Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Questions Gordon Should Be Asked in Iraq

As the Chancellor Gordon Brown arrives in Iraq, I wonder which of our brave servicemen will have the courage - on camera - to ask him these two questions...

How many British soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan because your government won't provide the equipment the armed services have said they need? How much of this is down to you and the Treasury refusing to authorise the MoD to buy the equipment?

53 comments:

scamembert said...

Yes, well said. The EU Referendum blog has a lot on this issue.

http://www.eureferendum.blogspot.com/

Colin D. said...

The answer is quite simply iain. NO serviceman within the lower ranks would dare to ask! The top brass would jump on him from a GREAT height. I know from PERSONAL, if dated experiance.

uk-events said...

"What makes you think you aren't tarred with the same brush as your war-criminal master?"

Go on Gordo.. give us an election when Blair finally goes. Lets see if you have the balls!

Man in a shed said...

Perhaps they should give him a tour of Basra in a snatch landrover.

f.r. said...

I think you'll find the answer to both those questions will be, "Listen, we have spent more on the NHS than ever before, we have more doctors, more nurses...."

Anonymous said...

So you want increased spending on the army and tax cuts?

Care to say what you think should be cut?

f.r. said...

Aah, the wonder of the internet: news, opinion, gossip crossing the globe unchecked at the speed of light.

I've had quicker results walking down to the post office, with a second class stamp, on a Saturday afternoon.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Iain, there's only one question he need be asked - you know how he drones on until forcibly restrained - and that is 'Why are you here?'

Mark Williams said...

Not a lot of mileage in that one, Iain. A bit Daily Mail, because it implies that "our boys" lives are worth something, but puts little value on the lives of Iraqi civilians whose situation has been made worse - and in that I include those who have been killed so don't spout the usual twaddle about bringing democracy to the Middle East; democracy is no use to you if you are dead.

It would have been cheaper to nuke Iraq, but that isn't really the point. War is war and it is never perfect. Sniping at Gordon Brown over the level of equipment is really cheap.

Mark Williams said...

Not a lot of mileage in that one, Iain. A bit Daily Mail, because it implies that "our boys" lives are worth something, but puts little value on the lives of Iraqi civilians whose situation has been made worse - and in that I include those who have been killed so don't spout the usual twaddle about bringing democracy to the Middle East; democracy is no use to you if you are dead.

It would have been cheaper to nuke Iraq, but that isn't really the point. War is war and it is never perfect. Sniping at Gordon Brown over the level of equipment is really cheap.

Michael A said...

That is a question I would ask. Ian I’m sure people would like to pay slightly higher taxes, to give the equipment our men and women need. We can’t raise taxes ourselves, but couldn’t you start a collection or online donation, to try and raise enough money for a Cougar armoured vehicle, or something like that for Christmas? It would take more than the general readership of this blog, to donate enough money, but couldn’t you use our connections within the conservative party to get them to promote the idea. I think it would be popular, after didn’t we have adopt a tank in WW1? It would also show how much we support our armed forces!!

Anonymous said...

I teach our soldiers how to drive and it is always interesting to hear their views. I was talking to some Royal Marines a few months ago about the equipment shortage and they were telling me they were borrowing equipment from the Americans. The MoD will not admit to the extent of the problem, however the problem is there and our soldiers are risking their lives in Afganistan and Iraq and are not given the full protection they deserve.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Perhaps DC could ask about this at PMQs. or is he too 'lightweight'

verity said...

Maark Willliams's snitty little lecture was so valuable, he posted it twice.

wrinkled weasel said...

Brown has pledged £100 million to Iraq for "economic regeneration".

He is a criminal. It's our money! what about regeneration in this country? The poor, the hospitals, the schools?

Not content to be an architect of the biggest foreign policy disaster since Suez, he now wants to use our money to pay them off.

I am not sure whether I dislike him more than Blair. Actually I think I do dislike him more than Blair - because not only is Brown a deluded tosser, he is also a deluded neverwozza.

Anonymous said...

If I was a soldier in Iraq I would like to take Gordon for a little ride in one of the soft skin Landrovers where many British troops have neen killed and injured in.

Lets hope some sniper takes a potshot, launches a rocket propelled grenande or detonates an IED.

I would hope he would be so bloody scared that proper equipment was provided now not in months and months time...

Anonymous said...

Whoops - serves me right for not reading the posts properly - man in shed 11.30am has said exactly the same thing!

Anonymous said...

The sensible issue which ought to be seriously addressed is "what right (or use?) have politicians in government to go lah-di-dahing about at the taxpayers expense? There can be no benefit except a political benefit. if it is 'fact-finding' then other politicians should go too.

Surely any proposal by a minister to spend cash on these freebee shindigs ought to go before a committee of Privy Councillors for approval - and be given only rarely.

Geoff said...

Anonymous said...
So you want increased spending on the army and tax cuts?
Care to say what you think should be cut?


ID cards? Regional Assemblies? Better Off Out of the EU would be too much to hope for, I suppose, but we can dream...

Anonymous said...

Let's hope he doesn't tell them they're fighting for an "X-Factor Britain" which is his new hope for our future , with shows like Dragon's Den and the Apprentice "inspiring us to aspire ." Churchillian huh? File with Gazza's goals and the Arctic Monkeys in Brown's ever growing list of PR disasters.

Dave Jones said...

I would disagree with Mark Williams on this one and come in behind Iain.

From my (low level) position in the defence industry, I have watched the defence budget just keep dropping and dropping as the Chancelor has raided it for a quick buck every budget. And now all the vitally needed upgrades are being highlighted by the time in service and simulaneously their procurement is being shifted to the right (defence speak for delayed) again and again...
Why? Because the government refuses to pay for Iraq and Afghanistan... so it has to come out of the only pot of un-assigned cash that the MoD has: the Equipment Budget.

judith said...

What should be cut to pay for defence spending? well, how about management consultants in the NHS, regional assemblies, a multitude of special advisers in Whitehall, the Health & Safety Executive, gilt-edged pensions for MPs, rocketing allowances for councillors, 95% of all known quangos....shall I go on?

G Eagle Esq said...

'
Dear Iain

Good questions - the people responsible should be sacked


G E

Rush-is-Right said...

Anonymous (12.06pm) said...
So you want increased spending on the army and tax cuts?
Care to say what you think should be cut?


Well for starters I would suggest an attack on the number, pay, office expenses and perks of MPs and MEPs.

Shotgun said...

Many ordinary squaddies would ask, but the men in the know who to present to the fucker..and who won't ask the big questions.

Before these New Labour tossers the Government ministers would fraternise in the NAAFI and in the field with anyone, but New Labour? No chance.

Nice of the fucker to give £100 million of our money away too isn't it? What about the pensioners or any number of people in the UK?

In fact, what about the fucking families of servicemen killed and maimed? Fucking arsehole going over there for a photoshoot and a bit of PR...

Shotgun said...

Anonymous said...

So you want increased spending on the army and tax cuts?

Care to say what you think should be cut?


We can start with management consultants and special advisors, and taxis and Bliars fucking manicure and nakeup bill that we pay for, and then all the hangers on that costs billions, and multi billion pound IT projects run by friends of New labour that don't fucking work, and Prescotts fucking massive wages and office bills that he doesn't need now etc. etc....you New Labour arselicking toady cunt.

billy said...

"Sniping at Gordon Brown over the level of equipment is really cheap."

but not as cheap as a government that doesn't support its own army.

AnyonebutBlair said...

Remember what happened the 1st time Gordons henchman Des Browne visited Afghanistan (according to Private eye)
"British troops in Basra were distinctly underwhelmed by defence secretary Des Browne on his inaugural visit last month "Smug, sleek and fat - and every inch a New Labour apparatchick"
A young soldier who, while Browne was meeting and greeting, asked what he knew of the military. "Not much," the minister admitted, "but what do you know about politics?" "Well," said the soldier, "I can lie well".

Anonymous said...

Is there any truth in the rumour that manning and records have already worked out a plan to reduce the Army from 103,000 at present to 83,000.
Ofcourse some of you will say that we can@t be an offencive nation within nato with less than 100,000.
You can if you add the junior soldiers to the figure, which is not included at present?

trumpeter lanfried said...

The problem with asking Gordon Brown any question on any conceivable subject is that he is incapable of giving a short, coherent answer. In fact, when did you last hear Gordon Brown utter any sentence which lasted for less than a minute and did not include at least one earful of dodgy statistics?

Iain Not Dale said...

"Where's your tie, you 'orrible little man!"

Looking at the BBC photos, it is encouraging that Broon is facing the assembled ranks rather than blatantly using them as a photographic backdrop (the tactic favoured by the current occupant of No 10).

Anonymous said...

At least the Chancellor got body armour.

DEEPLY CONCERNED said...

The major question is how many of our servicemen and civilian contractors have been wounded,maimed,damaged and impaired for life.
Dead men do not tell tales,,but a person in pain and impaired during life is constantly reminded,though we as the public at large know no details.
Also how many bodies of our special servicemen have been brought home covertly with no tales told?

raincoaster said...

It's fair to snipe at Brown over how the decision to do this war on the cheap has cost lives. Let's not overlook the fact that when you're underprotected you may be overly defensive, so it's fair to conclude this has probably cost Iraqi lives as well as British.

But of course, the larger question is "What is your excuse for going into this war at all, or having come here, for staying?"

Man in a shed said...

Mark - you need to get over to EU Referendum's blog if you think Gordon Brown has no responsibility for the underfunding of services in Iraq. (Not that David Cameron's going to find any support there either.)

permanentexpat said...

For God's sake Iain, you know damned well that these questions are being and have been asked over & over & over again. But NOBODY LISTENS.
As far as a squaddie asking, See 'Colin D' at 11:10, whose experience I can echo.
Why don't you & your MP friends try for the impeachment of Blair/Brown for wilful neglect of The Septic Isle's security & Armed Forces?
Those with a bit of clout should be asking the questions, not some poor bloody rifleman who, were s/he so naive, would end up on a charge.

Anonymous said...

My concern is that the Blair years have been a rehearsal for the madness we're about to face under the Fat Scottish Communist.

The Morningstar said...

Iain, you ask which of our service men have the "courage" to ask those questions?

They have no need at all to prove to anyone how much courage they have.

realist said...

Much as as I detest Blair and all he stands for, I will say this in his defence, I beieve that he is a much bigger man than Brown ever has been or ever will be. Brown has, over the years, consistently hidden behind Blair's shirt tails on any issue that appears dangerous to himself. We all know that his fingerprints are over much of Labour policy but, Brown has been quite happy to let Blair take all the flak for it. He has disappeared for days, only coming out when the heat dies down.

Whilst being, very much a partner to Blair's leadership, he has acted as a fifth columnist to Blair.

The man has proven himself, to be a total coward when ever he has come to a cliff edge.

He may, have proven to be a good chancellor, (that is a matter of opinion), This does not mean that he has any qualities that would automatically make him a good PM, .

For all Blair's faults, he is a leader. Brown won,t be able to go and blub somewhere for a few days and hide behind Tony when the heat gets turned on him.

The man is a back room, cowardly control freak and would fit in well in local government employment. As for being Prime Minister, God help us.

Here's my prediction. If brown becomes PM, in two year's time the only people left in the country will be people on handouts, the non front line staff in the public sector (about 80%), millions of immigrants and thousands of criminals, in the community under licence. Those that can afford to, will have emigrated, the rest of us will have used our last savings to purchase guns and shot ourselves.

I hate saying this last bit. If you hold any love for this country Mr Blair, please don't go yet. I even think I'd prefer nanny Hewitt as PM rather than Gordon.

Elephunt said...

oh dear, with Blair soon to be gone the Tories are scratching around to see how much political mileage they can scrape out of a war they supported and an occupation they back.I particularly enjoy watching Cameron turn himself inside out on PMQs to try and find an angle he can use on Iraq without appearing like a two faced,opportunist git...

hatfield girl said...

'My concern is that the Blair years have been a rehearsal for the madness we're about to face under the Fat Scottish Communist'. My concern is that Brown's takeover from Blair is being discussed in the wrong context. I don't care who the Labour Party elects as its leader when Blair finally resigns/is forced out; but I do care that the democratic deficit in the Labour Party's electoral college will be exported into the government of the United Kingdom. The office of Prime Minister has been developing into an effectively presidential role for generations, and NuLabour has been characterized by its endorsement and facilitation of that change; Blair and the Project have constructed an American-style presidential office, though without the checks. balances and controls of the American constitution. The British constitution, being uncodified, though not unwritten, takes time to reformulate itself and embody laws, their interpretation, customary practices, and precedent. The widespread acceptance that Brown can take over the presidential Prime Ministership (look at Hazel Blears' extraordinary circular to the Labour Party stating brazenly that for the first time the Party will elect the country's leader) could be fruitfully discussed and will certainly eventually be challenged in the courts so that the Constitution can be brought to bear on the disenfranchisement of the British electorate over the next few years.

Mark Williams said...

Man in a shed - Thanks for that, very informative, but it doesn't change the fact that whenever we go to war we are going suffer losses. We will suffer fewer losses if we arm our troops more heavily but doing so makes it harder to keep the peace. If you back the war and thus back the government's decision to go to war, then you should accept that it is up to the government to decide how a war is to be waged, including the very difficult decision about what is an acceptable level of casualties. It is fair enough to criticise the government if you think they are doing things wrong, but to try to score political points on these issues is very cheap.

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Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

So you want increased spending on the army and tax cuts?

Care to say what you think should be cut?

How about £750,000 that was awarded to drug addicts for going "cold turkey"?

Manfarang said...

The best "equipment" the soldiers could be given is to be pulled out.
It is hard to see what their continued presence is going to achieve.

Anonymous said...

Isn't part of the issue the fact that the MOD has wasted billions on the wrong equipment. The MSM should be asking why.

Read the article at the following link.

http://tinyurl.com/v4sfq

Tom Paine said...

Morningstar has it right, Iain. You owe our guys an apology. No-one in the current lameass excuse for an Opposition has the right to talk to our troops about courage.

Iain Dale said...

How dare anyone suggest that this post impugns the courage of our servicemen. It does nothing of the sort.

Richard said...

Different sort of courage - it is one thing seeing off the hoards of fuzzie-wuzzies with a .50 cal, quite another thing taking on one of the bosses.

jafo said...

Well Elephant, if you're looking for a "two-faced opportunist git" you'll find one currently occupying No.10 Downing Street, and another one currently visiting Iraq.

That's enough to be going on with........

(By the way Iain, it was quite obvious you weren't casting aspersions on the courage of our servicepeople, and no one able to read would have thought you were)

Manfarang said...

From you know who in Afghaistan-
"Here in this extraordinary piece of desert is where the future of the world's security is going to be played out"
Just as the Battle of the Boyne shaped world history!

Pablo said...

Mark Williams,

what an absurd lot of rubbish you spout.

How on earth does ensuring that our troops are well equipped make it more difficult to keep the peace? Perhaps you think if we armed them all with spud guns, then there wouldn't be any trouble at all?

As for this pile of crap...
"If you back the war and thus back the government's decision to go to war, then you should accept that it is up to the government to decide how a war is to be waged"

Are you in your right mind? How can supporting a decision to go to war mean that you can't criticise how the war is waged?

Why is demanding that the goverment properly equip our soldiers "scoring political points"? Surely it is the job of opposition parties to hold the government to account for its mistakes. Even more so when a major part of the reason for the forces equipment problems is a political decision to buy our equipment from EU companies

Iain, its about time that the Tories started asking difficult questions on these issues. All they need to do is read EU Referendum for a primer on how this government has shafted the army

Richard said...

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2006/11/hung-out-to-dry.html