No Shit Sherlock.
Who do they think we are? Do they think we’re really stupid? Don’t answer that, of course they do.
Plans to cut soldiers could leave the Army “short of personnel” and unable to meet future national security needs, a report by MPs has warned.
The Commons Defence Select Committee has also expressed its concern over the “the lack of consultation over the Army 2020 plan.” That’s not an unfamiliar story either.
Under the Future Army 202 plan personnel numbers will be cut from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2018, with a doubling of reservist numbers. (Still sounding familiar). The number of part-time soldiers, or reservists, is to be doubled from 15,000 to 30,000, but the Army is still a long way off from meeting its targets and the MPs’ report says there is scepticism that it will be able to recruit the numbers it needs.
Overall, the report echoes a familiar theme: the cuts to the armed forces have been driven by the need to save money, rather than any strategic vision of Britain’s place in the world.
So here we have it, a government hell-bent on doing whatever they think fit just to try and balance the books and make themselves look good, scoring a few points off the Opposition as they go.
Is that what we, the taxpayer, the voters, really want?
I, for one, want an Army (Navy/Air Force) that is fit for purpose. I don’t want an Army that’s Second-Rate, poor relation to the rest of the world.
But it isn’t just the Armed Forces is it? Police numbers cut by 16,000 so far, with more to come. Coastguard Stations closing all around our coast. If you think you don’t need them then I assume you never go swimming in the sea on holiday, never go surfing, never take a Cross Channel Ferry. Why else would you not need them?
The NHS is in crisis with 145 Hospital Trusts forecasting that they will end the year in the red.
Some of the worst are;
Barts Health trust £50m
University Hospitals of Leicester trust £40m
University Hospital of North Staffordshire trust £28m
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals trust £24m
Mid Essex Hospital Services trust £20m
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals trust £20m
North West London Hospitals trust £20m
South London Healthcare trust (dissolved) £20m
East Sussex Healthcare trust £19m
Croydon Health Services trust £18m
Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals trust £17m
The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS trust (West Midlands) £17m
United Lincolnshire Hospitals trust £17m
Plymouth Hospitals trust £13m
North Cumbria University Hospitals trust £12m
Wye Valley trust £11m
Is yours there?
And then we have the banks.
RBS have recently announced losses of £8.2 Billion this financial year, with a staggering total of £46 BILLION lost over the last 6 years. Are the bosses in prison, on bail awaiting trial, queuing up at the dole office, P40 in hand? NO they are not. Instead they are paying themselves slightly smaller bonuses.
RBS set aside £576m for staff bonuses in 2013, of which £237m went to investment bankers; the bonus pot is down 15% on the previous year.
The bonuses for RBS alone would completely wipe out the £500 million savings that the Met (the largest Force in England & Wales) are having to make. Pick on a few more banks, confiscate their bonuses (unless they actually deserve them of course) and UK Policing would start to look a bit more viable again.
I don’t have a degree in Advanced International Economics, but Vince Cable said
“But British taxpayers are still paying for the terrible mistakes of the past and I see no sign yet of a turnaround in the continuing decline of net lending to small business.
“The public will simply not understand why big bonuses and large salaries continue to be paid out by a loss-making public enterprise, still underperforming in many areas.” and he’s quite right, I don’t bloody understand it.
If savings really have to be made then they have to be made, but I have seen some really reckless, foolhardy decisions over the last year or so, and it really winds me up to see the bankers seemingly immune to it all when it was them, globally, wot started this whole mess.
May I refer you back to one of my blogs from January?
42% (YES nearly HALF, not a trypo) of the 43 Forces in England and Wales are already reporting that their establishment is currently LOWER than their planned March 2015 Target. That’s not about Austerity, it’s gone beyond that. What are ACPO doing about that statistic? Are ACPO driving that statistic? Or is it Cruella, the driving force.
One thing is for certain, it’s not over yet. We have yet to see the end game. What will UK Policing look like in 2015? No dogs, no horses, a few water cannons to make up for pitifully low manpower levels?. Who knows, but I truly fear that it will get worse before it gets better.