Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Fancy a Wee Bit Extra Cash?

Fancy a wee bit extra cash? You must do or you wouldn't be reading this.

It's rather easy really - join the military, spend six months out in the ravages of Afghanistan fighting for your life everyday and you too will receive £2,400 if you manage home alive.

David Cameron promises to increase this 'bonus' to £4,800 if he is elected as Prime Minister.
A generous gesture some may say and I'm sure it will be welcomed in military circles but wouldn't it be more appropriate if our troops' salaries were increased? As David Cameron states: "The pay they get for what they do is relatively low. We want to do more to make sure our forces have a better deal."

Another quote given by him during his recent tour of Helmand:

''I think it is very important not to send mixed messages. Instead let's say we're here to train up the Afghan National Army and Police and as soon as the job is done we can bring our troops home. But don't let's set artificial timetables.''

What does he mean by 'let's say'? Has a little touch of propaganda about it don't you think? One remark does have a ring of truth about it and that is we must not set artificial timetables. We must not give hope to families that their loved ones will be home on a specific date then follow that with multiple delays. They have enough stress in their lives these days.

Yesterday morning I was delighted to read this. Well done Mr Cameron - a master stroke. If I lived in Beckenham I'd be voting for Col. Bob without hesitation.


Hammer said...

There isn't any way to put this tastefully unfortunately, but £4,800 seems like a pittance when so many are coming back paralysed, horribly scarred or missing limbs. Images such as the one which the Guardian ran recently, of a large group of heavily wounded soldiers watching their colleagues in a memorial parade illustrates the horrific reality of war far better then any statistic can.
Add to this the awful conditions that many squaddies are left in following demob and the fact that more then a few end up on the streets, addicted to one thing or an other or just traumatised and untreated and any appeal the extra £2k has soon vanishes.

It seems like we have entered a Veitnam-like situation, where no-one is sure how to move forward successfully or get out.

subrosa said...

The don't get £4,800 yet Hammer, only £2,400. I would say you're not far off the mark about this being a Veitnam situation. Only time will tell of course, the months and years will throw up the problems and most folk will want to ignore them.

Oldrightie said...

I'm with Hammer on The Vietnam statement. I also consider we would be far better off with a Cameron elected PM than the excuse for a human being we have at present.
As for soldiers pay. Bring them home and pay them 10% of the savings. Oh, silly me, The Maxim gun syndrome would be deprived of cash.

Hammer said...

Sorry Subrosa, I should have worded that better. I was meaning to suggest that even if increased, the payment would remain a pittance given the risks. The sum which they receive at present is diabolical, not least when you consider that while working as a street-sweep, I earned more (both per hour and per annum) then troops in the field.

subrosa said...

Morning OR. Yes Dave may be better but unfortunately Brown has done so much damage with his ignorance and inability to see the troops as anything more than a photo opportunity, that it will take some considerable time for the slightest trust to be re-established.

subrosa said...

Hey Hammer, that's ok, I kind of thought you meant it that way. It's a disgrace the amount 'rewarded' when you consider the bonuses going on inside government departments.

Clarinda said...

By stating "Let's say" - I took Mr Cameron to mean that the UK government should clearly state our purpose in Afghanistan to train its army etc. instead of the 'keeping our streets safe' wheeze Mr Brown insists upon. Perhaps I'm rather too hopeful in expecting "transparency" which I prefer to call - honesty?

There must be figures somewhere telling us how much it costs, over and above military salaries, to sustain this Afghan war per member of our armed forces - which would put the promised (!) £5000 into perspective.

"Lest I keep my complacent way, I must remember out there a person died for me today. As long as there must be war, I ask and I must answer - was I worth dying for?"
Eleanor Roosevelt

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