Wednesday, August 05, 2009

What a Trucking Outrage


EU Referendum reports a story from the front page of today's Sun. Apparently there are armoured vehicles sitting on a dockside in Dubai doing nothing, which if they were transported to Afghanistan could do something to stem the seemingly never ending run of British soldiers dying from roadside bombs.

Why are they in Dubai? The Sun says...

Our troops are risking life and limb for a cause politicians insist is vital to the interests of UK security. If so, it needs to be waged with vigour, determination - and unswerving commitment. Without the wholehearted support of the state they are sent to defend, how can we ask our soldiers to fight and die for it?

Yet after eight bloody years, there is little evidence that anyone in power - from the Prime Minister down - has their heart in it.

Something for Liam Fox to get his teeth into...

25 comments:

Grumpy Old Man said...

The point is that Gordon and Bob Who? can stand up in Parliament and add these vehicles to "in theatre" numbers while they are kept out of combat. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there weren't similar small packets of hardware all over the ME. In theatre but out of contact. Trucks have a price while squaddies come free. The last 8 years have clearly demonstrated that this government has nothing, but praise, for the troops.

Anonymous said...

Great. Another Scot running wars we shouldn't be in, whilst we suffer the other Scots blaming the English for everything from the Scottish Prime Minister to the drunks in Glasgow.

We'd still be there if the Tories had been in charge. They do what the yanks tell them, as much as Labour do and the Lib Dems would if they ever got into number 10.

jaybs said...

Made me laugh that the US and Australia both claim to have offered to transport, only we have something so Top Secret added to the truck for security we can't allow allies to see it!

Thatsnews said...

Yes, this is a disgrace! There was a story I linked to the other day about minesweeper vehicles being scrapped for lack of parts. What IS going on?

I have also issued a call for any green-minded Labour Members to take a principled decision to leave the Labour Party over nuclear power. I wonder if any of them will take the opportunity or will clamp their 100% cotton Fairtrade handkerchiefs to their nose and mouth and continue to vote Labour?

Judiciary no longer free, Harman thinks she is Deputy PM, Labour Greens invited to leave party and join Green Party, and Gordon's latest PR stunt!

Lee H said...

We shall see. But where does the blame lie? It is a headline for a day but the Conservatives, instead of attacking all things that are wrong with the system should start saying how they are going to change the system. Remember we only have 6 C-17 (Strategic Heavy Lift) aircraft and have to wait until at least 2014 before A400M comes into service. Also remember that the US offered 25 C-17 with the first five being effectively free. But A400M - the money pit -is the aircraft of political choice. Do you want to know where the rest of them are? Anyone that catches the train to London and goes through DIdcot Parkway only have to look at the sidings and see lots of Ridgebacks sitting idly on the tracks.
And politically it is more important for the Government to pull out of Iraq than the risk of loosing a few more lives in Afghanistan!

Anonymous said...

Bob Ainsworth to resign? Or is that assuming a degree of honour that is lacking in all Labour Ministers?

strapworld said...

Iain, I know you do not mean any disrespect but let us get it right.

Our troops are not dying, they are being murdered, blown to bits, slaughtered.

Dying is a word just not right for what our brave lads and lasses are facing.

As for Brown and his incompetent lot. Damn their eyes!

permanentexpat said...

The only things at which those responsible for prosecuting this stupid incursion are any good are involuntary amputations & unnecessary deaths.

socialpolitics said...

The whole Afganistan thing is getting painful to hear about now, incompetency followed by incompetency.

http://socialpoliticsuk.blogspot.com/

Elby the Beserk said...

"which is" ... I guess you mean, "which IF"?

Anonymous said...

What we need is sensible procurement procedures, like those set up by James Arbuthnot or Portillo when they were in charge. The ones that mean we apparently have 35 overpriced and obsolete anti-submarine Merlins stuck in a shed in Yeovil.

I'm looking forward to see any other financial interests in BAe when the disclosure rules come in - see if anyone matches the temerity of Portillo - another ex defence secretary - who pissed away taxpayer's money, then took a directorship on BAe

Obsidian said...

Ian, can I suggest taking a look into SkyLink Aviation, what they're actually being contracted to do in Afghanistan by the MoD, and just who they're subcontracting to...

It would highlight that our deployment is so poorly equipped we're having top rely upon civilian contractors, and ones that have a less than salubrious history.

trevorsden said...

Two points

1 - Air lift is busy moving our equipment from Iraq. This is because we have been thrown out by the Iraqis following our loss of control of Basra. This event ought to have alerted even the dimmest politician that all was not well with our armed forces and the resources given them

2. Any competent political war time leader would have ensured that there would be 'action this day' in making sure these vehicles were dispatched - especially on the eve of an offensive.

The incompetent way in which our armed forces are being equipped (this applied to the MoD as well as politicians) is comparable to our inability to provide a decent tank in WW2.

The lack of adequate basic lift capacity shows the need for basic equipment instead of wasting money on glamour items like the pointless FRES programme. An indication that the MoD is quite out of control.

OK that 4 points. Enough for now. But several people will not doubt be writing books about this shambles for years to come.

Uncle Bob said...

I'm beyond the point of surprise when it comes to this government and our armed forces now.

Arden Forester said...

I've been reading Matthew Parris' account of his time in the FCO (from his autobiography). He got the clear impression that the only thing those polecats were any good at was advancing their own careers. In fact he thought they thought that they were an organisation that felt they deserved a better country to be running!

So I doubt if the FCO or the Defence wallahs or any pen pusher in Downing Street is particularly bothered. How right you are though to highlight the issue. Then at least we know as much as they know!

Fausty said...

Hear, hear, Grumpy.

Why aren't the Tories shouting this from the rooftops? This subject is red hot and will remain so while British troops are being slaughtered.

Who in his right mind would join the British Army while this venal bunch are in power?

Off-topic: What's happened to Anna Racoon?

Anonymous said...

Another Scot running wars we shouldn't be in, whilst we suffer the other Scots blaming the English for everything

Oh, grow up, you petulant bigoted dolt. Is there anything in your life that isn't the fault of the nefarious Scottish Conspiracy?

sw1lobbyist said...

But Iain he won't get stuck in sadly. Fox has been impotent in his current position - his appointment was and is an obvious sop to the right of the Party and is a hang over from the 2005 leadership election.

Considering how important defence is right now, he has made shockingly little impact when you compare him to others on the frontbench. Camereon should move him ASAP.

Penfold said...

This is a bit of military madness, not down to NueLieBour....though it seriously grieves me to say so.

The vehicles are allegedly ""UK EyesOnly"" which means that they can only be transported by the RiffRaff. Given the urgency of their requirement in theatre, then surely other allied aircraft could carry the vehicles with security onboard to ensure ""secrets"" are not stolen.

This little shambles also reveals the paucity of transport planes that the RAF can use. Present capacity is employed removing kit and equipment from Iraq.
The RAF, rather than buying Typhoon's, which are useless other than in a "hot Cold War", should ensure that they have an adequate heavy lift capacity which is one of their strings under the old Transport Command structure.
Regretably the RAF has gone for the glamour of fast jets at the expense of the mundane. And it is the mundane, flying C-130's into cramped airbases under ground fire which is far more dangerous, than being at 20k feet dropping laser guided bombs, and then zipping back to a 5* hotel. (Yes, it was the Gulf War, but we remember).

AS government sets policy, this failure to have enough transport in theatre, along with the words regarding helicopters and armoured vehicles can all be laid at the the feet of the politicians.

Anonymous said...

If you read EU Referendum regularly you will know that Liam Fox is incapable of getting anything right and God knows he has had plenty to get his teeth into over the past months. Like most Conservative professional politicians (Dave included) he couldn't hit a cat's arse with a banjo.

Again because of the commitment given by Blair to the French and the EU we are locked into the A400 project which may never see a single plane fly at the current rate of progress. It is because we bought Italian vehicules that we have this mess with mine proof transport which ended up costing us billions for nothing. We are, like it or not, part of the European defence force and our defence purchases are subordinated to this force. Bet Liam Fox doesn't come clean on that! (Nor Dave).

What's the phrase? In Europe but not run by Europe. What part of subservient do the Conservatives not understand?

Colin said...

All very well. I was in the Army for 12 years. All my time was done under the Tories. They may not have hated us as much as the current regime, but they never funded us properly either. So, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Lest we forget, when we went to the falklands, we were outgunned, our boots rotted off our feet, sailors had clothing that melted to their bodies and our ships were made of materials that literally went up in flames.

Don't forget, it was a tory defence secretary who presided over the massive, incompetent cost cutting exercise that was pitched as the "peace dividend". Look how that worked out. We now have an Army that is barely fit for purpose. Yes labour have had twelve years, yes the PLP is chock full of people who 20 to 30 years ago were virtually enemies of the state and yes, in the past 12 years, we've had more defence secretaries than we have helicopters in Afghanistan, but unless the tories are going to be specific on this matter, which is literally a matter of life and death, they should shut up.

Unsworth said...

@ sw1lobbyist

Want to revisit your comment?

DespairingLiberal said...

I would bet money this is something to do with contractor payments.

Sarge said...

Don't forget that the much vaunted Merlins will now go to Afghanistan but to save money some armour has been removed. They cannot therefore support combat operations and will be used in a transport role.

The MOD has had 3 opportunities to buy Black hawks but turned them down as the RAF would have to fly them (classed as heavy helicoptors). This would mean losing the AAC. Sir richard Danatt fought to keep the AAC,so the Black Hawks did not arrive.

Total shambles

Matt said...

The Americans rely on a mix of their own lift capacity and commerical cargo carriers ... they don't have delays kike this.