The father of Trooper Jack Sadler on BBC Breakfast

#1
I have just seen. on BBC Breakfast, the father of Trooper Jack Sadler who died two years ago tomorrow. No outrage bus, but the sad facts are that he only received the letter of condolence a couple of weeks ago. His argument centred around the absence of helicopters, and the time it took to refit Merlins. His accusations boiled down to the government not treating the forces as if they were at war.

If anyone would like to see it, the BBC iplayer will have it. I found it upsetting to see Mr Sadlers evident distress.
 
#3
I'm sorry. The point he made was cogent, undoubtedly.

But he lost me at the point that he said "When I heard about Mrs Janes' letter I decided to complain that I hadn't had one - to the BBC"

If you haven't had a letter, how about complaining to the people who haven't written the letter? Or your MP (who would view this as Manna from heaven if he wasn't in the Governing party).

No. He writes to a Media outlet. I have the greatest sympathy for his loss, and I understand his (righteous) anger. I do wonder at the thought process of complaining to the media rather than the people who should be putting it right.
 
#4
sfub said:
I have just seen. on BBC Breakfast, the father of Trooper Jack Sadler who died two years ago yesterday. No outrage bus, but the sad facts are that he only received the letter of condolence a couple of weeks ago. His argument centred around the absence of helicopters, and the time it took to refit Merlins. His accusations boiled down to the government not treating the forces as if they were at war.

If anyone would like to see it, the BBC iplayer will have it. I found it upsetting to see Mr Sadlers evident distress.
I had the pleasure of knowing Jack Sadler at university, and doubtless those who knew him as well would agree he was a top bloke. If this is true I am utterly disgusted, sending a letter of condolence in a timely manner should be a no-brainer. It is insulting to his memory to send one this late after the event, two years later is seriously taking the piss. It smacks of ineptitude.
 
#5
It was on at 8.15ish. As I said, Mr Sadler's visible distress and anger was a sad thing to see. The interviewer, more used to fluffier subjects really didn't know how to deal with him.
 
#6
BBC website link

According to the following it was not just the lack of letter, other mistakes were made.

Soldier's father angry at letter
The father of a soldier killed in Afghanistan in 2007 has criticised the government for sending him a condolence letter two years late.

Ian Sadler, of Exmouth, Devon, said he had been told an administrative error was the reason for the delay.

No 10 said the prime minister had ordered an internal review to ensure the "mistake" would never happen again.

Last month, Gordon Brown was criticised by a bereaved parent for misspelling her son's name in a condolence letter.

In the letter to Mr Sadler, a member of Mr Brown's staff apologised for the "distress" the error had caused.

His son, Trooper Jack Sadler, of the Territorial Army, was killed on 4 December 2007 when his vehicle hit a landmine during a reconnaissance patrol checking routes for an impending operation in Helmand Province.

Mr Sadler told BBC Radio 4's The Report he had received a handwritten letter from Mr Brown on 17 November 2009, along with a typed apology from an aide to the PM.

Apology from aide

"Jack was killed on 4 December 2007 and I received a letter of condolence from the prime minister with no date on it on 17 November 2009," he told The Report.

"I have a letter apologising, not from the prime minister, but from Jeremy Heywood who is his permanent secretary, apologising that an administrative mistake resulted in my not receiving a letter from the prime minister.

"It's not good is it? Nearly two years later and the PM hasn't apologised, just his aide."

Mr Sadler added: "It goes to show what this present administration thinks of our soldiers."

In his letter, Mr Heywood said: "This issue has only just been brought to the prime minister's and my own attention; and the prime minister wanted to write to you at the earliest opportunity to correct the mistake that was made."

He added: "Please accept my and the prime minister's apologies for the distress this may have caused and my most sincere condolences for your loss."

A Downing Street spokeswoman said that as soon as Mr Brown had been informed a letter had not been sent, he had wanted to "immediately" write to Mr Sadler, and that Mr Heywood had also written to "apologise unreservedly".

The spokeswoman added: "When the prime minister was told about the mistake made in not sending the letter to the family of Jack Sadler, he ordered an urgent internal review by the MoD and No 10 to ensure that this mistake had not happened elsewhere.

"He also demanded a review of MoD and No 10 procedures to ensure this could not happen again."

Last month Jacqui Janes criticised the prime minister for misspelling her son Jamie's name in a letter of condolence he sent her following his death.

At the time, Mr Brown said he sends a handwritten letter to every family.

Mr Sadler, a former serviceman, has already written to the Ministry of Defence complaining about other mistakes.

He said the MoD had incorrectly named his unit on the medal certificate, called his son a "tropper" instead of Trooper on an official document and that they were going to put the wrong cap badge on his son's headstone.
 
#7
I don't know the full facts of this case and I agree with MrShanklysboots in that his complaint wasn't directed to the correct place.

Is Mr Sadler estranged from Tpr Sadler's mother? If so, the relevant departments may have only had Mrs Sadler's details held on UNICOM as NOK.

Very sad if it unfolds that the process broke down.
 
#8
Two years after an event is psychologically a pretty bad time to directly, intrusively refer to the event. Timing is the secret of comedy and Gordon still seems to be winning those Perrier awards.
 
#9
flex_won said:
I don't know the full facts of this case and I agree with MrShanklysboots in that his complaint wasn't directed to the correct place.

Is Mr Sadler estranged from Tpr Sadler's mother? If so, the relevant departments may have only had Mrs Sadler's details held on UNICOM as NOK.
Very sad if it unfolds that the process broke down.
Jack's NOK was Ian Sadler. From what I understand both parents have only just been written to by the PM
 
#10
Did Tony Blair send hand written letters to the NOK of our lost soldiers when he was at number 10?
 
#11
All PM's from Thatcher onwards have written letters personally to the families. Just the previous ones chose not to make publicity out of it, particularly for political gain.

I have seen one written by Margaret Thatcher to the NOK of a colleague killed in Northern Ireland.

There is no excuse for a delay of 2 years, and it would probably been better not to write if this had happened.
Lets face it No10 has a huge secretarial staff, there is no excuse for a cock up as big as this.
 
#12
On the upside, it's not every day you get to refer to the Prime Mentalist as "that bastard" on national radio.

A nice touch, I thought.
 
#13
The points already made are mostly valid, but surely Brown has had enough opprobrium heaped on him already in this business of letters to the bereaved. For all his galaxy of faults, it's a bit unfair to hold him personally responsible for what seems to have been a serious error at lower levels two years ago. Still, cyclopean or not, he appears to have done it again by writing about somewhere called "Afghastan". I am afghast at the man's wondrous capacity for ineptitude, now as much a national embarrassment as it is a personal one. Will he never learn?
 
#14
flex_won said:
I don't know the full facts of this case and I agree with MrShanklysboots in that his complaint wasn't directed to the correct place.

Is Mr Sadler estranged from Tpr Sadler's mother? If so, the relevant departments may have only had Mrs Sadler's details held on UNICOM as NOK.
Very sad if it unfolds that the process broke down.
So, did Mrs Sadler receive a letter from Brown roughly two years ago?
 
#16
'All PM's from Thatcher onwards have written letters personally to the families. Just the previous ones chose not to make publicity out of it, particularly for political gain.'

Some friends of ours who lost a son in Iraq received a letter from Teflon Tony and also one from Prince William (who had known the lad at Sandhurst). I believe that they sent the letter from Blair back.
 
#18
bobthedog said:
All PM's from Thatcher onwards have written letters personally to the families. Just the previous ones chose not to make publicity out of it, particularly for political gain.
Neither did Cyclops to be fair. It was only revealed when the Scum started trying to use it - and a mothers grief, to score some cheap points.
 
#19
As I recall it was before Remembrance weekend when he was interviewed for a local radio show in Glasgow, he mentioned that he writes to the families of the fallen, making political capital out of it (remember the by-election in Glasgow?).

All PM's from Thatcher have carried out this task, without making any capital out of what must be an extremely difficult task. Brown was looking for electoral advantage, and it blew up into a storm.

When someone has given everything for his country, the least the family can expect is a letter from the PM without spelling mistakes in it. Brown is playing opportunist because his rating is so low.

It isn't as if he doesn't have secretarial staff on hand to assist, and sending a letter out 2 years after the event is somewhat clumsy to say the least.

http://news.stv.tv/politics/135533-pm-writes-to-families-of-afghanistan-dead/
 
#20
That interview really should have been recorded, it was clear that Mr Sadler was extremely upset and that the interviewer had no idea how to deal with it without sounding callous.
 

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