Will the Conservatives really support Defence?

#1
from Mick Smith's blog on TimesOnline
September 27, 2008
Will The Conservatives Really Support Defence? More to the Point, Does the Voter Really Care?

THE former head of Britain’s armed forces has said the government is to blame for the deaths of some of our servicemen and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan because it failed to fund the armed forces properly. Lord Guthrie, who retired as Chief of Defence Staff in 2001, was reacting to a new poll which found that 70 per cent of population believe the government is “failing to give the Armed Forces the resources they need”.

The poll conducted on behalf of the UK National Defence Association, found that 78 per cent of the population believe the forces are “dangerously over-stretched” with only 32 per cent believing the Government “treats our Armed Forces with the respect they deserve”. More than half the electorate – 57 per cent - say they see underfunding of defence as one of a number of issues which will determine which party they vote for at the next election.

The release coincides with the launch of the British Armed Forces Federation campaign to change the law to allow servicemen and women to be represented by a staff association that will defend their rights, just as the Police Federation does with the police. Heaven knows they need it. ...
IN FULL
 
#2
Don't ever forget Options For Change :x
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#3
A Federation is one thing, and probably a good idea. What we do not need (and probably Soldiers wouldn't join anyway) is a Union on the lines of the Dutch. Things can escalate, and having a Union to back them up seems, in this case, to have led to problems. What started out as a whinge about kit (common to all Soliders the world over):

Dutch minister denies shortage of equipment for Afghan mission
BRUSSELS, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Dutch Deputy Defense Minister Jack de Vries denied on Friday that Dutch troops in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan are at risk due to a shortage of equipment.
The commanders of two Dutch platoons in Uruzgan have written to the union for defense personnel VBM/NOV claiming that Dutch soldiers' lives are put in danger due to inadequate equipment, such as armored vehicles and ambulances. They also complained about poor maintenance of equipment, Radio Netherlands reported.
The Dutch deputy minister said that soldiers are never deployed without the right equipment. He acknowledged that problems exist, but he stressed that buying new equipment and spare parts takes time.
It is not the first time that members of the Dutch Task Force in Uruzgan have complained about a lack of equipment. According to VBM/NOV Chairman Jean Debie, measures are urgently needed to tackle the problem.
The Netherlands has about 1,700 troops stationed in Uruzgan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. The mission started in August 2006 and expires at the end of 2010.


Seems to have led to this:

Dutch soldiers in Afghanistan suspended 26 September 2008
In Afghanistan, 24 Dutch Task Force Uruzgan soldiers have been temporarily suspended from active service. The Dutch Defence Ministry reports that there are tensions among the group. The trouble is said to have been occurring for several days.
The ministry says it is no longer responsible to allow the group to go on patrol. The soldiers apparently refused collectively to carry out an order. They found it insulting to be ordered to provide protection to a less well-trained unit carrying out tasks they wanted to perform themselves.

http://www.radionetherlands.nl/news/international/5981503/Dutch-soldiers-in-Afghanistan-suspended

Oddly enough the Cloggies are being very cagey about this, and info is scarce. However, the link between the two stories is pretty clear.
 
#4
8O

Mutiny?!
 
#6
By the time that Dave lays his hands on the tiller (if he ever does), there will be so little left in the pot that he won't be able to afford any improvements!

Litotes
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#7
And Liabour will ensure that through a scorched earth policy in the run down before they go. Shower of b*stards, the lot of them. Mind you, we've already seen the devastation the Tories caused the last time they were in Government and the willingness with which some Army Officers danced to their tune during Options. Accepted that there were also many CO's who fought like f*ck to keep hold of their blokes. Sadly, none of them were in my Corps. They were too indifferent to the needs of their men. Besides, they had careers to think of.

Are we all going to vote Tory just to get shot of Liabour? If so, I hope it's not a case of out of the frying pan, etc, etc, but I do anticipate reading these boards in 5 years time and seeing much the same level of anger being directed at a different Governments attitude toward the Forces.
 
#8
I agree with Biscuits, the conservatives voted for the Iraq war and the Afghan deployment in 2006 without a care for an overstretched underfunded armed forces. Cameron is no friend of the military.
 
#9
Biscuits_AB said:
And Liabour will ensure that through a scorched earth policy in the run down before they go. Shower of b*stards, the lot of them. Mind you, we've already seen the devastation the Tories caused the last time they were in Government and the willingness with which some Army Officers danced to their tune during Options. Accepted that there were also many CO's who fought like f*ck to keep hold of their blokes. Sadly, none of them were in my Corps. They were too indifferent to the needs of their men. Besides, they had careers to think of.

Are we all going to vote Tory just to get shot of Liabour? If so, I hope it's not a case of out of the frying pan, etc, etc, but I do anticipate reading these boards in 5 years time and seeing much the same level of anger being directed at a different Governments attitude toward the Forces.
Realistically, we've only got a choice of two governments. Labour or Tory.

The armed forces are in a worse state now than they'd be under the Tories for two reasons.

1) Defence spending has a relatively low priority with left wingers like Gordon. He's more interested in 'making poverty history' by chucking dole money at pregnant, chavette breeding machines.

I can't see a Tory government funding 'conceptual artist' Mark McGowan to dress up as a soldier and pretend to be dead while real soldiers are driving around Afghanistan in snatch Land Rovers and, consequently, not pretending.

2) Due to years of spending more than its income, the government is now skint so, despite our record levels of borrowing and taxation, there's very little money for anything, including defence.

Tory governments keep a tighter grip on the purse strings than Labour governments. I very much doubt that the next Tory PM's first task will be buying 300 quid a roll wallpaper to redecorate offices in Parliament.

Signing contracts that allow PFI landlords to charge a hundred quid to change a lightbulb in your barracks will also be far down on the priority list as most of the next Tory cabinet will be experienced in business.

Have a read through some of the posts made by old timers who were serving during the last Labour government in the late 70s.

I recall one post describing how an entire batallion was put on parade because the clothing store had received four new jackets. The CO had to decide which four of his soldiers had the most knackered jackets and so were to get priority for the new kit.
 
#10
I doubt that we'll see any firm commitments on Defence from either of the main parties in the run up to the next election, whenever that takes place. In modern times Defence has never been a vote winner and politicians who openly advocate it are leaving themselves open to accusations of not wanting to throw enough cash at the usual bottomless pits that UK governments normally seem to favour.

That said, I think that there is a consensus emerging amongst even the more unlikely politicians that Defence spending needs to be increased. Even the Lib Dems are saying it now, which is something I thought I'd never hear.

However, there have been no firm commitments from anyone. The Conservatives have been circumspect about laying out costed plans, despite broadly hinting that 'something' will be done to remedy the parlous state of the armed forces, once they are in government. At the very least they need to commit to a full defence strategic review, leading to a white paper, but with a firm commitment not to engage in another round of cuts.
 
#11
I would like to see team blue put a total renegotiation on the supposed benefits of PFI in the defence sector first and foremost and take some control back over executive agencies... I doubt that it will happen unfortunately.

Also they either have to pour lots more money and resources into Afghanistan or get out. Unfortunately neither of these options are great choices with certain positive outcomes but the reality is we cannot expect to fight a war on the cheap and have it make a real difference.
 
#12
So lets get the cat out of the bag, do you think the Torys could do any worse than lairbores lack of kit & equipment, funding, treatment of forces?

In my opinion you could scrap the looney taxes i.e the edumacation fund, if kids stay on after 16, etc and put that in to the defence coffers.

Stilts
 
#13
STILTS said:
So lets get the cat out of the bag, do you think the Torys could do any worse than lairbores lack of kit & equipment, funding, treatment of forces?

In my opinion you could scrap the looney taxes i.e the edumacation fund, if kids stay on after 16, etc and put that in to the defence coffers.

Stilts
No they cant liabour has spunnked the national wealth... and the keeping of kids in education after 16 is just a bandaid to keep them off the dole figures end off. :x

the words education and liabour is the same sentence should be used correctly as in Liabour 'what have they fcked up recently' Education.
 
#14
Why do we need defence anymore anyway...getting overrun by foreigners and our whole way of life being altered...living in fear of the authorities and their officials....having to watch what we say...being monitored 24/7 by CCTV whichever way we turn...murders and assaults in the streets daily..what would the real difference be if another sovereign country actually invaded ours...what is left to defend now tell me that...and at least we would have the pleasure of seeing Neu Labour out! After all Defence is so passe, so very 20th century. God Save The Queen!
 
#15
I no longer differentiate between Labour or Conservative. CMD is just another slick salesman that wants to be everyone's mate and will say all the right things and do precisely fcuk all apart from exacerbate the decline of this nation. End of.
 
E

EScotia

Guest
#16
The tories aren't going to outline their policies this far before an election for two reasons:

1. The Liabour party will steal them 8O
2. They have no real idea if they are truly fundable 8O

As the treasury coffers have nothing in them but moth balls even if the country does vote the tory party in next time they will not be able to increase defence spending without cutting something that will hurt some part of the country (giving the newer, new Liabour party ammo to chuck at them) and hence their chance to get in the next time.

Bit of a no win situation methinks :x
 
#17
Ancient_Mariner said:
Have a read through some of the posts made by old timers who were serving during the last Labour government in the late 70s.

I recall one post describing how an entire batallion was put on parade because the clothing store had received four new jackets. The CO had to decide which four of his soldiers had the most knackered jackets and so were to get priority for the new kit.
The dreaded Moratorium! An unplanned fcukup of enromous proportions. Example - no money to buy Rubies for Land Rovers. Rubies then start to become a floating asset (robbed by the Guard at night for their own vehicles). The answer to this situation was - take them off the vehicles ans tore them at night. Result - all of the light clusters fcuked up. We saved 100 quid and eventually spent a 1000.

Don't expect a ray of sunshine if Dave and the Boys get in because then they will find out how bad a shape the economy is in :(
 
#18
Brush_Dust_Shake said:
Don't ever forget Options For Change :x
Options for change was inevitable due to the circumstances of the time. Remember, we had a huge standing Armed Force due to the cold war threat. That went so it was difficult to justify such a large force after Ivan threw his hand in.

Since then, under Liabour, the Armed Forces have been systematically destroyed despite a greater need for them since the last war.

The Tories couldn't do any worse even if they tried really, really hard.
 
#19
rickshaw-major said:
Don't expect a ray of sunshine if Dave and the Boys get in because then they will find out how bad a shape the economy is in :(
Fear not, there's always our national gold reserves. Sorry I forgot, One Eye sold them.
 
#20
bottom line is the piggy bank is broken and what ever they might like to do is going to be governed by whats left apart from IOU's stuffed down the back of the sofa
 

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