SMELL THE COFFEE GORDON!
By Julian Nettlefold
24 Sep 08. For those of you who listened to Gordon Brown’s job application speech at the recent Labour Party Conference, and stayed awake, will be pleased for the people of Govan that Gordon did not succeed his father as a Minster and thus inflict his thoughts on his parishioners as Minister via a sermon once a week! Scottish Ministers are usually credited with fiery sermons in the John Knox tradition! Gordon Brown was born on February 20th 1951 in Govan, Glasgow, Scotland. His father, John Ebenezer Brown, was a minister of the Church of Scotland.
What Gordon hadn’t noticed in his week of turmoil in trying to sort out the word’s finances that there had been a marked sea change in the Public’s attitude to the Armed Forces and the Army in general. For the last five years, since the start of the Iraq war, the government and New Labour has managed to put across the view that the Armed Forces are to blame for the failures of the wars in Iraq in particular and Afghanistan. This is accompanied by a class biased approach to the equipment belatedly supplied to the Army whilst Gordon lavishes funds on his shipbuilding colleagues in Glasgow to build two huge aircraft carriers which, once finished will be hugely over budget, as all First of Class ships are and out of date for the war required. (See: BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.10 ISSUE 30, 01 Aug 2008, EVEN WITH CVF CARROT LABOUR LOSES GLASGOW EAST)
He must be the only Prime Minister of a country at war who has taken sole charge of the Defence Budget (sic. EP08) and put a complete stop on military spend because of his overall Budgetary problems, “The men have their groundsheets, pass the Port!”. It was only due to the nimbleness of the DE&S in initiating the UOR Requirements through the Treasury which enabled key life saving equipment to get into theatre. Belatedly, when he found out the size of the UORs, a new accounting principle was applied which allowed a claw back to the Treasury from the MoD.
During his speech he made passing reference to the Armed Forces and ignored their families and the industry which has worked so hard to support them, and his government’s policies.
‘…..And we pay special tribute to the heroism of our armed forces, as Des Browne said yesterday – to their service and sacrifice in Iraq and in Afghanistan and in peacekeeping missions around the globe. Quite simply the best armed forces in the world.’
Following his turgid speech he compounded his lack of insight into the part he played as Chancellor in the current downturn in an interview on the BBC Today Programme where he appeared to be setting himself up as the successor to JK Galbraith or attempting an effigy as the best Chancellor ever! History proves that the transition to Prime Minister from Chancellor is rarely smooth and rarely successful. However his continued denial was noted and may be the reason for his Party’s wish for a new leader.
British soldiers in Afghanistan face a “long uphill task” and progress in the country could take years to achieve, Defence Secretary Des Browne warned.
Earlier in the Conference, Mr Browne with an ‘e’, the part time Defence Minister, made another borderline speech.
Mr Browne said the military was making a “positive difference” in the country despite facing a “difficult and dangerous” task. He repeated the Prime Minister’s statement in July that next year there could be a “fundamental change of mission” in Iraq.
The nation owed service personnel “a debt we can never fully repay”, Mr Browne said, while praising Gordon Brown’s leadership in implementing support for armed forces members and their families.
Speaking to Labour’s conference, Mr Browne claimed the increased compensation for the armed forces was a recognition of their “special service”. He appeared to forget the Defence Budget cuts!
Britain currently has around 8,000 troops in Afghanistan and around 4,000 in Iraq. Last week Mr Browne insist