not only do people get compensation in a lump sum, but people who are unable to continue to work get a guaranteed, index-linked, tax-free allowance paid to them monthly for the rest of their lives. I am always willing to review the system.

Q Another problem which puts pressure on families is "overstretch". Troops come back from tours of duty but within a few months they are back in combat. Isn't the MoD breaking its own guidelines on how long soldiers should rest before returning to duty?

A we have what are known as harmony guidelines which set the pattern of deployment in a way which allows people a chance to recover before they are deployed again. I recognise that in some areas a small number of people are being asked to deploy more regularly than those guidelines.

We are doing a number of things to try to improve that situation. We have in the last months reduced our commitment by withdrawing from Bosnia, where we had about 1,000 troops. We've brought an end to the operation in Northern Ireland. And I expect we will be down to 5,000 troops in Iraq in a matter of weeks.

Q But while the troop numbers are going down in Iraq, the casualty toll in Afghanistan is now 1 in 36 on a tour of duty. The chances of a soldier not coming back are now among the highest in any conflict the last 100 years, aren't they?

A these figures, I think, are distorted. I don't accept the one-in-36 analysis. My attitude to this is that every person we lose in Afghanistan or Iraq or who is injured in Afghanistan or Iraq is a human being and not a statistic.

Q Former army chief Sir Mike Jackson has said the standard of military housing was "frankly shaming". When are service families going to start seeing changes in the standard of their housing?

A the legacy of housing which we inherited will take us years to resolve. We plan to invest £5billion doing that.
 
#2
I wonder how he'd react if we applied 'harmony guidelines' to the payment of his salary and allowances?

Is there a word that encapsulates contempt, disgust, revulsion and visceral hatred?
 
#3
Condescending, patronising, self centered Weasel. Totally beneath my contempt. Had the misfortune of sharing a Herc with him on the way back to Bastion after R&R. Waited for the Weasel to tip up in his A/C armoured wagons with all of his protection. Crabs fawned after him like there was no tomorrow and the fecker looked like a rabbit trapped in the headlights. :x :x :x :x
 
#4
He has had long enough now to have an effect (any effect) on the MOD and sadly is not up to the job. It is about time this guy was sacked - the best he does is a a good line in non-answers (see above).

I understand that the Government as a whole (Gordon Brown that means you - Both as Prime Minister and the one who held the purse strings for so long) should be held to account for failing us so badly case but Browne and Twigg are beyond the pale. You did not inherit any of this from a past administration people; you cannot continue to use these weasel words.

The saddest thing of all is that we are held in such scant regard that they allow him to double hat (Scotland Minister) for political reasons.
 
#5
smartascarrots said:
Is there a word that encapsulates contempt, disgust, revulsion and visceral hatred?
Cunts

hth
 
#6
Debbi Allbutt has been through Hell, she was robbed not long after Steves death, her mobile was stolen with his last message, pictures etc gone, the scumbags who did this got caught and dealt with though, not only by the law but umm outside the law, didnt help her though.
 
#7
This article will hopefully highlight the forthcoming campaign by the RBL, challenging the government to address the issues arising from the paultry treatment of those who have served their country.

Covered here;

http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=71812.html

This petition should have the highest priority as by winning this motion it would be hoped that all the issues - Gurkhas/housing/medical treatment, etc, can be addressed using the covenent as a big stick to beat those in power with.

I for one am suprised by the lack of enthusiasm by ARRSE users to support this petition and gain momentum for an overarching cause that could deal with a mulititude of issues concernning HMF.

Please sign this petition now.

With regards to the articles above apologies for slightly hijacking this thread, but the spin and half truths spoken by our SoS Def (part time) beggars belief. Just one of these how "34 beds at Selly Oak" equates to adequate is beyond me, bearing in mind casualties from current operations.

How many I ask were available at Hasler?

Absolute drivel spoken by a government spin merchant.

Sign the petition enshrine the unwritten covenent into law.
 
#8
Just noticed this;

"Q Former army chief Sir Mike Jackson has said the standard of military housing was "frankly shaming". When are service families going to start seeing changes in the standard of their housing?

A the legacy of housing which we inherited will take us years to resolve. We plan to invest £5billion doing that."

You've had 10 fcuking years to resolve this and many other issues.

"We plan to invest £5billion doing that", Plan fcuking PLAN, I Plan to leave HMF, I plan to go on leave, go on give us a time frame 200k+ houses are currently being built in the UK pa, you haven't even managed to upgrade current housing stock in the 10 years you've been in power.

:pissedoff:

Nurse my medicine please.
 
#9
Well done the RBL.

Also in today's Sunday Mirror:

BETRAYAL OF THE BRAVEST
Tim Collins 19/08/2007

The serviceman's covenant is an understanding between those who serve and those who are appointed in command.

The clear understanding is that in return for voluntary service to the nation, there comes an additional requirement to surrender some of the rights and freedoms of civil society, with the clear understanding that there may be a requirement, at some point, to lay down one's life.

In return there is the undertaking that the chain of command will see that you are fairly treated and supported.

That covenant has been described this week as "a dead letter". It is. I'm afraid it has been so for some time...
The bottom line is that the service covenant is a deal between the commanders in uniform and the officers and men of the services - and them alone.

This is no political issue. It is beyond irony that the organisation which actually observed that the covenant was a "dead letter" - The British Armed Forces Federation - was itself formed in response to a groundswell of disquiet in the Army about the extent that senior officers were failing in their duty to serve the men and women of the forces and to see "fair play".

I must say this was something I personally felt keenly when I decided to leave the Army in 2004, and it has become worse since then...
Full piece at link
 
#10
I actually believe, that Swiss Des, unlike TCH does have his heart in the right place as regards troops welfare issues.

The problem is, he is not nearly forceful enough in translating his wishes and desires to have the right thing done into actions. It seems to me, that he'd like to get more done, but without rocking the boat.

Sorry Sir, but sometimes that boat needs a damn good rocking, and you'd enchance your reputation 10 fold , with the Forces and the British public, if you were seen to start demanding the best available for our people.

With all due respect Sir, you need to sack up and re-engage with the bean counters , drop the other job, and get back to fully supporting those who fully support you.
 
#12
"Q But while the troop numbers are going down in Iraq, the casualty toll in Afghanistan is now 1 in 36 on a tour of duty. The chances of a soldier not coming back are now among the highest in any conflict the last 100 years, aren't they?

A these figures, I think, are distorted. I don't accept the one-in-36 analysis. My attitude to this is that every person we lose in Afghanistan or Iraq or who is injured in Afghanistan or Iraq is a human being and not a statistic."

So exactly what are the figures of casualties on TELIC/HERRICK then. What is the ratio, the issue of reporting casualties from theatres was first muted by the CGS in Sep 06, http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=47635.html
and you STILL can not/will not, quote from facts.

As my parting shot (the nurse says I should lie down in a darkened room with whale music playing), listen you tosser this govenment has had 10, yes 10 fcuking years to sort this cluster out and apart form deploying it's military forces all over the world and increasing its budget "1.5%in real terms by 2010 has done very little in the way of policy and or support for HMF.

This governments treatment of service personnel and resources would not look out of place in the days of Florence Nightingale, incompetant and uncaring.
 
#13
stinker: well said.
 
#14
stinker said:
"Q But while the troop numbers are going down in Iraq, the casualty toll in Afghanistan is now 1 in 36 on a tour of duty. The chances of a soldier not coming back are now among the highest in any conflict the last 100 years, aren't they?

A these figures, I think, are distorted. I don't accept the one-in-36 analysis. My attitude to this is that every person we lose in Afghanistan or Iraq or who is injured in Afghanistan or Iraq is a human being and not a statistic."

So exactly what are the figures of casualties on TELIC/HERRICK then. What is the ratio, the issue of reporting casualties from theatres was first muted by the CGS in Sep 06, http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=47635.html
and you STILL can not/will not, quote from facts.

As my parting shot (the nurse says I should lie down in a darkened room with whale music playing), listen you tosser this govenment has had 10, yes 10 fcuking years to sort this cluster out and apart form deploying it's military forces all over the world and increasing its budget "1.5%in real terms by 2010 has done very little in the way of policy and or support for HMF.

This governments treatment of service personnel and resources would not look out of place in the days of Florence Nightingale, incompetant and uncaring.
Sicked that they can keep pretending that you can fight an a WAR for that is what it is on 2 fronts on a peacetime budget and with less resources than we have every had a military medical service that is being driven back to the age of the crimea ....... and piece meal equipeing that would befit a 3rd world nation.

Brown held the purse strings and swiss needs to stop pretending that he cant do anything.

is there no honor left is this why myself and others here gave up the best years of our life's, thankful for me i am now out and safe how many others must be torn and killed before this disgraceful government act properly and the official opposition and other parliamentarians act !
 
#15
PartTimePongo said:
I actually believe, that Swiss Des, unlike TCH does have his heart in the right place as regards troops welfare issues.

The problem is, he is not nearly forceful enough in translating his wishes and desires to have the right thing done into actions. It seems to me, that he'd like to get more done, but without rocking the boat.

Sorry Sir, but sometimes that boat needs a damn good rocking, and you'd enchance your reputation 10 fold , with the Forces and the British public, if you were seen to start demanding the best available for our people.

With all due respect Sir, you need to sack up and re-engage with the bean counters , drop the other job, and get back to fully supporting those who fully support you.
What evidence can be offered to prove he cares any more than the rest of the shower we have had in charge thus far?

1. The fact that his ministry has decided to release a DIN controlling what we might say in order to win the argument/stifle difficult stories?

2. The fact that during a period of high operational intensity and the loss of life of hundreds of servicemen nothing has improved for the the AF aside from a few soundbite policies with limits such as:

a. Tax apparently given back whilst on certain operations - this does not include Qatar, Falklands etc despite the fact that they are still taking soldiers away from their home base and they are there for operational reasons.

b. The fact that equipment is being improved (the majority of which was only changed when scandal hit rather than because their need was predicted using something I like to call foresight and planning) where it is cheap enough to do so (still no real improvement on the SH front for example).

I cannot actually think of any more; can anyone help me out here? Have they increased X factor or welfare allowances or provided better support for families? Has training improved (I have attended quite a few OPTAGs and they are scandalous and in a state of chaos)?

3. Medical Services not up to the task of helping those injured on actice duty. Has Gordon Brown visited Selly Oak (did Tony Blair?). Apparently Des Browne quotes the fact that there are 34 beds now and things are improving :x

4. Families who have lost loved ones are in a huge queue for inquests due to a lack of coroners/support.

5. Soldiers are now having to sign to say they are aware of the need for life insurance. The reason behind this must be the recent spate of pathetic settlements/compensation for injuries sustained. They can now say we were advised of the risks involved thus taking the argument away that a health and safety payout for an office injury is greater than that of a battlefield death or injury.

6. When some of our servicement were held prisoner by a foreign power (Iran) and despite what people have said about their conduct; we did nothing. We had put them in harms way and were afraid to act/protect them.

7. Problems with our method of voting had to be raised by HACKLE (well done sir). Only then were our concerns vaguely addressed.

8. The stock of shoddy defence housing and Single Accommodation is still in ruin. Des Browne mentioned this lately and as pointed out by stinker, where is the coherent plan for improving things? It's no use trumpeting the new builds that have been put on hold again and again (the money for which is qouted as actual spend rather than fair-weather plans and nice to haves). What you need to do is spend money on the worst accommodation NOW...

Not an attack on you PTP but please tell me why he is better than TCH or Reid?
 
#16
I read that Interview half way through and stopped, because Des Browne lies faster than a horse can trot and I would want the time I spent reading that back on my death bed. But I did eventually read the whole thing, is this man brain dead ?? .. 34 beds and according to him "we have the capacity", "the legacy of the housing", what have you actually done pray tell about it except talk ??, all we ever hear from this goverment is what they plan to do, Des get off your backside, listen to those who know and do the right thing .. now. I dont vote but I will next time to get you and your pondlife party out.
 
#17
hellfyyr said:
What evidence can be offered to prove he cares any more than the rest of the shower we have had in charge thus far?

1. The fact that his ministry has decided to release a DIN controlling what we might say in order to win the argument/stifle difficult stories?

2. The fact that during a period of high operational intensity and the loss of life of hundreds of servicemen nothing has improved for the the AF aside from a few soundbite policies with limits such as:

a. Tax apparently given back whilst on certain operations - this does not include Qatar, Falklands etc despite the fact that they are still taking soldiers away from their home base and they are there for operational reasons.

b. The fact that equipment is being improved (the majority of which was only changed when scandal hit rather than because their need was predicted using something I like to call foresight and planning) where it is cheap enough to do so (still no real improvement on the SH front for example).

I cannot actually think of any more; can anyone help me out here? Have they increased X factor or welfare allowances or provided better support for families? Has training improved (I have attended quite a few OPTAGs and they are scandalous and in a state of chaos)?

3. Medical Services not up to the task of helping those injured on actice duty. Has Gordon Brown visited Selly Oak (did Tony Blair?). Apparently Des Browne quotes the fact that there are 34 beds now and things are improving :x

4. Families who have lost loved ones are in a huge queue for inquests due to a lack of coroners/support.

5. Soldiers are now having to sign to say they are aware of the need for life insurance. The reason behind this must be the recent spate of pathetic settlements/compensation for injuries sustained. They can now say we were advised of the risks involved thus taking the argument away that a health and safety payout for an office injury is greater than that of a battlefield death or injury.

6. When some of our servicement were held prisoner by a foreign power (Iran) and despite what people have said about their conduct; we did nothing. We had put them in harms way and were afraid to act/protect them.

7. Problems with our method of voting had to be raised by HACKLE (well done sir). Only then were our concerns vaguely addressed.

8. The stock of shoddy defence housing and Single Accommodation is still in ruin. Des Browne mentioned this lately and as pointed out by stinker, where is the coherent plan for improving things? It's no use trumpeting the new builds that have been put on hold again and again (the money for which is qouted as actual spend rather than fair-weather plans and nice to haves). What you need to do is spend money on the worst accommodation NOW...

Not an attack on you PTP but please tell me why he is better than TCH or Reid?
<Nail head hammer interface detected>

Agree strongly.

Here, have this tank of compressed air, save you holding your breath.
 
#18
PartTimePongo said:
I actually believe, that Swiss Des, unlike TCH does have his heart in the right place as regards troops welfare issues.

The problem is, he is not nearly forceful enough in translating his wishes and desires to have the right thing done into actions. It seems to me, that he'd like to get more done, but without rocking the boat.

Sorry Sir, but sometimes that boat needs a damn good rocking, and you'd enchance your reputation 10 fold , with the Forces and the British public, if you were seen to start demanding the best available for our people.

With all due respect Sir, you need to sack up and re-engage with the bean counters , drop the other job, and get back to fully supporting those who fully support you.
Why are you reffering to a polititian as sir?
 
#19
Im waiting for the Goverment to blame the Tories, another one of the cop out phrases, what id really like is Des Browne to hold his hands up, and say we have made a fecking mess of things, not to bury his head in his arrse.
 
#20
The fact that Des Browne says that'the bed situation is getting better' shows that it was far from good before.We are fighting two major conflicts at the same time.Casualties are high.How can '34 beds' beds possibly be enough for casualties?

How many beds have been sacrificed by the closures of Aldershot,Haslar,London military hospitals etc? Far more than 34 I think.Does Browne not realise that the fear for potential recruits of becoming casulaties,in such a 'military medical 'system acts as a disincentive to recruiting? Probably not.And that's before our guys get MRSA in a civvy hospital,if they do get better.The whole think is a shambolic disgrace.
 

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