Sunday, 28 March 2010

More Humiliation for Military Top Brass

Gordon Brown must lie awake at nights wondering how to further humiliate our armed forces.

For some time now all armed forces personnel have had to travel second class, with the exception of the top brass who had the privilege of travelling first class.

Recently Gordon Brown insisted that our most senior military officers must travel second class along with all other ranks. According to Kevan Jones, a junior defence minister, the decision "is not intended to humiliate anyone. It is about getting value for money."

This really is a shameful state of affairs especially when MPs are still entitled to first class train travel and there are no plans to restrict first class travel for government ministers. There are very good reasons why senior officers should travel first class, not least is the jet lag factor on long haul journeys. Of course no one can avoid jet lag, but a comfortable journey goes quite a way to reducing the effects.

I know of no other western country which treats their military in this manner.

Did Gordon Brown recently travel to Afghanistan second class? I very much doubt it.

Denis MacShane, the Labour MP and a former foreign ministers said, "Surely there are limits to how much humiliation we impose on senior officers." It doesn't seem so.

MacShane recently sat next to a major-general from the Irish Guards on a packed train. He was shocked the officer and his colleagues were crammed into the compartment.

"I do not mind how MPs travel or whom they meet on the train, but it is a rum show when a major-general from the Irish Guards has to travel on an off-peak, cheap-day, standard-class return ticket to make modest economies for the military," he said.

Let's hope he told his boss exactly that when he returned to London.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
subrosa said...

I noticed he was involved with that RWG.

Could I ask you to watch your language please.

Jess The Dog said...

Makes it impossible to justify MPs and ministers travelling first class. If the 'security' argument does not apply to senior officers (often with a media profile) then how can it apply to MPs?

CrazyDaisy said...

Cattle 14 hrs to Malaysia coming up and straight into work 3 days graft then 14 hrs back and a full days work, which Im more than happy to do.

I lay the same challenge down to any MP MEP. They too are public servants.

It serves no humiliation SR I won't let them think they have some moral high ground. I can't be bought unlike most of the scum pretending to be "Honourable" Members. No honour amongst thieves.


Apogee said...

I hope that the Tory's will have the brainpower to change this to something considerably more sensible when in government. If the whole grubby lot of what passes for the current government were flown to Afganistan and back on their next trip in the back "seats" of a Hercules Transport,they would perhaps really "learn a lesson" for the first time in their lives why travel should be comfortable.

subrosa said...

It does make it impossible but it's been going on for a while I think Jess.

subrosa said...

That's not unusual for the military though is it CD? I know someone cattle class to Oz then straight into an international conference to speak on behalf of Britain. They didn't even have time to go to their accommodation and have a shower.

Back to UK next day and straight to work.

Yes CD I perhaps should have used the word insult. The person who is humiliated is Gordon Brown.

subrosa said...

The RAF would certainly give them the flight of their lives Apogee.

Witterings From Witney said...

I am slightly amazed at the shock being shown in the comments, SR. What can one expect from a Socialist regime? Their attitude has always been that while the people may have to 'make and mend' they, the rulers, will always have the best of everything at the people's expense - be that homes, travel, food, clothes.

And people wonder why I want the 'wall and AK47' solution for the lot of them - with one or two exceptions, that is?


Jess The Dog said...

It was 'cattle class' for me on government service, including Virgin Atlantic....except for Eurostar, where we travelled business class, because of the need for flexible tickets. Having a glass of champers on arrival made us feel as grand as MPs!!

subrosa said...

Shampoo on arrival Jess? Well I never. No wonder all MEPs are half daft. :) Except where their expenses are concerned of course.

subrosa said...

Isn't it more pronounced these days though WFW? The first time it really struck me was when Gordon Brown said he didn't drive and had no intention of doing so. That was some years ago now and I doubt if he would get a licence these days because of his sight problem.

Then I wondered how he got around and taxis etc became prominent (all paid for by unions initially then by his MPs expenses).

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

I don't mind Ministers and MPs travelling first class.

As long as its in a rocket aimed at exploring the black holes of the galaxy in order for them to handle better the black holes they have such a propensity to create on earth.

Mrs Rigby said...

I've written about the same thing earlier today Subrosa.

The thing that made me smile is the hours spent in committee working out these schemes intended to 'humiliate' Generals and so on.

It's all a bit daft really, when you think about it.

Dean MacKinnon-Thomson said...

Brown would further expose our troopers to harm by risking security documents being revealed..all so he can further undermine the leadership of our brilliant armed forces!!!


You really could not make this hideous, insulting crap UP!!!

Deanthe[very angry]tory

subrosa said...

Dean I've just been watching Air Hospital which I recorded from Channel 4 on Thursday. This makes me even more angry.

subrosa said...

Are space shuttles first class RA? Each MP should spend a shift with the C17s and the CCAST crews, then they'll experience life as a seriously injured soldier or a life saving medic.

subrosa said...

Sorry Mrs R, I wasn't duplicating, I wrote this very early this morning.

It's not really daft, it's more serious than that. We have senior military personnel speaking on behalf of Britain at international conferences and they're absolutely knackered because they've had to travel half way round the world second class and had 2 little children screaming most of the flight.

Then of course these military folk feel it's their problem they're exhausted and can't perform as well as they want.

It's actual cruelty from government. I doubt many taxpayers would object to senior military travelling first class.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Ah dear Rosa - the whole idea of the black hole survey was for them not to come back.

If you'll excuse the pun - shuttle them off this mortal coil.

Yes I saw the programme. I have nothing but praise for the medics and their expertise, but that doesn't vindicate the costs either in pain, disability or, in a very poor last, the budgets.

Despicable politics by venal politicians. Get them out and the troops out. (preferably the troops first.)

subrosa said...

Ah RA, I apologise but in my imagination I didn't think any one of them would be capable of evening peeing in space. Thus they would have self-exploded.

Troops first of course. Who could argue that?

Mrs Rigby said...

Other people have covered this too, nothing in the blogosphere is duplicating, especially as we all have a slightly different take. It's much better than msm.

I ought to try to clarify my "daft", because I know some people won't read my blog.

The military is currently taking on the Taliban, because the government wants them to. Why does government think the military will be cowed by what are, ultimately, petty political squabbles that actually demean government more than those they are aimed at.

The military has full support of the public. All those bikers at Wootton Bassett - (not properly covered by msm) - people see the injustices.

I know travelling can be, and is very tiring, but the military hold the moral high ground here - mainly because nobody has complained, unlike the various MPs who have bleated about a reduction in their personal expenditure.

Related Posts with Thumbnails