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Sunday 23 August 2009

Chopper Cropper – 5

It’s always good to see Rupe’s troops keeping up with the news. Today’s Sunday Times has, apparently, got hold of Bernard Gray’s report into the MoD. Better late than never: the Beeb’s Laura Kuenssberg had the PowerPoint slides weeks ago, as I observed at the time.

Gray’s report is scathing on the inability of the MoD to procure weaponry, vehicles, aircraft and even ships within a credible timescale and within budget. He reckons that procurement has got itself over 35 billion over target and five years behind schedule. The Sunday Times, for whatever reason, says that “Labour is failing [our] troops”, while not acknowledging that the timescale under consideration is the past 20 years, which takes us back to the latter days of Margaret Thatcher (not connected to the Labour Party last time I looked).

And this is hugely important: the failings of the MoD are not a partisan thing. The procurement problems have occurred regardless of the stripe of those in power, and unless action is taken, will continue to occur thus. This is not the remit of the Murdoch press: it merely wants to shift copy. It is, however, incumbent on whoever prevails after the next General Election to act on Gray’s findings. I am sure that Young Dave would like to do something, but have little faith in Liam Fox to be the man to carry it through.

After all, not even the Tory cheerleading part of the blogosphere has much confidence in him.

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