wins its compensation appeal: 'a victory for bureaucracy
over bravery' [12/10/09]
Secretary Ainsworth and senior civil servants at the MoD
must be feeling very smug and self-satisfied today because
the Court of Appeal has upheld their claim against the awards
made by the compensation tribunal to two injured British
When the tribunal increased the basic compensation awarded
to Corporal Anthony Duncan and Royal Marine Matthew McWilliams
because both men had suffered further health problems as
a result of their injuries, the MoD took the case to the
High Court to get the increases revoked.
High Court upheld the awards amde to the soldeirs but the
MoD was determined to claw back the compensation and doggedly
pursued the case to the Court of Appeal.
and MPs continue to rip off the taxpayers by cynically manipulating
their expenses (particularly those relating to 'second homes').
servants at the MoD continue to get massive annual bonuses
or receive hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation
for a strained thumb or 'work-related stress'.
two soldiers may have to repay compensation awarded to them
for their injuries.
Mail: Injured servicemen face having compensation slashed
after MoD wins court battle
Smith apology for expenses claims
Qaeda goes nuclear just as MoD cuts 900 guards [12/10/09]
articles appeared in today's newspapers which, when read
together, make for uncomfortable reading.
Bang scientist admits plotting Al Qaeda atrocity', the
Daily Mail reports that French police have uncovered a terror
plot by an eminent Algerian nuclear physicist currently
working on the CERN nuclear research euro-project. The scientist
alledged to have been planning to use his expertise to set
off a nuclear explosion - possibly in the UK. A British
security source said: "It appears that Al Qaeda are
now deliberately recruiting extremely intelligent people
who have both the knowledge and the resources to potentially
create a nuclear bomb or identify nuclear targets".
the headline 'Skint
MoD will axe 900 nuke base cops', today's Sun reports
that the MoD is considering a "suicide" mission:
slashing the military police force which guards the UK's
nuclear installations. A defence source is reported to have
said: "These guys guard nuke depots and weapons silos
round the clock as well as intelligence units, docks and
training facilities - every sensitive military building
in Britain. They also watch over barracks housing the loved
ones of troops fighting on the front-line"
you have it: just as Al Qaeda is planning to use weapons
of mass destruction, the MoD is planning to leave the doors
to the UK's nuclear installations unlocked for them.
obviously wants to go out with a bang!
Mail: Big Bang scientist 'admits plotting Al Qaeda atrocity'
Sun: Skint MoD will axe 900 nuke base cops
Tories turn their guns on the MoD [09/10/09]
their party conference yesterday Liam Fox, shadow defence
secretary, promised that a Tory government would look to
cut the running costs of the MoD by as much as 25% to free
up extra cash for spending on frontline troops.
astounding to read that the cost of running the MoD itself
accounts for 20% of the total
budget - that's one hell of a lot of tea and biscuits! But
with 85,000 civil servants sitting behind their desks in
the MoD, you can understand where it all goes.
MoD is renowned for waste and budget overspend, all at the
expense of the guys fighting on the frontline. As Liam Fox
said: "The procurement process has failed to deliver
on time. The top 20 major procurement programmes have a
cumulative delay of 483 months. The expected cost overruns
in the next 10 years alone amount to £16bn
The simple truth is that Gordon Brown as chancellor was
never willing to fully fund Tony Blair's wars".
as the Tories insist, their cuts would not hit defence projects
or the numbers in the Armed Forces, then civilian jobs must
be what is in their sights. You must admit: 85,000 civil
servants doing the admin for the 99,000 in the Army does
sound a tad disproportionate.
yesterday was also the day that it was announced that General
Dannatt would be joining a new Tory government as, at the
least, its military advisor. Can
we take this 25% cut as the first manifestation of The General's
revenge on the bureaucrats who conspired against him when
he was CGS?
Tories 'to cut MoD costs by 25%'
MK3s: nine year criminal delay [27/08/09]
Chinook MK3 helicopters have not been able to be used since
they were bought back in 2001 because the MoD tried to save
money by designing its own software for them.
has been described by the chairman of the Commons Public
Accounts Committee as as one of the most incompetent
procurements of all time, Boeing warned the MoD that
the avionics system software would be too complex for them
to write their own
but of course the MoD thought it knew better. For eight
years the Chinooks have been sitting in a hanger gathering
dust while the MoD's computer people failed to come up with
their own bespoke software. The MoD has now conceded that
it can't in fact adapt the helicopters into the high-tech
model they planned and have been forced to settle for the
original, utility version. So the eight Chinooks which could
have been in service in 2001 will now be in service in 2010
and their cost has increased from £259million to £500million.
Army has been crying out for helicopters and lives have,
at the least, been put at risk because there aren't enough
of them in Afghanistan.
Chinook fiasco is not "embarrassing", it's downright
Times: Missing software kept Chinook Mk3 helicopters in
Times: Chinook turns out to be one of the MoDs most
to clawback another benefit from injured troops [26/08/09]
already started legal proceedings to clawback compensation
paid to wounded soldiers, Defence minister Bob Ainsworth
and his labour mates are now looking to further reduce the
allowances paid to wounded troops by as much as £3,000
moment soldiers unable to work due to battlefield injuries
receive an allowance of £57 per week and 12,000 veterans
are currently in receipt of this additional benefit. In
a bid to get back some of the £millions the MoD has
squandered on its failed defence contracts, the government
is planning to axe this injury benefit as from next April.
at a time when British troops are suffering their highest
rate of battle injuries in Afghanistan, this latest kick
in the teeth from the government has been called "morally
indefensible" by the chairman of the National Gulf
War Veterans and Families Association.
spokesperson glibly said: "Anyone who is unhappy with
the outcome of a claim has the right to appeal." And
you know where that will get you; even if you win, the government
will bring a lawsuit against you.
Mail: Wounded soldiers up to £3,000 worse off a year
after secret benefits axe
civil servants take their seats on the gravy train
Reynolds has his sights on a Taliban leader called Mula,
back home civil servants have their sights on a mula of
a different kind.
servants in the MoD are not simply content with picking
up massive bonuses for sitting
behind desks in Kabul, they aim for much higher stakes.
They aim to cash-in on the skills they have picked up at
the MoD by going for lucrative jobs in the private sector
- particularly, it seems, the armaments industry.
investigation by the Daily Mail has found that:
MoD handed a £1.7billion contract for Lynx Wildcat
helicopters to a company that later hired the department's
top civil servant.
MoD's former chief operating officer of defence equipment
and support - which put him in charge of £billions
worth of procurement contracts - took up a consultant
post at Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems.
former chief scientific adviser at the MoD joined Finmeccanica
(supplier of the Lynx) as non-executive director.
former British representative in Iraq was made vice president
and managing director of EDS Defence - which two months
previously had won a £4billion contract for the
MoD's new information infrastructure, called the ATLAS
that during these gentlemen's fiefdom major defence projects
ran years over forecast and £millions over budget,
it is surprising that commercial companies would even consider
giving them jobs sweeping the floors.
MP Douglas Carswell said the revelations raised 'disturbing
questions' and has written to the House of Commons Defence
Committee and the Public Accounts Committee, asking them
to consider investigating the Future Lynx deal.
Mail: Cashing in on the MoD gravy train: 130 civil servants
defect to private sector in a year
posting: clerk £50,000 ..... soldier £2,000 [15/08/09]
servant sent to shuffle paper behind a desk in a safe, air-conditioned
office in Kabul picks up a bonus of £50,000 for a
six month posting; a soldier risking his life fighting in
the dust and dirt on the frontline gets a £2,000 warzone
allowance for his six month tour.
An MoD spokesperson said: "Civil servants
get allowances to recognise the challenges they face".
This is unbelievable. But then the double standards and
hypocrisy of the government should not, I suppose, come
as a surprise any more.
seen their attempts to claw back the meagre compensation
paid to injured soldiers while handing over £450,000
to a civil servant with a strained thumb.
seen them spending £millions on office refurbishment
at the MoD while military families were having to live in
seen top former MoD civil servants taking up lucrative directorships
in the armaments industry while the projects they were meant
to manage when at the MoD are years behind schedule and
£millions over budget - all at a time when the troops
are deprived of the equipment they urgently need and lives
are put at risk as a consequence.
Sun: £2K for troops, £50K for clerks.
yet another PR disaster for the MoD [07/08/09]
can the MoD keep getting it so wrong?
you couldn't make it up, could you?
- man's best friend, beloved of middle England, a golden
labrador even! - was adopted as a mascot by soldiers fighting
loveable dog, called "Sandbag", had been living
with British soldiers at their base in Um Qasa, near Basra,
and was credited with bringing them good luck on patrols
and with keeping away mauranding stray dogs.
soldier said: 'He's very loyal to the troops - if you get
mobbed by other dogs, he will literally fight every single
one of them."
than 6,000 people signed a petition on the Number 10 website
calling for the dog to be given refuge in the UK.
what did government say: "Leave it behind, let the
Americans look after it".
would have thought that someone in the MoD's PR department
would have said: Hang on a minute, we could get ourselves
some good publicity here - kind-hearted, caring, "soldier-centric".
We could announce that: hey, we're good guys, we're going
bring Sandbag home. But no. They didn't give it a thought.
a public appeal has now been launched to raise the cash
to bring Sandbag the 'hero' dog to the UK and reunite him
with his soldier friends.
Mail: Sandbag saved! Animal charities unite to bring home
soldiers' mascot left out in Iraq
enlightened approach to online messaging [07/08/09]
unexpected move the MoD has decided to put its trust in
the guys on the frontline and let them use online social
networking websites to keep in touch with their families
and friends back home. The MoD is actively encouraging soldiers
on operations to describe what they are up to in Afghanistan
- especially if they do so in a positive
The MoD has even agreed to support those who are prepared
to run their own blogs.
there will be guidelines but essentially the word is "use
your common sense and don't give away operational secrets"
enlightened approach is in marked contrast to what happens
in the US military where tight controls remain in place.
Guardian: UK troops encouraged to use Twitter and Facebook
in the field
Forces encouraged to blog, tweet and engage online
bounced into bringing forward review of the Armed Forces Compensation
Secretary Bob Ainsworth has rushed back from his holiday
beach to announce a review of the compensation paid to members
of the Armed Forces who are injured in the line of duty.
evening he said: "I cannot allow the situation to continue
that leaves the public in any doubt over my or the Government's
commitment to our servicemen and women. Therefore, in order
to deal with this complex issue in the most sensitive, effective
and fair way possible, I have ordered the planned review
of the compensation scheme to be brought forward from next
year. The review will begin immediately in consultation
with stakeholders including Service charities and families."
and Brown are spitting in the wind if they think the public
believes in their "commitment".
amazes me is how out of touch the government is, how cut
off they are from the people. Not only that but the MoD
must also have the worst PR company going.
bombshell that exploded when the MoD took its own to court
in order to claw back injury compensation payments from
two soldiers was met with silence from ministers and fumbled,
defensive damage limitation from the MoD.
Behind the scenes ministers obviously panicked as the government
has been bounced into bringing forward the scheduled review
of the compensation scheme.
assurances that the review will have a positive outcome
is welcomed ."I can offer an assurance, however, that
new arrangements will benefit those with claims under the
existing scheme, including those mentioned in the current
MOD brings forward review of Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
MoD payout review to start early
Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
Operation Panther's Claw to Operation Clawback[28/07/09]
day after (the day after!) Brown was claiming victory in
Operation Panther's Claw, the news has broken that the MoD
is seeking to claw back some of the compensation awarded
to two injured soldiers - one wounded on the battlefield
The money the government is trying to get back is that paid
out (approx £25k each) for the suffering caused to
the soldiers from health problems which arose as a result
of their original injuries. Of course this additional suffering
wouldn't have happened if the guys hadn't been injured in
the first place.
is typical of the labour government's hypocrisy and duplicity
when it comes to its treatment of Britain's Armed Forces.
Just when you thought they couldn't stoop any lower, they
slither deeper into the gutter.
years of refusing to review the insulting amounts awarded
Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, Brown and Co were
eventually forced in 2007 to increase the compensation paid
to soldiers whose lives - and the lives of their families
- had been shattered fighting for their country. It was
the long and hard-fought campaign, spearheaded by the mother
Parkinson, against an intransigent government that eventually
achieved recognition for the debt the country owes these
on today's MoD
Blog seeks to offset the criticisms raised in an article
in last Sunday's Telegraph, 'Injured
soldiers deserve better', by saying that "you mustn't
forget the Income Payment for Life" that's paid out
in addition to the lump sum. How generous they are! You'd
almost think it's their money. Too right the guys should
receive a pension for life; they've got to live with their
injuries for life.
labour government is quite happy to pay out £millions
in compensation and redundancy payments to their friends
in the nationalised banks and are quite happy to sit back
and say "sorry, we can't do anything about the £millions
being paid in bonuses to city bankers". But when it
comes to paying out a few quid to wounded soldiers: yeah,
we'll stop that.
the labour government, through the MoD, is doing today beggars
belief. The bloodiest campaign yet fought is just drawing
to its close and Brown has been
saying: "The efforts of our troops in Helmand have
been nothing short of heroic.There has been a tragic human
cost. But this has not been in vain."
tragic human cost" -
but Brown can't stomach the real cost.
the two injuried soldiers who are about to be dragged through
the courts are simply test cases; are being used in a much
bigger game. Hundreds of soldiers have been wounded in Iraq
and Afghanistan (no surprise that the government doesn't
release the figures) and the government doesn't want to
have to be handing over the bankers' cash to injured squaddies.
One of the two soldiers is back fighting in Afghanistan
as ministers sitting in Whitehall scheme to take back his
MoD seeks to cut soldiers' payout
Mail: The soldier whose compensation Government is fighting
to reduce... back on the front line in Afghanistan