Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The nation mourns while the government spins

The eight soldiers who were brought home yesterday gave their lives in the defence of their country, fighting to protect British streets from islamic terrorism.

The government is being condemned from all sides for its failure to provide the quantity and quality of equipment necessary to provide the best protection possible for the troops risking their lives every day on the frontline.

The government is being heavily criticised by strategists both inside and outside the Armed Forces for its failure to provide the resources in men and materials that are required to bring the war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda to a successful conclusion.

We hear Hash Brown complacently saying how he is doing everything he can for the guys in Afghanistan. With typical Ministry of Truth spin he tries to rewrite history. He must think we're stupid. We know that for the last decade he has presided over the continuous cutting of the defence budget, especially during his Treasury days. He may wring his hands now but we know that he is directly responsible for the lack of resources available to the troops today.

Although recently additional funding has been made available through the Urgent Operational Requirement scheme, it has been the year-on-year pruning, in real GDP terms, of the defence budget that is having such a tragic impact on operations today - and it has been Hash Brown who wielded the knife. Once defence procurement programmes are cut, it takes years to get back on track - both in terms of hardware and skills.

The government has even failed to adequately explain to the British public why the troops are fighting and dying in Afghanistan. Even the months of planning that allegedly went into Armed Forces Day only brought success at a micro level.

Despite all this the public knows that brave men are sacrificing their lives and suffering terrible injuries in the service of their country. The respect and grief shown at Wootton Bassett is an expression of the respect and grief felt across the country.