Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Well, whoever would have thought it of the British Civil Service? Apparently, due to poor financial management the Ministry of Defence faces a crisis.

A “black hole” of some £80 billion no less, has been discovered. And the MoD’s answer is to pay off between 300 and 500 troops despite us being at war.

No, I swear to you, this is not April 1. According to The Times: “Despite the conflict in Afghanistan, the Armed Forces are preparing for swingeing cuts to procurement programmes and personnel under a strategic defence review, after the election".


As I understand it we have troops out there in Afghanistan, badly equipped from a lack of massively expensive kit like helicopters and tanks, down to the lack of bullets and boots, and the fact that their rations are pitiful. They also spend far too long at the front, return far too often, and are suffering incredible stress. Stress which is exacerbated by the conditions their families live in back home (well not senior people obviously. This IS Britain), and with all that (and more) going on they are going to pay off between 300 and 500.

Nope. You really couldn’t make that up, so it must be true.

The Army responds by saying that it is closer to full strength than it has been for years, (possibly due to healthy recruitment became of the recession and the DWP bullying unemployed lads), but that seems to me to miss the point that the full strength is not enough when you have a war going on, and when so many of your numbers are not able to fight due to war induced injury and

According to the Public Accounts Committee matters have worsened to the point where the MoD will have to take difficult decisions, such as to cancel whole equipment programmes. So our troops will be even worse equipped, if that’s possible.

OK Brown, or indeed Cameron, or possibly even Clegg, if he holds the balance of power: this is the message from Munguin’s Republic, but I’ll bet it is echoed by people all over the country.

If we can’t afford to be involved in stuff like this, then withdraw, or at least draw down our commitment to the level that we can afford. Start looking very carefully at what can be cut.

But look at the top, the frills, the ...........Do senior officers need mansions or drivers? Must they have massive expense accounts? Need there be so many (I heard there were more Admirals at the MoD than there are ships in the British Navy)? Why so many staff in the MoD, especially when they seem to have mismanaged the organisation into bankruptcy?

Start cutting from the top. Whatever you do, do not, at any price, cut from the bottom. Britain is a small, and thanks to Labour’s recession, very poor country. There’s a limit to what we will stand being done to our troops so that you ministers can continue to sit at President Obama’s right hand, where you most certainly do not belong!

Pictured: The Ministry of Defence Building in London and the tri-service badge which I reproduce here with acknowledgement to the British Crown Copyright (as I am instructed to do).



  1. Tris: that will be growth of minus 300-500 personnel in real terms?

    If we are at full strength what will we be after a cut of 500?

  2. I'm still trying to find out more about this. It's been rumoured for a while though. Oh I know, I'll have a look at the ARSSE forums.

  3. Call me old fashioned but i'd sack the whole bloody lot of them and spend the money on useful and very obvious things like hospitals, schools, renewable energy plants and an integrated public transport network.

    The world doesn't need more bullets, bombs or people to fire them.

  4. Brownamatics or Brownmatric Munguin... we all know now that none of it adds up at all.

    He has divided the country and multiplied our problems.

    I wish we could subtract him from the equation...

    Boum Boum...

    I don't really much want to joke over this serious matter though. The trouble is that these people never want to cut at the top.

  5. If you find out more could you let me know SR. I'm hopping mad about it.

  6. Naldo. It beats the hell out of me that in the 21st century, with all the sophistication that we profess to have, we are still running around killing each other like savages.

    Not of course because ‘Soldier A’ from the UK particularly hates ‘Soldier B’ from Afghanistan. He doesn’t. Given another situation they would sit down and talk about footie, their kids, their town, or who knows, poetry, music, books...... Nope, the reason they are trying to kill each other is because Brown wants to keep his lardy arse on a seat not to terribly distant from Presidents Hu and Obama, so that he will look important.

    The building of schools, hospitals, roads without craters, railways that are fit for the 20th century never mind the 21st is a better use of money in this century.... but when will it happen...

  7. http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/bruce-anderson/bruce-anderson-nothing-incriminates-mr-brown-like-his-contempt-for-the-army-1917815.html

    This is worth a read.

  8. I honestly find it very difficult to get worked up about how tough "our boys" have it.

    Anyone who joins the armed forces knows that they are signing up to do a shite job which will involve being expected to try and kill people.

    That's not a good, decent or honourable thing to do.

  9. Well Naldo, I'm anti war in every way. Like I say, we are supposed to sophisticated human beings. Fighting people, blowing their legs off, torturing them and razing their towns, all seems to me to be primitive and, well savage.

    But, if we are going to have a budget for military things and send troops to do a job abroad fighting for whatever it is we are fighting....like primitive people unable to sort out our differences, we need to spend that (massive) budget on the people doing the fighting. Not gyms in the Ministry of Defence for clerks, or drivers for Generals and Field Marshalls, expenses for dinners and entertaining, not nuclear weapons and submarines which will never be used but give the Prime Minister an excuse to stay at the top table.

    What I demand is decent kit for the guys who have to do the dirty stuff; proper homes for their families to live in so that they don’t have to worry about them, decent food, enough ammunition, and, with all the administrators that we pay for...enough stuff in the right place at the right time.

    If there are to be cut, it shouldn’t be at the bottom level. It should be at the top, in administration, and in perks for the nobs.

    I just wish all the leaders would just grow up and sort their difficulties out in a grown up 21st century kind of way

  10. Fair do's. Tris, i cannae argue with anything you've said above.

    When i think about it, my own statement was a bit harsh, there are plenty very decent people in or dependent upon members of the armed forces.

  11. Naldo:

    Thanks. I appreciate that.

    Guys (and girls) join up for a lot of different reasons I guess. There are good lads and bad lads; ones who are there for the right reasons, and some, not many, I suspect, for the wrong.

    It’s not their fault that they are engaged in a war that few of us here know anything about, and very few of us agree with. Although I deplore what they are doing, I do know that (in most cases) they are doing it under orders. Compared to other countries, we treat our troops badly, and then that odious old buffoon sits there one say lying through his teeth about how much money he spends on them; they only have to ask and they get; and the next day flies out for a photo-opportunity with them.

    Yuchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh He makes me soooooo sick