So the next time that you hear Hammond or Cameron, or any of the rest of the hypocrites that make up the London government, lecture about how wonderful 'our brave boys' are, how they are heroes we should be proud of, the men who put the Great in Britain [someone needs to explain the origins of that name to them one day] then, remind yourself of this little carry on.
Not that it is the first case of this kind. Troops have always been treated like dung, until they are needed... and they are frequently needed by the government in the none too subtle game of 'hiding behind the khaki'.
The Telegraph article, to which I linked above, tells the whole story, but for those who prefer a shorter version, suffice it to say that the little pipsqueak of a Defence Secretary, Hammond, has overseen the paying off of troops who are within a very short time (in one case just 3 days) of qualifying for pension payments.
One 40-year-old sergeant serving in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers was only three days away from serving 22 years and qualifying for an immediate pension pot worth £108,000. He will now have to wait until he is 65 to receive the pension.
OK, they are generous pension situations, but whether or not you agree that they are warranted, given the extreme dangers involved in some of these guys' jobs [there are a fair few who will not collect any pension at all], these were the terms the guys signed up for. And Hammond has ridden roughshod over their contracts. The Military Covenant, my butt!
But even worse...these morons at the MoD, seem not to learn from their mistakes.
Not two months ago, 'Private Eye' reported that the MoD had sacked around 3,000 of its admin staff in order to save money, but had unfortunately neglected to undertake a skills needs analysis before they let them go (with redundancy payments).
Unfortunately for the taxpayer, but luckily for the individuals, the MoD had decided, on what passes for mature reflection in London, to re-employ at least half of them, with no hope of clawing back the redundancy money! Duh!
Now The Telegraph goes on to report on the serving men's situation...
“The decision is not being made on the grounds of ability, experience or commitment, purely on cost. [Ring any bells?] It would appear that capable, experienced and dedicated officers are being sacrificed.
"His [a redundant officer's father] suspicions were further raised after 38 out of 50 of his son’s Sandhurst 1999 intake have been sacked. In the most recent round of redundancies announced last week the Army lost 300 officers in total, who are seen as they most combat experienced for generations."
So, don't despair men; you may get a creepy phone call in a few weeks asking if erm... you'd like to erm... come back... bit of a cock up, doncha know, old chap...
And yet, can you believe, they have a billion pounds to spend on the first steps of updating a weapon [which will eventually cost many many billions] that we don't need and won't/can't use, but which will guarantee British prime ministers a seat at the top table for the next 20 years.
Quad Erat Demonstrandum.