Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why Is The Government Playing With The TA?

The Associated Press has reported that the UK Territorial Army has been told to stop training for six months in an effort to save £20m.

This is like a flash scene in a montage of some disaster movie; what the hell does Gordon Brown and the idiot Ainsworth think they are doing?? Yet another glorious Labour Government WTF moment.

The TA perform a vital role and are a crucial pillar in our defence structure. Volunteers have been giving their time and their lives for hundreds of years for the purpose of defending the British Isles and supporting the regular armed forces. It is nothing short of dangerous to pull training and money from the TA.

Read from their own website how the TA was affected by the 1998 The Strategic Defence Review:

In 1998 the Labour Government announced what it called the 'Strategic Defence Review', which would make the Army more relevant and effective in meeting the demands of the post-Cold War era and the 21st century.The Territorial Army was the hardest-hit and within it, the infantry suffered most with 87 companies in 33 battalions reducing to 67 companies in 15 battalions. While the measures allowed for at least one company from each of the 33 battalions to survive to continue their regiments' identities, the result was that thousands of experienced and loyal personnel had their service terminated.

This is not an overly inflated Government bureaucracy that has been swollen by the excesses of socialist rule. The TA has already been heavily scaled down.  These are the people who live regular lives next to you and me but keep aside time to keep themselves trained and to be ready at little notice to throw themselves into the firing line.  Look at how heavily drawn upon the TA has been already in the Iraq war and in Afghanistan.  It is nothing short of disgraceful that they be told not to train to save money; it is an admission of failure from Labour.

If Labour cannot manage the Public Purse responsibly they should call the election NOW.


Why has it been announced today? It's a Saturday so was this shifted out in the weekend news whilst commentators recover from three weeks of political conference hopping? I do hope this makes it to wider attention.

There is a memorial service taking place in Leeds today to remember those who have died in the Iraq war. I find it exceptionally distasteful to make military reduction announcements on the same day as remembrance.

Was this debated in Parliament? I would wager it hasn't. And why not? Who reading this thinks that this is a decision that should be made in isolation from our elected representatives?

Will the training be re-instated? The failure to debate this has left me and others with simple press statements that do not address what is obviously an admission that the Government does not have enough money to support our armed forces. Our Military answers to Civilian Government, who have we elected that was a part of this decision and who is safe guarding our defences?

Why is there no provision under our laws to prevent a Government that is likely to be an out-going one to weaken our defence structure in it's last months of governing? This is something we should think about as we have been dragged into the era of supranational world governance.

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