Private Donors have to buy kit for British Army - Article

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Papa_Lazarou, Apr 18, 2010.

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  1. Apparently, Gordon gave the Army everything it asked for:

    British MPs Call for Investigation into Private Funding of Army

    It was reported yesterday that a £400,000 "contingency fund", financed by private donors, was used to purchase body armour for members of 21 SAS, one of the service's two territorial regiments, prior to their deployment to Helmand in 2008. The private donors’ fund was also used to pay for operational welfare equipment, personal kit and to pay-off the mortgages of two members of 23 SAS killed in southern Afghanistan in an earlier deployment.

    Details of the row came just days after the war in Afghanistan was highlighted as an election issue when Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, said that troops in Helmand were under-equipped.

    The 21 SAS fund was supposed to be used to help families of soldiers who were either killed or wounded on operations. But the individual donors were later asked and agreed to allow some of the money to be used to buy body armour, training and operational welfare equipment, such as computers and satellite telephones.

    On Friday afternoon the allegations were put to the Directorate of Special Forces (DSF), the headquarters of the Special Forces Group, and were accepted as accurate. But by 1800hrs the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said DSF had made a mistake and insisted that no private money was used to buy any equipment. An hour later, the MoD issued another statement admitting that the money had been used to purchase operational welfare equipment for members of the SAS who were deployed to Helmand.

    Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said: "Raiding a charitable fund to buy equipment for troops on operations is a disgrace and shows Gordon Brown's claims that our troops have all the equipment they need to fight in Afghanistan to be nothing but a hollow sham. This finally nails Labour's argument that the government has properly funded defence."

    The disclosure has been seized upon by opposition MPs and former Army commanders of proof that the Armed Forces have not been properly funded while Labour has been in power. Tory MPs described the revelation as an "outrage and a disgrace" and it has prompted calls for an investigation into private funding of the Army.

    Assessment : With the UK elections scheduled to be held in May, the war in Afghanistan is being discussed as an election issue. There are allegations and counter-allegations regarding whether British troops in Helmand are properly equipped or not. The latest revelation of private funding is going to be a headache for the ruling government.
  2. But if the MoD and Service budget managers aren't prioritising this stuff within the MOD budget, at leadt it's still posdible to get it privately. The donors OKed it, so there's nothing illegal done - and it's not really a different principle to H4H's rather bigger projects, which are in areas you'd expect to be covered more fully b the (currently empty) public purse.

    So the key question is: how to reform the planning any budgeting rounds to make sure that operational requirents can be met properly?
  3. Vamp,

    A good question, but a different one.

    Whilst ARRSE is scrutinising the honesty and probity of candidates on the hustings, catching a party leader in a big, whopping lie is important and worthy of comment.

    Still, you're not wrong and hey, charity begins at home.

  4. What is even more alarming about this report, is that SF funding usually has the highest priority. If they aren't getting requisite funding what does it say about the rest of the army?
  5. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    'Brown lied' is not news. Unfortunately little mistakes in details like the one being discussed here allow him to get away with the bigger lies.

    He will say, not unreasonably, that he can't be expected to know every detail. He will also say that had the Army come forward and said that this is a requirement then it would have been funded.

    On any specific issue he will always claim that had the Army asked it would have been funded. The truth is that the government put measures in place to discourage the requests. Of course we will fund it. What do you want to cut to pay for it?
  6. Not sure I understand that last post, any unit/individual can put in a request for UOR, what evidence do you have to support that last statement?
  7. What like the NBC kit we couldn't get in 2003 for a war to rid Saddam of his WMD?

    But then of course No 10 knew he didn't have the stuff which would explain that one.
  8. I am talking specifically of UORs. Gordon Brown forcefully made the point during the TV debate that he had honoured every single UOR request.
  9. Found the article in the Telegraph

    Now. There's no mention of UOR's so thats a red herring. The article talks about 2 seperate budgets areas, OWF and and equipment that should be available to the regiment normally, or as part of any upscaling to role.

    OWF:- My first response is WTF ? I can understand picking up new laptops/desktops on a regular basis and possible reasons for saying no. I'm puzzled at the Sat phones but since FOBS use Sat phones as part of the OWF it is very odd that such a request should be denied.

    However. The failure to provide enough body armour for training is unexplainable and unacceptable. It's no good waffling on that people can get used to the kit in country, that's pure crap and insulting. Follow that argument too far and you could claim issuing any live ammo can wait till they get in country.
  10. The man is a known liar... If I was suffering from spantaneous human combustion and he told me I was on fire... I'd ask for a second opinion.

    He is skilled at deception and semantics.. when he will invariably be caught out not fulfilling all UOR's... he will merely state he honoured all those he was AWARE of and then blame a subordinate.

    He has taken (im) plausible deniability to a new level.
  11. Gordon Brown's Gov't can't afford to spend money on the Forces, they need the money for their house flipping etc etc.

    Brown & Co are scum.
  12. Command_doh

    Command_doh LE Book Reviewer

    I am a tad surprised there isn't more outrage over this. The establishment had to ask the private donor's if they could dip into their welfare fund to cover kit the CO thought was vital to their mission. IF UKSF (and 'R') can't get what they need to operate in Theatre, isn't this a damning indictment on Labour's 'we hate the Forces but will lie and pretend we equip them properly' policy? That that one - eyed, rapsing git can stand there on national TV (the Leaders' debate) and say Labour are commited to our Forces and giving them what they need to get the job done makes my blood boil. Historically we have had to 'make do', but the amount of unnecessary IED casualties resulting from soft skinned vehicles - or road vehicles of any kind when our U.S. counterparts take helicopters as the preferred option - really should have made them wake up by now.
  13. Agreed Command_doh.

    Cheers for posting this Papa_Lazarou.

    Couple of points. Although 21 SAS will get the headlines on this. I strongly suspect that this is far from an isolated case. The "grapevine sponsorship" of kit, by family, friends, and increasingly the support of reservist employers, is certainly taking place. I would guess that the 21 SAS contingency fund attracts funding relatively easily, others which are lower profile, but nonetheless making up the shortfalls just as much?

    In relation to the Brown mantra of "Every UOR was met" - which he trots out, at every criticism of MOD and Treasury funding of mil ops. Not only a lie, but also insulting to so many, who bound by their conditions of service, are unable to respond, with the evidence, that would prove this statement for the utterly worthless soundbite that it is.

    UOR's - Yes essential.

    If however, Brown had to back up his statements, by reciting a list of some of the "absolutely core and essential kit that a soldier NEEDS in battle" that are contained within the UOR's that have been supplied into both TELIC and HERRICK since 2001, he wouldn't be so keen to hide behind the necessary anon nature of the UOR's from the public's eyes.

    Touched on this in Old_Snowy's thread "Brown - Too Few Helis? Not my fault, blame Generals!" discussed here:

    But it's not just the big headline grabbing stuff.

    In reciting some of the more basic items, that have had to come under "special funding" and "urgent procurement dynamics" (gotta love Abbey Wood)! - it would be clear to even the most ignorant, swilled up chav, that Labour seems to be calling out to;

    That under Gordon Brown's time at the H M Treasury, and subsequently within Number 10, UK military funding, has not only been woefully short, but that his military commanders have no faith in the man's ability to comprehend, what is required of him, and his government.
  14. As someone above has said, if you give troops the equipment they need, how can MPs' expenses be paid?

    How could the country afford to recompense the Home Secretary for her primary home being a spare bedroom in a house owned by her sister?

    How could the country afford to pay an MP for his non existent mortgage?

    How could the country afford to pay a so-called Peeress allowances for a dwelling she had never even furnished?

    How could the country afford to give £18,000,000 a day - A DAY - to the Eurofilth running the country?

    How could the country afford to engage a twice disgraced pervert, make him/her/it a so-called Peer and appoint him/her/it as Lord High Everything?

    How could the country afford to give thousands of millions in 'foreign aid and development' to the treacherous, corrupt rubbish running dictatorships dotted around the globe?

    How could the country afford to PAY OUT so much in BENEFITS to the great un-washed and great un-employable and every criminal getting into the country from Euroswineland and buy kit for troops?

    How can the country pay out more in benefits than it receives in Income Tax?

    How can the country pay for the raping and looting of pension funds by the idiotic crook Brown, if it has to buy kit for soldiers?

    Get real - ignore the 'Sage of Twickenham' who only pontificates AFTER the event. Ignore the smug little twerp Clegg and ensure your vote helps to rid this country of: Brown, Mandelson, Balls and the other third-raters responsible for the destruction of a once great nation.
  15. Is it the case that UORs were/are actively discouraged? If so, what is the position? Are commanders expected to operate within fixed budgets - to the extent that if they approve/forward a UOR they are obliged to reduce costs elsewhere within their 'allocation'?