So our MP's have received a 1.5% pay rise, & predictably there is somewhat of an outcry. The unions spokesmen are slating it, & I would imagine that the tabloids will be stirring the pot of public indignation over the next few days.
Now, I am in NO way a socialist. I have NO problem with people earning good wages, & I absolutely hate concepts like 'wealth redistribution'. We own our own home, which we work VERY hard for running our own business; & when I go across the road to the council flats where my brother lives at the moment I see scores of professional dole scroungers- people who don't WANT a job. They are happy as they get money from their benefits, they get their housing paid for & council tax paid for. When I see them they have enough money to be out of their faces on either booze or drugs. I'm sorry, but I'm not warm & fuzzy about society. How you are is a CHOICE! I know many people who had an underprivileged childhood, & came from the wrong side of the tracks; but they CHOSE not to live that lifestyle & are now real achievers! I want a small government that does its job of running the infrastructure of the country & stays out of my life for the most part. I don't want to be taxed to death like we are, & consequently I don't expect the government to wipe my backside & do everything for me, or pay me so I don't have to work & can get smashed on white lightning cider (apple free) or smack!
Sorry, rant over people. I appreciate that there are some MP's who are VERY hard working, & who genuinely work very long hours helping their constituents. I have to admit though that I'm a bit irritated to see their pay rise & the size of their wages. I'd like to put this into perspective for everyone. I have a friend who is a serving member of our Special Forces, a genuine hero in the 1st degree! He was wounded terribly on operations, & spent some months in hospital as they put him back together again. The 'big man' as he calls him (Gordon Brown) visited him & sat at his bedside. He asked him if there was anything he could do for him (& I have to admit, as much as I pretty much despise the Labour Government as it stands Brown went up slightly in my estimation there) & my friend thought "sod it, what can they do to me for speaking my mind?". This is what he pointed out to 'the big man':
Our Special Forces are out there putting their lives on the line all over the world. In Afghanistan they are fighting & dying along with regular 'green army' & reservists every single day. Yet these warriors are earning less than some of the 'coalition' soldiers who never go outside the wire because their governments won't let them! This is absolutely wrong! Mr Brown tried to tell my friend that the government had done this that & the other with their taxes & stuff, but my friend wasn't having any of it- & pointed out that soldiers in some other countries units don't pay ANY tax while they're in Afghanistan; & that it seems very unfair that our guys are still paying tax while they're already earning less than soldiers from other countries who never go beyond the wire surrounding their compounds. When MP's are now earning well over £60,000 per year (plus expenses) this situation seems a little obscene to me.
Worse than this is the current training situation for our reserve units. I'm truly concerned about the operational safety of our reservists now, many of whom are in combat supporting the regular forces & are taking casualties alongside them. Many people don't realise that we have Special Forces reservists, who do high risk operations alongside their regular counterparts. Our MP's have seen fit to award themselves a pay rise, yet the MOD has cut funding for Reservist training. The TA have had their drill nights cut, & training weekends cut. The powers that be have decided that to make up for this they'll double the time of pre-deployment training for soldiers going on operations. The thing is, this JUST DOESN'T CUT IT! Heavily committed & specialised units need 'unit integrity' & the MOD has just booted unit morale square in the 1%! As someone who trains people on a professional level I can tell you that you can't just let peoples training levels drop off & then hope to pick it up properly by giving them extra training before they go on operations, it doesn't work like that; & I truly believe that this penny pinching is going to result in casualties. If this happens I hope that the Labour government realise that those deaths or serious injuries lie at their feet, as they enjoy their extra pay!
Major Seb Morely very publicly resigned his commission some time ago over the equipment being issued to Special Forces in Afghanistan. He felt so strongly about it that he felt he needed to make BIG waves about it. The government spouts on about how much they've increased the money going towards new kit for the guys at the sharp end, but the reality is different. If it was true where are the helicopters, why have the guys been using unarmoured land rovers in places where IED's are as common as potholes? The main reason training has been cut for our TA units is despicable.........apparently its all over travelling expenses! Some more specialised TA units have members who come together from all over the country, & these members get travelling expenses for the miles they have to travel to drill nights or training weekends. The government can up the wages for already wealthy & well paid MP's, but they can't pay for the training of people who volunteer to serve in the TA & THEN VOLUNTEER AGAIN to go on operations to fight at the behest of those politicians. Those bean counters involved in this absolutely reprehensible penny pinching should hang their heads in shame. The same politicians who threw millions at propping up the same banks that screwed up our financial markets (only to see those banks handing out huge bonuses again) should throw some more money at the people who are dying for them in their wars!
I hope they enjoy their pay rise..........