Thursday, April 22, 2010

Looking after our own

I'm a big fan of armed neutrality, I personally don't believe UK forces should be involved in any conflicts that really don't concern us. This means we shouldn't be in Iraq and we shouldn't be in Afghanistan, certainly not doing what we are doing now, if we do go to war (and it is a war) then we go in with overwhelming force, we do what we have to do, then we get out, we should also look at the cheaper options too. Not that I'm saying that we haven't brought some benefits to these countries, just that they aren't our countries and sooner or later what we do there will come back to haunt us. Primarily our armed forces should be available for home defence, defence commitments to our allied territories (Falklands etc) Possible availability for Commonwealth problems/peacekeeping and that's about it. We shouldn't be available for EU conflicts, nor available as U.N. peacekeeping.
Our troops should also have the best possible equipment available at a cost effective level, particularly with regard to modern battlefield weapons, this means we should also have our own burgeoning defence industry, producing said equipment (under license if necessary) If we want the best, then we either make it or buy it, which ever is easiest.
What we also do is look after the morale of those who choose to serve as defenders of our country.

The shocking conditions endured by certain Forces families in houses across Britain — including the discovery of afterbirth stains on the carpet, flooding and broken doors — is undermining the morale of soldiers on the front line, The Times has been told.
Military wives have revealed a litany of housing problems due to decades of underfunding. They say that the constant worry about repairs compounds the stress of separation when their husbands are serving in Afghanistan.
General Sir Mike Jackson, a former head of the Army, told The Times that accommodation was “the Cinderella of defence spending”. He said: “It reflects badly on the way that defence is financed that we still are unable to ensure that every serviceman and woman and their families are decently housed.”
A dilapidated estate for middle-ranking officers in London offers an example of homes that have yet to benefit from a multibillion-pound upgrade programme being implemented by the Ministry of Defence. Up to 20 per cent of the semi-detached houses are uninhabitable because of subsidence.
 This is simply unacceptable, I'm not saying that the dependants of our troops should be housed in luxury, but they should be housed in relative comfort and also if necessary relative safety. The MOD and the government should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen, first they deliberately deny our troops proper kit and follow it up by making their dependants live in squalor (whilst tarting up the MOD building complete with £1000 chairs for computer operators in case of back strain) and handing out medals to civil servants who go out to the front.
It's all a matter of priority and it has become ever more plain and obvious where the priorities of the government and the senior civil service lies and that's purely with themselves. This needs to change, though I doubt very much that it will until we have a government no in thrall to the existing system but who desire wholesale reform in the teeth of a hostile elite who see the purpose of government being to keep us in our place whilst they enrich themselves at our expense.

6 annotations:

I am Stan said...

Hi Quiet man,

How about scrapping the armed forces and having an armed population.

No aggressor would try to invade a country with 60 million armed people.

James Higham said...

Appalling situation. Armed population though sounds not a bad idea.

Quiet_Man said...

A well armed society would certainly be a polite society Stan

Conan the Librarian™ said...

It would rapidly be a much smaller one too...

Anonymous said...

God. You can only do the arming society thing with mature sober people like the Swiss. If you gave this lot rifles half of them would be dead after Friday night and the rest on Saturday night.

I don't think that our lads should be involved in anything other than protecting us. No one else. Let the rest of them look after themselves; they have lads too don't they? Why should it be ours that have to die?

And we don't need a nuclear weapon we could only use iof America gave us permission. All the Generals have been telling the government, but they don;t want rid of them because otherwise Mr Obama would cut them right off. Then they wouldn't be able to pretend that they were important.

People are going hungry and this wretched lot want nuclear weapons. Mad.

subrosa said...

Once the law changed and the military could buy a house and actually live in it (plus of course report for duty), the military stopped looking after quarters. Slowly many families bought their own homes, thus leaving quarters empty.

This action perhaps brought a certain amount of freedom to military families, but it also broke them up and the divorce rate rose rapidly. Once the tour of duty was over, the wife usually didn't want to leave her 'new' home and the buying and selling business every couple of years was expensive. Men moved onto other duties, either living in messes or single accommodation.

Then the MoD decided they could make a fortune by selling off these properties. They set to that task with some enthusiasm and, if I remember correctly, employed a Japanese company to do the marketing.

Of course the properties sold were in prime locations and in good order. Until then service homes were well kept. March-ins and march-outs ensured each home was spotlessly clean on arrival or departure or strict fines were imposed and deducted from salaries.

Today the army have sold off any sellable properties and what's left is what is offered to the current personnel. Much of it is a disgrace. See if you have a base near you and check it out.

Not only have various governments misused our armed forced, they have no interest in their welfare. They're fully aware if a wife made any fuss it would result in her husband's position being affected (and vice versa).

Because our military are the only workforce in this country who can't strike, they are insulted. Yet still the military life continues to have a level of trust and respect which has long gone from civvie street.