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Excellent to have a clear statement of intent on this topic!

Ok but where is the beef?

What is the Tory Policy on defence?

The UKIP policy is to increase defence expenditure by 40%. Would the Tories match this?

Above all, what would Prime Minister Cameron do about the inadequate medical services provided for the Armed Services and the poor pay for the junior ranks?

Liam Fox has warned regularly in his capacity as Shadow Defence Secretary of how under-funded the armed forces have been, noting in March that the army, air force and navy are now sufficiently small that every single serviceman will be able to fit into the new Wembley Stadium.

Tactically, I think this deployment would be a mistake.

As the parent of a serving soldier who has been sent to Afghanistan, I rather agree with David_At_Home. The military covenant has been shattered by the present Government, but the Conservatives' general and individual policy responses have been very poor. There needs to ba clear commitment to increase spending on troops, equipment and conditions that mean that our Armed Forces are appropriately positioned for any deployment.

Cameron's point above is a good one, but it sorely lacks a more defined, rounded approach to defence policy.

About time David, and absolutely spot on! Brilliant and good for you standing up for our people. Thank god someone finally is.

Let's not get too excited yet,after all,how many will be aware of these new Defence ideas?Not many at all I would think.We need to make a larger showing of good ideas like this,instead of just mumbling them among ourselves on here.

SAY IT LOUD AND CLEAR AND OFTEN.

Our defense budget is enormous. Labour have poured far too much into defense. It's due to be 11% higher in real terms in 2010 than it was in 1997 - the longest period of sustained growth since the 1980s. It declined under Major.

Passing Leftie,

In the English version of the English Language, defence is spelt with a c.

The only sensible way to measure defence expenditure is as a percentage of GDP. This is currently running at around 2.3%, just above the all time low.

It is true that defence spending declined under John Major’s government which drew up the plan to close all the Service hospitals and then proceeded to do so; this continued under New Labour until the last one was shut about a year ago with the consequence that wounded servicemen returning from combat are now sent to NHS hospitals, usually in Birmingham where some have been abused by disaffected Muslims. Neither party has a good track record in keeping to the “military covenant.”

There is, I think, only one Labour MP with any experience of serving in the armed services. There are a few more Tory MPs but Cameron seems adapt at keeping them away from positions of influence.

During the Premiership of Tony Blair we took part in so many wars that I have lost count and for reasons with which I mostly disagreed. These wars have been costly in blood and costly in treasure, as are all wars. It seems to me that both Davids Miliband and Cameron are ready to involve us in further irrelevant conflicts in Eastern Europe but I hope I am wrong.

The first duty of any government is the defence of the Realm. Just now, I would not trust either the Conservative or the Labour Party with this but I would be delighted to be proved wrong by an incoming Tory government.

It seems I cannot type either! It should read.....

"...but Cameron seems adept at keeping them away from positions of influence."

So is "sunt".


Posted by: David_at_Home | September 02, 2008 at 15:34
The only sensible way to measure defence expenditure is as a percentage of GDP. This is currently running at around 2.3%, just above the all time low.

Unless I criticise your spelling or grammar,

I expect you to leave mine alone. However, writing is now fair game.

Yes, what an excellent way to determine expenditure. Pull a percentage out your ... subconscious and spend that much of GDP on defence. Just ignore the actual requirements of the armed forces and pick an arbitrary figure.

John Major decreased defence expenditure because of the peace dividend. He was right to do so. Labour has increased defence expenditure in real terms to all-time highs because of extra commitments.

I can't bear the mock solemnity and hypocrisy of the right on defence. Hospitals, education, refugees - cut, cut, cut; armed forces and prison - we have to spend more, regardless. Your solution is so ridiculous though, I can't even imagine the Tories coming up with it. You aren't a UKIP supporter by any chance?

that wounded servicemen returning from combat are now sent to NHS hospitals, usually in Birmingham where some have been abused by disaffected Muslims.

This sounds like Daily Mail bullshit. Please give me a source for this story.

As for service personal returned to Britain getting NHS treatment, surely that's an excellent idea. They deserve the same quality free treatment the rest of us get.

Passing Leftie, as the parent of a soldier, I can vouch 100% for David_At_Home's comment. It happened to at least two soldiers in my son's regiment.

Passing Leftie,


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1530396/Wounded-soldiers-'get-appalling-health-care'.html

http://www.birminghampost.net/news/west-midlands-news/tm_headline=muslim-women-abused-army-man-at-hospital&method=full&objectid=19279378&siteid=50002-name_page.html

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23518427-details/Our+troops+'betrayed':+Paras+chief+who+quit+speaks+out+for+first+time+over+treatment+of+soldiers/article.do

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4364115.ece


Passing Leftie "quality free treatment" is open to misinterpretation. What exactly are you saying?
I agree with the Peace Dividend and cuuting military expenditure to the nation's defence cloth. However, I think it was also a time that the story below would not have been possible in the UK, other people in the community would have intervened.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3508223.ece.
Though not about personal abuse in hospitals, it does support the theme.

Was very pleased to hear David Cameron's pledge on the issue of servicemen's leave.

"I can't bear the mock solemnity and hypocrisy of the right on defence."

Passing leftie, that flippant comment really annoyed me because like other posters on this thread I have family active in the armed forces. And take it from me, this Labour government like those back in the 60's and 70's never fail to prove just how appalling bad they are at looking after the armed forces welfare.

Just out of interest, how many retired service personal join the Labour party and then go into politics?
Not a lot I suspect, the treatment of our armed forces by this government has been appalling. The military covenant has not just been broken, its been trashed beyond recognition. This government should be bl**dy ashamed of themselves for that, and the political spin they have put on it as well!

David_at_home, UKIP remind me of the Libdems when it comes to sweeping policy statements with grandiose and mouth watering percentages. They know, and the voters know that they do not have a cats chance of having to seriously cost them under close scrutiny, never mind ever getting into power and implementing them.

David Cameron has a good chance of being our next Prime Minister, unlike Nigel Farage!
I think that considering our present military commitments, and the very poor state and morale of armed forces. A Conservative government will attempt to address these problems, unlike the present shower who have tried to hide them by the cynical use of their press corp.
I have often wondered what type of government we might have had under Blair and Brown if they had put as much time, planning and commitment into managing the country as competently as they did their press operation for many years?

Passing Leftie "quality free treatment" is open to misinterpretation. What exactly are you saying?

I'm not sure how it is open to misinterpretation. Everyone who is injured should get the same high quality treatment. Some injuries require special treatment; special wards exist for such a purpose. Special hospitals for particular groups are inefficient and wasteful.

Thank you for the links. I am surprised that the high ranking officers feel they need separate hospitals to protect the delicate feelings of soldiers, who don't seem to be bothered themselves by these problems, which have been blown out of all proportion. Such behaviour is not permitted in hospitals, and should be dealt with accordingly. It's not a reason to set up separate hospitals.

My family has service connections, too. I'm not sure how that is relevant. The right worships the armed forces and police and puts them on a pedestal, whereas it's a different story for doctors, nurses, miners, industrial workers and carers.

Basically, if your job includes killing people, locking them up or beating the crap out of them, then the right get all misty eyed, forget their tax cutting agenda and want to throw money at them. If it involves cleaning up people's shit, dealing with the people society has left behind, or helping people, the shoe is on the other foot.

The military has done very well financially out of this goverment. I agree that they have been misused by most governments; Thatcher and Blair's adventurism in particular should be held up for special blame.

As for service people in government, except at time of war, they have a very poor record. It doesn't surprise me that most retirees from the armed forces are rights wing; most officers are right wing when they go in.

The solution is simple. Stop pretending we run an empire, cut our unneccessary foreign commitments, and make sure the remaining service people are well equipped, well paid, properly rested and properly equipped.

Passing Leftie, your comments at 11.45 reveal your total ignorance of this subject. Nobody but nobody with any knowledge of the military would agree with you that military has done well out of this government. The commitments asked of the military by this government are the highest for man than 50 years. That is a fact and nobody not even NewLabour can spin it otherwise. At 2.3% the percentage spend of GDP is the lowest since the war. That too is an unspinable fact. Thayt is why Passing Leftie, our trrops were sent into Iraq without in some cases the most basic equipment and why the Army in particular is now thousands of men understrength. That is not me being misty eyed, that is a fact.
As a friend of several serving servicemen who have seen what they and their colleagues have had to put up with I find many of your comments in this post beneath contempt.
What sadly is typical that people who make these contemptible remarks invariably hide behind the cowardly veil of anonymity.

Posted by: Malcolm Dunn | September 03, 2008 at 13:19
Passing Leftie, your comments at 11.45 reveal your total ignorance of this subject. Nobody but nobody with any knowledge of the military would agree with you that military has done well out of this government.

Don't talk about "people who make contempible remarks", address what I am saying.

I didn't say that the military had done well out of the government in fact, I said that "they have been misused by most governments." I said the military had done well financially out of this government. There is a subtle distinction, which is perhaps a bit much for you to grasp. Defence procurement is hideously wasteful, and dominated by special interests. That's what you should be looking at. It's not that the defence budget is too low, it's that it is misspent. Personnel on the ground are undervalued, and perfectly good choices of weapon are discounted for political reasons.

Your point of disagreement with me is that the military is underfunded. I think it's over committed and badly procured, but I can't see the Tories facing down their buddies in the defence industry, and more than Labour has.

As support for my argument that we are inefficient in defence procurement, the UK are the second highest spender per service person in the world. We have the second biggest defence budget in the world. (source http://www.armedforces.co.uk). Other sources suggest we are at least the fifth biggest spender.

As for the facts:

"The Defence Budget is set to increase from a baseline of £32.6Bn in 2007/08 to £36.9Bn in 2010/11 in Total Departmental Expenditure Limit. In real terms it represents average annual growth of 1.5%. By 2010/11 the Budget will be some 11% higher in real terms than in 1997, and represents the longest period of sustained growth since the 1980s."

"At 2.5% {note not 2.3%} (2006) of GDP, the Defence Spending of the UK is above the NATO European average. We spend about the same proportion as France and more than Italy and Germany"

Note that this expenditure does not include the 9.5bn taken from the Treasury for costs incurred on operations.

I'd much rather hear from Cameron that he is not going to send the troops on illegal and fruitless adventures (and you can be sure that the Tories would have been even more gung ho for Iraq than Blair), but his recent posturing suggests this is unlikely.

'The military has done very well financially out of this government'- Passing Leftie 11.45. 'I didn't say the military had done well out of this government'-Passing Leftie 15.48.
Well I suppose fours hours and three minutes is a long time to remember the inaccurate crap you spout Passing Leftie. I stand by my remark that your comments are beneath contempt.

'The military has done very well financially out of this government'- Passing Leftie 11.45. 'I didn't say the military had done well out of this government'-Passing Leftie 15.48.
Well I suppose fours hours and three minutes is a long time to remember the inaccurate crap you spout Passing Leftie. I stand by my remark that your comments are beneath contempt.

Either you are in an idiot, or you are being deliberately obtuse. As I said in my last post, they have done well financially, but not in other respects.


Still, much easier to be obtuse than actual address the arguments, hey? I think you've clearly demonstrated your misty-eyed yearning for the armed forces, and perhaps thats addled your demonstrably inadequate critical faculties.

If on the other hand you are an idiot, I'm sorry I wasted my time (and yours) demonstrating my position with evidence.

"free quality treatment" is more expressive than "quality free treatment". A comma after quality would have avoided any ambiguity.
May be me more than you.

I think I'll leave others who read this blog to judge you by your remarks Passing Leftie.I cannot think that anyone but the most one eyed follower of Tony Blair would agree with a word you say.
I'm sorry you think I'm an idiot,I certainly don't think that of you. You're just a typical new Labour liar.

I'm sorry you think I'm an idiot,I certainly don't think that of you. You're just a typical new Labour liar.

I think "deliberately obtuse" is more likely. You still haven't specified what you disagree with, but that would require addressing the evidence.

"free quality treatment" is more expressive than "quality free treatment". A comma after quality would have avoided any ambiguity.
May be me more than you.

Good quality treament, provided without charge. That's all I meant.

OK Passing Leftie,I'll stop disagreeing with you when you admit that since 2003 the Armed Forces have been asked to do do more by this government than at any time since 1950's with a lower percentage of spend than at any time since the 1930's. That our sevicemen were sent to war in Iraq with a glaring list of equipment deficiencies which directly resulted in the deaths of several servicemen.
The Armed Services have not done well in any sense out of this government. If you accept all that then I'll end my diagreement with you. In view of past examples of your integrity I won't be holding my breath.

At last a politician who appears prepared to grasp the nettle and face up to the thorny issue of defence spending. I agree with someother comments that defence spending should increase by "AT LEAST" 40%. However, I do hope that the an incoming Conservative government will not neglet the Royal Nany and Air force simply by increasing the Army to grabb News Headlines. The Navy especially has suffered drastic cuts under the labour government and let us not forget we are a Island Nation and the last "solo" war we waged in the Falklands was primarily only possilbe because we had a large and powerful navy. I for one will vote for David Cameron if he does promise to restore and rebuild the Navy

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