Which hand is the money in?

In her now infamous 'phone call with Gordon Brown, Jacqui Janes repeatedly stated that her son had died because of the lack of the equipment necessary to transport him from the battlefield for treatment.

Lack of equipment. Arising from lack of fucking investment.

Aviation lawyer Charles Haddon-Cave QC, asked to carry out an independent review of the Nimrod incident, concluded last month that the accident had been preventable and safety "was sacrificed for cost-cutting" within the MoD.

Cost cutting.

And, although he - as ever - caved in and U-turned eventually, Gordon Brown tried to save 20 million pounds by making savage cuts to the Territorial Army's budgets.

Savage cuts.

Isn't a theme beginning to emerge here? Oh yes, it is.

Gordon Brown and his woefully inept colleague Bob 'my word, I'm incompetent' Ainsworth clearly don't give a shit about the armed forces.

Even while the war in Afghanistan rumbles pointlessly on, Cabinet ministers meet behind closed doors to decide what can be cut next. Where can a few more pounds can be gouged? What else can 'our boys' be denied to leave more money for .. for ... well anything else really.

And, in spite of mounting public anger, in spite of the body count ticking inexorably upwards, in spite of us losing more troops this year than any year since the Falklands, Gordon is not going to let go of a single penny more. Not a penny.

Except of course, when it comes to the boys back home. Those brave, heroic men (and women, of course, and women) who selflessly push pens for the MoD. Sometimes spending hours looking at the same spreadsheet. Sometimes being forced to drink coffee that really isn't quite warm enough.

Who thinks of them, the unsung heroes?

Well, the fucking government do, for one.

These public sector chappies must be looked after. And looked after they are. Why, so far this year, they've been rewarded with more than £47 million in bonuses. £47 fucking million. What the fuck?

What in the name of bearded Jesus have these people done to deserve being paid at all, let alone being showered with bonuses like a wunch of bankers?

These are the people whose job it is to fight to cut compensation to soldiers wounded in Afghanistan. Even if those soldiers were wounded for want of vital equipment that these very same people denied them.

These are the people who, even when equipment and investment is not denied, are so fucking spectacularly inept that they spend most of their time gazing in dumbstruck wonder at the latest massive cost overruns and endless delays.

Paying them any kind of bonus, is just yet another clear 'fuck you' from Labour to the world. 'Fuck you - we don't care what you think'. 'We're big, you're small, we're right, you're wrong'.

Gordon Brown had better keep those troops in Afghanistan a lot longer. Perhaps until he's lost the election. And retired to become a teacher. And emigrated.

Becasue if they come back here, and see this, and see him gurning away in the House of Commons, lying about why he's cut their budgets, and boasting about massive investment in the public sector, then they're going to be pretty fucking angry.

And, Gordon, you don't want to make people like that angry.



Dippyness. said...

You must remember...Labour managed to cut employment by trebling the amount of bureaucrats. Now we can't have all these going back to being jobless can we?
Lets be honest. Getting rid of a some of our young men & women via a nice little war, will keep those shits in a job!!

Captain Haddock said...

Spot on, as usual CF ..

Talking of McSnot going .. my best advice to him would be .. Make a booking with Pickford's now, because they're going to be rather busy in the early summer ..

Oh and choose a country to go and live in which doesn't have an extradition treaty with UK .. because an awful lot of people want to see you publicly crucified (literally) ..

Anonymous said...

What you forget CF is how this salaries/bonuses are set up. There is a basic salary level, and boy is it basic with the bonus stick to be used by management. As in, "if you don't perform well, you won't get your bonus"

You see, the government has been in the thrall of management consultants like Price Whorehouse Croupiers who will rake in millions in order to implement convoluted pay structures that haven't a hope in hell of being implemented fairly or wisely. Instead we have this ludicrous system of so called Performance Related Pay.

Your anger is rightly directed at the PM and his cabinet (although it's more of a derelict kitchen cupboard now) who allow HR managers free rein in civil service departments blindly and blithely following every fuckwit consultant's recommendation.

It's not restricted to the civil service, any company that has an HR (Human Remains) department suffers the same malaise.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the answer is not to increase the amount of money being spent on defense and simply stop blowing it on vanity projects like the various eurofighter tranches and so on?

Captain Haddock said...

Anon @ 1123 ..

Perhaps an even better idea would be to stop spending on ego-boosting & "look at me, aren't I compassionate, with other people's money" ? Foreign Aid hand-outs and start spending that money on the equipment our Troops so desperately need to do the job which the government sent them to do, with a realistic chance of surviving ..

No-one in their right mind would ask a Tree-surgeon to lop a dangerous branch off a tree .. and then deny him the use of the proper tools ..

Oh .. but I'm forgetting .. Mc Snot isn't in his "right mind", is he ??

Jill said...

If we don't send our own people to illegal (Iraq) and highly questionable (Afghanistan) wars in the first place, then the army wouldn't be underfunded.

I'm nonplussed as to how civil servants get bonuses though! How erm... odd.

William said...

"I'm nonplussed as to how civil servants get bonuses though! How erm... odd."

When did it start? Please don't tell me it happens in local government too.

Anonymous said...

"What in the name of bearded Jesus have these people done to deserve being paid at all"?

Little story. When I was in Iraq in 2005, everyone wore Enhanced Combat Body Armour. ECBA was designed to protect soldiers fighting the Red Horde in West Germany, and was less than ideal against roadside bombs and the like.

The (MoD CS) Scientific Advisor collected a lot of data, and pushed through the design of new body armour: the Osprey that is now current issue. But because that would take time for design, production, troop trials, and issue, they also did a rush job on "Improved" Combat Body Armour with neck and arm protection as a quick fix for top-cover sentries and the like. The first sets arrived in Iraq in July of 2005.

Just before I left theatre that August, a casualty was treated at the hospital in Shaibah. A roadside bomb had blown a chunk out of his face and mauled an arm... and put big lumps of metal into his ICBA, including his neck. If he'd been wearing the old-pattern issue armour he'd have died. Instead he lived and made a full recovery.

Did that SciAd earn a bonus?

By how much should his pay be cut for his greedy, selfish actions in trying (and succeeding) to improve the personal protective equipment available to troops? After all, he used a spreadsheet to collect and analyse the data. And he probably drank coffee while he was working on it. Damn that lazy civil servant!

Get a grip, get a clue, get a life. Or get lost.

Constantly Furious said...

So one guy did that? Or a small group? Good. He/They deserve a promotion, and a good bonus.

But should all 85,000 civil servants (one for every two active armed forces personnel) also get bonuses?

Does that doubtless excellent piece of work justify the £287 fucking million paid out in bonuses since 2003? That's a lot of body armour, eh?

Some doctors saved my daughter's life in 1994. Should we pay millions in bonuses to the whole NHS, rather than spending it on medicines?

Perhaps you think we should.


Captain Haddock said...

"If we don't send our own people to illegal (Iraq) and highly questionable (Afghanistan) wars in the first place, then the army wouldn't be underfunded"

Just a thought which might be worth pausing for ..

It was Socialist and specifically ZaNuLiebore politicians who committed British Forces to both these wars .. and who insist on keeping them there ...

Doubting Richard said...

If you look on the Army Rumour Service website Gordon Brown is detested, absolutely reviled. Tony Blair was not popular with the military (I was in the Navy in 1997), but this is an altogether deeper loathing. Lack of funding given commitments is one reason.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 15:03

"Did that SciAd earn a bonus?"

More to the point, what was the job the SciAd was paid to do? It would seem that they just did their job properly, and that's what we should expect from people paid out of the public purse.

Anonymous said...

As a uniformed member of the Armed Forces who has been a line manager for MOD civil servants of industrial grades (Skill Zones) and the low end of the admin grades (E2, E1), hopefully I can shed a little light on the civil servant bonus structure.

At these grades, 'bonus' is a misleading term. It is a way of paying the lower grades a workable wage without attracting the associated pension liability. Readers can decide for themselves on the ethics of this approach. The bonus is in 2 tiers, the lower of which is paid unless the civil servant is receiving disciplinary action. The higher is highly competitive and is intended reward those who perform at a level which exceeds their objectives for the year.

I find the idea of a bonus for doing your job ridiculous (and offensive when it is paid for from my taxes), but the civil service bonuses described above do not fall into this category.

Matthew Hopkins said...

"Did that SciAd earn a bonus?"

WTF? So some scientist came up with a process during research - which they were paid to do. Someone commissioned the research - which they were paid to do, someone oversaw the research - which they were paid to do, and some company made the stuff and made a healthy profit I'm willing to bet.

None of which risked being the poor fucker on the road in Iraq on barely above minimum wage. Yet I'm willing to bet their perks and bonuses pissed all over the poor sod whose in therapy for a good portion of his life.

Did they get it through massively under budget? well ahead of schedule? Vastly improved on the specs they were required to meet anyway? These are the sort of things bonuses should be for. Not just a cack-handed way of shovelling more cash in addition to wages.

And before you try to make your opinion more worthy than anyone else by the whole "when I was....little story" shit. You're not the only one to serve. Most of us don't use it to bolster weak arguments though.

Fucking REMFs. They fucked the front line since the year dot. Just they've never quite had so much support from a forces-hating government.

subrosa said...

Did that SciAd earn a bonus?

I don't know if many realise there is a large research department within the MoD which deals with security matters such as this. It is composed of military and civilian staff, all being experts in their various fields - scientists, engineers etc.

The development of the Osprey would have been a joint venture between military, civil servants and private business (who would be the end product producers).

No single person would be responsible for the development anymore than one person is responsible for continually developing other safety items.

Should anyone be paid bonuses? In my opinion no.

But it's a different ball game for private business. If the private business was clever, they may well have manipulated something into their terms and conditions to the effect :'If delivery is before the stated date there will be the sum of £x per item paid to x Co Ltd'.