Archive for the ‘incompetence’ Category

The Chandlers are still experiencing hell, held, as they are, in captivity by a bunch of criminal renegades in Somalia, and all that the terrorist apologist and contaminated son of a Marxist Joe Slovo ally (you know, that murderous KGB placeman in South Africa in the 1970s) can say is:

Obviously there’s a very high level of concern. Anyone watching that video will have seen why that is the case. We’re using all of the networks we have in that part of the world, political and diplomatic, and we’ve been very clear with the Chandlers here about how we’re doing that. Obviously none of us are going to be satisfied until the Chandlers are safely home and that’s why we’re working very hard on this case

Yeah, right. “Working very hard on this case.” Not losing a moment’s sleep in a bed in a 135-room grace and favour mansion over a couple of Her Majesty’s loyal subjects who happen to be middle class and who are, therefore, in the eyes of a Marxist like the cretinous non-entity Millipede, politically insignificant, more like.

I say again, this is precisely what our armed forces are for. If the SAS can’t rescue these people, facing, as they are, certain death, then there is no point in having an SAS. And there is no point in imagining that the British government in any way represents the interests of, and/or is willing to protect the British people, in any way, anywhere, any more. Be, therefore, very afraid. This is a total, shameful betrayal, and a clear signal to the entire country that the current regime is terrifyingly unfit for office.

The Don Pacifico affair was probably not the high point in mid-Victorian international relations, but one can’t help but feel that the motives behind Lord Palmerston’s gung ho intervention on behalf of a spy with no more than a connection of service to Britain resonates far more now, in the context of the desperate plight of the Chandlers, than it did then in the case of a captured agent:

I therefore fearlessly challenge the verdict which this House, as representing a political, a commercial, a constitutional country, is to give on the question now brought before it; whether the principles on which the foreign policy of Her Majesty’s Government has been conducted, and the sense of duty which has led us to think ourselves bound to afford protection to our fellow subjects abroad, are proper and fitting guides for those who are charged with the Government of England; and whether, as the Roman, in days of old, held himself free from indignity, when he could say Civis Romanus sum; so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England, will protect him against injustice and wrong.

As the commenter in the Times who provided this quotation says, Palmerston is currently spinning in his grave.

As for me, it’s pretty clear now that this government is quite happy to allow British subjects, to whom it has a global duty of care, to be hideously abused – even murdered – by anyone who is so inclined to do so, and for Britain itself to be utterly humiliated in its subsequently – accurately – perceived impotence.

This is not a government that governs in the name of the British people. It’s a government that governs in the name of itself. And nothing else.

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Someone quoted Kipling with reference to Afghanistan in yesterday’s Telegraph – and very aptly – though I can’t be certain: I generally can’t remember that far back these days. But it put me in mind of “Tommy”, his wonderful satirical poem about the lot of the average squaddie, who, when called upon to execute the policy follies of men like Tony Blair, is treated with hypocritical reverence and, should he lose his life in the service of Queen and Country, can expect his memory to be honoured, for instance, with a cursory, solemn mention at the dispatch box – but not a visit from Gordon at his repatriation ceremony, of course. The rest of the time, he’s ignored, underpaid, under-equipped, unappreciated, badly billeted and generally despised – especially by the people who would put him in harm’s way just to suit their own political ambitions and vanities (Blair again).

The point is that the poem is as fresh now as it was when it was penned by the great man, in 1890. It’s pretty funny, too:

I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, ‘We serve no red-coats ‘ere.’
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed and giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again, an’ to myself sez I:
Oh, it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ‘Tommy, go away’:
But it’s ‘Thank you, Mister Atkins,’ when the band begins to play –
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
Oh, it’s ‘Thank you, Mister Atkins,’ when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ‘Tommy, wait outside’;
But it’s ‘Special train for Atkins’ when the trooper’s on the tide –
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
Oh, it’s ‘Special train for Atkins’ when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ‘Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?’
But it’s ‘Thin red line of ‘eroes’ when the drums begin to roll –
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
Oh, it’s ‘Thin red line of ‘eroes when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that , an’ ‘Tommy, fall be’ind,’
But it’s ‘Please to walk in front, sir,’ when there’s trouble in the wind –
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
Oh, it’s ‘Please to walk in front, sir,’ when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ‘Chuck him out, the brute!’
But it’s ‘Saviour of ‘is country’ when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time to put an end to this Afghan thing, either by sending in massive reinforcements and actually paying the necessary price for final victory – in other words, not causing unnecessary death by doing everything on the cheap (one scandal for which Brown should genuinely never be forgiven) – or by bringing our army home. That’s the choice Cameron will have to face. Why? Because, to coin a phrase, we can’t go on like this.

Me, I would opt for the former and give our armed forces everything they need, and then some. Whatever it takes, Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, is the right war and is a war that we have to win. We must respect our troops properly, therefore, by backing them to the hilt, even if it means making some sacrifices at home in the short term.

One thing is certain, if nothing else, our armed forces deserve much better than Labour, and much, much better than Brown.

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Even an erstwhile Labour man like Roger Waters should concede that the deserved death of this Labour government is long overdue and has found its own musical epitaph in the shape of this sad rendition. We’re all lost souls swimming in a fish bowl – but we just don’t know.

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have you found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

Beautiful. But so terribly sad.

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Sometimes Guido can be refreshingly pithy. His latest piece of pith is a fine example:

On his blog Bad Al Campbell argues that Dave hasn’t sealed the deal with the electorate thus; “December 5, 1996, Gallup poll. Labour 59. Tories 22. Now that’s what I call a lead. And they’re nowhere near it, because they have not sealed the deal, because they’re not serious on policy, because they haven’t changed much, and because a lot of people don’t really like them.”

Bad Al is really grasping with this line of spin. Labour are 19% behind in the polls; suggesting that if people don’t really like the Tories, they must despise Labour. The voters have come to a settled view of Gordon – that he is a useless weirdo. You can’t spin your way out of that…

“Useless weirdo,” lol. A fine pith-making effort. I love it.

There is one other thing this particular blogpost throws up, however: the polls from those days, as psephological guru Mike Smithson has pointed out on politicalbetting.com until he’s blue in the face, were unreliable, heavily weighted as they were in favour of Labour because of poor practices. Polling methodologies have changed beyond all recognition and for the better since then with the result that they are now, by and large, completely reliable sources that quite accurately reveal voting intentions. Campbell either knows this and is being dishonest or he doesn’t and he’s being stupid. Either way, he’s a damn fool for making the comparison at all.

If you want to know more about why you should be careful with historical polls, Mike Smithson explains here.

Fact is, a 19% Tory lead according to modern polling techniques means a sub-200 seat wipeout for Labour if that was repeated at the general election. And it’s a reliable poll. Campbell can’t spin his way out of that reality, either.

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Iain Dale is suggesting that we should somehow have “compassion” for Brown – assuming that he really is suffering from clinical depression. He finishes a long and winding post with these puzzling remarks:

I have several friends who suffer from depression from time to time. Life is often lived on the edge. They just don’t know when the black dog is going to strike. If our Prime Minister is indeed suffering in this way he deserves our compassion, not insults.

‘Fraid that won’t wash, old boy. Aside from the baffling tone (I assume Dale’s regular readers, of whom I am one, are not children) probably all of us have friends who suffer or have suffered from depression. I certainly do, and worse. But the difference is that none of them is Prime Minister. It’s a private matter if it happens to be part of your private life. “Leaders” are never afforded that luxury. That is what they exchange for power. It’s the old Antigone question – you know, the crisis caused for a king when his public and private realms collide. Dale, I think, knows this. So I believe he’s being rather dishonest here – for reasons known only to himself.

Ollie Cromwell (he of “The Red Rag” blog fame) makes a strong point in an open letter to Dale/comment on the original blogpost:

Iain, I would of course have compassion for anyone suffering any illness who then finds it exacerbated by a stressful job. That is unless that person had smeared and backstabbed his way to it, not caring who he destroyed along the way, and then clung onto it at all costs even when it is abundantly clear that he does not have the capacity for it. I will reserve my compassion for the employees who have to put up with his abuse, flying mobile phones and rages.

I will offer Mr Brown compassion when he is in convalescence after standing down for the sake of his health and the nation’s. Until then I will insult him as he insults us with his lies and incompetence.

I believe the Lib Dems are looking for bleeding hearts.


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As if the smearing of General Dannatt were not bad enough, the true nature of this government’s attitude to the armed forces has now been revealed. Aside from the terminal incompetence, the cynicism of Labour’s parliamentary leadership simply takes your breath away.

Perhaps the Sunday Times, an erstwhile pro-Labour rag, sums it up best in its fresh leader on the subject (although it fails to mention one of the most extraordinary statistics – that the last four years of fighting have led to 14 thousand UK casualties). No wonder Labour tried to bury it. I’ve lifted the most damning part of the column. You can read the rest here.

Although governments can get away with such political cowardice for a while, taking no decision can be just as bad as taking the wrong one. Eventually, inevitably, the issues will return and the earlier failure to take a decision and look to the future will have damaging consequences. That is where we are now in Afghanistan. The failure to provide our troops with adequate equipment is the direct responsibility of a government that buried its head in the sand for more than a decade.

No government can predict specific circumstances. But what they must do is regularly take a panoramic view of defence needs. The last strategic review was conducted in 1998. “In corporate life no enterprise would persist with a 12-year-old strategy without at least re-evaluating it fully on a regular basis,” Mr Gray writes. “Few who would expect to prosper would even try to do so.” With the sole exception of John Hutton, who commissioned the Gray report, every defence secretary since 1998 — Geoff Hoon, John Reid, Des Browne and now woeful Bob Ainsworth — should hang their heads in shame. They are responsible for the situation in which failure at the Ministry of Defence is, according to Mr Gray, “endemic”.

Above all, this is the responsibility of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Mr Blair took us into war without ensuring that our troops were backed by a defence administration and equipment suitable to their needs. In his liberal interventionist foreign policy he willed the ends but not the means. As for Mr Brown, his behaviour has been cynical in the extreme. His response to the warnings of shortages given by Sir Richard Dannatt, the former head of the army, was not to take heed but to allow a defence minister to attempt to smear the general over his expenses.

In 2002 the Dutch government resigned when a report found it had sent soldiers into combat without the necessary equipment. It says much about the prime minister that his only response has been to suppress the report.

Brown’s government of all the smearers is falling apart – and he’s on holiday. The storm clouds have been gathering for him for ages. I think that storm has just broken.

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Uncle Bob has already blogged brilliantly about this latest piece of Labour filth, so I’ll keep my scornful rant brief: New Labour are the most corrupt, twisted and morally empty group of incompetent wasters this country has ever had inflicted upon it. You still have doubts, after everything that’s been written, blogged, proved and resigned over? Well, here’s a bit more for you, this time from the ST. Read on…

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted to the Ministry of Defence, and uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph, asks for publication of any correspondence between Gen Dannatt and Hadyn Parry, the chairman of the Help for Heroes charity.

It comes after Labour MPs and ministers were accused of using FOI laws to make trouble for Sir Richard by unearthing his expenses claims, after he publicly criticised the lack of resources given by the Government to the troops in Afghanistan.

Whilst the MoD would not disclose who was behind the Help for Heroes FOI request, which was submitted in June, Conservative MPs claimed it looked like fresh evidence of a smear campaign.

Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said: “There is no target that Brown’s bullyboys will not pick upon to protect themselves or divert attention from their catastrophic management of the military. New Labour is now the most corrosive and corrupting influence in British politics.”

Whoever submitted the FOI request could have been seeking to find out whether Gen Dannatt had claimed expenses from Help the Heroes following his unpaid work on the charity’s behalf.

Mr Parry described Gen Dannatt’s work for the charity as “exemplary”. He said: “Sir Richard has done a tremendous job for the charity. His work has been exemplary – beyond reproach.

“He has never submitted any expenses claims, nor have any of the other charity trustees, because we want as much money to be spent on charitable work as possible.”

Last week it was revealed that, on a tip-off from inside government, several FOI requests were submitted to expose the 58-year-old general’s expenses. Kevan Jones, the Veterans Minister, was named on political website Guido Fawkes as the figure behind it. But he dismissed the accusation as summer tittle-tattle and heaped praise on Gen Dannatt.

Mr Jones last night denied again that there was a smear campaign, saying: “I do not know anything about this Freedom of Information request, nor do I know anything about Freedom of Information requests that were put in as part of a campaign against Sir Richard.”

When allegations of a smear campaign first emerged a month ago, Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, sent a note to all his ministers – Mr Jones; Quentin Davies, Defence Equipment and Support; Bill Rammell, Armed Forces; Lord Drayson, Strategic Defence Acquisition; and Baroness Taylor, International Defence and Security – warning them not to brief against General Dannatt and demanding “complete support” for military commanders.

But last week it emerged that a minister had discussed “chasing” Gen Dannatt over his expenses in an attempt to smear him. Requests were allegedly made under the FOI Act, with the backing of the unnamed minister, to find out the extent of entertaining by the general, who retires as Chief of the General Staff next week.

It was also alleged that a minister had called Gen Dannatt a “complete bastard” for making so many public statements critical of the resources given to the troops in Afghanistan.

Wow! That list of “ministers” reads like a who’s who of utter Labourist mediocrity.

Not content with their usual, now-predictable, contemptible attempt at rubbishing anyone who dares to speak the truth, a method perfected by Alistair Campbell and Mandelson (the truth in this case, as Dannatt has bravely implied on many occasions, is that total Labourist incompetence and, one is forced to suspect, their underlying hatred of the armed forces, has cost the lives of many British soldiers in Labour’s foreign adventures), now they are willing to drag into their appalling smear campaign a charity set up to help the ones who make it back from the front merely wounded, but who are then abandoned by their own country (another Labour triumph).

Who needs the Taliban when you have an MoD occupied by these uberhoons? Just when you thought they couldn’t get any worse…

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