Tuesday 11 October 2011


You'll have heard that the UK government is sacking thousands of troops, ditching aircraft carriers, planes, sharing equipment with the traditional enemy of the English, the French, and all because we are too broke to pay for armed forces, yeah?

Well, how's this for an idea? Suppose we were to hire a civilian recruitment company to recruit military personnel at the rate of 7,500 a year, over the next ten years, and pay them, wait for it ............... £1 billion?

What do you think?

Over the next 3 years the UK will get rid of 12,000 personnel, and a further 8,000 will go in the year 2020. So why would there be a need to do much in the way of recruiting you might ask. Surely it would be better to hang on to the ones you already have?

The government clearly thinks not, and who are we to argue?

Now there are a few pitfalls. For example, they tried to use civilians before and it didn't work. And most officers would agree with Richard Kemp, a past commander of troops in Afghanistan, that the best recruiting officer is a man who has served.

However, this government thinks that the new scheme will cut down on wastage whereby 17,000 troops a year go through training but only around 9,000 pass out. 
The MoD also thinks that it will save them money, and of course it will release troops who are currently involved in recruitment, for front-line duties. They somewhat spoil that argument by saying that troops WILL still play the major role in recruitment. In other words we are paying out a billion for the company to play a minor role. 

Expensive minor role, don't you think.

I suggest that Air Commodore Andrew Lambert, UK National Defence Association, may be a little closer to the truth when he suggests that the company could recruit the redundant personnel at a reduced rate to do their old jobs. That's maybe what the MoD means by "saving money". 

I wonder which one of the cabinet ministers' "young friends" is a consultant in a recruitment company...

Any takers?
PS: Bad luck in Spain, Scotland. Well, more like outplayed. But I was still surprised to see that the Daily Telegraph sports section leads with Ireland's win over Armenia. Scotland's match is very much an also ran.


  1. Be fair Tris, the Telegraph is a paper for the whole United kingdom, of which Ireland is a part, and which Scotland isn't, having declared independence in 1919. Therefore, it's entirely reasonable that they focus on Ireland rather than Scotland.

    Erm, wait, I've gotten something confused there...

  2. Tch, Doug. I'm always forgetting that. As I said to the Taoiseach only the other day, why do we keep having that podgy man from Eton on our televisions? Isn't he some sort of first minister blokey from that Disunited Kingdom place we hear so much about?

    Anyway, as James Kelly's been waiting for this, I suppose I'd better say it and keep him happy...

    We're all Welsh now!

  3. As you might imagine, our household was quite chirpy last night. However, there is a lesson from the Spanish experience all nations in the UK might wish to understand: there was a time when Spain was also considered - even by the Spanish - as patchily brill, but psychologically fragile. Hard work at grassroots level with homegrown youngsters over a decade and more has paid off handsomely. No grand secret that, though. And the English might consider it, for starters ...

  4. It's always good to know that someone is happy, Mil.

    The 'secret' of success seems clear to me. As you say grow the talent at home, from good football coaching at schools, under 12s 15s etc, and good training with clubs.

    Too much commerce in football. it's not about long termism, all about making money and paying ridiculous salaries.