Sunday, December 17, 2006

Meanwhile whilst our boys are dying in the field the Defence budget is cut

Yes, according to this story in today's Sunday Telegraph the MOD is looking to save £1 billion.

You just could not make this up.

It should be noted that is to keep the MOD on budget, with cuts already announced rather than a new cut, but it is clear that there is not enough cash being spent on these wars to win them.

Hat tip to Alex on for the link.


billy said...

I hesitate to write this in case it gives some Nu Labour wonk an idea.
A set of equipment for every other platoon. As they come in off patrol they strip and hand everything over to those going out. It halves equipment costs.
Of course, there would be some petty arguments over personally purchased items (an increasingly significant part of the kit) but the lads will soon sort it out.
Who'd go for a soldier? In '64 I was issued some kit from the late '40's but at least it was my kit, and it worked!
I wonder if the Queen knows what is going on?

billy said...

I was thinking the other day about Monty Panesar bowling for England and it suddenly came to me that we need Chung as opening bat.
Then, I realised that here is the answer to Afghanistan: bring the Wolf of Kabul out of retirement. He'd soon sort it.

Hope there is somebody else here old enough to remember the Wolf of Kabul!

Benedict White said...

Billy, When I was in the army cadets I had (not permenent issue) 37 pattern webbing and a MkIV SMLE. I know the later webbing is better but I also know which rifle I would prefer!

On the issue of kit, please don't give these jerks ideas! Kit needs to be cleaned and repaired when not in the field!

Who was the Wolf of Kabul?

billy said...

I chickened out trying to explain but googled and found this:

Other kids had to buy comics with their own money, but our parents, both of whom eventually became teacher-librarians, seem to have thought of lowbrow reading as a necessity. Every Wednesday, my father brought 'the magazines' home in a roll tied with string. My mother had Woman, the big girls had Judy or Bunty, my little sister had Playhour, which featured a talking hedgehog, and my brothers had Hotspur, and Rover and Wizard, with Alf Tupper the Tough of the Track, and the Wolf of Kabul. Even now, when sobering news from Afghanistan comes on the television, I hear echoes of the Wolf of Kabul, keeping order uncritically on the North-West Frontier with his sidekick's secret weapon, the cricket bat cudgel, 'Clicky-ba'.

Somebody out there thinks as me! Quite worrying really :0)

And this sums up a view of the world from when Britain was Great and lesser nations trembled before us, maybe


Ellee said...

Well, I hope they prioritise buying the professional equipment our soldiers need in Iraq. Perhaps that's the reason why, how much has Iraq cost us?

Benedict White said...

Many thanks for the links Billy. Looks like you were well fed with comics ;)

Ellee, the problem is that our boys in Afghanistan are too short of many things including enough troops, air power, and firepower generaly. You can't do war on the cheap.

billy said...

I certainly was well fed with comics.
The stories took me around the world, with the help of an atlas, and I had to fight my Dad every Wednesday to get The Eagle from his grasp so Iprofited physically asw ell.
When I was a young soldier we read 'Commando' but referred to it as 'a training manual'.

Benedict White said...

Billy, LOL!

When were you a young soldier? or shouldn't I ask?

billy said...

It was in the days when the soldiers standard rifle always worked and could hit the target above 8oo yards without the need for sniper training, working clothing was green and kept you warm but not necessarily dry, boots were DMS, you could safely walk out in uniform and some old boy in a pub would buy you a pint, and a pint of mild was 9d!
My number starts 240.....and I only missed a 239 by a few days so it was a looooong time ago.

Benedict White said...

Ah, Billy, those were the days! Was the rifle a MK IV SMLE?

billy said...

Nope, SLR.
I've fired an SMLE at Bisley; nice rifle but I really liked the SLR.
Best was the 9mm Browning pistol. Hardly any weight to carry!

Benedict White said...

Ah, the SLR, Billy. Can't say I cared for it, I didn't much like the kick.

Why did we change to the SA80?

Chris D said...

"Ellee, the problem is that our boys in Afghanistan are too short of many things including enough troops, air power, and firepower generaly. You can't do war on the cheap."

And it looks like Gordon Brown and Des Browne having announced this bonus windfall for troops on active service in a blaze of headlines, will now shamefully leave some of them even worse of than before.
I blame Blair for taking us into this war but I am even more angry at Gordon Brown for trying to keep the war on such a tight budget that our soldiers go without basic equipment and even a decent minimal wage.
Brown moves his fiscal goalposts all the time so when I heard he would not just simple exempt soldiers on active duty from paying tax but instead give them some sort mean tested bonus I smelt a big con coming. I think it is called giving with one hand while taking away with the other.
Sadly Des Browne's apology for misleading the HoC was buried under the blizzard of government announcements last week

billy said...

Benedict White said...
Ah, Billy, those were the days! Was the rifle a MK IV SMLE?

7:35 PM, December 17, 2006

My guess is standardised NATO ammunition; which means we follow the Yanks.

Benedict White said...

ChrisD, the treatment of our soldiers is shamefull. However it has always been thus. It is probably worse under this lot, and you are right they could have come up with a simple transparent plan, but they didn't.

Billy, If that is the only reason it sucks. That is all I can say.

Anonymous said...

I Agree i think the goverment should cut the armys budget, at the same time they should rase tax on smoking. another good idea would be to put a tax on tea, maybe for every cup of tea you drink they could tax us £1 then they could afford to give them selves another payrise