Tuesday, 5 November 2013

'Better Together' in the UK Armed Forces ?

I was watching a 'debate' the other day between the SNP's Keith Brown and Sir Ming Campbell ( in photo above at RAF Leuchars..to be closed shortly ) and Ming said that Scots would prefer to serve in the UK Armed Forces rather than in a Scottish Defence Force as there were more opportunities for travel and excitement. He had absolutely nothing to back up this statement and like many of my colleagues I always tried to get a Scottish posting when in the Forces. The detachments abroad keep on coming wherever your UK base is. A Scottish Defence Force would have plenty of opportunities to travel abroad and to experience as much 'action' as they wanted as they would be welcome anywhere in the world to advise and learn and to share operations with other friendly forces. Likewise foreign forces often visit Scotland to enjoy and share exercises with us. Making use of the fantastic terrain on offer for land, sea and air operations. Scotland recently hosted the biggest NATO exercise for a generation. If this wasn't enough excitement for our young troops then they would still be able to join the Foreign Legion or the UK Armed Forces if they wanted to. Both are full of troops from countries all around the world and Scottish troops have been highly valued for centuries.

Here's a story of how one soldier has been dealt with in the UK Armed Forces. Don't forget that servicemen have no unions to protect them. Everything is done on trust with the so called 'Covenant'. I doubt if his service would have been betrayed so badly in a Scottish Defence Force.....

"A 35-year-old soldier is set to lose a £10,000-a-year pension as he will be made redundant 24 days before he qualifies for a full pension.

The soldier, who joined the Army aged 16 and served in Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan, was recovering from surgery when his wife found out by chance that he was due to lose his job."

Oh and it gets even worse. The person who has decided that the soldier won't get a penny in pension for risking his life for the Union is an unelected peer who is accountable to no one....

"The Government’s defence spokesman, Lord Astor of Hever, responded to Lord Touhig saying only 1.2% of Armed Forces personnel selected for compulsory redundancy were close to their pension point and that there were no plans to review the policy."

An emergency debate was held in the unelected House of Lords where Lord Astor was challenged to make things right for the servicemen and women who will lose out due to no fault of their own. He said.....

"The view of the Ministry of Defence is that this is most unfortunate, but that any cut-off dates before IPP or EDPP would invariably leave some Service men and women just outside the bracket. This is unavoidable and adjusting the rules, after their agreement and promulgation would only cause further hardship"

Any other public sector worker would automatically get a pension based on their time in service. These UK Defence pension 'cut off ' dates are only possible because the troops have no means to challenge them.

UK Government Defence Spokesman John Jacob "Johnny" Astor VIII, 3rd Baron Astor of Hever ( DL) presents the Baroness Thatcher 'Sword of Honour' (sic).....

Don't worry son. I'll protect the 'Covenant'


  1. I can't think of the right words to say just how disgusted this makes me feel.

    Is soon to be ennobled Ming proud of this?

    What will his pension be like?

    Will he take a cut?

    I know that because we have this medieval nonsense of a house of aristocrats, there have to be spokesmen, or rather spokes nobes from every government department in that house.

    This is insulting enough to democracy, but why on why on the Earth do they make them ministers?

    By what right are these people ministers of the crown? Who gives them this responsibility? How do we get rid of them? or is that a silly question on November the 6th?

    And when it this f*****g idiocy going to stop?

    Sorry ... loads of questions.

    I hate war and violence, and frankly I think that the blanket worship of military personnel is decidedly sickening. "Our boys" include some right thugs. I've seen them drunk with women and I've seen what they do to local lads that get in their way. Not so much heros then. That said there are many more good ones than bad ones.

    But if we send people to risk their lives for us the least we can do it treat them decently when they are hurt, sick, injured or paid off. And if politicians send them to do a job of work for the greater glory of the politicians, then we should make the bastards treat them decently.

    After all Blair got his congressional medal for killing people by proxy.

  2. hi tris...aye it's a hideous situation to lose hundreds of thousands in pension payments depending on when you signed up, your rank or your birthday date etc. Things totally out of your control.
    Then to have such decisions made by people who are unaccountable to the public is doubly hideous.
    Our troops are commended weekly in the House of Crooks but it's all for show. They're quickly forgotten again after PMQ's.
    The old poem is still good...

    "O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
    But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play."


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