This man in the curious Ruritanian Uniform, of which Reichsmarshal Goering would have been envious, is Sir Richard Dannatt. He bears the responsibility for the whole of the Britsh Armed forces.
He has just discovered that his soldiers earn less than traffic wardens. Now is that the fault of ;
1. Traffic wardens
2. The people given the resonsibility for running the armed forces
Sir Richard has refrained from comparing the salaries paid to the Air Marshals to say shelf fillers at Tesco, who oversee the delayed introduction - by years and at hummingous costs of ;
1. 40 year old Fuel tankers
2. 42 year old Troop transports
3. 38 year old Nimrod replacements
Former Chief of the Defence Staff Field Marshal the Lord Inge of Richmond (Clubs :Boodle's, Beefsteak, Army and Navy, MCC ) KG, GCB, DL, ( and good pals of Dickie Dannatt, sharing as they do the trough at the Army & Navy) spoke in the House of Lords on 29th June last year.
Britain's Armed Forces have to face not only in Iraq and Afghanistan probably the most demanding, dangerous and complex operational challenges that they have faced for many years, but major funding problems and concerns about the shortcomings of equipment currently in service on operations and, in particular, the vulnerability of the old Northern Ireland Snatch Land Rovers, which was starkly illustrated in last week's Sunday Times. This is not a new problem which has suddenly arisen.He brought attention to another aspect of military procurement..
.... will the Minister give us a progress report on the future rapid effect system vehicle, FRES which was given a very high profile as a vehicle, was critically important to the re-organised, more mobile Army, and was a key element of the Strategic Defence Review in 1998? I could be wrong, but I understand that no prototype has been designed, yet this vehicle is due in service in five years' time—in 2012. In the same year, the Lynx and Puma helicopters are due to come out of service. Both are critical for the Army's and the Royal Air Force's operational effectiveness.The more alert readers will note that Gormless Gordon put this 13 year old FRES project out to grass last week after squillions has been pissed away without them even agreeing what was wanted - merely a vehicle to carry troops around the battlefield - not a difficult concept.
Billions squandered by these stupid generals, air marshals and admirals on new toys whilst they "make do and mend" .. fill up the wall with our English dead.
Then on top of that you read this sort of sinister rubbish from Dannatt...
"When I see the Islamist threat in this country I hope it doesn’t make undue progress because there is a moral and spiritual vacuum in this country."
"Our society has always been embedded in Christian values; once you have pulled the anchor up there is a danger that our society moves with the prevailing wind."
"There is an element of the moral compass spinning. I think it is up to society to realise that is the situation we are in." (Vide Tony Blair after 9/11 and his kalaedoscope being shaken.. Sedgefield)
"We can’t wish the Islamist challenge to our society away and I believe that the army both in Iraq and Afghanistan and probably wherever we go next, is fighting the foreign dimension of the challenge to our accepted way of life."
"We need to face up to the Islamist threat, to those who act in the name of Islam and in a perverted way try to impose Islam by force on societies that do not wish it."
"It is said that we live in a post Christian society. I think that is a great shame. The broader Judaic-Christian tradition has underpinned British society. It underpins the British army."
General Dannatt says he has "more optimism" that "we can get it right in Afghanistan."
Dannatt claims to be a devout Christian and besides being responsible for the whole of the UK military forces is also vice-president of the Officers' Christian Union and president of the Soldiers' and Airmen's Scripture Readers Association. He is also a supporter and endorser of the curious Christian Alpha program .... "Alpha has been so wonderfully used over the years, and I am delighted that it has expanded into the Armed Forces."
Whilst researching the shambles over the retro-fitted Chinooks (They are called that as the US call all helicopters after the Indian tribes that they slaughtered - Apache , Kiowa, Commanche etc., ***) it was noticed that RAF Odiham in Hampshire where the few remaining aircraft are run from has a webpage where you can find the Mess page (Mess is RAF speak for dining / club). From there you can access the Officers Mess page, the Warrant Officers and Sgts Mess and Junior Ranks Mess. (No flip flops, cut offs or singlets to be worn) .
Perhaps if the feudal class system that permeates the military was removed, the man at the top might be a trifle more conscious of the pay and conditions of the troops he gaily sends, under trained, ill equipped to bolster, support and maintain,"The broader Judaic-Christian tradition (that) has underpinned British society. It underpins the British army."
*** Interesting factoid all US helicopters have even number of blades, Russians all have odd numbers.
UPDAE Sunday 8th June Good article by Libby Purves in Times 7/6/08 "Why we should be on th soldiers side.