Posted by: secretperson | November 23, 2007

Letting Down our Troops

This article in the Telegraph (and others at the BBC etc) reports that no less than five former defence chiefs have strongly criticised the government on the level of spending on the armed forces. Lord Boyce described ‘blood on the floor’ of the MOD.

This is no surprise from a government who’s left-wing instincts dislike and distrust the more traditionally conservative (small c) armed forces. But unfortunately New Labour are confused. They may not like the army, but they have sent them to war, where they are now, under-manned, under-equipt and under-funded. Now there is no need for major reform of the army. The men in charge know their job and I don’t believe you’ll get the same level of bureaucracy you do in other public funded projects. So maybe Gordon Brown, who’s answer to everything from health to schools is simply to pump in cash, will for once come up with the right answer. The armed forces, that includes the ordinary soldiers dying or injured by politicians’ decisions, need more resources. Or we have to reduce our military commitments accross the globe.

Another matter, aside from resources, is our attitude to soldiers returning from battle. A linked report on the Telegraph tells of soldiers recovering from lost limbs, unable to do therapeutic swimming sessions because of complaints from women who said they scared the children. We have lost respect for people doing a difficult and dangerous job, who are often left without the support they need, disabled or just underskilled, on returning to civilian society. Even those who hate the war in Iraq must see that the injured soldiers are much more victims of the war than the Galloways of this world who moan loudest.

Stories like this increase the need for a dedicated military hospital, or atleast massive improvements in the existing care facilities in Selly Oak hospital and recovery centre at Headley Court where this took place. Again Brown should invest more. But we can also do our bit. There is of course the Royal British Legion so much in the news with poppy day recently, who do a great job. Concentrating more on current victims of war are Help for Heroes, who are also running a campaign to build a dedicated gym at Headley, which would avoid the ugly and degrading incident mentioned above and give these heroes the support they deserve.



  1. […] government gets rid of the Scottish Office. This follows complaints, some of which I mentioned previously, of the government treatment of the armed forces. Des Browne, is both Scottish and Defence […]

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