Denise Robertson - Take up the pen and not the sword

Denise Robertson gives her views on how government cuts are affecting the Armed Forces

The Armed Forces are feeling the effects of Goverment cuts
The Armed Forces are feeling the effects of Goverment cuts

I listened last week as a soldier described his time in Afghanistan. Eventually, he told us on Radio 4, he had been made redundant 87 days short of the 16 years needed to secure a full pension.

Men who signed on alongside him who last another three months will emerge with twice his pension.

Sixteen years ago we made that man a promise. He would risk his life for us and, if he survived, we would recompense him.

Now, we’ve welshed on the deal at the same time as we award £700,000 in bonuses to bureaucrats in the Ministry of Defence.

Moral?  Take up the pen and not  the sword – you’ll live longer and get richer.

As a result of a court decision last week, soldiers can now sue if they are injured or die as the result of inadequate equipment.

I know all about the £38bn black hole in the MoD budget which the coalition inherited but, if we have duff equipment, where has the money gone?

We spend a reported £6bn more than the French, but they reportedly have 72,000 more personnel, 51 more jets, a bigger naval fleet plus an aircraft carrier, 2,000 more armoured vehicles and an independent nuclear deterrent.

Ours is dependent on the United States.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer