If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Thursday, 11 March 2010


The Right Honorable Member for Kirkaldy and Cowdenbeath and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, PhD, MP, today:

The Prime Minister went on to defend himself against charges that the government failed to provide an alternative to the lightly armoured Snatch Land Rover, which is now being phased out. Mr Brown said that it was only belatedly clear that Snatch Land Rovers would be unsuitable as insurgents turned to the use of roadside bombs.

However, from Hansard:

Lord Astor of Hever: My Lords, we on these Benches, too, extend our condolences to the family of the soldier killed in Afghanistan yesterday. Our thoughts at this time are also with the two soldiers who were seriously injured yesterday, and we wish them a speedy recovery. I thank the Minister for his reply and understand completely that any answer that he gives must not prejudice troop protection, but the Snatch Land Rover is not remotely adequate for patrolling areas where insurgents use landmines. Can the Minister assure the House that the Government will provide our soldiers with equipment that is fit for this role? What assessment have the Government made of the RG-31 which, with its V-shaped undercarriage, has a greater resilience to IEDs and which the Americans have bought in large numbers just for this role?

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I do not accept that Snatch Land Rovers are not appropriate for the role.
(June 2006)

Mr. Ruffley: Nearly a quarter of the British soldiers lost in hostile action in Iraq were in Snatch Land Rovers at the time. Those vehicles are widely recognised to be inadequately armoured to withstand roadside bombs, and are consequently seen as a soft target for insurgents. In the interests of preventing unnecessary deaths, will the Secretary of State tell us which specific vehicles he is considering deploying as replacements for Snatch Land Rovers in Iraq?
(June 2006)

Dr. Fox: Clearly, there is an increased risk. Lord Drayson told the other place recently that in Iraq, the Snatch Land Rover “provides the mobility and level of protection that we need.”— [ Official Report, House of Lords, 12 June 2006; Vol. 12, c. 2.] Fusilier Gordon Gentle was killed by a road-side bomb way back in June 2004, and since then other soldiers have been killed who would have survived if they had been in properly armed vehicles. Snatch Land Rovers do not offer the level of protection that our troops need in Iraq, yet we continue to use them. Why are our troops not given the level of protection that they need, and which American troops already enjoy? Commanders cannot deploy vehicles that they do not have.
(June 2006)

I'm sorry if I seem to have it in for the 'Honorable' gentleman, but he is clearly a lying ratbag.

(H/t Iain Dale for the quotes)


  1. You may have missed the important bit!

    New Labour stooge Lord Drayson said: "My Lords, I do not accept that Snatch Land Rovers are not appropriate for the role."

    And since New Labour said they didn't accept it, it obviously wasn't true and the PM isn't actually lying. Apparently, it's only changed recently, because the insurgents have got better at making IEDs (risible though that may be, it was wheeled out as an excuse when big Gordo announced the purchase of 200 new patrol vehicles).

    I believe it's time to reuse that word "disingenuous". And point out that perhaps the single most corrosive thing about this Labour government is that no statement they ever make can be taken at face value. It has to be parsed minutely to understand in what narrow context it might possibly be true. It's like being stuck in an endless, badly-written courtroom procedural, where the exact interpretation of every sentence is the subject of forensic and learned argument. In the real world, it's an impossibly wearying way in which to conduct any sort of conversation and no surprise that people simply elect to believe none of it. they're probably right anyway, and have saved themselves a lot of brow-wrinkling effort in cutting straight to the chase.

    Speaking of cutting to the chase, my loathing for the man knows no limits. And if he told me the sky was blue, I'd feel a sudden need to check both that and the contents of my wallet.

  2. Er, I did include the Lord Drayton remark - look back. It's significant because it shows that Labour were not only aware of the issue in 2006, but were denying it was an issue. Suddenly, after Chilcot and a couple of disaffected Generals, it's become an urgent priority. And how many brave lads and lasses have died in between? Don't even think about it.

    Your remarks on 'disingenuous' - bang on. It's what we get if we choose to be governed by lawyers. Even if GB isn't one, many of those who surround him are, and that kind of playing with words to conceal the truth is obviously endemic.

  3. Sorry, my lack of clarity - I was actually quoting you quoting Drayson! Mainly to illustrate the point that, not for the first nor the last time, the government chose to simply play the "we're right, you're wrong" card. So, denying it was an issue in 2006 makes that (in a newspeak kind of way) the Truth That Was and paves the way for Gordon to have a pretence, however flimsy, to honesty when he claims it is only recent developments that render our troops vulnerable and their equipment in need of replacement.

    I'm not sure which is worse: to be governed by men who can persuade themselves of their righteousness and worth in such a way, or by men who are too selfishly evil to care how many lives their ambitions cost. More to the point - could we not have an option to be governed by decent and honourable human beings instead?

  4. "Ut was the RIGHT thing to dae, ferr the RIGHT reasons, and anyone who says otherwise VILL BE TAKEN OUT AND SHOT.

    A government of decent and honourable human beings? Not in my lifetime - unless me and thee stand for public office, eh Endo?

    We'd show 'em.


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