A five-minute synopsis of the threat you and your family face from the criminal, corrupt and decadent regime that the fools keep voting for. (See first 6 minutes.):
A five-minute synopsis of the threat you and your family face from the criminal, corrupt and decadent regime that the fools keep voting for. (See first 6 minutes.):
Former Royal navy engineer Fiona Laing embarrasses Sir Nick Harvey after Remembrance Day service.
A Royal British Legion worker approached a former Armed Forces minister following a Remembrance Day service and ‘reimbursed’ him for £7.20 in expenses he claimed after attending a previous ceremony.
Fiona Laing, 45, marched up to Sir Nick Harvey, 52, in front of other dignitaries, officials and members of the public, and gave him an envelope containing the money.
Read on an watch the video: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10441802/Former-Wren-to-ex-minister-You-Sir-are-a-disgrace.html
The truth will always out -eventually. Seems the regime (“government”) doesn’t have the control it would like on the secret services. Perhaps MI5 might like to start to question to whom its loyalties really lie (the innocent people or their aggressor, corrupt, plutocratic “government”).
A former head of MI6 has threatened to expose the secrets of the ‘dodgy dossier’ if he disagrees with the long-awaited findings of the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK’s role in the Iraq War.
Sir Richard Dearlove, 68, has spent the last year writing a detailed account of events leading up to the war, and had intended to only make his work available to historians after his death.
But now Sir Richard, who provided intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) that was apparently ‘sexed up’ by Tony Blair’s government, has revealed that he could go public after the Chilcot Inquiry publishes its findings.
Sir Richard is expected to be criticised by the inquiry’s chairman, Sir John Chilcot, over the accuracy of intelligence provided by MI6 agents inside Iraq, which was used in the so-called ‘dodgy dossier’.
Now the ex-MI6 boss, who is Master at Pembroke College, Cambridge University, has said: “What I have written (am writing) is a record of events surrounding the invasion of Iraq from my then professional perspective.
“My intention is that this should be a resource available to scholars, but after my decease (may be sooner depending on what Chilcot publishes)
“I have no intention, however, of violating my vows of official secrecy by publishing any memoir.”
Sources close to Sir Richard said that he insists Chilcot should recognise the role played by Tony Blair and the Prime Minister’s chief spokesman Alastair Campbell in informing media reports which suggested Saddam could use chemical weapons to target British troops based in Cyprus, a claim which led to Britain entering the war in Iraq.
Sir Richard is said to remain extremely unhappy that this piece of intelligence, which his agents stressed only referred to battlefield munitions which had a much shorter range, led to media reports that UK bases were under threat.
However, he accepts that some of MI6′s information on the WMDs was inaccurate, the Mail on Sunday reported.
Mr Blair and Mr Campbell have repeatedly denied making misleading statements about WMD.
Last week it was revealed that Sir John had written to Prime Minister David Cameron informing him of his intention to write personally to those individuals he intends to criticise, with Tony Blair reported to be among those on Sir John’s list.
Sir Richard has taken a sabbatical from his duties at Cambridge University to research and write his record of events, and is expected to resume his Master’s role at the start of the new academic year.
A security source told The Mail on Sunday: “This is Sir Richard’s time-bomb. He wants to set the record straight and defend the integrity of MI6. And Sir Richard has taken a lot of personal criticism over MI6′s performance and his supposedly too-cosy relationship with Mr Blair.
“No Chief of MI6 has done anything like this before, but the events in question were unprecedented.
“If Chilcot doesn’t put the record straight, Sir Richard will strike back.”
Last night the committee’s chairman, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who was appointed in 2010, offered Sir Richard his support, saying: “I have never heard of a former MI6 chief putting something out there in these terms but I would be interested in what Sir Richard has to say in response to the Chilcot Inquiry which is clearly going to have some meat in it.
“I know Sir Richard and worked with him in the Foreign Office many years ago. He is a very able man of the highest character and a man of his own opinions. We shall have to wait to see what he says.”
Last night, Alastair Campbell and the office for Tony Blair declined to comment on Sir Richard’s account.
Historian expresses fears after chapters by serving generals excised from book criticising operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A leading military historian has accused the Ministry of Defence of putting the lives of British soldiers at risk by stifling debate and preventing serving generals from publicly expressing their views on the conduct of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sir Hew Strachan, Chichele professor of the history of war at Oxford University, blames the decision to suppress their views on “official paranoia”. His outspoken comments appear in a series of essays, British Generals in Blair’s Wars, which contains devastating criticism from senior officers who have recently retired, but none from those still serving.
Debate and potential reform are therefore stifled at source “for fear of reputational damage and political controversy”, writes Strachan.
The book has fallen victim to “official paranoia”, he says referring to six chapters written by serving officers that were withdrawn on the orders of the MoD.
Strachan, an adviser to the chief of the defence staff, General Sir Nick Houghton, adds: “These fears put at risk lives in theatre. Like many armies in the past, the British army struggles to foster effective debate within a hierarchical command chain.”
The editors, including Strachan, make clear in their book – published by Ashgate more than a year late because of the need to find replacement authors – that the final decision to ban serving officers from contributing to it was taken by the defence secretary, Philip Hammond.
Generals prevented from publishing their views include Houghton, who took over as chief of the defence staff from Sir David Richards on Thursday, and Lt Gen Sir Richard Shirreff, Nato’s deputy supreme commander. Shirreff, a former commander of British troops in Basra, told the Chilcot inquiry that more than three years after the invasion of Iraq, the MoD was still incapable of delivering equipment badly needed by UK troops there.
The failure to provide troops with the resources they needed “beggars belief”, he said.
The opening salvo in British Generals in Blair’s Wars castigates the former Labour prime minister for not providing sufficient resources to those he sent to war. Jonathan Bailey, formerly responsible in the MoD for developing military doctrine, says Blair “does not appear to have thought through the consequences of his policies, committing the UK to prolonged conflicts intended to reorder other countries’ underlying cultures”.
The book exposes sharp disagreement between British commanders on the root causes of attacks on British troops in Basra. Jonathan Shaw, commander of British forces in south-east Iraq in 2007, came under fierce criticism for doing a deal with the Jaysh al-Mahdi, the militia led by the radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, and for taking the view that violence was more criminal than ideologically or politically inspired. “I judged Basra to be more like Palermo than Beirut,” he writes.
Richard Iron, an adviser to Iraqi army commanders in Basra, writes: “Nothing could be further from the truth: Jaysh al-Mahdi was an extremist movement that controlled Basra by force.” British intelligence analysts failed to appreciate the depths of “malign Iranian influence”, says Iron.
An underlying theme in the essays by former generals and senior British staff officers is the almost complete lack of preparedness and failure to provide enough resources, in terms of both money and men, in Iraq. The failures, the authors write, were not learned and were repeated in Afghanistan.
Iron says that five years after the invasion of Iraq, “there was still arrogance and hubris among the British. A sense of ‘we’re here to teach you so you’d better listen’”.
Britain’s failures led to bitter disputes behind the scene with US commanders, whose marines took over from the British in Basra, and, later, in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Alexander Alderson, former special adviser to the head of the Afghan armed forces, says that in Iraq the different tactics and attitudes of the two countries came to the point “where the UK’s military credibility was in question”.
The book describes the growing frustration among military commanders about inter-departmental rows within Whitehall and inadequate co-operation with the Foreign Office and Department for International Development. The much-mooted “comprehensive” approach – co-operation on conflict prevention, peacemaking, and peacekeeping – has not materialised. Tim Cross, the senior British officer in the US-led post-invasion reconstruction office in Iraq, writes: “We do need to have a fairly radical shakeup, both in the [defence] ministry but also pan-government.”
Strachan told the Guardian: “The MoD has got to get real … Differences and debates need to be properly gone over. Otherwise we are none the wiser”.
Western imperialism knows no bounds. The “British” government is a direct threat to your safety. The people that have, are, and will suffer because of the “British” government’s gun running and regime change will naturally seek revenge on the aggressor nation. The guilty politicians will not, of course, suffer the consequences. They never do. Only the British people will suffer as they did on 7/7. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Revenge will one day be upon us.
Define irony? Here is one, or rather two, tries.
Back in the 1970s, it was none other than the US that armed the Taliban “freedom fighters” fighting against the USSR in the Soviet-Afghanistan war, only to see these same freedom fighters eventually and furiously turn against the same US that provided them with arms and money, with what ended up being very catastrophic consequences, culminating with September 11.
Fast forward some 30 or more years and it is again the US which, under the guise of dreams and hopes of democracy and the end of a “dictatorial reign of terror”, armed local insurgents in the Libyan war of “liberation” to overthrow the existing regime (and in the process liberate just a bit of Libya’s oil) – the same Libya where shortly thereafter these same insurgents rose against their former sponsor, and killed the US ambassador in what has now become an epic foreign policy Snafu.
But it doesn’t end there as according to Russia, it is the same US weapons that were provided to these Libyan “freedom fighters” that are now being used in what is rapidly becoming a war in Mali, involving not only assorted French regiments, but extensive US flip flops and boots on the ground.
Russia said on Wednesday the rebels fighting French and African troops in Mali are the same fighters the West armed in the revolt that ousted Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.
“Those whom the French and Africans are fighting now in Mali are the [same] people who overthrew the Gaddafi regime, those that our Western partners armed so that they would overthrow the Gaddafi regime,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference.
“It’s important to lift one’s head a bit and look over the horizon, look at all those processes more widely, they are interconnected and carry very many threats,” Lavrov said, speaking of unrest across the Middle East that could play into the hands of militants.
“This will be a time bomb for decades ahead,” he said.
That is our definition of irony.
Imagine a government that would deliberately take millions away from the budget meant to educate its own nation’s children, while at the time use billions to send foreign aid to other nations who don’t need it?
That would be nothing less than treason. You cannot imagine any sane government doing such a thing. Think of, for example, China, or Japan, deliberately depriving its own people of an education while giving money to Korea? It just wouldn’t happen, because the Chinese and the Japanese would—rightly—regard that as nothing less than treason.
Of course, you guessed it: Britain’s House of Treason down by the banks of the old river, has done precisely that—and no-one seems to know or care.
The Tory-Lib-Dem-Labour party—because they are just all the same party—is busy with much-vaunted “budget cuts” to “save the economy” (after they and their big business bank cronies screwed it over in the first place) and one of the first cuts to be announced was in the education arena.
Any parent with university-age going children is well aware that uni fees have now rocketed from a manageable amount just two or three years ago, to an impossible £9,000 per year—and that is just for the tutoring fees, never mind books, resources, living allowances, residence and so on.
Even those students “lucky” enough to get loans, start off their working lives with tens of thousands of pounds of debt—an impossible burden which—even more importantly—makes starting a family next to impossible.
The nuts and bolts of the process are as follows: England’s university budgets were cut by £449 million in 2010, with similar cuts being added each following year. This means that over £1.3 billion has been cut in the last three years, and there is no end yet in sight. By the end of 2014, the total uni education budget cut will be cut by nearly £4 billion.
In practical terms, this means that the universities have had at least 6,000 fewer places each academic year.
In addition, research funding has been frozen and the uni buildings budget cut by 15 percent.
At the same time, the Government has announced that taxpayers will hand over £50.8 billion in foreign aid to the Third World by 2014. This translates to 61 percent of the total “spending review” cuts announced by the Government.
According to a press release issued by the Department for International Development (DFID), the total foreign aid budget will reach the targeted 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2013.
This would mean a yearly spend of £12.6 billion, the DFID said.
This increased spending, the DFID said, is “in line with the UK’s international commitments to help those living in extreme poverty in our world. Over the course of the Spending Review period, the Department for International Development will increase resource spending by 35 percent in real terms, and increase capital spending by 20 percent in real terms.”
This means that the foreign aid budget was £8.4 billion in 2010, £8.7 billion in 2011, £9.1 billion in 2012, and will be £12.0 billion in 2013, and £12.6 billion in 2014—totalling £50.8 billion by the end of 2014.
So there you have it: cut the education budget by £4 billion, but boost the foreign aid budget by £50 billion.
Who would dare call it treason? I for one, and I am increasingly becoming convinced that the last honest man to pass through the halls of Westminster was indeed Guy Fawkes.
More than 400 serving and retired troops will this week descend on Parliament to confront David Cameron in a protest unprecedented in the history of the British Army.
Officers and soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers will mount the Army’s first picket of the Palace of Westminster on Thursday after the Government axed its second battalion.
Despite being threatened with court martial, serving soldiers are due to join their retired colleagues on the march, which coincides with a Parliamentary debate about defence cuts.
The Army forbids their participation in any anti-Government demonstration.
It is the first time soldiers have demonstrated on the streets of London since the Bishopsgate Mutiny of 1649, when 300 members of the New Model Army launched a protest against Oliver Cromwell’s order that they be sent to Ireland.
It is also the first time the British Army has taken to the streets in protest since it was formed in 1707.
The Fusiliers claim Mr Cameron forced through the disbandment of 2RRF to save the Royal Regiment of Scotland because he feared cutting soldiers north of the border would boost nationalists in an independence referendum due in 2014.
Captain Joe Eastwood, a former Regimental Sergeant Major of the Fusiliers, said: ‘There is a lot of anger because we know the Government did a deal to save the Jocks and to cut 2RRF.
‘I am sure that serving soldiers will join us on the protest, but given the risks to their careers, the arrangements for their participation are under the radar.
‘The MoD is threatening to use Section 69 of the 1955 Army Act. Pressure is being applied, with courts martial promised for those who defy orders. So some arrangements must remain cloak-and-dagger.’
During Thursday’s protest, the Fusiliers, led by retired Colonel Brian Gorski, will march through Whitehall wearing their black berets, and red and white hackles. As they pass the Cenotaph, they will salute fallen comrades before proceeding to Downing Street where petitions against 2RRF’s disbandment will be handed in.
Afterwards, they will watch a debate on the cuts from the Commons public gallery. A motion opposing the scrapping of 2RRF– so far signed by 30 MPs – has been brought by Tory John Baron, an ex-Fusiliers officer.
Colonel Gorski said: ‘The Army marching on Parliament is unique. The MoD is making enquiries and it may well have people out monitoring the march.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2217318/Soldiers-risk-court-martial-march-Houses-Parliament-Cromwell-More-400-troops-protest-axeing-Fusiliers.html#ixzz29UgSK4VQ
The lengthy rap sheet of Jack Straw and his family: http://eotp.org/?s=jack+straw&x=0&y=0
A Libyan military commander is taking legal action against Jack Straw, to find out if the ex-foreign secretary signed papers allowing his rendition.
Abdel Hakim Belhadj claims CIA agents took him from Thailand to Gaddafi-led Libya, via UK-controlled Diego Garcia.
His lawyers have served papers on Mr Straw after the Sunday Times reported claims that he allowed this to happen.
UK ministers have denied any complicity in rendition or torture and Mr Straw did not comment further.
He said he could not do so because of the ongoing police investigation into the UK’s alleged role in illegal rendition.
Earlier this month, the BBC revealed that the UK government had approved the rendition of Mr Belhadj and his wife – Fatima Bouchar – to Col Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, though it was unclear at what level.
On 15 April, the Sunday Times published an article, which quoted sources as alleging Mr Straw had personally authorised Mr Belhadj’s rendition to Libya.
On Tuesday, Mr Belhadj’s lawyers – Leigh Day & Co – served papers on Mr Straw, referencing the article and seeking his response to allegations that he was complicit in torture and misfeasance in public office.
The civil action is against Mr Straw personally – Mr Belhadj’s lawyers believe it is the first time legal action of this kind has been taken against a former foreign secretary.
Mr Belhadj and his wife allege Mr Straw was complicit in the “torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, batteries and assaults” which they say were perpetrated on them by Thai and US agents, as well as the Libyan authorities.
They are seeking damages from Mr Straw for the trauma involved.
Question of the day: Why don’t we see essential ground-breaking news like this from Western mainstream media? Why do we have to look to Russia to lift the lid on the crooks in office?
This interview MUST be viewed.
British MP Paul Flynn, who was suspended from the House of Commons for voicing his opposition to the war in Afghanistan, told RT there is absolutely no reason to keep UK soldiers in the warzone any longer, other than to save ministers’ reputations.
A British Labour Party politician, Flynn was recently suspended from the House of Commons after he accused ministers of lying over military policy in Afghanistan. Below is an extract from his speech:
“The role of our brave soldiers at the moment is to act as human shields for ministers’ reputations. The danger to our soldiers is being prolonged by those on that bench who have the power to stop it. Other countries have removed their soldiers from this dangerous area where they’re not doing what we are doing, which is arming and training our future enemy. Isn’t this very similar to the end of the First World War, when it was said the politicians lied and soldiers died and the reality was as it is now – that our brave soldier lions are being led by ministerial donkeys!”
Speaking with RT, Paul Flynn has said that politicians have been making the wrong decisions concerning the Afghan war for many years. What’s more, the current war has not changed things in Afghanistan. It even made them worse, while Britain has wasted lives and huge sums of money – and continues to do so.
RT: Paul Flynn, after that you were disciplined by the speaker and barred from parliament for five days. Presumably, you knew that would happen, but you thought it was worth it.
Paul Flynn: Oh, it’s very well worthwhile. It’s a very rare event and the result is being that my words have been seen almost all over the world. There’s been an extraordinary effect. And I believe this may well be a turning point in public opinion. I believe 80 per cent of public opinion would like to see [the] boys home by Christmas, and the government have their heads in the sands, and they are ignoring it.
RT: You’ve been a long-standing critic of the war in Afghanistan. So what brought on this specific outburst?
PF: This one was about the futility of the deaths in the last few days and the utter imbecile lying ministers who come before us and made idiotic excuses for continuing the war. There is only one reason why the war is continuing and that is to protect the reputations of politicians. Our soldiers are there as human shields for ministers’ reputations. What they are trying to do is to keep the war going on to the best moment that would reflect on the reputations of politicians.
Absolutely no reasons why we shouldn’t bring our troops home now. The only reason is that we are tied in with the politics of the United States. We are an independent state. We have to remind us of that. We can take our own decisions and what we are going to see in the future is deepening the trouble. There will be more slaughter. Because of this whole of these fictitious aims of the war we seem to collapse. And what’s happening now there is no possibility that we can train the Afghan people and army and their police that will fight their own people that will kill brother-Afghans, for what? For a corrupt election-rigging depraved president or to defend the interest of a foreign country? It can’t happen.
RT: You say that ministers are keeping soldiers in Afghanistan to protect their own reputation. But how does the death of more soldiers protect anyone’s reputation?
PF: The official attitude is we must protect our reputations against our previous mistakes and in the war so that history will judge the politicians made the right decisions. In fact, we’ve been making the wrong decisions for many years.
RT:You maintain that what Britain is doing is arming and training its future enemies. And I suppose there is a historical precedent for that.
PF: There is a very powerful precedent that the Americans trained and armed the Mujahideen. And the Mujahideen are the worst government that Afghanistan has had in a hundred years. And the Taliban were a great reforming improvement in a Mujahideen. But we’ve done this in the past and we are going to do it again. There is no way that a Taliban army or police are going to risk their lives, kill their brother-Afghans in the service of a foreign country when we’ve gone over the service of a corrupt president. They are going back to their tribal loyalties, the Uzbeks and the Pashtuns will be divided as they always have been divided. And the likelihood is that there will be disorder when we leave. We went there, civil war was going on, and the country was bitterly divided. After we’ve left, a few years, the situation will be very similar. There’ll be more civil war and the likely future rulers will be the Taliban.
RT:What lessons, then, should have been learnt from both Britain’s own colonial past and the Soviet Union’s experience in Afghanistan?
PF: In 2001 in Strasbourg a very ebullient member of the Duma tapped me on the back and said: “You British have gone into Afghanistan and you captured it in a few days. I’m saying that we Russians did that. And we were there for 10 years. We killed a million Afghans, we spent billions of rubles. And we lost 16,000 of our own soldiers. And when we came out, we left a puppet government there, but there were 300,000 Mujahideen in the hills who eventually took over.” And he said to me: “It will happen to you.” And he was absolutely precisely right.
We deluded ourselves. We told ourselves fairy stories about what was going to happen. But we could change things and we couldn’t. There was a benign cause that the Russians would have been taken up in Afghanistan of taking people at a bottom life, giving them a chance to improve materially. I mean, nothing really happened in the end. And we went in, we were going to get rid of the drugs trade, we were ending corruption, we were going to give women a better deal. And nothing has changed.
The corruption is exactly the same, possibly worse. Drugs’ trade is… 90 per cent of the drugs in Britain come from Afghanistan, Tony Blair told the House. 90 per cent! Twelve years later 90 per cent of the drugs still come from Afghanistan. There is a difference. There is more of them now and they are cheaper on the streets. And more people corrupted.
In 2001 Afghanistan was the second-worst place in the world for a woman to live. Now it’s the second-worst place in the world of a woman to live. But the objectives of the war were hopeless, were utopian. And we’ve wasted lives and huge sums of money and we’ll end up in two or three years’ time with a situation just as bad as the one that was there before we invaded.
RT: Let’s talk a bit about the logistics and message that pulling out now would send. What about the soldiers who are serving in Afghanistan at the moment, those, who’ve already served and the families of the soldiers who’ve died. Wouldn’t pulling out now send the message that everything they’ve done has been essentially for nothing?
PF: It’s certainly a tragedy that those families must go through this trauma, have realized that this was a war in which nothing has been achieved. But certainly they have to face that eventually. What would be immoral and cruel is to tell other people the same lies and that more lives should be lost. In order to comfort the bereaved or to comfort politicians that they made the right decisions, at the moment now there’s no conceivable reason why we shouldn’t start telling the truth to people and say that there isn’t this mythical threat of terrorism in Britain that we somehow are ending by being in Afghanistan. If we say to the Taliban “Why are you killing our soldiers?” would they say “When we’ve killed all your soldiers, we are coming over to Newport and to Cardiff and London and we’re going to blow up your streets?” They’ve got no interest in that.
The reason the Taliban are killing British soldiers is because we are the foreigners, we are the infidels. And we occupy, by force of arms, their country. It’s their sacred religious duty to kill us. If we are not there, they don’t kill us. It’s a fairly simple argument to understand.
RT:So what you are saying is that pulling out of Afghanistan right now wouldn’t affect the security situation in the rest of the world?
PF: No, not in the slightest. There are security threats. They come from Pakistan. They come from Yemen. They come from Somalia. They come from Bradford. We had an attack by Al-Qaeda that was from English people brought up in England.
RT: Is it not the better to have the US as friends rather than enemies? What kind of message would leaving now send to America which at the moment is supposedly a trusted friend and ally?
PF: We have a claim that we are an independent country and we spend billions on an independent nuclear weapon. We should be independent as far as Afghanistan is concerned. We’ve already seen countries that we greatly respect and admire assembling themselves pulling out of the conflict. Quite rightly, honorably they’ve given huge contributions in blood and treasure. We should take our own decision. We know that at least 80 per cent of the population is saying: “For Goodness sake, bring our boys home by Christmas!”
RT:Paul Flynn, thank you.
PF: My pleasure.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has pulled out of an international summit because he doesn’t want to share a platform with the “morally indefensible” Tony Blair, it emerged yesterday.
The retired archbishop, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his campaigning against apartheid, said that he had withdrawn from the event because he believed the former Prime Minister had supported the invasion of Iraq “on the basis of unproven allegations of the existence of weapons of mass destruction.”
In a statement, Archbishop Tutu’s office added: “The Discovery Invest Summit has leadership as its theme. Morality and leadership are indivisible. In this context, it would be inappropriate for the Archbishop to share a platform with Mr Blair.”
A spokesman added that it was not a snap decision, saying that the Archbishop “thinks and prays and then acts”. He added: “That’s how he’s always done things, including during the struggles.”
Mr Blair and Archbishop Tutu, alongside the chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, were due to appear at the leadership summit in Johannesburg later this week. The Muslim political party Al Jama-ah has already said that it will attempt to arrest Mr Blair when he arrives in Johannesburg for “crimes against humanity”.
Mr Blair’s office said he regretted the decision. In a statement, it said: “Tony Blair is sorry that the Archbishop has decided to pull out now from an event that has been fixed for months and where he and the Archbishop were never actually sharing a platform.
“As far as Iraq is concerned they have always disagreed about removing Saddam by force – such disagreement is part of a healthy democracy.
“As for the morality of that decision, we have recently had both the memorial of the Halabja massacre where thousands of people were murdered in one day by Saddam’s use of chemical weapons, and that of the Iran-Iraq war where casualties numbered up to a million, including many killed by chemical weapons. So these decisions are never easy morally or politically”.
Archbishop Tutu has long been a critic of Mr Blair’s stance on Iraq – even before the invasion.
In 2003 the archbishop said Mr Blair’s support for the Bush administration was “mind-boggling”. “I have a great deal of time for your Prime Minister, but I’m shocked to see a powerful country use its power frequently, unilaterally,” he said.
After the invasion he called on Mr Blair to apologise for an error of judgement on Iraq. “How wonderful if politicians could bring themselves to admit they are only fallible human creatures and not God and thus by definition can make mistakes,” he said. “Unfortunately, they seem to think that such an admission is a sign of weakness. Weak and insecure people hardly ever say sorry.
“President Bush and Prime Minister Blair would recover considerable credibility and respect if they were able to say: ‘Yes, we made a mistake’.”
Five infantry battalions are expected to be axed and other units merged or turned into reservists in the biggest overhaul of the Army in more than a century, under plans due to be announced.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond will set out how the regular Army will be cut from 102,000 troops to 82,000 by the end of the decade – its lowest level since the Napoleonic Wars.
The plan – known as Army 2020 – is expected to see it split into two, with a reaction force, ready to respond to emergencies around the globe, and an adaptable force capable of carrying out a range of tasks and commitments.
Mr Hammond has said the changes – drawn up by Lieutenant General Nick Carter – will provide the basis of a smaller, more flexible and agile Army into the future. But the prospect of losing historic units has been the cause of intense anguish within the service.
The Daily Telegraph disclosed this week that one officer, Brigadier David Paterson of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, had written to the head of the Army expressing his bitter disappointment at plans to axe one of its two battalions. In his letter to General Sir Peter Wall, Chief of the General Staff, Brig Paterson said the proposal “cannot be presented as the best or most sensible military option”.
Other units under threat are reported to include the Yorkshire Regiment, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, the Royal Welsh and the Mercian Regiment.
Mr Hammond, who will set out details of the proposals in a statement to the House of Commons, has acknowledged that they have involved some “difficult” decisions. But he said that cuts could not be avoided, with the demands for strict financial discipline under the Government’s 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Under the plans, reductions in regular Army strength would be offset by increases in part-time reservists, with the Territorial Army doubling in numbers from 15,000 to 30,000.
Colonel Bob Stewart, a Conservative MP and former commanding officer with the Cheshire Regiment who sits on the defence select committee, said cutting troops was not the right way forward but the Government had been left with no option.
Asked if the Defence Secretary was putting the nation at risk, he told BBC Breakfast: “Every defence secretary has to balance exactly what the risk is. We just don’t know what the risk is. If you reduce the numbers available you have less options, you have less flexibility, you have less power, that’s a fact.”
Could this be the reason why the State is so keen on stealing people’s children?
SOCIAL workers want to seize a baby as soon as it is born because they are concerned about the mother’s violent links to the English Defence League.
Durham County Council has told Toni McLeod she would pose a “risk of significant harm” to the baby. Social workers fear the child would become radicalised with EDL views and want it put up for adoption immediately.
Mrs McLeod, who is 35 weeks pregnant, is a former leading member of the EDL, in which she was notorious as “English Angel”. The 25-year-old has a string of convictions for violence, including butting and biting a police officer after an EDL march in 2010 and she has been banned from owning dogs after setting a pit bull on a former partner.
However, her cause has been taken up by Lib Dem MP John Hemming who, despite his loathing for the EDL, raised it in the Commons. He contrasts her treatment with that of the extremist Islamic cleric Abu Qatada, who was allowed to remain with his children when he was briefly remanded on bail earlier this year as the Government tries to deport him.
He said: “It raises a curious question as to why Abu Qatada is allowed to radicalise his children but the state won’t take the chance of allowing Toni McLeod to look after her baby in case she says something social workers won’t like.
“I am very strongly opposed to the EDL, which I believe to be a racist organisation, but I do not think we should remove all of the children of the people who go on their demonstrations, however misguided they may be.”
Mrs McLeod has posted racist abuse on social networking sites but denies being racist. She claims she is no longer active with the EDL and has never been charged with violence against children.
Social workers have told her husband Martyn he would be unable to care for his child because he is a full-time soldier just back from Afghanistan.
Like John F. Kennedy thirty-seven years earlier, Tony Blair came to power with a clean-cut, charismatic image that promised ‘safe’ change, more social justice, and a strong head on his shoulders. But also like JFK, the youthful leader of ‘New’ Labour had more than a few skeletons trailing behind him. True or not, they remain the subject of intense gossip – and a number of incontrovertible facts – to this day.
They cover not only his early years as a barrister and MP, but also key moments when he was at the height of his power and reputation as an international statesman and warlord.
The wayward lawyer
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair married Cherie Booth on 29th March 1980. Just four years out of University, Blair was trying to establish himself as a barrister – but not with much success.
“He wasn’t very good” says a retired commercial lawyer who hired him at the time through Derry Irvine’s Chambers. “Frankly he didn’t listen to the brief, and he caved in to the Judge…to the fury of my clients. So I fired him. I told Derry, ‘Don’t ever send that twat to me again’”.
The solicitor was appalled at the ease with which Blair betrayed his clients “for a quiet life”. Betrayal (as we shall see) is an amoral spine running through Teflon Tony’s life-story.
We interviewed the lawyer at some length. “When I watched him give in to the EU about the eight billion quid” he said, “I thought of that day in Court”.
Close friends of the Blairs agree that Tony was a washout as a barrister….and that Cherie was without doubt the superstar. But in turn, while specialising in wealthy and commercial clients, for a young man supposedly interested in left-wing ideas Blair defended some odd people.
The many posts on this site regading this war-criminal, Tony Blair: http://eotp.org/?s=tony+blair&x=0&y=0
How much longer is the British Army going to tolerate this?
A former soldier who bravely took on penny-pinching NHS bosses in his fight to get a drug that could save his life has died of terminal cancer aged 37.
Mark Bannister, from Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, spent six months of his precious time trying to obtain the drug Avastin – but by the time he got it, it was too late.
Wife Karen, 33, revealed how her husband was forced to lie to doctors to get hold of the life-prolonging treatment that had been denied to him because of a cruel postcode lottery.
The father of two succumbed to the brain tumour he had been battling for nine years at around 6am on Monday morning, with his wife at his side.
Grieving Mrs Bannister paid tribute to her husband, who served in Northern Ireland and Bosnia during nine years in the army, saying: ‘The Avastin didn’t have any effect but we had to fight for six months in order to get it.
Again, we must ask: how much longer is the British Army going to put up with this direct attack on it and its personnel by those with an ulterior motive who are so happy to send other people’s children [the British Army] to die for their political adventures but will not send their own?
We sane, objective, and sensible people must ask ourselves, and also the British Army, “when is duty and loyalty to the country” also “misguided paid mercenary work for an ‘elite’ who play them like pawns in the game of geo-politics and self-aggrandisement”?
It is clear that the British Army’s loyalty is not to the the criminal, corrupt, degenerate, warmongering ‘government’ -rather it is to the British nation who are –as evidenced by the charities they have set up on behalf of the British Army– the real friends and supporters of the British Army and who have consistently rejected the political adventures in Afghanistan and the to-date 409 British lives needless wasted for no gain whatsoever.
Any right-minded person would curse the Lib-Lab-Conmen and withhold their vote.
John Heaps, 50, served in the Falklands, the first Gulf War, and Northern Ireland during his 16 years in the Army.
But when he returned to the UK in February after spending two years cycling around the world, he was told he had failed the Department for Work and Pensions’ Habitual Residence Test.
And without help, he has been forced to sleep in a friend’s garden in Leeds, West Yorks.
Divorced dad-of-two John said: “I have always been of the opinion that everybody is supposed to be treated as an individual but they do not listen to each individual story.
“I think it stinks, it’s beggars belief. I have travelled the world but this is my place of birth and my home.
“Essentially all that’s happened is I’ve been on holiday.
War Crimes: http://eotp.org/tag/war-crimes/
State Crime: http://eotp.org/tag/state-crime/
The “British” Government’s War on the British Army: http://eotp.org/tag/the-governments-war-on-the-british-army/
How much longer can/will the British Army take orders from this Zionist warmongering commercial “elite” that masquerades as “government”?
How much longer can/will our glorious, brave and well-respected (especially by the British people) continue to be manipulated and slain for the purpose of “liberal” “democratic” imperialism which has, as its end goal, the securitisation of pipelines, opium production and geo-political Western influence (all done under the guise of fighting “terrorism” and instilling “democracy”) in an area which does not concern us and where we should not be? The alarming paradox is that the slavish-to-U.S.-and-Israel warmongering politicians –so eager to send other people’s children to die for their political adventures– nevertheless do not send their own children and family. The British Army, in light of these realities, is duty-bound (to the British people who do not want this “war”) and honour-bound (to the Higher Truth of Justice) to defy this alien government and return its men to guard Britannia and her people. The real war is here in Britain and the real terrorists are in SW1.Read on: The “Government”‘s War against the British Army: http://eotp.org/category/the-governments-war-on-the-british-army/
A simple posy clasped in his powerful hands, one soldier sums up a nation’s grief.
The burly squaddie fought back tears as he delivered his tribute to six comrades blown up by a Taliban bomb.
It is less than a month since members of the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment left for Afghanistan.
Yesterday the flowers were piling up outside their barracks at Warminster, Wiltshire, after one of the deadliest incidents in a decade of conflict.
It brought the British death toll in Afghanistan to 404.
With UK troops due to withdraw in 2014, the country remains a lawless shambles run by a corrupt regime, and its future looks bleak.
Many families are asking if it will be worth the sacrifice of their loved ones’ lives.
The six latest victims were killed in a catastrophic double blast when the huge bomb triggered a second explosion of ammunition inside their Warrior armoured vehicle.
This reduced the 40-ton Warrior to a ‘riddled shell’, meaning it was impossible for any of its occupants to survive.
It was the worst single episode for UK troops in Afghanistan since a Nimrod crash killed 14 in 2006, and the biggest-ever loss to insurgent action.
Government departments spent more than £120 million on hotels in two years, with the Ministry of Defence alone racking up a £98 million bill, official figures show.
MoD staff stayed 396,076 nights in UK hotels at a cost of £65 million and 127,700 nights overseas at a cost of £33 million between 2008 and 2010.
This is the equivalent of £258 per night for accommodation abroad and £164 per night in Britain.
The MoD has recently come under fire over the cost of hotels for Defence personnel stationed in Italy as part of the Nato operation against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya.
Seven other Whitehall ministries responded to Freedom of Information requests by data analysts Tableau Software.
The Department of Transport revealed that it spent £6.1 million on hotels, including nearly £9,000 on five-star accommodation, over the two-year period.
In light of this sickening portrayal: http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/world/asia_pacific/300th+british+soldier+killed+in+afghanistan+war/3686457
These warmongers of the Lib-Lab-Con ought to hang their heads in shame. Still, none of these 300 are their innocent children, are they? Perhaps then these warmongers are beyond reproach.
US plans to turn the course of the Afghan war with a large-scale operation to secure Kandahar risk driving more people into the arms of the insurgents, a senior United Nations official has warned.
Richard Barrett, who heads a UN team tracking the Taliban and al-Qaeda, also said it was nonsense to suggest the war in Afghanistan was protecting Britain from terrorism.
The critique of western strategy delivered by Mr Barrett, a former UK counter-terrorism chief, will sharpen the dilemma faced by David Cameron, the prime minister. The British government wants to reconcile its commitment to Afghanistan with its pledges to deal with a large budget deficit.
Mr Barrett’s comments underline the concerns shared by many western and UN officials about the counter-insurgency strategy of General Stanley McChrystal, the Nato commander in Afghanistan. The scale and complexity of the approach was underlined last week when Gen McChrystal announced a delay in the planned operation to secure Kandahar city, the Taliban’s spiritual home.
Gen McChrystal said Nato would take a “more deliberate” approach towards Kandahar because it was learning lessons from its operation in the town of Marjah, the Taliban stronghold in central Helmand that was cleared by alliance troops in February.
But Mr Barrett warned that deploying more troops risked sparking more conflict in previously calm areas. “Putting more troops in is in danger of making things worse . . . If you push troops into these areas, then clearly they are no longer going to be quiet,” he said. “This idea that they can clear up Kandahar, take control of Kandahar, and that would really weaken the Taliban, I think it’s mistaken.
“The US cannot be seen to lose a big, well advertised operation as planned for Kandahar,” he said. “It would be very difficult to recover from such a setback . . . It’s altogether on a different scale from Marjah. Gen McChrystal has to make the objectives achievable without looking as if he has already retreated from his original plan because it was beyond him. I think he got a bit carried away and over-optimistic, ambitious.”
Mr Barrett noted that Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, had been “notably lukewarm about the whole Kandahar thing”.
US officials hope the Kandahar operation will force the Taliban on to the defensive, allowing Mr Karzai to negotiate some form of political settlement that would allow an exit for the 140,000 western troops now in the country.
But Mr Barrett said Afghanistan’s western allies lacked a coherent approach for ending the conflict. “I don’t think western states have a clear policy; they don’t know, they just don’t know, what to do,” he said.
Mr Barrett, who formerly headed counter-terrorism for the Secret Intelligence Service, dismissed the argument advanced by British ministers that the presence of 9,500 British troops in Afghanistan would reduce the threat to the UK. “That’s complete rubbish. I’ve never heard such nonsense,” he said, warning that the presence of foreign troops risked inflaming anti-western sentiment among British Muslim communities.
“I’m quite sure if there were no foreign troops in Afghanistan there’d be less agitation in Leeds, or wherever, about Pakistanis extremely upset, or suspicious about what western intentions are in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
Failing to vote in the general election would damage the morale of British troops, according to the former head of the Army.
General Sir Richard Dannatt has spoken of his concern that the abuse of MPs expenses will lead to voter apathy and warned that this is not what men and women “risking life and limb in the national interest” in Afghanistan would want.
He said it was important that every member of the electorate should cast a vote and show that the sacrifices made in Afghanistan are supported by everyone at home.
Perhaps general Dannat would care to look at the system he so whimsically champions?
Are you and the British Army glad to be defending this grotesque monstrosity that masquerades as “democracy”?
“We are awaiting comprehensive figures from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), who are collating figures on a rolling basis from the force SPOC officers across the UK of all police investigations currently being carried out relating to cases of electoral malpractice”
The Ministry of Defence has been accused of ordering a “truth blackout” over the war in Afghanistan amid warnings it is attempting to “bury bad news” during the election campaign.
British journalists and TV crews are to be banned from the Afghan front line once a date for the election has been set, while senior officers will be prohibited from making public speeches and talking to reporters.
MoD websites will also be “cleansed” of any “non-factual” material including anything containing troops’ opinions of the war, according to a memo leaked to The Daily Telegraph.
The edict comes as Gordon Brown was accused of using British troops as “political props” by visiting Afghanistan the day after giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War.
The war in Afghanistan is likely to be a sensitive political issue in the election campaign.
Last night the MoD confirmed a British soldier, from A Company 4 Rifles, was killed in a fire-fight yesterday bringing the total deaths since the conflict began to 271.
The Prime Minister has been repeatedly accused by former military chiefs of denying soldiers vital equipment.
In the memo, Nick Gurr, the MoD’s director of media and communications, says “embeds” for all British news broadcasters and national journalists will be prohibited during the campaign, expected to begin later this month.
With scenes like the one above (left) being explained by the image above (right) –in addition to the British Army’s substandard equipment, vehicles and armour– we can’t think why there is a “morale crisis”? Still, the (“government”) who pays the piper calls the tune –and this piper is seldom short of morale.
The poor quality of soldiers’ lives when they return home from conflict has hit morale and risks undermining the war in Afghanistan, the head of the Army has warned.
n a leaked draft memo to ministers, General Sir David Richards said that budget cuts to the military at home were having a “cumulative and corrosive effect” on soldiers and their families.
He said that the refocusing of military effort on Afghanistan was welcome, with soldiers now feeling “well supported and resourced” in theatre.
But the conditions they experienced when they returned home were below par and could eventually impact on the operation itself, he warned.
“As Chief of the General Staff, I register an early concern about the impact on morale, the potentially severe downstream impact on retention, and our ability to sustain the campaign in the long term,” he wrote.
His comments echo those made by his predecessor General Sir Richard Dannatt, who said that many families and marriages were falling victim to the “relentless” pace of operations and that goodwill was being stretched to the limit.
While our troops are away fighting capitalists’ wars the government, in the pay of said capitalists, spends 9.1 BILLION of Foreign Aid to pay countries such as China (one of the best economies in the world), India (that has a space programme), and to Zimbabwe and South Africa (who both have corrupt neo-communist “governments” that actively turn a blind eye to the slaughter of innocent White farmers).
So, how does the British Army feel about its soldiers being maiamed and killed by inadequate equipment and substandard vehicles while the State it represents has a government that squanders 9.1 BILLION to propping up corrupt African regimes and sponsoring sub-continental space programmes?
Food for thought, wouldn’t you say, British Army?
More than half of the Army’s armoured vehicles in Afghanistan are not “fit for purpose”, new figures have shown.
Many are out of action being repaired or refurbished after spending time in the punishing desert conditions.
The stock of unuseable vehicles include 180 Mastiffs and Ridgbacks which were sent to the country to protect servicemen and women from the growing threat of sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
There are just 358 of a total 653 Snatch Land Rovers in working condition. They were previously used on patrols around Helmand Province but were confined to use on military bases after a public outcry over IED deaths of those travelling in them.
The Army now has 271 six-wheel, mine-resistant Mastiff troop-carriers but only 134 are rated “fit for purpose”. Just 73 of the 118 lighter Ridgbacks are currently in service, according to figures from the Ministry of Defence.
Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Willie Rennie said that they undermined the Government’s claim that troops in theatre now have all the armoured vehicles they need to keep them safe.
“We must make sure they have the kit they need to do their job as safely as possible. Promises are not enough – Gordon Brown has to deliver,” he said.
The decision to slash British military mail services in Europe and America has been slammed as “venal” and “vile”.
To save money, subsidised postage is being withdrawn from service personnel and families based from Naples to Brussels.
It also means their relatives in the UK will have to pay the full rate to send parcels and letters overseas.
The cutback has left one MEP furious that Westminster apparently keeps a first-class service for itself, while expecting those in uniform to pay more to keep in touch with loved ones at home.
Godfrey Bloom, UKIP member for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, has lambasted the slashing of British Forces’ Post Offices (BFPO).
“When the servicemen and women of our country are fighting and dying for this government’s dubious honour, it treats them with the contempt it has shown across the board,” he said.
“The BFPO has for decades provided a lifeline that is utterly vital in maintaining moral and now they want to cut it.
“MPs have granted themselves £7,000 a year postage – but they seem to be happy to put extra costs on service families. How typical, how venal, how vile.”
Let us firstly remind ourselves of a few key figures who support communist thugs such as Unite Against “Fascism”. Communist sympathisers include:
David Cameron (Tory) Mike Hancock (Libs) Peter Hain (Labour)
Might they be supporting communist agitators as splendid opportunistic ruse to employ the work of a political militia (U.A.F.) that will, and has, actively smash the opposition to the corrupt old-gang Lib-Lab-Con-men? Many, Many politicians support this terror group. Look into it for yourselves; we will not supply the link to an anti-democratic, hate-filled organisation.
A mother-of-four has been subjected to death threats after starting a campaign to stop a protest march by Muslim hardliners through Wootton Bassett.
Jo Cleary, from Broomfield, Herne Bay, set up a Facebook site calling for extremist leader Anjem Choudary and his followers to be barred from carrying coffins through the town where residents line the streets to mourn as the bodies of slain service personnel arriving back in the UK.
Choudary, who was born in Welling, Bexley, leads the group Islam4UK which says its march would symbolise Muslims killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
More than 700,000 people have signed up to Mrs Cleary’s campaign – but in the last few days she has found herself on the end of abuse and threats to her life over the internet.
Other hate-filled messages have been directed at the grieving families of British soldiers killed in action.
It is believed the messages have been sent by self-styled ‘anti-fascists’ and are not the work of any ethnic or religious group.
The death threats have also been reported to the police, who have offered her protection.
Mrs Cleary, 43, said: “I am absolutely livid at these threats but they will not stop my campaign.
“I have been branded as a BNP member – which I most certainly not – and my life has been threatened in the most abusive language.
“There have even been threats made to the families of those who have given their lives for this country. It is beyond belief – these are horrific emails with vile, vile threats.”
About 25 countries have promised to send more troops to Afghanistan in response to President Obama’s call for extra support from Nato members. But France and Germany, the two European powers who could make a real difference, remain as hesitant as ever.
French and German leaders now face a painful choice. Should they finally embrace Nato’s efforts in Afghanistan more wholeheartedly – which would mean accepting significantly more human and material sacrifices? Or should they or conclude that the war has already been lost, or that “success” does not merit the cost, and abandon the mission altogether?
For their own good, they should choose the first option. They should remember that unlike the war in Iraq, which they strongly opposed from the outset, all Nato member states, including themselves, unanimously and unambiguously sanctioned the war effort in Afghanistan in 2001. But aside from the need to fulfil their alliance duties – and in fact even more important – they have clear national interests at stake in this strategically located central Asian state.
This is not about just about pre-empting future terrorist attacks on European capitals by stopping the Taliban from retaking the country. At stake in Afghanistan is the survival of the transatlantic alliance, Europe’s energy security and independence, and whether the deepening ties between Europe – especially Germany – and Russia, will eventually lead to the western integration of Russia, or instead, to it gaining a stranglehold over European energy security. In Afghanistan all three issues are interlinked. This fact remains largely ignored.
Gordon Brown was snubbed by badly injured Afghan veterans when they closed curtains round their beds during a hospital visit and refused to speak to him.
More than half the soldiers being treated at the Selly Oak hospital ward in Birmingham either asked for the curtains to be closed or deliberately avoided the prime minister, according to several of those present.
The soldiers, who have sustained some of the worst injuries seen in Afghanistan, described his visit as “opportunistic” and a “waste of time”.
Furious about equipment shortages and poor compensation for their injuries, one soldier said: “It is almost as if we are the product of an unwanted affair … he has done nothing for us.”
Tony Blair’s place in history will forever be coloured by the war in Iraq.
The Iraq war and its aftermath have seen the most contentious decisions taken by any British Government since 1945. Tony Blair stands accused of leading the country into war on a false prospectus, subordinating British interests to George W Bush and showing gross negligence in failing to plan for postwar Iraq.
The only other event that comes close to earning a prime minister such ignominy is the Suez Crisis of 1956, when Anthony Eden lied to the House of Commons. In that short-lived conflict, 21 British servicemen were killed. By contrast, 179 British soldiers died in Iraq, and untold numbers of Iraqi civilians lost their lives as a result of the hostilities and the instability that followed.
Blair’s place in history will forever be coloured by the war. The Channel 4 drama, The Trial of Tony Blair, struck many as far-fetched when first aired in early 2007. Now a full public inquiry, so long in the offing, is upon us. Technically, Blair will not be on trial, but he will be forced to defend his actions in the full glare of the public arena.
The father of a soldier killed in Afghanistan received a condolence letter from the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, almost two years after his son died.
Trooper Jack Sadler, 21, of the Honourable Artillery Company, was killed on December 4 2007 when his vehicle was caught up in a blast in Helmand Province.
But his father Ian said he only received a handwritten letter from Gordon Brown on November 17 2009, accompanied by a typed apology from an aide to the Prime Minister.
Last month, Mr Brown was criticised for spelling mistakes in a handwritten letter to Jacqui Janes, whose son Jamie was killed in Afghanistan.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s The Report, Mr Sadler, from Exmouth, Devon, said: ”Jack was killed on December 4 2007 and I received a letter of condolence from the Prime Minister with no date on it on November 17 2009.
”I have a letter apologising, not from the Prime Minister, but from Jeremy Heywood who is his permanent secretary, apologising that an administrative mistake resulted in my not receiving a letter from the Prime Minister.
Civil servants working for the Ministry of Defence in Afghanistan are entitled to receive the same Operational Service Medal as front line troops.
The medal is presented to bureaucrats who have spent time at Camp Bastion, the British headquarters, by ministers at official ceremonies.
But critics said it was “offensive” that civil servants who work only at Army bases or accompanying ministers on walkabouts should be given the same medal as the troops who face the Taliban on a daily basis.
A total of 235 British forces personnel have died while serving in Afghanistan since the start of operations in October 2001, but no civil servants have been killed.
The latest revelation comes after figures showed that MoD staff have been paid £47 million in performance bonuses so far this year.
MoD staff are being paid more than £8,000 a month for working in Afghanistan, nearly five times as much some soldiers on the front line.
It comes as Gordon Brown prepares to announce the deployment of a further 500 troops to take the British forces deployment to 9,500 in the war-torn country.
The circular silver Operational Service Medal replaced the General Service Medal in 2000 and has been handed out for service in Iraq, Sierra Leone and the Congo.
The Ministry of Defence has been accused of “gambling with soldiers’ lives” by reducing the money it spends on developing surveillance systems that can detect roadside bombs in Afghanistan.
The cut is part of a significant reduction in the MoD’s research budget.
Next year, the MoD budget for developing new weapons and technology will effectively be cut by almost a quarter, leading to many planned projects being scrapped.
The MoD had originally allocated £544 million to its science innovation and technology budget for 2010/11. Cuts mean that the research budget will be only £439 million.
The MoD has now admitted that among the research being cut is work on “C4ISTAR” systems.
C4ISTAR refers to Command, Control, Communications, Computers – Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, a network of planes and unmanned drones that collect images and listen in on enemy forces, information that is fed back to battlefield commanders.
ISTAR can be used to counter the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that have killed dozens of British personnel and wounded hundreds more. Some estimates suggest around 80 per cent of British casualties in Afghanistan have come from IEDs.
Carol Ann Duffy, the poet laureate, has launched a scathing attack on MPs “milking” expenses, the conflict in Afghanistan and the state of modern Britain in a grim version of the Christmas song, The Twelve Days of Christmas.
n the poem, Duffy also criticised the war, bankers’ bonuses, celebrity culture and the slow response to the threat of global warming.
But it is the war, which has claimed the lives of 236 British soldiers – almost half of them this year – that she chose to dwell on.
The first verse pictures a soldier, spied upon by a “buzzard on a branch” rather than a homely partridge in a pear tree, who is looking at a photograph of his children. It implies he will soon be dead.
Duffy returns to the subject with dreadful repetition in the ninth verse – as if to underline the way the news has been constantly punctured with reports of those killed.
She focuses on the women whose lives have been torn apart by the death of a husband or boyfriend.
“But the dead soldier’s lady does not dance,” begins the ninth verse, which traditionally celebrates “Nine ladies dancing”.
She goes on to list other women in today’s Britain who do not dance, including “the honour killing lady”, “the lady in the filthy hospital ward” and “the lady with the pit bull terrier”.
In the bitter aftermath of the Iraq invasion, Tony Blair was many times accused of sending British troops to war on a deceit.
Today’s leaked documents shed no new light on the most oft-rehearsed of those charges – that he lied about, or exaggerated, the threat from Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. But they will make uncomfortable reading for the former prime minister in the light of some of his other claims.
In President George W Bush’s January 2002 State of the Union address, fresh from what then looked like a victory in Afghanistan, he ratcheted up the rhetoric against Saddam Hussein. He named Iraq as one of three states in an “axis of evil”, promising: “I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer.”
It was seen, correctly, as a statement of intent. The American people backed a war on Iraq. But in sceptical Britain, the idea threatened to cause problems for President Bush’s closest foreign ally.
Throughout most of 2002, Mr Blair’s consistent line was that – though military action could not be ruled out – no decisions had been made, no British military preparations were in train, and any action had to be pursued through the UN. That, today’s documents make clear, was not correct.
On July 16, 2002, he was questioned by the chairmen of all the Commons select committees. Donald Anderson, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, asked him directly: “Are we then preparing for possible military action in Iraq?” “No,” said Mr Blair. “There are no decisions which have been taken about military action.”
GORDON Brown promised to study Ministry of Defence bonus payments yesterday after it was revealed the department’s civil servants had pocketed almost £50 million this year.
There was anger from troops’ families after the disclosure that bonuses for bureaucrats had reached £287,809,049 since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
They were described as an insult to soldiers fighting – and losing their lives – on the frontline in Afghanistan amid claims over equipment shortages.
But union leaders and ministers defended the bill, pointing out that many of the recipients were not highly paid.
The Prime Minister said: “If there are any questions over the bonuses, I will examine them.”
But he added: “I’ve got to say that some of the people who have received help have been working out in the field, and people that have been supporting people out there.
Senior Foreign Office officials have claimed more than £90,000 in taxpayer-funded expenses in just three months.
Sir Peter Ricketts, the permanent secretary, claimed almost £20,000 including more than £11,000 on a chaffeur-driven car while Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, submitted claims for more than £25,000.
The Foreign Office expense bills have been released for the first time in the wake of the MPs expenses scandals. The large sums being claimed by senior officials are likely to increase concern over the use of taxpayer-funded expenses by public sector.
The highest spender, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles spent £25,505 in three months from April to June this year. His expenses included visits to Washington DC, Tokyo and New Delhi.
The officials routinely fly business-class on journeys taking more than three hours despite it becoming increasingly rare in the private sector.
They also spent large amounts on government cars and taxis. Sir Peter Ricketts, the Permanent Under Secretary, spent £11,500 in three months, while Mark Lyall Grant, who recently became Britain’s Permanent Representative to the UN claimed for £6,028.
The overruling of aircraft safety warnings by the Ministry of Defence resulted in the deaths of six British servicemen in a helicopter crash, a senior official has revealed.
He also alleged that documents were withheld from the board of inquiry and the inquest to cover up the way in which airworthiness regulations were ignored. The former civil servant said he had refused to declare the Royal Navy’s Sea King Mk7 helicopters airworthy, but was overruled by superiors trying to save money.
He said that two years before two Sea Kings collided off Iraq in 2003, killing six Royal Navy officers and one American serviceman, he issued warnings about the risks. Anti-collision lights on Sea Kings had been replaced with strobe lights that “blinded the pilots at low level, over water or in mist — so they switched them off”. Consequently, the pilots lost sight of each other before the fatal collision, and became disorientated. A board of inquiry blamed the crash on several factors and ordered removal of the strobe lights.
Last night the mother of Marc Lawrence, 26, one of the Royal Navy officers killed, accused the MoD of a “whitewash”. Ann Lawrence said: “The inquest was a case of people forgetting where they were and losing key papers. It was a joke.”
Read more about the British Government’s War on the British Army
More than 20,000 former servicemen are in prison or on probation or parole, double the total British personnel in Afghanistan, according to a new survey.
The study by Napo, the probation officer’s union, found that an estimated 8,500 veterans are in prison, almost one in 10 of the prison population, which is a rise of more than 30 per cent in the last five years.
It found that of 90 probation case histories of former servicemen, the majority had a chronic alcohol or drug problem, while nearly half suffered from post-traumatic stress or depression.
The British Army has been forced to cut the number of new soldiers it recruits to save money, an official document shows.
The cuts in manpower are part of a £97 million package of spending reductions forced on the Army this year. Training for Territorial Army soldiers and the renovation of soldiers’ housing have also been cut to save money.
The reductions in training and recruiting have raised concerns about the impact on the Army’s future capabilities.
The squeeze on the Army’s budget has emerged in the same week that Gordon Brown announced he will send another 500 British troops to Afghanistan.
Ministers have insisted that the Armed Forces are properly funded, but an Army document drawn up this week shows that Army recruitment has been cut by 500 from January to relieve “pressure” on the manpower budget.
The MoD paper, dated October 13, is titled “ABN 57/09 In Year Savings Measures”. It outlines cuts drawn up by General Sir David Richards, the Chief of the General Staff and approved by Bob Ainsworth, the defence secretary.
While Afghan fighters naturally defend, the British “government” attacks…its own. Just who is the REAL enemy of the British Army?
What MPs spent on their second homes – and what it could have bought the Armed Forces.
£11,510,792 – total cost of second homes allowance claimed by MPs in 2007-08. Would pay for 38 Ridgeback armoured vehicles, costing £300,000 each
£25,411 – cost of private security patrols outside Soho home of Barbara Follett. Could have been spent on 13 pairs of ITTT night vision goggles at £1,900 each
£22,500 – dry rot treatment Margaret Moran claimed for home 100 miles from constituency. Would have bought 10 underslung grenade launchers worth £2,160 each
£9,000 – installation of Ikea kitchen at Gordon Brown’s Westminster flat. The same price as nine sets of £1,000 Osprey full body armour
£8,865 – price of 40in Bang & Olufsen television claimed for by Sir Gerald Kaufman. Could have been spent on four SA80 A2 rifles at £1,800 each
£2,225 – amount claimed on a ‘corner group’ sofa by Bob Ainsworth. Would have bought 14 Hawke long-range binoculars, which cost £150 a pair
£2,115 – amount claimed by Douglas Hogg to clear the moat at his country home. More than the cost of a single £1,790 MINIMI machine gun.
Gordon Brown has been accused of trying to cover up a fall in defence spending under Labour despite the increasing demands placed on the Armed Forces.
The Prime Minister insists that the amount of money given to the Ministry of Defence has risen by more than 10 per cent over the past decade.
But military experts point out that the quickly rising price of sophisticated weaponry and transport means that “defence inflation” is higher than the general rate of increase.
Anger over the British Government’s failure to equip the Armed Forces properly, while politicians lavished taxpayers’ money on themselves, led to the leak of MPs’ expenses files.
The mole who leaked the data has told his story for the first time, in the hope that it will shame the Government into finally supplying the right equipment for the thousands of soldiers risking their lives in Afghanistan.
Politicians “still don’t get it”, he said, adding that they were still preoccupied with their own financial situation and MPs’ claims rather than the plight of troops.
“It’s not easy to watch footage on the television news of a coffin draped in a Union Jack and then come in to work the next day and see on your computer screen what MPs are taking for themselves,” he said.
“Hearing from the serving soldiers, about how they were having to work there to earn enough money to buy themselves decent equipment, while the MPs could find public money to buy themselves all sorts of extravagances, only added to the feeling that the public should know what was going on.
“That helped tip the balance in the decision over whether I should or should not leak the expenses data.”
His account appears in No Expenses Spared, a book which is published today and discloses the full story of what Gordon Brown described as “the biggest Parliamentary scandal for two centuries”.
Service personnel and their families are forced to stay in squalid accommodation while MPs have used their expenses to live in style.
As The Daily Telegraph disclosed, politicians have exploited the second homes allowance to refurbish houses at the taxpayer’s expense, buy designer furniture and pay off mortgages.
Many “flipped” the designation of their second homes from their Westminster flats to their constituency bases, allowing them to do up both for nothing. Others have rented or sold their properties at a profit after using public money to refurbish them.
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, mounted a direct attack on the Government over the invasion and occupation of Iraq when he used a national memorial service commemorating the servicemen killed in the conflict to accuse Tony Blair and his ministers of failing to “measure the price” of military action.
Delivering his address in St Paul’s Cathedral before a congregation including the Queen, Gordon Brown and Mr Blair himself, the spiritual head of the Church of England accused the former prime minister of indulging in rhetoric before the 2003 invasion, while leaving ordinary servicemen and women to pick up the pieces in a campaign which went on to last six years and claim 179 British lives.
”When such conflict appeared on the horizon, there were those among both policy-makers and commentators who were able to talk about it without really measuring the price,” he said.
The Territorial Army has been told to stop training for six months to save £20m amid intense pressure on Government budgets.
Drill-hall instruction, weekend exercises and all other training associated with the TA are set to stop temporarily.
The move is likely to raise fears that operations in Afghanistan will be hit, as hundreds of ”weekend warriors” serve in the troubled country.
However, the Ministry of Defence insisted there would be no impact, because TA soldiers train with their regular army counterparts before deployment to Helmand province.
The size of the TA has fallen rapidly since Labour came to power, from more than 57,000 to a trained strength of around 19,000.
In 2003, 9,500 reservists, the majority from the TA, were mobilised to take part in Operation Telic, the campaign in Iraq. About 1,200 members of the TA continue to be deployed annually on tours of duty.
An MoD spokesman said: ”These are challenging times and like all Government departments, we have to live within our means.
Yet the Foreign Office has given £12 million to Third World farmers, £3 million to Indonesia and £2 million to 150,000 Yemeni refugees. Clearly, the lives of British soldiers are not worth as much as farmers in the Third World, according to the Government.
ABOVE: the inevitable outcome of CHRONIC UNDERFUNDING in political adventures enforced by criminals, degenerates, thieves, war-criminals, liars…. in government.
WHY IS THE BRITISH ARMY SUPPORTING POLITICIANS WHO ARE EVIDENTLY GUILTY OF TREATING THE ARMED FORCES WITH UTTER CONTEMPT? THAT IS NOT WHAT SOLDIERS SIGNED UP FOR.
The pay and perks enjoyed by MPs throw into sharp relief the austerity of a life in the Armed Forces.
MPs’ starting salaries are four times that of soldiers. While new members are paid £64,766 a year, the lowest paid private in the Army must make do on £16,680.
Unlike their American counterparts, troops fighting in Afghanistan must pay income tax on their earnings.
They must also pay tax on a £15,000 loyalty bonus given to those who sign up for another five years after four years’ service. They also pay thousands of pounds a year in rent while living in Armed Forces accommodation.
By contrast, last year MPs were entitled to claim £24,006 in second home allowances tax-free.
Until recent changes to the system, MPs could spend £400 per month of this allowance on food, including a range of subsidised meals and drinks around Westminster.
Soldiers on the front line are given a ration pack containing freeze-dried curries, biscuits and other basic fare.
A parliamentary answer in 2007 disclosed that the daily food budget per British soldier in Iraq was just £2.49.
Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, has been accused of wasting £6 million on a research project that failed to evaluate anything.
Mr Ainsworth agreed to the £6 million evaluation of a drugs prevention programme in schools when he was a Home Office minister in 2002. There were claims last night he had been warned that the report may be unable to draw “any conclusions”.
The Home Office was piloting a new system of drugs education based on an American model called Star where parents, local media and other agencies would work in secondary schools in England.
Before the scheme began however, the Home Office had been warned that the effectiveness of the project “is not supported by published evidence” while the effects were “much more modest than those claimed”.
While he wastes £6 million, soldiers, your comrades are dying in illegal wars due to underfunding and substandard equipment. Some “Defence Secretary”. Time to act? Would it not be better to replace him with a Major, or at least someone who had experience and inside knowledge of the British Army?
Ever since the invasion of Iraq the Ministry of Defence has faced accusations that it has failed to properly equip British troops on the front line.
A shortage of body armour became evident within days of troops entering Iraq in 2003. Sgt Steven Roberts died in March that year after the lack of protective vests prompted him to lend his to a colleague.
The complaints about equipment range from the quality of sunglasses to a lack of helicopters and safe vehicles on the ground. Soldiers said that even their boots were melting in the desert heat.