Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Sunday, 18 March 2007

The Scandal of the "Unsafe" RAF Aircraft Forced to Keep Flying

I get deeply depressed using this site, which offers so much optimistic possibility and traditional good sense gained from our shared past to relate the increasing betrayal by the British Government of those risking their lives for it, but to "defend the British Crown Commonwealth and the English-Speaking Peoples" one must be vigilant at all times to raise the cry. That's why we honour Churchill who spoke the inconvenient truths while many preferred to sleep. In yesterday's Times investigative reporter Mick Smith revealed the astonishing scandal that forces deadly aircraft to continue to be used by airmen in the service to Queen and country.

This latest scandal was slowly revealed after an RAF Nimrod simply exploded over southern Afghanistan on September 2nd and the MoD insisted that the 14 who were killed would not be categorised as having died in action but rather through a mere technicality. Smith received numerous emails from air crew at the Nimrod's base at RAF Kinloss detailing how they are "forced to keep flying and to continue with the air-to-air refueling process that is believed to have caused the tragedy."

In January 2005 in Iraq ten British servicemen were killed when a special forces Hercules was shot down by insurgents who managed to hit the aircraft wing fuel tank which exploded. After 18 months only seven of the RAF's 48-strong fleet of Hercules have had the flaw hat allowed this to happen corrected.

In the meantime, angry crew are leaving their bases “'in droves', either by resigning or demanding transfers to other aircraft" resulting in Kinloss base being short of eight flight engineers, forcing engineers from other bases to move to Kinloss, "but a number have resigned rather than do so."

Is it any wonder that in an open letter to Blair, families of those who died in action felt forced to remind him that

the military covenant is a cornerstone of our democracy, a mutual obligation between the nation, the armed forces, and every serviceman and woman. It is a common bond of identity, loyalty and responsibility that has sustained the armed forces - and the country - throughout an often difficult history. In practice, this means that governments make the decisions, and the armed forces implement them. In return, the armed forces have:

* the right to expect any war to be lawful;

* the right to have adequate resources to carry out the tasks the politicians demand of them;

* the right to be properly cared for in the event of injury;

* the right to know that, in the event of their death, their families will be looked after properly.


Scott said...

Blair is an outrage. The one thing I admire him for - fortitude in Iraq and Afghanistan, and against the leftyish morons of his own party and the media - and even there we find him duplicitous, incompetent, a swine.

Larry said...

What would you have them do? Shut down operations for the next 3-4 years, while they engineer a replacement or a rebuild. War is a "come-as-you-are" affair. If you wish to have the best, spend for it, and then plan to spend more on it! Yes the RAF, the RAAF, and (god knows) the CF have equipment "rust-out" issues. Case in point, the USAF tends to retire its Hercs when they hit approximately 25000 flight hours, in Canda the number is 45000 hours. It's the bottom line result of years of cutting back and making do...

Scott said...

Blair and Labour have cut defense spending every year they've been in power.

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

I cannot understand why Blair and Labour cut defence spending while they are engaged in combat operations in A'stan and does not make sense!

Beaverbrook said...

The UK transferred something like 7 billion pounds to the EU last year, and for what???? They are transferring oodles to have-not EU countries, even while they contemplate slashing the navy by half and further downsizing the military. If you want to know what doesn't make sense, it is that!

Scott said...

Quite right. And the illogicality of it will be its downfall. Passing power and cash to the EU is a handy tool for politicians to get their way without accountability or the interference of the populace; but as soon as they cannot get their way (when the regnant PC consensus is smashed), it'll quickly be over. The Tories are more Euro-sceptic than they have been in decade. They wish to reform it to gain back a large number of domestic powers ceded. They will find it impossible. And, when that happens, half-way through David Cameron's second-term, one referendum later and our "long national nightmare" (to steal a phrase) will all be over.

Britain could easily have a quasi-superpower status if it wanted (the U.S. being a hyperpower), as, in fact, could Canada. They are wealthy, resourceful (intellectually, culturally, financially as well as in oil, water, etc), both stand at key nexus points in international relations (with Europe, USA, India, Pakistan, China, Singapore, etc, all having close links geographically, historically and otherwise), both have the network of the Anglosphere and NATO to assert a peaceful dominance... etc, etc.

All they lack is vigour and any kind of self-confidence.

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

I quite agree, Scott. I watched PM Harper's speech this weekend he have in Toronto, and it appears as though he is going to try to reverse this trend.

There is no reason why Canada can not be on par with Australia in terms of power and influence.

Younghusband said...

"There is no reason why Canada can not be on par with Australia in terms of power and influence."
Given it has 10 million more people, twice the size, not located in the middle of nowhere trying to engage in neighbours that don't accept it, I'd say it is the greatest shame that Australia is setting the agenda while Canada continues its slide to mediocrity and irrelevance.

Beaverbrook said...

It is not continuing to "slide to mediocrity and irrelevance". Under Harper, that trend has thankfully stopped. But it will take a little time to dig ourselves out of the hole.

Scott said...

Everything hangs on a knife's edge in Canada. Harper needs to succeed, and shift the whole political consensus with him, if his achievements are to last.