Tuesday, 28 July 2009

From Operation Panther's Claw to Operation Clawback

The day after (the day after!) Brown was claiming victory in Operation Panther's Claw, the news has broken that the MoD is seeking to claw back some of the compensation awarded to two injured soldiers - one wounded on the battlefield in Iraq.

The money the government is trying to get back is that paid out (approx £25k each) for the suffering caused to the soldiers from health problems which arose as a result of their original injuries. Of course this additional suffering wouldn't have happened if the guys hadn't been injured in the first place.

This is typical of the labour government's hypocrisy and duplicity when it comes to its treatment of Britain's Armed Forces. Just when you thought they couldn't stoop any lower, they slither deeper into the gutter.

After years of refusing to review the insulting amounts awarded under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, Brown and Co were eventually forced in 2007 to increase the compensation paid to soldiers whose lives - and the lives of their families - had been shattered fighting for their country. It was the long and hard-fought campaign, spearheaded by the mother of Ben Parkinson, against an intransigent government that eventually achieved recognition for the debt the country owes these guys.

A posting on today's MoD Blog seeks to offset the criticisms raised in an article in last Sunday's Telegraph, 'Injured soldiers deserve better', by saying that "you mustn't forget the Income Payment for Life" that's paid out in addition to the lump sum. How generous they are! You'd almost think it's their money. Too right the guys should receive a pension for life; they've got to live with their injuries for life.

The labour government is quite happy to pay out £millions in compensation and redundancy payments to their friends in the nationalised banks and are quite happy to sit back and say "sorry, we can't do anything about the £millions being paid in bonuses to city bankers". But when it comes to paying out a few quid to wounded soldiers: yeah, we'll stop that.

What the labour government, through the MoD, is doing today beggars belief. The bloodiest campaign yet fought is just drawing to its close and Brown has been saying: "The efforts of our troops in Helmand have been nothing short of heroic.There has been a tragic human cost. But this has not been in vain."

"A tragic human cost" - but Brown can't stomach the real cost.

Of course the two injuried soldiers who are about to be dragged through the courts are simply test cases; are being used in a much bigger game. Hundreds of soldiers have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan (no surprise that the government doesn't release the figures) and the government doesn't want to have to be handing over the bankers' cash to injured squaddies.

NB. One of the two soldiers is back fighting in Afghanistan as ministers sitting in Whitehall scheme to take back his compensation.

BBC: MoD seeks to cut soldiers' payout