ulster-orange-order-democratic-unionist-party-the-tory-party-scotlands-future-in-the-uk-heed-the-warning-part-2/

 

 

 

 

 

This is What the Orange Order and DUP Would Bring to Scottish Politics

 

 

 

1. Same sex marriage

The Party opposes same sex marriage repeatedly vetoing any change in the law. Jim Wells, (MLA) said “Peter will never marry Paul in Northern Ireland”.

 

 

 

2. LBGT Rights

There is no enthusiasim for supporting the LBGT community, indeed any public display of gay rights is attacked by DUP ministers as being distasteful and offensive in the extreme.

 

 

 

3. Abortion

The Party policy on abortion are well publicised. Currently, women can only access an abortion in Northern Ireland if their life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to their

physical or mental health. Rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities are not circumstances in which abortion can be performed legally.

In a challenge against the abortion law in Northern Ireland the UK’s Supreme Court justices strongly expressed their opinion that the current laws are incompatible with article 8 of the

European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) – the right for respect for private and family life. The judgement further stated that the present law “clearly needs radical reconsideration” and  that the opinion of the court – while not legally binding – “cannot safely be ignored”.

 

 

 

4. Death Penalty

Party members, officials and Ministers repeatedly call for the return of the death penalty.

 

 

 

5. Climate Change

The Party position regarding climate change is best summarised by DUP Environment Minister, Sammy Wilson who banned climate change adverts from television stating “it is an insidious green propaganda con and government finance will not be used to promote it”.

 

 

 

6. Brexit

The Party campaigned hard for Brexit, but without success when 56 per cent of people in Northern Ireland voted to remain, and is supporting a so-called “softer Brexit”.

This would involve a free trade and customs agreement with the EU, and arrangements to ensure people, trades and services could move around easily.

Whilst most agree there must not be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the DUP does not want its customs controls moved to Great Britain as a result.

 

 

 

7. Cash for Ash Scandal

The scandal centres on a failed renewable energy scheme that overspent £700 million.

Implementation of the scheme was the responsibility of Arlene Foster, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment who has been accused of a conscious neglect of duty through failing to introduce proper cost controls, allowing a massive overspend in the scheme costs.

Foster refused to resign or stand aside when a whistleblower revealed the extent of the financial scam in November 2017.

Her intransigence forced the resignation of Martin McGuniess, Deputy First Minister triggering the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly. As at June 2018 the Assembly is still not operating.

 

 

 

 

8. Electoral Boundary Changes

When the Northern Ireland state was created in 1921, it was deliberately gerrymandered in order to guarantee a perpetual unionist majority in the Assembly.

But significant gains by nationalist supporting Sinn Fein and SDLP at the 2017 General Election created panic within the Orange Order/DUP who saw their guaranteed numerical supremacy fail for the first time since 1921.

The subsequent commitment by the DUP to keep the Tory government in power at Westminster came with many caveats, one of which was a return to the boundary gerrymandering days of the Orange Order bringing with it a strengthening of the “Protestant Ascendency” in Ulster.

The DUP submitted proposals outlining how the new boundary map would maximise the number of DUP elected representatives and minimise the number of nationalists by manipulating electoral boundaries.

Just under six months after signing the deal with the Tory Party the Boundary Commission brought forward revised proposals which, if implemented would deny voting representation to thousands of nationalist voters leaving a number of constituencies without any nationalist representative whatsoever at Assembly level. An appalling denial of equal representation.

In response to heavy criticism from nationalist supporters and the press it was eventually disclosed that the initial proposals had been radically altered following a request from the DUP.

Namely the implementation of the controversial “Rule Seven” more commonly known as the “gerrymander rule”.

The rule, only permissable in the North of Ireland gives the Boundary Commission scope to go beyond the usual electorate quotas in any constituency favouring specific communities.

And it did so with a vengence, guaranteeing the return of a perpetual unionist majority.!!!!

Angry nationalist supporters charge that the Boundary Commission has yielded to illegal political interference and that the unjustified changes need to be overturned. Failure to do so might result in civil strife in Northern Ireland. A return to the bad old days of the past.

 

 

 

9. The 2015 Hung Parliament Tory and DUP Confidence and Supply Agreement

A secret deal, to be actioned in the event of a hung Parliament following the 2015 general election, was drawn up between Cameron and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

The Tories won with a slim majority. The deal was shelved but brought forward again in 2017 following the loss of its majority by the Tory government.

The document revealed the broad thrust of proposals which Theresa May unveiled as the two parties met to thrash out a deal which would see the Northern Irish Unionist party prop up a minority Conservative government.

The draft agreement stated that “there would be no side deals with the Republicans, which would hinder the Tories from acting as an intermediary for the two sides of Northern Irish politics.”

DUP MPs would vote with the Government on all matters except welfare reforms, devolved issues and matters relating only to Northern Ireland and will support the Government in any no-confidence motion for as long as the “Statement of Principles” is in force.

In return for the support, the Government will increase funding for the armed forces.

On military spending, the agreement stated “The DUP and the Conservative Party agree that the UK’s standing in the world is of paramount significance.

The DUP will accordingly support the Government’s determination to maintain the scope and reach of our diplomatic effort, the scale and effectiveness of our international aid programme (including in relation to conflict resolution and stabilisation) and the strength of our national defence.

The Government will maintain the current size of the regular armed services, increase the reserves to 30,000 and maintain the real value of the capital defence equipment programme, with the ambition of holding defence sending (including spending on cyber and counter-terrorism) at 3 per cent of GDP.”

The document described several ways in which the Conservatives would give financial support to Northern Ireland in return for the DUP’s backing including £1 billion new money.

The Government agreed to “examine adjustments to the Corporate Tax regime in Northern Ireland” and to “discuss with the DUP other tax changes that could encourage economic growth in Northern Ireland”.

The Tories pledged to “Work with the DUP to maintain Northern Ireland’s 100 per cent regional aid status, to reduce electricity costs in Northern Ireland and to ensure that both Innovate UK and the British Business Bank focused more heavily on Northern Ireland.”

The Conservatives further pledged to “enhance” foreign office support for foreign direct investment into Northern Ireland and “ensure that Northern Ireland can receive a fair share both of national government contracts and of infrastructure investments”.

DUP Party Leader, Arlene Foster, who is not a Westminster MP said: “The DUP is pro-Brexit, but favours a “soft” exit in part because of the border with the Republic of Ireland and customs laws.

We are going into these talks with the national interest at heart. The Union, as I said before, is our guiding star. We believe in the Union, we believe in national stable government, and that will be at the forefront of our mind”.

Strengthening the union would be paramount and in this respect the DUP could bring forward proposals for new definition of a “victim” which excludes perpetrators killed or injured during violent acts in the Troubles.

The DUP supports a government recommendation for a statute of limitations when it comes to prosecuting security force members who served during the conflict.

Critics have raised concerns about whether the Government can maintain a neutral stance between Republicans and Unionists, whose power-sharing arrangement in the Northern Ireland Assembly recently broke down, while remaining reliant on the DUP to get its legislation through Parliament.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ulster-Orange Order- Democratic Unionist Party – The Tory Party – Scotland’s Future in the UK – Heed the Warning Part 1

 

 

 

 

2007: Scandal and abuse of power – Buzzwords summarising the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP in Northern Ireland

In 2005 the DUP became the largest unionist party in Northern Ireland, replacing the the Ulster Unionists who had dominated the unionist vote since the partition of Ireland.

Introducing a new approach and ignoring a range of policy differences Ian Paisley accepted a need for change and entered into a power sharing agreement with Sinn Fein.

Minded by an ever growing catholic population the DUP agenda was to woo nationalists over to the unionist cause through efficient, tolerant and fair minded governance and with the knowledge that the political fortunes of Sinn Fein in Dublin had taken a downturn in recent years.

Progressive governance was established over the first year, primarily due to the pragmatisim of Ian Paisley (snr) and Martin McGuiness.

Indeed the rapour between the two was so evident in their joint public briefings that many supporters who had supported the DUP and Paisley 40 years of protests were flabbergasted that as Northern Ireland’s first minister he could enjoy a close friendship with Sinn Fein’s, Martin McGuinness. The Press even gave them the title the “Chuckle Brothers”.

 

 

 

2008: Paisley Forced Out of Office

The marriage did not last for long. Hard line Unionists in the DUP led by Nigel Dodds (MP) and the Party deputy leader Peter Robinson plotted against Paisley and forced his resignation only a year after the new government took up office.

His political career at an end a failing Paisley took his seat in the House of Lords in 2010, to be formally known as Lord Bannside of North Antrim. He died in September 2014, aged 88y.

 

 

 

 

2008: Peter Robinson Appointed Leader of the DUP and Northern Ireland First Minister

Robinson, who founded the DUP with Ian Paisley, took over the role of DUP Party Leader and First Minister in the Spring of 2008.

But he lacked the political will of Paisley and whilst the power sharing agreement remained in place progressive policies were abandoned and replaced with the sectarian wrangling of the past.

A key part of the power sharing agreement, the transfer of justice and policing powers from London to Belfast was finally concluded in March 2010, the implementation having been obstructed by the DUP on many occasions over points of little consequence.

 

Peter Robinson and wife

 

 

2010: The UK general election

Robinson lost his seat at Westminster in the 2010, UK general election. But was re-elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2011 and retained his position as First Minister in the power-sharing government of Northern Ireland.

The election as expected, was a disaster for the Labour Party but the Tory Party was unable to capitalise on the misfortunes of Labour and the balance of power transferred to the Lib/Dem Party who entered into a formal coalition with the Tory party and provided the government until May 2015.

In the period 2010-2015 an increasingly right wing Tory Party started to make overtures to the DUP in the belief that strengthened links would be beneficial to both Parties in the long term.

Meanwhile, in Dublin the growth of Sinn Fein in the South and in Northern Ireland was causing headaches for other Irish Parties bringing about fears that a re-unification of Ireland could result in an influx of Sinn Fein and Unionist favouring MP’s warping the politics of Ireland.

 

 

 

2015: DUP abandons the power sharing agreement

In the Autumn of 2015 revelations appeared in the press about the role of a murdered IRA member which suggested that a skeleton structure of the Provisional IRA had remained in place contrary to the “Good Friday” peace accord.

The unproven allegations provided the excuse for Robinson to “step aside” from his position as First Minister in protest.

Due to the quirky rules applicable to the power sharing agreement his resignation did not lead to another Northern Ireland Assembly election.

All DUP ministers at Stormont then “stepped aside” with the exception of a caretaker minister, (Arlene Foster) providing “breathing space” in which inter-party discussions could be convened.

Nationalist and unionist parties, facilited by Westminster advisers met frequently for nearly 3 months eventually bringing forward a document called “A Fresh Start,” the adoption of which would resolve many issues that had arisen from the start of the power sharing agreement.

There was also a commitment from the UK government to provide additional recurring finance to assist the process of welfare reforms which had been rolled out in other parts of the UK.

 

 

 

2016: First Minister Robinson accused of financial mis-management resigned and replaced by Arlene Foster

In January 2016, Robinson, plagued by contoversy in his private life, including allegations of financial mis-management resigned from his position as First Minister just a few months after government had been restored, to be replaced by Arlene Foster, who had served as interim First Minister in times of Robinson’s temporary absences from office.

Foster, subsequently led the DUP to victory in the May 2010 election for the Northern Ireland Assembly, taking 38 seats against Sinn Féin’s 28. Martin McGuinness stayed on as Deputy First Minister.

 

 

 

 

2014 – 2016: DUP abuse of the Irish speaking community

The growing nationalist community in Northern Ireland had been asking for many years for the introduction of an Irish language act so that the language could be saved and its use expanded. It was not considered high priority business and little progress was made.

The matter was cynically  brought to the fore of politics when Gregory Campbell of the DUP mocked the Irish language in Stormont crudely parodying it replacing “go raibh maith agat, Ceann Comhairle” English translation “Thank you very much” with the nonsensical phrase “Curry my yoghurt, can coca coalyer”.

Repeating the jibe at the DUP Party conference, he added “We will never agree to an Irish Language Act at Stormont and we will treat Sinn Fein’s wish list as no more than toilet paper. They better get used to it.”

Adding insult to injury a DUP minister then renamed a fisheries boat, replacing the Irish ‘Banríon Uladh’ title put in place by a Sinn Féin minister, with the English name “Queen of Ulster”.

In a follow up shortly after, attacking Irish speakers the DUP Communities Minister Paul Givan announced the immediate closure of a £50,000 grant scheme which had allowed people from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend Irish lessons. He closed his letter wishing the recipients “Happy Christmas and Happy New Year.”

Irish language activists organised public protests as the political temperature soared and a disillusioned Martin McGuinness pulled the plug on Stormont, forcing a snap election, during which a campaigning Arlene Foster compared the granting of an Irish language act to the “feeding of crocodiles”.

A sad end to an aspiration of the 20 year old Good Friday Agreement which promised “parity of esteem” for British and Irish identities.

Which begs the question “If the future for Northern Ireland does not provide equal support for Unionist and Nationalist traditions what will a morphed future be like? I dred to think!!

 

 

 

 

2017 First Minister, Arlene Foster accused of financial mis-management refuses to stand down

In March 2017 the electorate of Northern Ireland were called to the polling stations, yet again, for an election brought about by the resignation of Martin McGuinness in response to a failure by the DUP to commit to the introduction of an act supporting the use of the Irish language and yet another financial abuse scandal involving Foster and other DUP leaders. Namely:

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scandal

In 2012, Foster, when Minister for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment managed the introduction of the (RHI) scheme, a program that provided financial subsidies to enterprises that generated their heat through renewable sources, such as biomass boilers (fueled primarily by wood pellets).

In February 2016, revelations of widespread abuse of the program were exposed by the press highlighting an overspend of £700 million.

Foster was accused of financial mis-management but refused to stand down from the position of First Minister to allow an independent investigation into the matter.

Martin McGuniess resigned from his position as Deputy First Minister in protest, in January 2017 triggering an early election since the power sharing agreement required the DUP and Sinn Fein to share the executive management of Northern Ireland.

 

 

 

 

2017: Foster tells Sinn Fein to sod off and goes to the electorate

Despite clarion calls for her to resign, Foster led the DUP into the election.

Martin McGuiness, battling a terminal illness, was forced to give up politics and handed over leadership of Sinn Féin to Michelle O’Neill.

Constituency boundaries had been redrawn reducing the seats in the Assembly from 108 to 90.

In the election the DUP gained 28 seats remaining the largest Party, but with only 1000 votes separating them from Sinn Fein.

The unionist UUP gained 10 seats, and the centrist Alliance won eight.

Sinn Fein further increased its Assembly presence with 27 seats and the capture of 12 seats by the SDLP changed the demography of the politics in Northern Ireland since for the first time in history nationalist parties became the largest voting block.

The UK government gave the DUP and Sinn Fein three weeks to consolidate a power sharing government, failing which there would be yet another election or a return of rule by Westminster.

Endless negotiations since then have ended with no agreement in sight.

 

 

 

2017 UK Prime minister calls a General Election for 8 June 2017.

The unexpected general election had been called by the UK Prime Minister, Mrs May who was seeking a mandate for the Tory government “Brexit” negotiations with the European Union.

In the election the Northern Ireland electorate polarised its voting around the DUP, with 10 seats (gaining 2) and Sinn Fein with 7 seats (gaining 3).

 

confidence and supply agreement signing

 

 

2017: General Election – The Westminster perspective

The outcome of the election was a disaster for the Conservatives, who lost their working majority at Westminster.

But, determined to remain in government the Tories turned to the DUP for support pursuing a “confidence and supply” arrangement, through which the DUP’s support on key issues and votes of confidence would give the government 328 votes, two more than required for a majority.

A controversial deal was finalised and signed off at the end of June 2017 and included:

* An allocation of £1 billion extra funding to Northern Ireland in the period 2017-2019.

* A guarantee that there would be no changes to the state pension triple lock ensuring pensions rise by at least 2.5 per cent every year.

* No reduction of winter fuel payments for pensioners.

 

NHS Scotland Funding Debacle – My September 2014 Blog Gave Warning Of A Future Tied to England – Blame Game In Play – Supported by the BBC

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 2014: If you are English and sick you are in trouble

A letter, supported by 95% of Doctors in England, signed off by the leader of the BMA has this week been sent to Mr Cameron warning that the sick, frail and elderly are being failed by Westminster.

The rarely used somewhat politically incorrect intervention by the medical profession advises an urgent need for a major change in direction transferring control of Health and Social Welfare away from private healthcare back to the control of the Nation.

 

A summary of the letter:

“The crisis in health and welfare support services is directly attributable to Westminster’s (Health & Social Services Act) embracing and implementing a programme of rapid ill conceived transfers of services to the private sector.

It is estimated in excess of £11Billion and 35,000 staff, from frontline services has been given over to private healthcare which has not delivered.

This systematic break-up of the National Health Service and welfare support, under-funded by around £30 Billion is becoming dangerously fragmented.

Rationing and removal of some treatments is being ordered by non-medical managers all to the detriment of patient care.

Very soon changes will be, “bedded in” and virtually impossible to reverse effectively providing citizens with very limited healthcare and Welfare support.”

 

 

Comment:

Where applicable the foregoing applies to the Health Service in England, but welfare support is only partially devolved to Scotland and our citizens are suffering the brunt of changes to the delivery of services (controlled by Ian Duncan Smith).

A “no” vote in the independence referendum when coupled with the increasingly likely return of a Conservative Government in 2015 raises the probability that changes in the NHS in England will be transferred to Scotland for early implementation .

This will be achieved through a major reduction in the Scottish “Block Grant” significantly lowering healthcare finance availability forcing the Scottish Government to adopt the same Healthcare profile England.

A “Yes” vote in the independence referendum will allow Scotland’s citizens to decide their own future in terms of healthcare and social welfare support.

I am confident we will turn away from the disastrous systems envisaged by Westminster.

 

 

Comment at 26 Jun 2018: The letter to Cameron from the BMA in England fell on deaf ears.

Wholesale privatisation is progressing rapidly and huge amounts of taxpayers money is being sucked out of the service into the ever expanding pockets of rich corporations and their shareholders.

Unfortunately Scotland voted “no” in the referendum and as I predicted the NHS Scotland “Block Grant” has been markedly reduced bringing with it the scenario of which the BMA Scotland Branch referred to in its very recent “NHS Scotland Armageddon” letter.

As usual the BBC and all other psudeo Scottish media outlets, exempt “The National” are attacking the SNP government when the blame should rightly be applied to the English Treasury.

 

 

Ten Days Before the 2014 Independence Referendum – Polls consistently Showing Yes Vote in Front – But Ruth Davidson Knew Better – The Outcome is Decided – It Will Be 55/45 in Favour of No!!!

 

 

13 September 2015: Tom Gordon, Scottish Political Editor of the Sunday Herald – The Willie Rennie Interview

Listening to Willie Rennie recall the Better Together campaign is like eavesdropping on a therapy session as he wrestles with a half-buried trauma.

The misery simply pours out of him. The No side was “shambolic in its development”, groans the Scottish LibDem leader, its output “dark”, its operations “secretive”, people’s confidence was “crushed” by a lack of information.

Yes, they won in the end, but how they won “didn’t make us feel very good about it”.

And as for the aftermath, David Cameron was “despicable,” he spits. “He did more damage in the general election campaign to the Union than the SNP had done for years.”

So not a barrel of laughs, then. Indeed, while the Yes side now boasts thousands of upbeat losers, Rennie seems the embodiment of that other Scottish tribe, the joyless Unionist victor.

His lowest ebb came on September 7, when a Sunday Times YouGov poll put Yes side ahead for the first time, on 51 per cent – a month earlier No had been 22 points in front.

Rennie, Tory leader Ruth Davidson and Labour’s Johann Lamont had a conference call that afternoon.

The two women were relatively optimistic, but Rennie saw disaster at hand.

“Ruth was very firm. She said we’ll win 55-45 and she was right.

But I don’t think it was 55-45 at that stage. I was in a very dark place. My feeling was that things had moved away from us, and we’d been behind for not just one poll, but for 10 days.

Full article: https://scottishpol.blogspot.com/

 

 

Boris Johnson Avoids Heathrow Runway Vote to Commit More UK Soldiers to the Killing Fields of Afghanistan – But Past Events Do Not Encourage the Deployment. of Our Young Men and Women

 

 

 

 

15 Feb 2008: Poor equipment kills British soldier

The first casualty of Britain’s deployment in Helmand was Captain James Phillipson, who died in June 2006 when rescuing ambushed colleagues.

The ministry of defence admitted he lacked “mission essential equipment”, like night-vision goggles.

Today a coroner damningly concluded that Captain James Phillipson was not killed by enemy bullets, but by the poor equipment he was given.

Spelling out what that meant. He said “They were defeated not by the terrorists but by the lack of basic equipment. To send soldiers into a combat zone without basic equipment is unforgivable, inexcusable and a breach of trust between the soldiers and those who govern them.”

Captain Philippson’s father said “The ministry of defence was starved of cash by the then chancellor, now our miserable parsimonious prime minister. It’s a question of money, and they’ve not spent the money and they’ve risked soldiers’ lives and in this case lost a life.”

He added that they’d been hampered in their fight back, as their heavy machine guns weren’t mounted on their Land Rover, vehicles meant for Belfast and eventually replaced amid the roadside bombs of Iraq or Afghanistan.

Today, another inquest in Wiltshire heard two soldiers in Iraq had asked for more armoured vehicles, but were denied them and later killed by a roadside bomb.

Britain does war on the cheap, one officer said. For example, British troops in Basra, Iraq under regular rocket attack from insurgents, slept in breeze block beds. But the Dutch in Afghanistan slept in mortar-proof portacabins that cost £20,000 each.

In southern Afghanistan, Nato countries differ greatly in how much they spend on operations per soldier.

This past year governments spent vastly differing amounts of finance on operations supporting their forces: (Channel 4 News)

USA: £600,000 each soldier.

Holland: £264,000 each soldier.

Canada: £170,000 each soldier

United Kingdom: £94,615 each soldier.

 

 

 

11 Jul 2009: Gordon Brown backs Afghanistan strategy

Gordon Brown said that Britain’s strategy in Afghanistan is working, despite troops suffering one of their bloodiest days since the conflict began.

It was confirmed yesterday that eight soldiers had died and many more were wounded.

The Ministry of Defence named who of the soldiers who died as Rifleman Daniel Hume, 22, from 4th Battalion The Rifles and Private John Brackpool, 27, who was shot while on sentry duty at a compound just outside Laskkar Gar.

In a letter to the senior MPs on the Commons Liaison Committee, Gordon Brown said the “Operation Panther’s Claw” offensive to clear the Taliban from central Helmand was succeeding despite tragic losses.

Morale remained high and the assessment of commanders on the ground is that the current operations are succeeding in their objectives.

They are having a marked impact on the Taliban in central Helmand and will improve security for the population in the run up to the elections, and will allow longer term work on governance and development to begin.”

The deaths took the toll to fifteen so far this month and the overall total during operations in Afghanistan since 2001 to 184, surpassing the 179 who’ve died in Iraq.

The latest casualties include five British soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Rifles who died yesterday in two separate blasts on the same patrol near Sangin, and another British soldier from the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment who died near Nad-e-Ali.

On Thursday two soldiers, Rifleman Daniel Hume from 4th Battalion, The Rifles and the other from Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment attached to 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, were killed in separate incidents.

Defence Secretary, Bob Ainsworth said people must not forget the sacrifice those killed had made. But, he warned, there would be more deaths to come.

“It is grim news and we’ve got to feel for all of the friends, all of the families of the people who have fallen.

We must never forget the sacrifice they have made. But we equally have got to remember that we are in Afghanistan for a reason. This country is directly threatened by the insurgency that goes on in Afghanistan and we’ve got to be mindful that our troops have made a lot of progress over this period of time.

It is hard fighting, dangerous, difficult terrain and sadly we’ve suffered a number of losses that were taking on the Taliban in a key heartland area.

We are not in the place that we can afford to lose this country yet. It is going to take time and I can not say to people, and I would love to be able to, that we are going to be able to fix this, we are going to be able to win this in the next few weeks or even the next couple of months, it is not going to happen. We’re going to suffer more losses.” (Channell 4 news)

 

16 Jul 2009: Helicopter shortages put soldiers “at risk”

A report by the Commons’ defence select committee said that overseas helicopter capability is being “seriously undermined” by a shortage of medium and heavy lift battlefield crafts and urged the Ministry of Defence to increase the number of helicopters and train more crew as battlefield operations were being inhibited due to lack of air support.

The group of influential MPs said they were “convinced that the lack of helicopters is having adverse consequences for operations today and, in the longer term, will severely impede the ability of the UK armed forces to deploy. Furthermore, we are troubled by the forecast reduction in numbers of helicopters, which will make this worse.”

The criticisms came in a specially-produced report, amid a furious row over military equipment sparked by the deaths of 15 UK service personnel in Afghanistan in just 10 days.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown insisted “it is absolutely clear” that the heavy death toll recently has not been due to a shortage of helicopters.

But, chairman of the defence committee, the Rt Hon James Arbuthnot, said

“It seems to us that operational commanders in the field today are unable to undertake potentially valuable operations because of the lack of helicopters for transportation around the theatre of operations. We are also concerned that operational commanders find they have to use ground transport, when helicopter lift would be preferred, both for the outcome and for the protection of our forces.”

The report also criticised plans to extend the lives of existing Sea King and Puma aircrafts to bridge the gap in capability. It said

“repairing ageing helicopters at considerable cost is not the best option operationally or in terms of public money and it is no substitute for increasing numbers of the fleet. The committee does not believe that the planned life extension programmes will provide adequate capability or value for the taxpayer. Only a procurement of new helicopters can meet the original objective of reducing the number of types of helicopter in service within the UK Armed Forces.”

Referring to the government’s recent announcement of a strategic defence review green paper in early 2010, Mr Arbuthnot said

“The time has come to appreciate fully the role of helicopters in modern operations. The MoD should seize the opportunity to recognise the importance of helicopters to current and contingent operations, and work towards strengthening all aspects of capability: the number of helicopters in the fleet, the support structure that underpins their operations, manning, both in the air and on the ground, and finally, the training for the full spectrum of capabilities described by the review itself.” (Channel 4 News)

 

 

 

28 Jul 2008: The hidden cost of Britain’s Afghan war?

More than 50 British soldiers have lost limbs in conflict in Afghanistan, latest figures show. As two more British soldiers died in southern Afghanistan, taking the recent death toll to nine in nine days.

The compensation system for injured British soldiers should be overhauled, a leading support group said today.

The demand comes as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) goes to court to cut the compensation offered to a pair of soldiers injured in Afghanistan.

Light Dragoon Anthony Duncan, who walks with crutches after being shot while on patrol in Iraq in 2005, was originally awarded £9,250. The sum was increased to £46,000 by an appeal tribunal.

Royal Marine Matthew McWilliams, who fractured his thigh in a military exercise, was awarded £8,250, which was increased to £28,750 on appeal.

The high court upheld the higher awards, ruling that the MoD argument that there should be a distinction between the original injury and later complications was “absurd”.

The MoD is taking the case to the court of appeal, where its lawyers are expected to claim the two soldiers should be compensated only for the initial injuries and not subsequent health problems.

“On the principle of compensation clearly there needs to be some sorting out as to whether it relates to the injuries sustained at the time, or the consequence of those injuries in later life. That needs to be addressed,” said Jerome Church, general secretary of the British limbless ex-service men’s association (Blesma). Mr Church himself lost a leg in service in Northern Ireland.

Mr Church’s organisation has dealt with more than 50 British soldiers who have lost limbs in conflict in Afghanistan. The grim total, combined with the current death toll of 191, is drawn from the type of combat soldiers are engaged in. He added

“Roadside bombs and gunshot wounds are the key reasons why British soldiers are returning to the UK with horrific injuries. We are dealing with a lot more multiple amputations than we were 20 years ago, and that’s because of the types of explosive devices that the soldiers are facing. It used to be more common for leg amputations to just be below the knee on one side – such as I had – but now it can be much more serious. Multiple loss.”

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed, in response to a parliamentary question that 51 British personnel had undergone amputations after suffering injuries in Afghanistan.

Blesma has worked with 48 of the amputees, as well as six others who lost the use of limbs, and seven others who lost eyes. Twelve of the amputees suffered multiple limb loss. Around 75 per cent of amputations relate to leg injuries.

Church said: “Of course, we see a spike in the number of injuries when the operations intensify. These types of injuries do increase in volume when there is an increase in activity, and we hear there are three or four more we will be meeting some in Selly Oak”. (Channel 4 news)

 

 

 

https://caltonjock.com/2018/06/22/afghanistan-revealed-retired-us-army-general-accuses-uk-general-of-failing-to-protect-soldiers-under-his-command-can-this-the-reason-uk-casualties-were-four-times-higher-than-us-soldiers/

https://caltonjock.com/2018/06/21/446-british-soldiers-died-in-afghanistan-four-times-the-rate-of-us-troops-a-statistical-disparity-which-politicians-at-westminster-have-not-yet-explained-answers-demanded/

 

 

A General Election Looms – Will Labour be Returned to Government? – Heed the Warning from an Army General – Time for Scotland to Escape from the Wetminster Right Wing Madness

 

 

 

 

20 Sep 2015: The British Army could stage mutiny if labour form a government under Corbyn

A senior serving general has reportedly warned that the general staff would begin directly and publicly challenging a Jeremy Corbyn government if it tried to scrap Trident, pull out of Nato or announce any plans to downgrade, emasculate or shrink the size of the armed forces. He said:

“The Army just wouldn’t stand for a government jeopardising the security of the country and I think people would use whatever means possible, fair or foul to prevent that. You can’t put a maverick in charge of a country’s security. There would be mass resignations at all levels and you would face the very real prospect of an event which would effectively be a mutiny.”
(The Independent)

 

 

 

20 Sep 2015: Corbyn hit by mutiny on airstrikes

Half of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet are prepared to vote with David Cameron for airstrikes on Syria as generals and intelligence chiefs criticised the Labour leader for his views on terrorism and the military.

Senior members of the shadow cabinet have already spoken to Tory ministers, pledging to support bombing of Isis targets in Syria — as long as the prime minister comes up with a coherent plan.

The Labour split comes as:

1. A serving general warned that there would be a direct challenge from the army and mass resignations if Corbyn became prime minister

2. Intelligence chiefs revealed that Corbyn will receive only “restricted access” to intelligence through the police and security services

3. It emerged Corbyn had voted against 13 key pieces of anti-terror legislation. (The Times)

 

About the Generals

A serving general commands an army Division in the British Army, (there are 6 Divisions) and attracts a gross cost + administrative add-ons of £270 – 305K per annum.

There are around 100 serving generals, (despite major reductions in the armed forces). The total cost of retaining this establishment is a very conservative £17.0M – 30.5M per annum.

 

Willie (Lonesome) Rennie – Sleaze – Not Me!!! Yes Willie – You!!!

 

 

 

 

 

William Cowan Rennie – Liberal Democrat

Became the Member of Parliament (MP) for Dunfermline and West Fife in a by-election, in February 2006. Removed from office in the 2010 GE.

 

 

 

July 2009: Willie Rennie in Expenses sleaze probe

A Parliamentary sleaze probe is to be held investigating expense claims made by Lib/Dem, Willie Rennie MP, who paid his local party £14,000 for an office which had cost them half that to lease.

John Lyon, the parliamentary standards commissioner, agreed to MP’s calls for an investigation into the office rental arrangements of Rennie.

Last month, it emerged that Rennie and Lib Dem MSP, Jim Tolson had paid a total of £21K in rent to the local Lib Dem Party, having paid just £7K to lease the property.

Rennie denied channelling funds to his local party insisting the sums paid were justified since they also included £14K charges (an impossible sum) for telephone and electricity costs which, he said, made up the difference between the two amounts. (Highbeam)

 

 

 

 

May 2010: Former MP Willie Rennie Forced to Repay Fraudulent Expense Claims

The former Lib/Dem MP, who lost his Dunfermline and West Fife seat in the GE apologised for falsely claiming telephone, electricity and rental charges on his local office, premises shared with his local party and an MSP. He accepted the instruction of the parlamentary commissioner that he return nearly £3K.

Following investigation, House of Commons authorities discovered that Rennie, (who now works as a special adviser to the Scottish Secretary) had submitted unjustified claims for the upkeep of his office and equipment from the time of his election to office.

Political opponents said the findings were “deeply embarrassing” for the Lib/Dems accusing Rennie of illegally diverting treasury funds to his Party’s election campaign.

Thomas Docherty, the Labour MP who unseated Rennie in the 2010 general election, said “(Rennie, has been ordered to repay thousands of pounds of money and has had to apologise for the misuse of his expenses. He wrongly directed public funds towards the Lib/Dem election drive.”.

Mr Docherty also questioned the decision to subsequently appoint Rennie to such a high civil service role, adding “Now he has been rewarded with a job as a special adviser, a political appointee who has access to extensive government facilities, the Scottish Secretary must guarantee his new employee does not misuse public resources once again.” (Scotsman)

 

 

 

Comment: Rennie stands accused of using a scam widespread amongst Lib/Dem MPs, renting his constituency office from his local Lib/Dem constituency Party then transferring his campaign costs onto his parliamentary expenses.

It is an act very difficult to prove and Rennie was unlucky to get caught. It was his Campaign Team that had made canvassing telephone calls to Labour activists from a phone number paid for out of parliamentary funds, that was added to his official letterhead that did for him.

According to a report in the “Scottish Sunday Post” he was renting office space from his party meaning that the local Lib/Dem Party was his landlord and taxpayers’ money was being used for Lib/Dem Party campaigning.