Thursday, June 15, 2006

The TA Are Not Just "Cheap Soldiers"

My interest has been caught by an Opinion in Today’s Telegraph. Cuts in defence spending could probably be argued when they were first put in in 1988. But since 1997 the Army has had to do more and more as they took on the role of being Bush and Blair’s Global Police, in Sierra Leone, East Timor, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Since 1997 the decreases in defence spending have continued and gathered pace.

We’ve had loud trumpeting about doubling the money into the NHS, but the NHS’ workload hasn’t increased. The Army’s workload has gone through the roof and the money tap remains off. As a result lives are lost.

Yes Blair… lives are being lost because you aren’t getting your hands in your pockets.

Something needs to fill the gap and that something is the Territorial Army. As the Telegraph notes

“In various guises, TA soldiers have been putting their heads above the parapet each time this nation comes under threat. But, until now, their role has not been as a permanent replacement for regular troops in foreign campaigns.”

True… the clue’s in the title TERRITORIAL Army, the army used for the defending of British Territory, not used for invading the Middle east, pacifying the Orient or liberating the Balkans. Basically Blair if you can’t afford to send the regular army to interven in wherever then you can’t afford to go. You shouldn’t be calling up our reservists to fight these.

“The Government has been wrong to assume that it could change their role without any knock-on effects. It should appreciate the vital role the Territorials provide in times of trouble or threat, and not just see them as a cheap way of filling in an underfunded army.”

This is not just happening in the army. The TA here are being used as a cheaper alternative to the regular army and we can see several other examples of this:

- Community Support Officers – cheaper policemen.
- Nurse Practitioners (Quacktitioners as Dr Crippen calls them) – cheap Doctors
- GPs with Special Interest – Cheap Consultants
- Classroom Assistants – Cheap Teachers

All of the above make it look like Labour has bought in what the country needed (doctors, police, teachers) but really they’re just cheaper equivalents without the powers or training required.

They’ve spent record amounts, but am I alone in thinking that they’ve spent it on the wrong things. Wake up Britain… you’re being conned!

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