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December 14, 2009


Marjorie Baylis

Am I the only one who thinks Gordon goes to be with 'our boys' when he wants to up the public perception of him? I find these visits cynical and totally about party political gain. I don't believe he has any empathy with the Armed Forces. This is all about Gordon Brown and nothing to do with what the Armed Forces need and want.

The Huntsman

I hope everyone noticed how the BBC slyly invited comparison of Brown with Churchill as the first PM to stay overnight 'in theatre since the second world war'.

For a brief reminder of Churchill's last such visit -when he came within 300 yards of a German artillery bombardment - see http://tinyurl.com/ybttw93


The PM visits the troops and it's "cynical and totally about party political gain"
Unlike when Cameron was (campaigning) there a couple of weeks ago and was talking up a pay rise?
He was all but handing out £50 notes to buy votes.

Marjorie Baylis

In response to Seasider. The Conservatives have been talking about the breaking of the military covenent all of this parliament. The Labour government have no understanding of the ethos of the armed forces and their striving for excellence and the rank structure. It goes against the grain with Labour. It goes without saying that for Brown, Afghanistan is just a photo opportunity. He has kept the armed forces without resources for the last 12 years, looking to shave the budget at every opportunity. Please do not come onto this site to defend Brown, you will fail, abjectly.


Respectfully Mrs B.,

Umm, given the massive 'logistics chain' that is required to move the PM (of any colour) to a Britsh base in an unstable area, these vists are pretty much fixed dates.

There is no doubt that although senior journalists make pretty shrewd guesses as to where and when the PM might turn up, they go along with the fiction that these are 'surprise vists'.

If and when DC gets into power, he will make the same Prime Ministerial vists to the troops, (probably around the same sort of times) many of whom will in fact will be undertaking more work to ensure the visit passes off without incident.

And yes, there will be those out there who will then make pointed criticisms of 'your man' partaking in 'cynical PR exercises', as troops are placed and the background is set to provide photographers and TV media with decent shots.

Of course DC's supporters will claim he is doing his bit as a 'statesman' etc.

This is perhaps where you are being a tad unfair on Brown, as I've tried to point out, these are not Browns vists or potentially Camerons visits, they are the vist of the Prime Minister of the UK.

Respectfully and I don't mean to sound rude, I still think you are missing the point....in terms of defence spending.

I have to say, that it strikes me as being extremely unlikely that once DC gets into power, that suddenly there will be a tidal wave of equipment into theatre.

Likewise when it comes to equipment stories....the issue is not the equipment but the work that commanders in theatre want to do with it.

For example, the new Warthogs being built to give the troops moer firepower still won't be fully deployed until well into next summer and then will be rolled out over time.

Hence my comment regarding DC and a 'tidal wave of new equipment'.

And in any case the problem will still be that the Afghan National Army (ANA) will be tied to a very insure road network as they use basically Ford Pick-Ups, so in future joint-ops (as laid out by Gen. McCrystal), our troops will have to roll alongside them (giving up the advantage of off road capability increasing the risk from IEDs)...

...or go off road thus leaving the ANA to take the hits (not too clever when it comes to helping the ANA take on the insurgents).

I'm not saying GB is a good PM, far from it, but rather that the same bucket of s--t that Brown is dealing with, will be the same bucket of s--t that DC will have to face.

And given the nature of operations in Afghanistan (and remember we're a junior partner), DC will be facing the same sort of issues and given the expertise he has surrounded himself with....

....will generate pretty much the same sort of solutions that the current mob are doing.

And yes, every equipment shortage, every military error and sadly every death or injury will be laid at DC's door if somehow the military haven't got what they want.

Never mind that on occasion, things could and should have been done better and no amount of political control direct from No.10 could have made any change.......


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