Soldiers to part with the Northern Ireland allowance

As more troops withdraw so is the danger they once faced when doing the Northern Ireland tour of duty. Now it seems the extra allowances are to be cut too. Thanks to Betty for the heads up.

  • west belfast resident

    An effective pay cut of £2000 per year per squaddie,is the least of the British army’s woes.

    According to Tim Collin’s in his book, it is no longer the army he joined, it is now run like a business,and he is of the opinion that they are bad business men at the top of the army. He calls them ‘Nethers’ that is neither soldiers nor business men but something in between. Collins goes on, ‘The BA is nw barely able to meet its commitments and debilitated by budgetary constraints. Undermanned, the regiments cannot fill their ranks under the current rules. The training regime has been largely civilanised, … and the actual training places become available only very slowly. ..I predict dark and difficult days ahead for the British Army.”(Rules of Engagement page 349)

    There is a need for every society now to have a well functioning well manned and well equiped army. Leaving our bias’ aside, (many Irish people have associations with the BA witness Mary Nellis’ husband who is ex-UDR) it is time now for the ordinary soldier to stand and say no more. After all the army is an employer, soldiers should have the same rights as any other employee, the same rights to a fair and minimum wage.

    Perhaps when our institutions go up, the SF team will be able to work towards a new pay deal for the average squaddie stationed here.

  • smcgiff

    WBR, while we’re on ideals. The ideal would be to have no armies at all.

    What role do you think ‘a well functioning well manned and well equipped army.’ should be prepared for?

    Should it simply be to defend one’s land or should it be there also to ‘spread freedom’?

  • west belfast resident

    smg, I was not talking of ideals but a need. But you are in one sense right, in an ideal world there would be no need for armies. However, as far back as Platos Republic society has seen the need for an army. It serves many functions not only that of defence in a war situation. For example relief efforts in natural disasters.

    Do you think it would be better for society to have NO army, no defence at all? Bush has just cut his countries health budget in order to boost defence, that is not the first time he has taken money from other areas to give to defence. Homeland security recieved the money intended for the New Orleans dykes. While america is boosting its defence budget, Britain is undercutting it. Running it like a business, as has been done in education and health, and look at the mess they made there. Now watch them make it in defence.

    Britain should remember the state of the nations health when it went to call up for enlistment before the first world war.

    At present I do see a war on terror going on, and I do see a need for a well equiped army mainly for defence, but for other reasons also.

    You?

  • smcgiff

    I live in the Republic or Ireland. There’s never going to be the possibility that we’d be able to build up (assuming we don’t go all third world or USA and spend everything on arms) a sufficient enough army to make any credible standing army defence.

    So, I think the Republic has it pretty much right. It’s got a sufficient enough army to keep the locals in line (not much call for F16s there), and also to have a minimal international peace keeping role.

    I hope you don’t think George W’s health cuts to fund the Military is something you’d advocate for the UK. I had intended to show the US as a reason where the military has lost the complete run of themselves – GWB’s heath cuts being a case in point!

    How many people died because of Sept 11? How many will die because of the health budget cuts? I would imagine a significant multiple of the Sept 11 deaths. Bin Laden doesn’t need to attack America anymore, GWB is doing a good enough job left to his own devices.

    There may be a case that the Republic is relying on NATO for its protection without having to get involved. But, NATO would exist with or without the Republic and we get the benefits whether we like it or not.

  • heck

    just a question but what is wrong with the swiss model for defense? They don’t have a large standing army just reserves and they are trained to be called up in case of an invasion.

    They don’t have the capability to go and invade other countries.

  • Stephen Copeland

    There may be a case that the Republic is relying on NATO for its protection …

    Um, against who, exactly?

    The only possible threat to Ireland comes from NATO members. No-one else could get near us, we’re isolated over in the Atlantic, remember.

    Maybe the Russian navy could invade us, but honestly, why would they bother?

    We don’t need NATO ‘protection’, we need to be on good terms with its members so that they won’t invade us. Thats all.

  • west belfast resident

    No No I am not advocating that money be taken from health to give to MOD at all. I merely want to first of all stress that no service, whether health, education or defence can be run by ‘business men’ or a botch of people who are businessmen cum doctors, or business men cum teachers, or Collins ‘Nethers’. Infact I should have stressed more the point that giving money to defence as bush has done by taking it from other things can be folly, ie New Orleans.

    However, we do need to find the money. From where well that is for the politicians to look at.

    You must understand, I am as Irish as you are, but we are ruled by Britain and until that changes in the north then we must by circumstance look at the British army stationed here.

    The Republic, has got it a little right, but only by default. There was never much money before to build up the army to where the authorities there might like it. Don’t they have the ‘civil defence’ for some of the things you propose. Sometimes they also have to call upon the brits to help thme out with sea rescues and stuff.

    As for the military loosing the complete run of them selves, I don’t think that is the case in the US, I think that is George Bush and his ilk who are pushing paranoia in the states, rather than the military themselves.

    However, there are some very real fears of attack out there. What for example if an Irish paper had printed a picture of the cartoons and where fearful of an attack on the country. Would the defence they have now be able to deal with it?

  • smcgiff

    ‘Um, against who, exactly?’

    I agree, I was only getting my retaliation in first! ;¬)

  • smcgiff

    WBR, I’m not so sure election sensitive politicians would be any better running such services.

    We do indeed have the Civil defence. And I couldn’t tell you the last time (if ever) the army had to be called in to “police” the civilians.

    ‘I don’t think that is the case in the US, I think that is George Bush and his ilk who are pushing paranoia in the states, rather than the military themselves.’

    I seriously doubt there are too many US generals jumping up and down complaining that there getting too much resources. Maybe I’m being less than generous. I’ve a low tollerance level for something as big as the US military machine.

    ‘What for example if an Irish paper had printed a picture of the cartoons and where fearful of an attack on the country. Would the defence they have now be able to deal with it?’

    The Irish daily Star printed the cartoon. No, it wouldn’t have the defence to stop the most likely attack, but neither would the UK.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    At this time of relative peace, unionist violence excluded, one wonders why there are more British troops station in the northern six counties of Ireland than there are in Iraq.

  • west belfast resident

    Pat as you said they are stationed here, in Iraq they are not stationed but performing a particular role. Eventually they will leave Iraq. I note you don’t say the Brit army is occupying the six counties. LOL

    Why would they not be stationed here,ask any SF minister who wants to be involved in devolved government-they both take the Queens shilling.

    smg, I agree the south would not have the defence to stop a terrorist attack, but the UK can rely on a bigger better equiped army for intelligence and in dealing with an attack, for example clearing a whole city where they thought there was a dirty bomb for instance.

    there is no room for complacency especially now with so many illegal immigrants.

  • ingrammartin

    Pat,

    Quote”At this time of relative peace, unionist violence excluded, one wonders why there are more British troops station in the northern six counties of Ireland than there are in Iraq.”Unquote

    It is tempting to say ” Cos they can” so I will not.

    The training facilities in the North are excellent and cherished, pretty simple.

    Martin

  • elfinto

    WBR,

    Are you Ingram in disguise?

    Why do you give a toss if the British Army is run by a bunch of accountants who demoralise the rank and file anyway? Worried about your pension or something?

  • elfinto

    ‘Martin’

    I heard the training facilities in Afghanistan are pretty good as well. How’s your Pashtu?

  • ingrammartin

    Elfinto,

    Quote”I heard the training facilities in Afghanistan are pretty good as well. How’s your Pashtu? “Unquote

    Yep thats a real fight not a controled one. What you need is good facilities like Ballykilner where you can spray what ever you want and the rounds will fall in the sea or on a trawler in the bay. After a hard day in the sun , a range of pubs that serve decent ale is required.Now granted that is difficult in NI but the women make up for it.

    NI is known for its RNR ( Rest N recreation) qualities.

    As for Pashtu I prefer a mild curry myself( Joke)

    Martin

  • west belfast resident

    Elfinto you are an irish man in the states, don’t you care what george bush is doing? Can’t you see the real threat of attack out there. Aren’t we in N Ireland now in a post war situation? Are we not allowed to voice our opinions.

    I didn’t know because of where I lived I was unable to voice an opinion.

    The biggest half of the IRA were at one time in the Brits, or didn’t you know that. Wasn’t McStaofain in the RAF?

  • smcgiff

    ‘run by a bunch of accountants who demoralise the rank and file’

    Hmmm, a backward compliment I think.
    Accountant’s bring down British army shocker!

  • elfinto

    For the third time in three days on three separate threads.

    I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO THE UNITED STATES IN MY LIFE. PERIOD!!!

  • elfinto

    wbr,

    Are you trying to tell us that Oliver’s Army is going to stop Al Qaeda from nuking Belfast? And that we Irish people should be grateful!?? Bizarre!

  • west belfast resident

    Elfinto, wasn’t there an Al Quaeda supporter, and he was an immigrant arrested in Hawthorn Street in Belfast not too long ago, and from what I remember not so long ago, it was his fault the jail at magaberry had a bomb scare. I believe I read that he had something in his hand which he said was a bomb and the jail had to go on security. that security alert had nothing to do with the real or continuities.

    Now if he’d had a dirty bomb in his rented residence just off the springfield road, what do you propose the people of west belfast should do. Phone the guards and ask dublin for the civil defence to come and clear the area? Who would come do you think? O yes its elfintos Olivers army. Unfortunately if you ask your SF/MLA member they will tell you that west belfast is still under british rule and thanks to those you support is likely to stay there.

  • west belfast resident

    ps elfinto rather than be so interested in my point of view do you have any of your own on defence? What are your views re george bush and his policies toward the military in the US? Do you think the republic of ireland have it just right, what are your views on hecks suggestion of the swiss model,or have you any views regarding an idealistic society?

    Who do you think should defend the irish people in event of an attack by extreme islamists?