Thursday 21 July 2011


There was good news this week when the MOD made a series of long term commitments to Scotland which included the retention of RAF Lossiemouth and the transfer of ex-RAF Kinloss and of RAF Leuchars to the army. Additionally Fort St George is to be retained.

The Army is to have a brand new mobile brigade formed from units returning from Germany. This new brigade will be based in Leuchars when the RAF's Typhoon interceptors move to Lossiemouth. Elements will also be stationed at RM Condor outside Arbroath when the Marines are transferred to England, and at Rosyth and Kirknewton, south of Edinburgh.

But, however welcome the increase in our population, bringing skilled-job salaries to the country and, as the first minister pointed out, bringing children who will be brought up in Scotland, helping to rebalance the ageing population, you do have to consider why the MOD's long term strategy is to more than double the number of regular troops in Scotland from 3,500 to 8,500 in the next five to six years, while in England they are reducing the number of regular troops and relying instead on Territorials.

Could it be that the English government’s seemingly generous act in stationing troops all over Scotland is an attempt to garrison the country? Could it be that they are creating a new brigade with no local allegiances and getting rid of long-established units that might not wish to open fire on a local population?

I find it hard to attribute to Mr Fox and the mandarins at the MOD an altruism that flies in the face of what they are doing everywhere else (i.e. cutting to the bone) without there being a hidden agenda.

Before the election in May we were gearing up for severe cuts and, then the SNP won a majority in Holyrood, an independence referendum is now a certainty, and suddenly we are getting three new army bases in the North East of the country, where the oil is (Leuchars, Kinloss, and Condor), and new mobile units at Rosyth and Kirknewton, handy for the capital. They are not expecting us to kick off if we don’t get our way in the referendum are they? Or are they planning to seize the oil in the event we win?


  1. Actually, they aren't garrisoning you, they're bribing you with jobs and support structures in order to keep a lot of you happy with the Union just in case there is a referendum then they'll threaten to take it all away.
    It's one of the reasons they won't ask the English if they want to separate from Scotland cos there's too many of us to bribe ;-)

  2. Tris.

    The only hidden agenda Cameron has is to keep us happy and hopefully stay in the union. An extra 4,000 troops appears to be a lot but it ain't going to make much of an impact to the Scottish economy. I think if Cameron was serious about keeping our oil from us then he would had sent up some Navy patrol boats.

    The biggest threat to Scotland is the vast army of junkies who prop up the Labour party. I would rather have the North Koreans sending in the troops to Scotland than weegie junkies! ;)

  3. I think, Munguin, that everything that Cameron and his cabinet does has a hidden agenda.

    Of course as after a week or two he may very well doing a U-turn and all the troops will be in Cornwall.

    You can never trust anything Cameron says. He lies.

  4. QM: “...just in case there is a referendum...” the SNP have a majority so it is not a question of if, but when, there will be a referendum!

    If the Tories were more interested in bribing us to stay in the Union it would make more sense not to rob our economy of £10 Billion by hiking taxes on the oil industry don’t you think? If they want me to vote “no” they will need to do a sight better than a few hundred troops and their families, I prefer hard cash and quite a lot of it at that!

  5. Allen: I don’t think Cameron has anything other than hidden agendas. Just look how well he is doing as PM. Who would have thought we would all be harking back to the halcyon days of Gordon Brown and the fag end of the Labour government??

  6. McGonagall: “English” troops surely!

  7. Munguin.

    Ooops Sorry Munguin I should had addressed you as this was your post.

    I'm not sure I would want the halcyon days of Gordon Brown back, he did after all had a agenda against all things Scottish and had a scorched earth policy against Scottish banks.

    Cameron is tyring to beat the SNP at their own game and if he didn't fill in the gaps of the air force then he knew Salmond would take him to the cleaners over the shrinking MOD operations in Scotland.

    Mind you when it comes to someone like Cameron then anything is possible.

  8. Tris

    Cameron obviously believes throwing some English Gold at the Good Scots mayhap convince them to turn a deaf one to the rebellious Scots.

    Has worked many a time before worth another

  9. Allan: the consensus seems to be that they are trying to buy us off. Will it work?

  10. Niko: its always worth another try eh! Worked for Labour in Glasgow for years after all. Until recently that is.

  11. I'm more of the opinion that the proposed new army garrisons simply won't happen but they are a way to stifle criticism about the RAF base closures.

    Unless they are there as a garrison then there is no logical reason to station troops in Scotland far away from the Army's natural home and transport and logistic hubs in England.

    Once the RAF bases close I suspect that the army officer class will kick up a fuss about having to move out into the sticks far away even from Edinburgh and other civilized places and the army will go somewhere else.

  12. Regardless of the Westminster agenda (or not), the real issue which needs attention is the complete incoherence of the SNP agenda.

    They say that under independence Scotland wouldn't share foreign policy with England -- but would share defence...this is frankly absurd and ill-considered.

    Foreign and defence are to closely interlinked for such a separation to be made.

    Of course, then there is the equally stupid (and insulting to my intelligence) noise they make about Scotland maintaining the UK-level defence 'foot print' in Scotland post independence... but the SNP say they wouldn't join why they would need such a huge military force is open to real question.

    OH- and they would still shut down Faslane, and the 6,000-11,000 jobs ... but still they say the overall defence footprint would be maintained...

    If it looks like a duck, smells like a duck, and sounds like a duck ... then its a damn duck!

  13. Dean: in actual fact an independent Scotland would have a smaller military than say Norway, which has 5 air bases while we only have one now, thanks to the tories, Denmark has three and Sweden also has five. So what you say there is just rubbish.

    The way the UK is going it will be very easy to maintain a UK level after all the Tories want to rely on part time TA and slash the real army.

    Also the English government seems to want to share defence capability with France without sharing foreign policy. So if it works for them why not us? So is that also so much more Tory nonsense?

  14. Doug: you never know I certainly don't trust the nasty party and their Lib Dem poodles, so it may not happen.