Thursday, 30 July 2009

Bob Ainsworth Radio Interview 30/07/09

I drove to work this morning in a really good mood.

However at approx 08:06 it immediuately went bad.
Please hit this link and go to 02:05 into the piece.

The one the only Bob Ainsworth has returned from his much needed holiday in France in oreder to spearhead the review into the armed Forces Compensation Scheme and to answer some of the much needed questions being asked by media and bloggers a like.

I found him on the radio this am a repellant man.
I think Nicki Campbell did well not to want to choke him and indeed his attempt to try to turn the arguement back onto Campbell failed miserabley.

And for the record Bob, the court cases are not about penny pinching are they, they are about a fairer compensation scheme are they???? Bulls**t!!!!

If they are not about penny pinching then dont have the court case and sort out the compensation system. Do not go retrospectively back because the original award was viewed as crap. Just sort out the system.

And for the record IMHO 40K for a high velocity round through the leg, and 11 operations later is not even enough money, as in the case of Cpl Anthony Duncan.

I particularly liked the question this am when asked "are you aware of how you are viewed". Your answer was incorrect. Not someone Bob..........BUT EVERYONE!!!!
That includes your own government. Rated 21 out of 23 eh!..... and you run defence. What kind of sick joke is that?

Quite why anyone thought he would make a good Secretary for Defence is anyone’s guess. A sheet metal worker and shop steward at Jaguar in the 70s and 80s, he flirted with Marxism before becoming a city councillor in Coventry. Later he became a Government whip where he won a reputation as a bully. The ultimate loyalist, he was appointed after Blairite minister John Hutton resigned before Gordon Brown’s panicked reshuffle earlier this year.

Brown’s henchmen put it about that he was the choice of the chiefs of staff in the Ministry of Defence – a story which was shattered when an Army commander revealed that chiefs think he is ‘simply not up to it’

You worked under both Des Browne and John Hutton, both of whom also under the stewardship of Gordon Brown have ripped the heart out of the British Armed forces.
I am glad you do not represent the constituency I live in.

But on a cheerful note this headline here made me grin.

If any reader listens to the link on his interview.........put the sharp objects away first please.

UKNDA Report...........Worrying from so many angles!

Funding for Britain’s Armed Forces must be protected from public expenditure cuts, in spite of the heavy financial pressures faced by the Government, and the defence budget should be increased over the next three years to at least three per cent of GDP, according to a paper published by the United Kingdom National Defence Association (UKNDA).

The full Paper is here.

The paper states that increasing Britain ’s defence budget represents the best value for national resources even in the midst of recession, and that any future Strategic Defence Review must, of necessity, recommend an increase in funding for defence and national security.

Indeed a defence budget review is set for after the next general election.

The paper also accuses the Treasury of squeezing the defence budget to the point where the Navy, Army and Air Force are competing with one another for an adequate share of the limited resources available. This is a clear indication of failure to recognise the potentially wide-ranging dangers to Britain ’s security. The only adequate defence provision, say Roberts and Sykes, is one that maintains a large, flexible, general contingency in all three Services.

Defence funding, the paper argues, should be “threat-driven, not budget-driven”. Britain is at the greatest risk when it is financially weakest, and recessionary pressures world-wide are increasing political instability in already unstable regions. Current and possible future threats to national security are large and growing. The sums required to strengthen Britain ’s military capability are both affordable in the national context and represent excellent value-for-money, even in the present severe economic crisis.

The foreward to the document is written by a gentleman called Irwin Stelzer. Irwin Stelzer is an American economist. He is Director of Economic Policy Studies at the Hudson Institute. I find his foreword deeply concerning.

In his Foreword to the paper, he highlights the risk to the Anglo-US Special Relationship if Britain fails to invest adequately in defence: “If Britain does not shore up its military,” Stelzer writes, “so that it is capable of holding up its end of the bargain implicit in the Special Relationship, that relationship will be under severe threat. In fact he re-itterates this at regular points through the document.

This is not the first time the "special relatinship" has come under question.
Please see here.
The recent "Panthers Claw" has had some MSM coverage of this very deeply worrying point.

I have a grave concern about the loss of life.
Ok the MSM was doing its job in reporting from all sides, all angles and even probing other reasons, but a report from an American economist highlighting the same said relationship makes me cold.

Call Me Dave!

So Call Me Dave has said a couple of rude words live on the air.

Sorry I have no issues with what he said.

He said "the public were pissed off" .......... I feel he is wrong, pissed off can not come close to how the bulk of the public feel.

And the "T" word. Had I been stood across from Gordon Brown for all this time I would have used words much stronger than that.

H/T Morten Moreland again

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Islamic Riots in China????

The Ranting Penguin posted this a few weeks ago when the Uighur situation was at its height and a few riots were kicking off in China.

Please see here.

Well he may be not too far from the truth if this story is to be believed.

Now I have no way of proving this 1 way or the other.

China is world renowned for its lack of tolerance and its somewhat dubious human rights.

But my point being, right or wrong once this story has been pumped into the hands of a few fundamentalists, and few islamic chaps get the words bent a bit, can you see the Chinese allowing a bit of home grown terrorism to spring up?

Well with their record of dealing with a few protests in the past, and the methods they employ, that would make some interesting stories now would it not?

I think someone is stoking the fire a little, and it might get messy.

Col Bob Stewart

Bosnia Bob as he was nicknamed became a familiar face to television viewers around the world as he handled the intricacies of Balkan politics.
The son of an RAF officer Bob Stewart joined the army in 1969 and retired in 1995.

As his nickname suggests he was probably remembered best for his time as NATO commander in Bosnia 1992-1993.

After leaving the service he held a couple of civillian roles with security and intelligence companies. He also had a very successful after dinner speaking role.

Bob Stewart was never 1 to shy away. Extremely outspoken he always managed to get under the skin of several people. He had a terrier mentality on one hand but a superb diplomat on the other.

Now he has signalled his intention to get under another persons skin.
Namely 1 Grodon Brown.

Bob Stewart has succesfully passed his parliamentary selection panel and looks like the prospective candidate to fight the safe seat of Congleton in Cheshire.

Looks like "Call Me Dave" has a special advisor to the defence committee set up in waiting. And 1 with abit of history.

A quick tip to the PM and Wobbly Bob Ainsworth. Do not go up against this man in a commons debate on all things will end in tears for you.

Corporal Anthony Duncan

Corporal Anthony Duncan is 1 of the 2 compensation cases that Bob Ainsworth (who is currently away on holiday) is trying to have his financial settlement reduced.

Cpl Duncan was originally awarded a lump-sum of £9,250 after being shot through the leg with a high velocity bullet in As-Samawah in southern Iraq in 2005, fracturing his thigh and leaving an open wound.

His payout was increased to £46,000 by a Pensions Appeal Tribunal after it was told of complications following extensive surgery which exacerbated the overall effect of his injuries.

Cpl Duncan, who underwent 11 separate operations on his leg and extensive rehabilitation at the Headley Court centre in Surrey.

What many people do not realise is that Cpl Duncan IS CURRENTLY SERVING with the Light Dragoons near the town of Gereshk in Helmand.

He is understood to have been involved in the recent operation Panther's Claw and was a friend of Lance Corporal David Dennis, who was buried yesterday after being killed by a roadside bomb.

Although the two servicemen have already received the money, the Ministry of Defence is challenging both decisions, fearing that the panel's interpretation of the law would set a precedent affecting "the large majority" of cases.

Nathalie Lieven QC, representing Mr Ainsworth, told a panel of three judges that the tribunal's decision was "arbitrary" as it was based its decision on the men's "overall condition" when they made their claim rather than the specific injuries, referring to how Cpl Duncan had since been cleared fit for service in Afghanistan.

So the whole basis of the claim is actually you sent him back to a combat zone, having had 11 operations on a leg. He has just watched his mate die and get repatriated home. As he is in afghanistan he must be fit..............Bulls**t.

I feel for this man. Wait until he returns home, wait until the uniform comes off, wait until it really hits him.

Many servicemen, commanders, politicians have condemed this action. The Royal British Legion accused the Government of "cheating servicemen of their rightful due".

Another disgraceful and shameful act of Labour trechary to the British Military.

Bob Ainsworth

Fido the Dog hits the nail on the head with a top video.
See Here

Also a quote from Rogue Gunner stating

"On a day when the bodies of four UK servicemen are flown back home after making the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan the MOD are in the Court of Appeal. Why may you ask are they costing the British tax payer tens of thousands in legal bills? To make the lives of our young injured servicemen some who have horrific injuries better? No, they are once again making our Heroes fight another battle for adequate compensation that must last them for the rest of their lives.
Sometimes your longest War begins when you hand your uniform in and rejoin civvie street."
Here here. Four more brave men brought back in body bags, sent to their death by a government which has no moral compass what so ever.

The same government which then goes to court to reduce the compensation paid to those soldiers.

The same government run by a coward who talks much about courage and yet fails to display any.

I also am led to believe that Simon Weston yesterday described Labour as using car crash politics............he can speak from experience.

Well I thought this image by Morten Moreland summarise it equally as well.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

I had to post this .

Now I apologise in advance but for the record Mrs LotF found it hilarious.

MP's Expenses............I dont believe this.

Did anyone see this go through the house yesterday????

I only got to see it late last night and I felt a wee Edradour was needed to take the edge off the sting I felt.

I quote below:-

"Shortly before MPs rose for their 82-day summer break, a rule change was slipped through allowing them to claim a new subsistence allowance without any proof of expenditure. The £25 a night payment means that MPs could, in theory, claim up to £9,000 a year without submitting a receipt of any kind – and it is payable on top of the £15,000 a year they are now allowed to claim for the mortgage or rental
of a second home."


Since the Telegraph broke the expenses story several months ago we have heard it all from the parties.
Rule changes!!
Restore public confidence!!
British Political wake up call!!

John Brecow the new speaker would lead from the front and what do we find out. He bloody rubber stamped it.

Every party has insisted that honesty and transparency is essential if MPs are to regain the trust and respect of voters. So what happens? A rule change is sneaked out with no publicity allowing MPs to claim even more money without showing they have incurred any expense.

This episode suggests not just that MPs still fail to appreciate the level of public disgust at their behaviour, but that they simply do not care. While they should be bending over backwards to restore their standing, they are offering the public a brazen two-fingered salute.

One last ride on the gravy train anyone before it finally comes off the tracks?!?!?!

Berlusconi new Portrait

In an effort to beat Berlusconis paparazzi ban, a classic portrait painter managed to sneek into his latest get together!!!!

Darling Gave It the Banks

Alistair Darling as seen at the meeting with the bank bosses yesterday.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Operation Panthers Claw

So Panthers claw is officially over.

Fitaloon has a spot on his site about it.

Commanders say the five-week mission cleared the Taliban from an area the size of the Isle of Wight and comes ahead of elections next month.

British troops will remain to secure the area won for three to six months, the MoD said.

Gordon Brown said the mission in the troubled southern Helmand province "has shown that it can bring success".

The thing that sticks with me apart from the sight of Wooton Bassett when a C17 returns is this complete load of cack from our PM and I quote

"What we've done is push back the Taliban - and what we've done also is to start to break that chain of terror that links the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the streets of Britain."

Complete and utter bullsh*t.
Absolutely no way.

What we have done is probably increased the ill feeling within the insurgency. Given a greater reason for the Islamic hatered of the west to roll on.

And above all, above the hatered, 20 service people died this month alone.

Time to get out!

Beautiful Ladies

Its official...................Women are getting more beautiful.

Researchers have found beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female. Those daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so repeat the pattern.

Over generations, the scientists argue, this has led to women becoming steadily more aesthetically pleasing, a “beauty race” that is still on. The findings have emerged from a series of studies of physical attractiveness and its links to reproductive success in humans.

A very interesting article in the Times. It goes on to say that women were generally regarded by both sexes as more aesthetically appealing than men. The other was that the most attractive parents were 26% less likely to have sons.

Physical attractiveness is a highly heritable trait, which disproportionately increases the reproductive success of daughters much more than that of sons.

“If more attractive parents have more daughters and if physical attractiveness is heritable, it logically follows that women over many generations gradually become more physically attractive on average than men.”

In men, by contrast, good looks appear to count for little, with handsome men being no more successful than others in terms of numbers of children. This means there has been little pressure for men’s appearance to evolve.

Ok so a cheap post that gave me an excuse to search the web for said lovely ladies photos, but answer me this then.

If the world is getting more beautiful ladies, what the hell is going on outside every burger chain restraunt on my high street every Saturday afternoon. I mean the 20 kids, fag in 1 hand, pushing a pram, muffin top low rise jeans .....eeeeewwwww


Yesterday 20000 people in a show of unit marched through Kilmarnock to protest at Diageo's plans to cut 900 jobs from two sites.

700 jobs are threatened in Kilmarnock, where the Johnny Walker brand has had a presence since 1820.

Opponents say unemployment in Kilmarnock could rise by 70 per cent as a result of the proposed cuts.

Mr Salmond said: "Today's march and rally demonstrated that the people of Scotland stand behind Kilmarnock and the campaign to keep Diageo in the town.

Alex Salmond has been very critical of Diageo and has also made some very strong statements which cause me concern.

Firstly the Diageo descision leaves a lot to be desired here. I still can not see the economics clearly, but big Eck has not gone on record to state that public money could be used to save hundreds of jobs being axed.
Very honourable Eck. Indeed Mandleson made similar pledges for the car industry, also worth noting not a penny has been given to the car industry.

The Scottish Government could channel money through Scottish Enterprise to help the company avoid sacking a total of 900 staff at its Johnnie Walker plant in Kilmarnock and its distillery in Port Dundas, Glasgow.

Mr Salmond met Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh yesterday, along with Scottish Enterprise boss Jack Perry, for talks that were described as "constructive" by the First Minister.

Ministers, union officials and Scottish Enterprise are trying to form an alternative business plan for the company and hope to convince it not to shed the jobs.

Ok lets look abit further into Diageo shall we.

Diageo has offices in 80 countries
It sells in 180 countries
Its half yearly sales to the end of Dec 2008 were 6.7 Billion pounds.
It owns 101 different beer, wine and spirit brands.

Eck, do you really think you will change the mind of a company that big.

You can not pour a rake of public money into that company and somehow turn it into a political victory for yourself. You are giving away cash, you are being naive to think they are that interested.

Yes they are loaded cash wise. They are a huge powerful group.

And right now they hold all the aces. You piss them off they walk.
They were going to do that anyway.

I sadly can not see how this is going to be resolved. I fear greatly for Kilmarnock and Port Dundas.

The Curse of Jonah Brown.......French election!

Well Europe and France in particular have to get ready for their Presidential election.

Now they are not supposed to have 1 but Nicolas Sarkozy had a bit of medical issue at the weekend.

Now supposedly nothing serious but we have all heard of the curse of Jonah Brown.

Well it transpires Gordon Brown has wished Nicolas Sarkozy a "speedy recovery" after the French president collapsed during a jog.

Mr Sarkozy, 54, was taken by helicopter to a military hospital where he underwent tests.

The Elysee Palace said the results were normal but that doctors would keep him under observation.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The Prime Minister has sent a private message to President Sarkozy expressing his support."

Mr Sarkozy, who is known for his hyperactivity, had been jogging in the grounds of the Chateau of Versailles.

Oh great!!! you have a wee heart issue and are under the weather, and Gordon Brown sends you a get well soon message.

Well thats a new President needed in a few days then.

MOD Battles.............Loose more than they win.

A lot has come to the fore this weekend about the MOD going to the court of appeal to reduce the Injured Soliders Compensation.

Subrosa did a piece and attracted an interesting comment from a reader of hers.

However I remember the story breaking on Fred Goodwins pension. A certain red headed lady close to the PM made the most riduculous comment about it "Not passing the court of Public Opinion".

Well should "The Court of Public Opinion" really be a barometer then trust me the MOD would fail on this attempted action.

But speaking of MOD failures.

Of late we have had rather a few spectacular ones have we not.

No, I am not talking about equipment or helicopters, or blatant cock ups in spending and purchasing. I am talking about clear cases where the MoD fought a battle and lost.

Gulf War Syndrome Up to 6,000 British troops complained of illnesses ranging from violent mood swings and extreme fatigue to blood disorders. Despite many studies the MoD found no evidence to support the existence of the syndrome. That stance was criticised in a pensions appeal in November 2005, forcing the MoD to acknowledge the term and award thousands of war pensions.

Gurkha settlement rights
Gurkhas who retired after 1997, when the regiment’s base moved from Hong Kong to Britain, were granted the right to citizenship and permanent UK residency in 2004. Joanna Lumley took up the cause of those who retired earlier and the Government was defeated on the issue in May.

Iraqi interpreters The plight of Iraqis who became targets for Iranian-backed Shia militiamen was revealed by The Times in August 2007. Two months later David Miliband announced an assistance scheme but interpreters were dismayed by its restrictions. In all, 200 moved to the UK and hundreds of others got one-off payments. But 700 failed to qualify and 25 intend to sue the Government.

Navy Hostages In March 2007 the Iranian Revolutionary Guard captured eight Royal Navy sailors and seven Royal Marines who were searching vessels for contraband. During their 13-day captivity they were paraded on Iranian television. Upon release, the MoD authorised them to sell their stories to the media, but the handling of the incident provoked widespread condemnation and service personnel have since been banned from selling stories.

Atomic bomb tests Some 21,000 servicemen witnessed 46 atomic bomb tests in the South Pacific and Australia between 1952 and 1962. Many later developed cancer, skin defects, fertility problems and other conditions, but the MoD has consistently tried to refute evidence linking their ill health to exposure to radiation. In May a thousand British veterans, some terminally ill, won the right to sue the MoD for compensation that may total £100 million.

Rather grim reading.

Andrew MacKinlay.......further info.

I received an anon comment on Saturday afternoon as a result of my Andrew McKinlay post.

You know the getting to stressed MP who is quitting.
Nothing to do with the Dr David Kelly issue and being the MP who along with Tony Blair assisted in destroying the man.

But thats been posted already.

The quality of the info given to me deserves being aired to all. H/T to Anon

I talked in my post about MacKinlays expenses briefly and how it appears on the outside all in order (when compared to others that is)

It appreas my anon friend did better at snooping than me.
I quote below

Thurrock Labour Party rent a property for their HQ for £3,900 from Thurrock Council.

They then charge Andrew Mackinlay £5,500 to use the building.

Andrew Mackinlay claims the £5,500 on expenses.

Freedom of Information Act Request asking for details of 10 Commonwealth House, Tilbury. Property rented by Thurrock Council to Trustees of Thurrock Constituency Labour Party.

Page 24 and page 32 of Incidental Expenses Provision/Staff Allowance 2007/08.

Invoice for £5,500 to Andrew Mackinlay MP.

So it appears that Mr MacKinlay and Thurrock labour Party are both complicit in a fraud.........perhaps....maybe.

So it only costs 3.9K for the building so why the 5.5K charge to Mr MacKinlay. What is the additional 1600 quid for then??????? What additinal service is there for that charge??? Not a cash generation scheme for the Labour Party in Thurrock is it......nah dont be daft, no one is that thick!

Smells of Willie Rennie and his Lib Dem rented office in Dunfermline.

So I apologise to all for saying MacKinlay was clear of dodgy expenses. I was wrong.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Prat of the Week

No not Steven Gerrard.

More of a thing than a person but Gerrard is connected.

Yesterday Gerrard was found not guilty of affray after lashing out and hitting a customer in a bar over a remote control.

The England footballer had admitted hitting Mr McGee and apologised for lashing out, but denied losing control and said he was acting in self-defence. a man is having a beer, wont give you the control, you loose your rag and thump him..........and thats self-defence.......sorry I have been wrong for a while now as to what it was.

So you are seen on CCTV acually hitting the person, there are several witnesses and you are found not as a result the winner of ths weeks award is the British Legal System.

Well done.......we are all so proud.

When the going gets tough........the labour bottle goes!!

Labour MP Andrew MacKinlay has announced he is to quit at the next election - citing physical and mental exhaustion for his departure.

On a personal note I am pleased this weapons grade toilet stain is on his way out.

Mental exhaustion eh! No I dont think so I think it is the fact that he was Tony Blair puppet who set about attempting to destroy ( quite successfully I may add) the once respected Dr David Kelly. And now with the challenge being made to the outcome of the Hutton enquiry by a group of doctors the birds may be coming home to roost.

See Here

In 2003, he famously described Dr. David Kelly as "chaff" during Dr. Kelly's appearance before the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

And I quote "I reckon you are chaff; you have been thrown up to divert our probing. Have you ever felt like a fall-guy? You have been set up, have you not?"

MacKinlay reportedly apologised to Kelly's wife for the remark following Kelly's death. Of course everyone apologises when they have done nothing wrong

Another of his crowning moments was being the MP who made the nomination that resulted in Gordon Brown having enough nominations to be certain of not facing a contest over the leadership of the party......he is good.

Maybe not cover in expences sleeze but certainly got his hands dirty over the Iraq WMD issue.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Labour Contempt for N.E. Glasgow

Blatantly stolen from Red Rag so as to get into into more Scottish and Glasgow N.E Readers.

The government has conceded the Norwich North by-election citing exceptional circumstances around expenses issues. One would think they were deluded but let's face it they are just liars. If they believed they were only going to lose because of this issue why then are they running scared of the SNP in Glasgow North.

By failing to announce a date for the Glasgow North East by-election before the Westminster recess they have shown utter contempt for democracy, and in what will surely hurt him when the election is finally called, they have shown utter contempt for the people of Glasgow North by leaving them excluded from political representation for six months.

The people of Glasgow North must surely return that contempt in November when they finally get a chance.

H/T Red Rag

Brig Ed Butler

In my previous post I mentioned Brig Ed Butler and his comments re equipment in Afghanistan and the PM's refusal to blatantly accept the bloody obvious.

However a little more digging and I come across this story.

It details how Ed, a former SAS commander has resigned from the Army after a 24-year career, amid speculation he was unhappy with the resources provided to troops by the Ministry of Defence.

Brigadier Ed Butler, 46, claimed he was quitting because the pressures of overseas operations was having a ‘negative impact’ on his family.
However paying tribute to the servicemen and women he fought with, Brig Butler said they operated 'within the well-known constraints and restraints', leading to speculation his departure was due to concern over troops' equipment and conditions.

Family reasons my backside, hows about you are sick of fighting a loosing battle, sick of being lied to, sick of repatriating dead soliders, just sick of smashing your own face into a wall because its better than the government responce.

Afghanistan and wont go away!

Brown is wrong on Afghan equipment, says former Helmand commander
Brigadier Ed Butler, the former commander of UK troops in Helmand, says British troops in Afghanistan do not have enough resources.

Article here

"I was the commander of British forces in 2006 and I made the case very clearly then that we had, only just about, enough resources to do what would be seen as a very steady state task."

But he said he warned at the time that if it developed into a counter-insurgency operation "then we would require more helicopters, more intelligence and more boots on the ground".

His remarks came as Number 10 desperately tried to limit the damage caused by the intervention in yesterday's Daily Telegraph of Lord Malloch-Brown, the out-going Foreign Office Minister. He became the first minister to openly question the support being given to the British effort in Afghanistan when he said: "We definitely dont have enough helicopters."

Well it is now a counter insugency operation.
We are taking it back to the Taliban.

And the politicians (before they get leaned on), military commanders past and present, families of the fallen and wounded are saying the same thing............NOT ENOUGH EQUIPMENT FOR THE TASK IN HAND.

I also read in the article with interest, that the threat to the UK comes in the form of exported terrorism, not from Afghanistan, but Somalia and Pakistan.

This is in stark opposition to toilet breaths (the PM) comments in his monthly press conference on Weds when challenged on his colleague's observation. He maintained that the Afghanistan campaign was vital to halt terrorists before they came to Britain. Apparently he got a bit hot under the collar. No doubt another nokia died back at the bunker.

Afghanistan.......The real reason????

I read this in the Telegraph this am.

The major British offensive in Afghanistan that has led to a large loss of life and many wounded has strengthened Britain's battered relationship with America, a senior defence source has said.

And i am raging.

A section from the article and I quote

After the British military's performance in Iraq, which was criticised by a number of senior American generals, the battle by British troops to recover a significant part of Taliban territory in Operation Panther's Claw has impressed many US observers.

"It has shown that other people are making the sacrifice and sharing the burden," the senior defence source said. "American has been through their Golgotha moment and they admire a country that steps up to the plate and does the heavy lifting."

"It has struck a cord with weary American public who have seen a lot of their troops killed."

Are you serious, and it would not surprise me in the slightest that our continued presence in Afghanistan, our costs, our loss of life was to satisfy the USA and to maintain "The special relationship".

Forget that relationship..............the cost is not worth it.


You now I am so surprised the blogoshere has not had more fun with this guy.

Or is Silvio too easy a target????

Gordon in a spin again

The fabby Peter Brooke again

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Debt and Labour Lies

Within four years, almost 9p in every pound of tax paid by British individuals and companies will be spent directly on servicing the Government's debt, rather than on services such as hospitals and police, or the costs of running defence or the welfare state, according to new calculations. At present, the debt interest costs an average of around 5p for every pound in tax.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research said that costs of servicing government debt will rise from £25.6bn this fiscal year to £50.7bn in 2013/14, due to a combination of higher interest rates and a far greater debt burden. The warning underlines the cost facing taxpayers as the Government debt rises at the fastest rate in peacetime history.

Remember our last budget. Big Al stood up, Gordon in the background having written his speech for him and we held our breath, what is he going to say......

.....and following poured forth from his mouth.

He predicted that the UK would see growth of 1.25% next year and 3.5% the year after that.

He then based all budgetary consideration for the next five years on that assumption.

Did we rejoice.......NO
Did we think what a load of sh*t......YES

3.5% ....... in our hayday we only ever saw a growth rate of 2.9% max. So how the hell you go from zero to hero inside of 18 months made us realise that it was all just lies.

And the figures today just go to reaffirm that it indeed was just lies.

Very Sad

A male sea lion from California called Mike has died of exhaustion after overexerting himself during the mating season in an animal park in Nuremberg, Germany.

The 19-year-old father of 12 offspring through three different females – Farah, Tiffy and Soda – showed signs of tiredness at around midday on Monday, the southern city said in a statement.

"Mike could no longer get out of the pool and was brought ashore by staff. The extremely weakened animal was treated by a vet but died from acute heart failure

"Mating season is a common time for fatalities when bulls often stop eating for days to devote themselves fully to mating. For sea lion bulls with a harem this is the most exhausting time," it noted.

Indeed I can relate fully to this as I have had a couple of close shaves myself...........ooops must go now the Mrs has come home early.

National Debt

In view of this mornings reports in various media streams on the fact that the government borrowed £13bn last month - double the amount of last June - to take total debt to a record high of £799bn.

And the heroic attempts by Tom Watson at The Open I felt this little ditty by Peter Brooke again to be a belter.

Although being honest do not really know why I am laughing when I look at it.
Its bloody criminal to be in this state.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Andy Coulson....and the Labour Grilling Machine

Like him or loath him.

Did he know about the phone tappings or did he not.

But never ever put him up infront of a Labour grilling machine especially when the people that are on it include 1 Tom Watson who is equally tainted by smear from his Damian McBride days.......despite his protests, that the fact you work close to someone does not mean you know what they are doing.

Perhaps Andy Coulson was taking his revenge over Damian McBride's comments about him in interviews yesterday when he made this comment during questioning by MPs over the phone-hacking scandal...... watch Tommy baby squirm.

Odd it a coincidence

Ok we know we are in a bit of hole money wise in the UK.

Especially when we read things like this.

Spending cuts now recognised to be a definate no matter who is in the hot seat in a years time.

And despite the horse keek regurgitated by the PM in PMQ's when sparring with "Call me Dave" no one believes him.

But when we look at corporation tax losses due to failed comapnies, more people out of work, reduced taxation incomes due to slow sales we see that taxation blackhole as reported in the times.

But does anyone realise how big that number is or what it actually compares too?

Well currently that number is 90% of our 2009/2010 defence budget.

The Defence Budget

£million 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Resource Budget 32,618 33,602 35,165 36,702
Capital Budget 7,404 7,871 8,187 8,871
Total Departm (DEL) 32,579 34,057 35,365 36,890
Of which near cash 29,411 30,763 31,921 33,628

So is that not a good idea to get the boys to come home????
Or am I being to simplistic??????

UPDATE: so as not to take any more stupid emails yes I am aware that the defence budget is not ALL being spent in Afghanistan. Good god.

The Heineken Cup

Regular reader will know my passion for egg chasing.

This is the rugby union pinacle of European competition.
A tremendous competition.

However when stories like this emerge into the fold I kinda think the shine gets taken off it.

Harlequins winger Tom Williams has been handed a 12-month suspension after being found guilty of his role in fabricating a blood injury in last season's Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leinster.

OK bit of background.
If a player is substituted thats it cant come back on. However if you have a blood injury and have no subs left you can bring a sub player back on. The blood injury itself came about as a result of HIV and getting a player sorted out as a cut may not be seen as a reason to have the player off the field all game.

But having to fabricate it.........come on.

I mean its not the old soviet block in the late 70's olympics we are talking here.
We are talking about 2009 in a semi final.

What I find staggering is the fact the coaches were found not guilty but the club and the player how does that work?????

Still you cheated you lousy still lost....... you got a nice 12 months out the game where your form will go, you are a year older, less likely to be picked and have the honour of being found a cheat.

Oh and thanks for trying to ruin the reputation of one of the finest sports in the world......dont let the changing room door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Afghanistan Casualty

It has been announced that the 187th serviceman has died since the Afghanistan conflict began.

The latest victim is the 18th this month.

I felt this cartoon by Martin Rowson to be particularly apt.
Harsh but true.

Jaap De Hoop Sheffer

Jaap De Hoop Sheffer is the current Secretary General of Nato.

Last night he was a guest at a dinner at Chatham House.

Post the meal he stood up and gave a rather straight to the point speech.

In his final speech before stepping down, he spoke on the UK deaths in Afghanistan and the ongoing debate about the lack of equipment, and his frustration at the EU's relationship with NATO.

He made the speech as a steep rise in casualties has sparked debate in Britain over the value of the Afghan war.

His speech transcript is below and I quote from it.

De Hoop Sheffer said Afghanistan would fall to the Taliban if NATO walked away.

"Al-Qaida would have a free run again, and their terrorist ambitions are global," he said at a speech at London's Chatham House think-tank . "This is not conjecture. This is fact. Those who argue otherwise - who say we can defend against terrorism from home - are simply burying their heads in the sand."

He also said NATO must move away from Cold War security policies.

"As much as we may long for the near-perfect security of Cold War deterrence, we must accept that security today requires engagement in far away places - engagement that is dangerous, expensive, open ended and with no guarantee of success," he said.

All of this on the day the MOD said another British soldier has been killed by an explosion in Helmand Province.

The death brings the total number of British servicemen killed in Afghanistan to 186.

IMHO his speech was aimed very much at the British media and the many of the dissenting voices being aimed at the government for our continued involvement in the Afghanistan conflict.

I do not share all his opinions. I do not believe the UK will become a terrorist hotbed if we leave Afghanistan. I think we will save a lot of lives, a lot of money and perhaps we may stop as we have no more ammunition to give the young radicalised Islamic peoples. We may actually stop the rise further of extreme thinking here in the UK as we have no involvement.

Our military in Afghanistan will not stop that rising of hatered here, in fact it enflames it.

Correct policing and border control will stop any terrosist actions!!!

Mr Sheffers speech I feel has a hint of Gordon Brown attached to it. A hint of using it to get the message to the masses. Sorry Gordy.........does not wash.

His speech transcript

Monday, 20 July 2009

Dr David Kelly

In 2003 Dr David Kelly was found dead in the woods.

The Hutton Inquiry concluded that Dr Kelly took his own life. But did he?

This death is returning to haunt Labour as a group of doctors announced that they are mounting a legal challenge to overturn the finding of suicide.

Dr Kelly's body was found six years ago this week in woods close to his Oxfordshire home, shortly after he was exposed as the source of a BBC news report questioning the grounds for war in Iraq.
Unusually, no coroner's inquest was held into his death.

The only official verdict has come from the Hutton Inquiry, commissioned by Tony Blair, which concluded that Dr Kelly, 59, died from loss of blood after cutting his wrist with a blunt gardening knife.

Critics regarded the report as a 'whitewash', and Mr Blair remains acutely sensitive to the accusation that he has 'blood on his hands' over the scientist's death.
But now a team of 13 specialist doctors has compiled a detailed medical dossier that rejects the Hutton conclusion on the grounds that a cut to the ulnar artery, which is small and difficult to access, could not have caused death. A 12-page opinion concludes: "The bleeding from Dr Kelly's ulnar artery is highly unlikely to have been so voluminous and rapid that it was the cause of death. We advise the instructing solicitors to obtain the autopsy reports so that the concerns of a group of properly interested medical specialists can be answered."

In The Strange Death of David Kelly, Liberal-Democratic MP Norman Baker builds a strong case that the scientist was murdered. Despite Lord Hutton's dubious findings that Kelly killed himself, several troubling facts intruded to upend the British government's apple cart.

To summarise:

The lack of fingerprints found on the knife allegedly used by the scientist to slit his wrists; the lack of blood found at the scene, despite a verdict that he had sliced open an artery; unexplained contusions on Kelly's scalp; the position of the body discovered by searchers differed markedly from that alleged by detectives; bottled water, knife and wristwatch said to be found by detectives were not observed by the searchers who actually discovered the body; eight computers removed from Kelly's home and office by MI6 agents; missing dental records; the level of painkillers found in Kelly's stomach was "less than a third" of what is considered a fatal overdose by medical experts. On and on it goes...

One source told Baker that Dr. Kelly's death was "a wet operation, a wet disposal," a term used in intelligence circles to denote an assassination.

One motive which may have led to Kelly's murder was that the scientist was writing a book "exposing highly damaging government secrets before his mysterious death.

According to published reports, Kelly intended to reveal that he had warned Prime Minister Tony Blair "there were no weapons of mass destruction anywhere in Iraq weeks before the British and American invasion." Despite warnings that the book would breach Britain's draconian Officials Secrets Act, Kelly sought advice on how he might bring his findings into a publishable form.

These reports also suggest that Kelly threatened to "lift the lid" on a larger scandal, "his own secret dealings in germ warfare with the apartheid regime in South Africa."

Investigative journalists Bob Coen and Eric Nadler in their book Dead Silence: Fear and Terror on the Anthrax Trail and a companion 90-minute documentary, Anthrax War, provide startling evidence that Kelly's death is linked to a secret world of germ warfare research.

Indeed, according to Coen and Nadler, David Kelly's secret dealings included a connection with Dr. Wouter Basson, the cardiologist who was the former head of the South African apartheid regime's clandestine biological and chemical warfare program, Project Coast.

During Basson's 1999 trial and subsequent acquittal, evidence presented by some 150 witnesses, including operatives linked to South African snatch-and-kill squads, tied Basson to chemical and biological research used in extrajudicial executions by the apartheid regime. It was further alleged that Project Coast had conducted active research into the fabrication of "ethnic weapons" that would specifically target South Africa's black population.

In Anthrax War, Basson states that his findings were shared with foreign scientists, including those affiliated with weapons research in Britain and the United States.

Coen and Nadler uncovered evidence that Kelly had discovered a "Porton Down-South Africa connection" linked to a global bioweapons black market. "We have proved there is a black ­market in anthrax. David Kelly was of particular interest to us because he was a world expert on anthrax and he was involved in some degree with assisting the secret germ warfare programme in apartheid South Africa," they are reported to have said.

Andrew Mackinlay, an MP blamed for humiliating Kelly "to the point of suicide" started "asking questions in the House of Lords" after the scientist's death "about Kelly's relationship with these South Africans, even making inquiries about South African links to Pasechnik's Regma firm."

Founded in 2000 by the deceased scientist, Regma Bio Technologies was headquartered on the Porton Down campus and had signed a contract with the U.S. Navy for anti-anthrax research.

What Mackinlay discovered about the entire operation was highly disturbing to say the least. His inquiry sparked "the convening of an extraordinary 'handling strategy meeting' involving thirteen officials from different government agencies. But any and all information about UK-South African germ work was withheld from the MP."

Mackinlay told Coen and Nadler, "This is one of the most closely guarded secrets of the British government."

The question is, did David Kelly threaten to reveal these "closely guarded secrets" in the book he was preparing, and was this a motive for certain "dark actors" to eliminate a person now considered "an enemy of the state"?

These programs are not Cold War relics. Biological weapons research continues today and remains one of the worlds most deadly secrets.
The evidence suggests that Dr. David Kelly, as Norman Baker alludes too "may have signed his own death warrant" by threatening to reveal this secret underworld menacing all humanity with unimaginable horrors.

More on Dr Kelly here

Swine Flu TV

What a great idea.

You could also run Jeremy Kyle shows as well..........because whilst you feel like sh*t you can at least watch an episode or 2 of that trash and realise you may be 1 sneeze away from the pearly gates but your life is not that bad!

Another Chinook Mess

The subject of equipment in Afghanistan and in particular has been the subject of many blogs and many news stories.
Politicians, military chiefs have all been saying many many things.

I was to say this least a little sceptical of John Huttons delivered words to the Sunday papers yesterday. It smacked more of someone with a grudge rather that a political messgae. Bit of dollies out of the pram so to speak.

However I have blogged before about helicopters and in a proevious post made mention to 422 Million pounds worth of hardware that was bought in 2001. This hardware was 8 Mk3 Chinook helicopters that sat idle for 8 years due to a major purchasing cock-up and the basic fact that when it comes to defence spending the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.
I for 1 was pleased when I heard we had increased the numbers of helicopters in theatre and found the 60% figure impressive.......hahaha....note the tone of my blog there.
Yes we know 60% of bugger all is bugger all.

But I thought great those 8 have been sorted and are now in action.

But oh wrong was I.

The Mark3 Chinooks were designed to carry members of special forces and were equipped with the sophisticated technology. However the Ministry of Defence then discovered that this was incompatible with systems in place in the UK and were thus forced to downgrade the specifications in the aircraft while other Western countries were upgrading theirs.

The helicopters, which had already cost the taxpayer an estimated 422m, are now going through the costly and time consuming work at Boscombe Down near Salisbury. Three will be ready to be used later this year, but there will be delay of almost 18 months before the remainder become airworthy.

So we spend 422 miliion.
We leave then rotting for 8 years.
Then when we need them it takes another shit load of redtape and another 18 months to get them airworthy.

The thing is we took delivery at the start of the conflict, and NO ONE thought "hey best get this sorted, we might need these.


Friday, 17 July 2009

ACM Jock Stirrup

I remember Jock Stirrup from his Tornado aircrew days.
Nice enough bloke and destined for things.
No surprise he ends up a CDS.

However I am a little agast to read James Kirkups piece in the Telegraph.

Now I am aware Gen Dannatt has been commenting hard and certainly not singing the Gordon Brown hymn, but on Monday when the full stories where coming out on the recent losses of life in Afghanistan and the lack of equipment and helicopters, Jock Stirrup was definately on song.

He was openly briefing about loss of life, panthers claw, equipment etc. I mean the full gambit.

But James Kirkups article shows a completely different story. It shows that now General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the Army and Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, have called for more troops and helicopters in Afghanistan.

Sir Jock said his forces needed as many helicopters as they could get and were "busting a gut" to draft more into service.

His comments are likely to cause more discomfort for Gordon Brown who on Thursday faced a grilling from MPs on equipment and troops after the Defence Select Committee warned a shortage of helicopters was undermining the "protection" of forces.

"In this situation where you have lots of improvised explosive devices, the more you can increase your tactical flexibility by moving people by helicopters then the more unpredictable your movements become to the enemy," Sir Jock said, speaking in Downing Street after talks with the Prime Minister.

"Therefore it is quite patently the case that you could save casualties by doing that."

Asked about whether British forces in Afghanistan had enough helicopters, the Air Chief Marshal said there was "no such thing as enough helicopters in an operational campaign".

"If you are an operational commander you can always do more and do things better the more helicopters you have.

"If I thought we had enough helicopters in Afghanistan frankly we wouldn't be busting a gut to get the Merlins we had deployed in Iraq ready to go out this time to Afghanistan.

"We need as many helicopters out there as we can get."

His comments followed those of Gen Dannatt, who set out a "shopping list" of new equipment he wants to protect British forces from bomb attacks in Afghanistan.

The general's requests, made in a BBC Radio 4 Today interview, are likely to strain further his relations with Labour ministers.

Now indeed fuel to the blogosphere but I for 1 am sitting a bit quiet on this article, this afternoon. Maybe something to do with what I can only describe as a devastating post by EU Referendum and 1 which has left more questions than it answers earlier today.



Subject of many a political debate.
Cradle to grave
The envy of the world.

But when I read stories like this I am left the NHS run by complete cretins or what.

I mean for god sake.

Why is the NHS spending £13,700 on a sex guide for pensioners?
It outlines the uses of Viagra and the need for safe sex. Although the booklet is explicit in content, the aspect of the scheme that some have called obscene is the cost: £13,700 so far. That is no laughing matter.

Now I may a reader or 2 of a certain age but I will be honest and say when I reach that particular age myself I would kinda like to think I pretty much have that subject squared away.

Viva Le' France

I did this post yesterday on some Frenchy types who by virtue of terrorist style threats where basically holding Renault and Peugeot to ransom.

I made comment at the end about maybe and improvement in standards.

Well guess what.

Another group of French folks were doing something similar at both Nortel communications and a construction company called JLG. And.............yep thats right, the companies caved in to these threats and the companies agreed to its redundancy payment demands.
Construction firm JLG which makes platforms for cranes, wanted to lay off 43 workers.

Staff responded by placing four cranes worth £216,000 in a car park, and surrounding them with gas canisters and kindling.

The firm caved into the demands and agreed to give each worker £26,000 euros in compensation.

"It's a shame that we reached this point. If management had wanted, we could have avoided this tough conflict," said union representative Christian Amadio.

No I am despite my glib comment of yesterday a bit troubled by this. You know what, its like, give someone an inch and they take a mile, but when then do these tactics actually come to a stop. Its reported the govenment did not want to send the police in thereby are they actually condoning these they stop when what......somebody gets killed!!!!!!

Defence Select Committee

Yesterday our PM was grilled by ministers on the Defence select Committee over the Afghanistan conflict.

Reading multiple reports it seems our PM as per his usual stance in the Wednesday farce that is PMQ's failed to answer any direct questions.

Also yesterday was published a Defence Select Committee report into Helicopter Capability and I post it here for your reading.

It is a terrible document in terms of the damning content, and further reinforces the knowledge we have of Labours cutting back of spending, of slshing the helicopter budget in 2004 when we were in 2 conflict zones.

In unusually clear language the Committee demolishes the Governments argument that there are enough helicopters for the British forces in Afghanistan

A particular comment within the docuent is on page 7 and I quote "Helicopters provide many vital capabilities to the modern Armed Forces and, with the challenge of hybrid warfare, are becoming increasingly relevant to current and contingent operations. Their status as force-multipliers lends further weight to their value. They are a cost-effective means of increasing the operational impact of other force elements and therefore, of operational capability generally. As such, it is essential that the fleet should be ‘fit for purpose’, both in terms of quality and quantity.

Page 38 'We believe that the size of the fleet is an issue, and are convinced that the lack of helicopters is having adverse consequences for operations today and, in the longer term, will severely impede the ability of the UK Armed Forces to deploy.'

Right, so according to the committee, the lack of choppers is affecting Operation Panthers Claw, and that not only did the Government fail to plan for the 21st century war which is being fought today, but if another war breaks out in the next decade, we will not be able to assist effectively..

Possibly the most damming paragraph suggests that contrary to Gordon Brown's argument, some missions cannot be undertaken at all, and others are undertaken at greater risk than necessary

'We are concerned that operational commanders in the field today are unable to undertake potentially valuable operations because of the lack of helicopters...also concerned that operational commanders find they have to use ground transport, when helicopter lift would be preferred, both for the outcome and for the protection of our forces.'

The Defence Select Committee chairman is James Arbuthnot. Apparently yesterdays meeting was and i quote again "very strained" the Prime Minister, insisted UK forces had enough soldiers in Afghanistan - but sidestepped many questions using the best intrests of security line.

Mr Arbuthnot said: "There are two ways of dealing with select committees - you can answer the questions or you can appear not to answer the questions.

The Prime Minister claimed he had disclosed more than the Tory MP might have anticipated.

"We looked at a number of options," he said. "If the number now is 9,150 there was no recommendation of 11,150. We discussed a variety of options, it's the right thing to do.

"I actually think I've given you more information than you might have expected me to do about this situation.

So an cheap shot across the bow there. Political gain rather than concentrate on questions which may help save lives.

The PM is quoted as saying from the meeting yesterday "For the mission we are doing at the moment we have the troops on the ground," he said as Mr Arbuthnot questioned him. "We are equipped to do the job that we are doing at the moment." He added that MPs should not create the impression that "our troops are not properly equipped"

This liar again regurgitated the line that the number of helicopters had risen by 60 per cent, but refused to reveal how many there were.

It is believed that there are about 23 in Afghanistan: 10 Chinooks, five Sea Kings and eight Apaches.

Just 15 of these can carry troops, which means there is one British helicopter for 600 troops out of total troop level of 9,000.

Both the DSC report and the reported performance of the PM, show clearly his lack of fortitude, his lies, his disseat and willful underfunding now clearly making us loose lives in theatre.

So PM where is your moral compass now........clearly not pointing at Afghanistan???

Bigger report here

Prat of the week

This week has been a little quiet interms of pratness.

I refuse to bring the government into this topic as the list would be long.

So I mean quiet outside of Westminster.

However a special mention to Ingrid Tarrant for some top police cooperation.

But I have chosen this lady here.

However readers, like me you will feel that Prat is not suitable.
You will no doubt feel a little horrified and like me choose many other words, that certainly taste a decency will prevent me from posting.

(See I always love the moral high ground)

Air Force 1.....Whats that Gay porn?

Obamas private jet, the mighty Air Force 1.
Spcially converted Boeing and with more tricks than Paul Daniels on board.

It was used by Obama and a certain Willie Mays to travel to St Louis for the Major League Baseball All Stars Game on the 14th July.

Now I have no interest in baseball or knowledge of the game. I always thought it like rounders, which here is usally played by girls. But then they have American football and we have rugby, (rugby ah yes no pads no helmets thats the sport.....i rest my case m'lud), nor do I really know who Willie Mays is except to say he is huge in the sport of baseball apparently.

But what did get me was............Gay porn of Air Force 1.

I know I did a post on a naked airline safety video but good god.

Well it may have been a long flight!!!!!!!!!

How to kill 2 Birds with 1 Stone

The government announced via wet pants Milliband, their new energy policies on Weds.
(Which Milliband am i refering to as they are both a bit damp, i hear you cry)

But then the government just keeps lying about the helicopter and equipment stories in Afghanistan (which incidently just wont go away).

So another H/T to Peter Brooke with a slightly satirical take on both stories.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

In Typical French Style.

No I am not refering to Chablis.
Nor Escargo
Nor Rachida Dati

I refer to the usual French method of sticking 2 fingers up to the establishment and going hell for leather to get what you want.

It transpires that in Châtellerault, in central France, 336 laid-off workers have been occupying the New Fabris car parts plant since it went bankrupt in May. They have rigged it with acetylene and butane gas bottles, and are demanding car giants Renault and Peugeot – which provided most of the firm's business – give them redundancy pay.

If not, they say they will ignite the gas and destroy the factory.

Staff warned they would destroy the New Fabris plant in central France if they do not receive compensation for their lost jobs by July 31.

New Fabris was declared in liquidation in April, so the workers stand to get no redundancy money, although they are entitled to draw state unemployment benefit.

They want Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen to pay 30,000 euros (£28,500) for each of the 336 staff at the factory - about £8.6m in total, in return for its remaining stocks of equipment and machinery.

"The bottles of gas have already been placed at various parts of the factory and are connected with each other," CGT trades union official Guy Eyermann said.

"If Renault and PSA refuse to give us that money it could blow up before the end of the month," he added.

A delegation of the workers has a meeting on Thursday with Renault, which had no immediate comment.

Police also declined to comment on the threat by the workers, who are occupying the New Fabris factory at Chatellerault, near Poitiers.

The company is the successor to Fabris, founded in 1947 and put into liquidation in 2007. It was later acquired by Italian firm ZEN.

The case is the latest example of sacked French workers adopting militant tactics in order to improve their payouts.

The practice of 'bossnapping' - where managers are held hostage in their offices - has become relatively common during the economic crisis in France.

See the full story here.

Now I am certainly not advocating terrorism tactics but I do sometimes feel we roll over a bit too much here. I kinda feel maybe a bit more of this attitude over here and we might find our services are a damn site better.

We Remember the Fallen.............We Must Remember The Rest

As the bodies of eight soldiers, including three teenagers, killed in a bloody 24 hours in Helmand were repatriated, mental health experts joined warned that not enough was being done to care for returning members of the armed forces.

Britain faces a "ticking timebomb" of mental illness and suicide among young Army veterans who return from Afghanistan.

A lack of mental health care for veterans, combined with the stress of fighting the Taliban, will mean many survivors of the conflict pay a heavy price in psychological problems and self harm.

Research suggests that veterans aged 18 to 23 are up to three times more likely to commit suicide than their civilian counterparts. Setting out plans today to boost mental health care for returning troops. Appaerntly more veterans of the Falklands campaign and the first Gulf War killed themselves after quitting the forces than died in action.

An estimated 264 Falklands veterans have committed suicide since the conflict ended, compared with 255 soldiers killed in action, according to an ex-servicemen's organisation.

Twenty-four British soldiers died during the 1991 Gulf War, but the Ministry of Defence disclosed last year that 169 veterans of the conflict had died from "intentional self-harm" or in circumstances that led to open verdicts at inquests.

David Hill, director of operations for the charity Combat Stress, said it took an average of 14 years for veterans to ask for help with post-traumatic stress disorder. Many suffered in silence – often harbouring suicidal thoughts – because they were reluctant to admit to their vulnerability.

Mr Hill said: "Servicemen and women are exposed to stresses that most people won't be exposed to in their lives. In Afghanistan, they are exposed to them quite early in their careers. There is a general lack of understanding about how intense these stresses can be."

A study by Manchester University this year found that ex-servicemen under 24 were between two and three times more likely to kill themselves than men of the same age from outside the forces.

Greater help and emphasis needs to be put on returning service men and wowen. We can not just allow them to experience what they have been then just let them go with no support. Yes I realise wars throughout time will have effected service folks. The Flanders field of WW1 will also have had the same effect, but we now have the medical skills to recognise, to support, to help. And we must.

Please have a wee visit to Here

Independant has a few words Here


Fresh from the recent debates on equipment in Afghanistan comes this little gem of a story.

Gen Dannatt is on his last tour of Afghanistan.

He has not been as vocal about the spending row as others but indeed has had a certain behind closed doors meeting with several high ranking tories. That is for another post.

But the issue I wish to point here, is the fact, that just the back end of last week and the start of this week, is that during Dannatt's visit, he had to use a US Army Blackhawk helicopter to do his tour.


In the face of all that has gone on this week. All the debate, the spin, the lies, the 60% increase...............we find our army chief has to borrow equipment from the Americans.

And now summer recess in the commons so no debate !!!!

UPDATE:- When asked about his travel arrangements, Gen Dannatt replied: “Self-evidently... if I moved in an American helicopter it’s because I haven’t got a British helicopter.”

Full Story Here

Another Lost Backpacker!!!!!

We live in hope!

H/T Peter Brooke Cartoons

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

To Help Gordon ....... from PMQ's


Just to help you a bit here and I have acquired the stats sheet from Fitaloon's site.

Please see what exactly 60% increase is.

The USA has 8000 troops, and we have 9000 in theatre.

They have 120 Chinooks with them.

We have a 60% increase.

60% of bugger all is still bugger all.

And you were the wonder our finances are on their arse!!!!!

Helicopter Type - Chinook
Departmental total (total fleet) - 48
Number available (forward fleet) - 29
Number current and qualified pilots - 109

For the purposes of MOD reporting, the definition used for the number of helicopters available for use is the number in the Forward Fleet. This figure excludes any aircraft undergoing programmed upgrades, major repair or awaiting disposal.

You last PMQ's today before the hols................very poor showing.


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