Thursday, October 18, 2007

Panic at the Ministry of Defence

Remember THIS story yesterday about the Defence Secretary Swiss Tony Des Browne misleading the House of Commons about troops stationed in Kuwait being paid the Operations Allowance? For the uniniated, Des said they did get paid it and Liam Fox said they didn't. Liam Fox was later proved 100 per cent correct.

Well I'm told that the MoD has reached panic stations over this and they don't know how they are going to extricate Dessy from the mire that he has created for himself. They even arranged a meeting with the Treasury who were expected to cough up the extra dosh. I suspect we can all imagine the Treasury's response.

Being forced to apologise to the House once in six months (see HERE) might be considered unfortunate. Having to repeat the experience ought to be terminal.

UPDATE: This just in from the House of Lords debate on Iraq today.
Lord Astor of Hever: ... Two days ago in the other place, my honourable friend the shadow Defence Secretary raised concerns that personnel serving in Kuwait on Operation TELIC are not entitled to the operational bonus. The Secretary of State said that this was not true, yet a Written Answer sent last December to the Member for the Forest of Dean stated: “The specified qualifying locations for the operational allowance are the geographical boundaries of Iraq”.—[Official Report, Commons, 12/12/06; col. 933W.] Can the Minister clear up this confusion? Are all personnel serving in Kuwait and the Gulf entitled, like their American counterparts, to the operational bonus? If not, are Her Majesty’s Government looking at ways in which this could be rectified?
Lord Drayson: My Lords, I should point out that we have not specified the location of the support troops that we have in the region down to a particular country, so I cannot comment on the location of troops in Kuwait or other places, but I shall certainly be able to look further into the noble Lord’s point on the definition of the operational bonus. I will write to him and place a copy of the letter in the Library of the House.

Muddier and muddier, eh?


The Creator said...

Ha! Ha!

What a total twat Des Browne is.

As astounding is how rude he was about it all.

I think you should open a book on whether he becomes the first of Brown's ministers to be able to spend more time with his family.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

he is an utter disgrace. dont worry hes only got 2 more years in the job....along with the rest of this utterly disgusting government

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for our soldiers, in harm's way and this fool in charge.

Anonymous said...

Des Browne is a fully paid-up member of the West of Scotland Labour Mafia. You don't have to have any talent or intelligence to advance in this movement--only an unswerving devotion to whichever Leader is handing out the favours and perks (and a Celtic FC season ticket helps as well). As a Scotsman I hate these thick toadies who sell their souls for London glitter.

Unsworth said...

Anon 7:14

It's not 'London glitter', it's Brown's patronage that Browne has sold his soul for. Believe me many, if not all, in London would sell their souls to be rid of him and his ilk.

Your list of those to hate in Westminster must be fairly substantial, then. Perhaps you'd also like to add Mr Speaker Martin to the list of MPs and Ministers as well.

But I do think the Scots have done very well in terms of casting out these NuLab fascisti. Let's be realistic, since when did a talent for anything except grovelling ingratiation prove necessary for these (West of Scotland) scum?

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. I think after the last time he will stick to the old adage 'Never apologise, never explain..'

I can't see him being fired though - he is part time as it is...

Unsworth said...

Drayson is dissimulating yet again. What's his definition of 'support troops'? Is he proposing to differentiate between (for example) military posties, engineers, signallers, cooks, quartermasters, logisticians etc?

The 'writing to him' game is always an opportunity to totally change the ruling, of course. And you can bet large amounts of money that that is exactly what will happen - because this is all about MoD's budget and the fact that Brown has issued an edict without providing the necessary further funds.

They've been caught out by their own stupidity once more. Morons.

Not only is Browne having to do two jobs (excruciatingly badly) but he's surrounded by useless acolytes and a totally irrational and domineering boss. He's heading for a nervous breakdown - as is Brown.

Chris Paul said...

In what way is that "muddier and muddier" Iain? No more muddy and perhaps even slightly less muddy? And rather than being the first of Brown's ministers to go wouldn't he be the last of Blair's?!

Browne is gaffe prone. He has a bit of a run away gob on him and some non linear thought processes.

When he was immigration minister he had a meeting with Farhat Khan's MP Graham Stringer and told him as a serious point that as FK had collected 10,000 signatures she was clearly the sort of resourceful individual who could escape death and destruction (from gangsters and warlords) for herself and her young children when returned to NWFP.

As Farhat herself told Michael Buerk on R4 Choices: "I am strong, but I am not bullet proof".

Graham Stringer remarked at the time that Browne's remark was perverse.

In this case though he looks a bit like he's been set up, or has had some trouble with linearity and is party to an upcoming announcement on this matter which he thought was extant.

Would you think the MoD staff would be more or less prone to setting up a minister or collusing with opposition spokesmen than others?

Anonymous said...

""""Well I'm told that the MoD has reached panic stations over this and they don't know how they are going to extricate Dessy from the mire that he has created for himself""".

Oh really Iain..... Can you give us your source. Of course NOT, stop making stuff up theres a good chap