Thursday, November 06, 2008

Does Gordon have the courage to Ride in "Snatch" Land Rover.

No, is the simple answer, yet he expects our troops to do it. Despite all his bletherings about how much money he has or will spend, the problem is that at the moment there is no choice. Not enough helicopters and not enough of the new vehicles on the ground.

When Gordon or one of his minions travels to to Iraq or Afghanistan, they seldom travel in anything but planes and helicopters, which are what the soldiers would choose as well if they had enough of them.

I attended a families day recently for the Royal Marines and saw the vehicles they would be using on the ground on their current tour. They still included the "snatch" Land Rovers and Vikings that have caused so many deaths.

According to the Telegraph

The recriminations over the resignation of SAS officer Major Sebastian Morley in protest over the Ministry of Defence's "gross negligence" in forcing his troops into the vulnerable vehicles spilled over into Prime Minster's Questions. Gordon Brown was asked by Gerald Howarth, the shadow defence minister, if he accepted that when Major Morley deployed in Snatch he "had no choice whatsoever contrary to all the assurances given to commanders that they would have whatever equipment they require?"
Mr Brown said the Government had "done our best in recent years to provide the equipment that is necessary" spending £1 billion on 1,200 new armoured vehicles.
Families and opposition MPs rounded on Gordon Brown, criticising his evasive answers in the Commons on the day another British soldier was killed in Afghanistan.
Col Bob Stewart, who used the flimsy Snatch during his time as a commander in Bosnia in the 90s, said the Prime Minister's comments that the Government had "done its best" was not enough to prevent the loss of 34 lives
"The Government certainly has not done it best. If they had done their best they would have found other vehicles that would have saved lives. They might have ordered these better vehicles now but its too late for the 34 people soldiers who have already died in Snatch. This problem has been highlighted for many years now but only now have they came round to the idea of addressing it.

Let us not forget this is not a new problem Have a look at this article from June 2006 nearly 2 1/2 years ago on the exact same problem. The BBC reported then:

Our correspondent says 18 British troops have been killed by
roadside bombs while travelling in Land Rovers. It equates to almost a quarter of British soldiers killed in hostile action, Conservative MP Roger Gale told the Commons. "These vehicles are widely recognised to be inadequately armoured to withstand roadside bombs and in consequence are seen as a soft target for insurgents," he said.

Des Browne the multi-tasking Defence Secretary responded

"This is a serious issue. I've asked for a review into this," he said. "There are medium and long-term plans in relation to vehicles and I will be looking in the short-term at what we can do to respond to the situation."

So 30 months and a further 16 lives later our forces are still being forced to use this vehicle. This is government ineptitude on a gross scale.

As usual this government is doing too little too late. It has done this in almost all its aspects of government be it defence, the economy, foreign policy, policing, environment or the NHS. It is incapable of preventing problems and can only apply a sticking plaster on the gushing wounds it has helped create.

The only good thing is that people are now seeing this and will again give Brown and his minions a bloody nose as they vote in Glenrothes, the constituency next door to his own, and return an SNP MP.

Gordon Brown accused of 'evasive' response over SAS deaths - Telegraph

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