We have been waiting for something solid to come from the Conservatives in the defence realm. So far they have delivered a half baked ill thought through collection of announcements mostly about ‘slashing civil servant numbers’
With General Sir Richard Dannatt on the team it is hoped that a number of solid policies would start trickling out.
Oh dear, how naive we have all been.
Plumbing new depths is the announcement that the Conservatives would award a university scholarship to all children of service personnel killed whilst on active duty.
Hold on you say, what is so bad about that?
On face value nothing, but what about the children of those service personnel who have the damned poor grace to not get killed, back in line for you I am afraid.
What about the children of police officers, fire fighters or lifeboat crew, are they not deserving, have they not given their life in the service of their country?
Do service personnel who die in a range accident or car crash qualify, suppose someone who has done half a dozen active duty tours, comes home and dies in a car accident?
All this assumes the child wants to go to University, what if they want to be a plumber?
George Osborne estimates the cost will be £1.5m per year, Liam Fox talks of a duty of care to our service personnel.
Interestingly, the Conservatives, who obviously have a duty of care to Indian service personnel as well, have also recently announced that only NHS and Overseas Aid budgets would be ring fenced.
India receives around £40million per year in aid, a nuclear capable nation with record growth, a navy that is larger than ours and ambitious spending plans for all three of their services.
The Conservatives have even floated the idea of providing aid vouchers to third world recipients so they can shop around for the best schools and other services.
So if you are in a third world country you can get, off a Conservative government, a voucher for private education but in this country, your mother or father has to be killed on a front line.
What service personnel in this country need are sound defence policies not gimmicks.
Bandwagon jumping of the worse kind.
Must try harder