Sunday, July 25, 2004

Here we go ....

The Observer - "Blair said it was premature to talk about British troops on the ground, but there cannot be a clearer case for humanitarian intervention ...".

The first move of a 'Not In My Name' paper towards troops on the ground in Sudan. We have been here before, of course.

Kevin Myers isn't impressed.

Of course by the time Geoff Hoon has finished we won't have much left to send. Cabarfeidh has all the depressing details (who said "You join the Borderers - you don't join the Army" ?), and also links to this John Keegan piece.

"Schools and hospitals make, however, much less successful communities than regiments. Both are committed to the welfare of individuals, not groups, and both have transient populations. British regiments, by contrast, epitomise the communal idea. They are rooted in their localities, they embrace generations and they succeed in their tasks by inspiring all their members with a common purpose. One is forced to inquire why Mr Blair does not wonder how the regiments that serve his government, when sent to Bosnia or Kosovo or Iraq, achieve what they do.

There are 22,000 schools in Britain, many, by this Government's own reckoning, failures in the business of education. There are only 50 regiments of infantry and armour, "manoeuvre units", as the Americans call them, all of which can be relied on to carry out the tasks they are given. Mr Brown announces that 40,000 civil servants are surplus to requirement, out of a public sector payroll of five and a half million. The infantry and cavalry soldiers of British regiments number only 25,000; and yet, in the seven years of this Government's life, they have rescued Sierra Leone from savagery, reversed ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and stabilised southern Iraq, besides continuing to maintain peace in Northern Ireland. The "added value", that favourite Blairite index of efficiency, of British regiments is incalculable."

The Gangster of Love also has wise words.

UPDATE - new kids on the blog Bend And Break aren't happy either - so unhappy that they've opened hostilities by posting the same item four times ...

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