Would Gordon Brown and John Hutton feel safe in a Snatch Land Rover?

November 11, 2008 6:14 PM

Defence Secretary John Hutton took part in an interview on the Today Programme this morning that I personally found pretty outrageous, particularly given that like many members of my generation I have a decent number of friends either in, recently in or about to go to Afghanistan or Iraq.


When asked about the frankly appalling standard of kit and vehicles that British soldiers had been given, he said that he could assure the families of soldiers serving in Afghanistan that their equipment was now good enough, and that having good equipment was "the thing we worry about the most".


All that is rather at odds with the fact that British soldiers are still in many cases having to use the "deathtrap" Snatch Land Rover, which is extremely vulnerable to Improvised Explosive Devices. Even his comment that Ministers worry about good equipment most of all is rather at odds with the recent comments of Defence Minister Quentin Davies MP who, when asked about the resignation statement of an SAS Major who had resigned his commission because of the appalling kit problems, refused to accept the officer's concerns and tried to blame commanders in the field for soldiers' deaths.


I can't help but think that if Gordon Brown, John Hutton and Quentin Davies are so confident that our troops are safe in the lightly armoured Snatch Land Rovers, then surely they would be happy to use them as their official transport from now on? Or is it different when you're protecting an MP rather than a soldier on less than the minimum wage?

Defence Secretary John Hutton took part in an interview on the Today Programme this morning that I personally found pretty outrageous, particularly given that like many members of my generation I have a decent number of friends either in, recently in or about to go to Afghanistan or Iraq.


When asked about the frankly appalling standard of kit and vehicles that British soldiers had been given, he said that he could assure the families of soldiers serving in Afghanistan that their equipment was now good enough, and that having good equipment was "the thing we worry about the most".


All that is rather at odds with the fact that British soldiers are still in many cases having to use the "deathtrap" Snatch Land Rover, which is extremely vulnerable to Improvised Explosive Devices. Even his comment that Ministers worry about good equipment most of all is rather at odds with the recent comments of Defence Minister Quentin Davies MP who, when asked about the resignation statement of an SAS Major who had resigned his commission because of the appalling kit problems, refused to accept the officer's concerns and tried to blame commanders in the field for soldiers' deaths.


I can't help but think that if Gordon Brown, John Hutton and Quentin Davies are so confident that our troops are safe in the lightly armoured Snatch Land Rovers, then surely they would be happy to use them as their official transport from now on? Or is it different when you're protecting an MP rather than a soldier on less than the minimum wage?

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