I’ve just read, over on the Ranting Penguin blog, something that I completely missed on Sunday, and which has left me totally speechless, not to mention incandescent with anger.
According to The Times, there are civil servants from the Ministry of Defence working over in Afghanistan. Fair enough, there are soldiers out there in Afghanistan, and there must be back up ancillary work that requires an administrator to do it. And so it is right that we have a group of civil servants out there. The civil servants work at army bases, and may accompany Ministers in walk abouts, but they volunteer for the job, they are not deployed in the front line, and none has been killed in Afghanistan.
Now we come to the bit that might be considered to be rather strange.... OK, strange is not the right word.
A junior infantry man, on a six month tour of Afghanistan will receive a boost to his wage for undertaking the dangerous and difficult work that he will encounter out there. Good, I hear you say. No complaint there. On his £16,681 annual salary, he will receive something in the order of £580 a month as a bonus. On the other hand, a junior civil servant gets a bonus of..... wait for it.......£6,750 a month on top of his salary.
Alan Johnson defended the bonuses that the civil servants get (it seems that Mr Aintworth was unavailable (or too stupid) for comment), saying they did difficult and dangerous work.
Does the Home Secretary know what soldiers do?
(Sorry I couldn't get the links to work.... don't know why)