Anorak News | Barmy Army

Barmy Army

by | 12th, January 2004

‘YOU’VE got your PA, your driver, your publicist, your diet coach, your lifestyle guru, your toothpaste squeezer…but have you got a place in your entourage for a military adviser?

”Mine makes ‘realistic battle noises’ and has a light that flashes”

No? Well, why not? Who’s going to help you choose what brand of armoured personnel carrier to buy? Who’s going to let you know what everyone’s wearing in the desert this season?

These days, anyone who is anyone has their own military adviser, normally provided from within the thinning ranks of the British Army.

Major General Ken Perkins fills that role for the Sun and this morning he tells readers of Britain’s most popular paper why the resignation of Gulf War hero Colonel Tim Collins is ”a flashing red light” the MoD cannot afford to ignore.

Colonel Collins, you will recall, shot to fame as a result of his ”inspiring” eve-of-battle speech to the soldiers of the Royal Irish regiment under his command in Iraq.

But he has decided to quit for a lucrative career on civvy street, saying the Army was so underfunded and ill-equipped it was in danger of becoming ”a glorified Home Guard”.

It is a picture that Major General Perkins recognises.

”During his years of service,” he says, ”Col Collins has seen the resources at his disposal decrease to such an extent that men are sent ill-equipped into battle.

”Without flak jackets, without even proper boots. With radios years out of date.”

And wearing khaki, which is so last year’s colour.

”He has seen the quality of life suffer,” Maj-Gen Perkins continues, ”as Britain’s under-strength armed forces are stretched to breaking point to enable Tony Blair to strut the world stage and face down the firemen when they strike.”

And the Sun is, as one would expect, backing our brave boys, blaming ”red tape” and ”political correctness” for making it impossible for soldiers to do their jobs properly.

For instance, British soldiers are no longer provided with real bullets because it is thought they might cause serious injury or even, in some cases, death.

And instead of using guns, squaddies are encouraged to employ the latest conflict resolution techniques to stop the enemy shooting at them.

”Saddam, you have got a lot of anger inside you. Tell me about your earliest memories of your mother…”’

Posted: 12th, January 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink