Another self inclicted wound - What do headlines like this do for Labour's core vote ?

Is there any way to undermine Labour's core vote than to read headlines saying that the government is going to court to reduce the compensation payout to soldiers severely injured in Afghanistan ?

I can't think of anything which could make the government look less caring and more hypocritical given the current climate and the perceived penny pinching in Afghanistan.

It is symptomatic of this government though (as I wrote yesterday) that they are providing stories for The Daily Mail and The Express which write themselves (that is if the Express can avoid another Madeleine McCann story or link it in some way to Princess Diana.

Whilst there might be reasons for appealing against compensation payouts, irrespective of the mess the government are in politically, is it not the worst time possible from a military strategists point of view to be pursuing a court case in order to claim back what is only around £100,000 ? We have in recent years had something of a recruitment crisis in our armed forces and whilst there are reports that recruitment is easing due to the recessions (something the US forces have relied upon for year whilst recruiting in the poorest parts of the US), it sends a poor message to anyone thinking of joining the army at this moment.

But going back to Labour's core vote, those who were less than enthused about voting Labour last week in Norwich. What does it say to them about Labour's priorities. I always think that the ex local authority housed working class Labour voter are some of the most patriotic voters who take a deep pride n their country. This is why so many of them so happily switched to UKIP in last week's Norwich North by-election. These people might vote Lib Dem where there is a long established Lib Dem presence, they won't switch to the Tories out of a long held antipathy to that party, but UKIP provides a place to put their cross with no feelings of regret.

When Alistair Darling said yesterday that he is still optimistic of a Labour win next year, it really makes you question him on his economic forecasts too.


Mark Reckons said...

This seems to be a classic case of where a minister sees it as their duty to do what the government machine wants them to do rather than take a couple of steps back and think "Hang on a minute, is this really what we should be doing?".

Richard T said...

Take a look at the MoD pages in Whitakker's almanac and then ask yourself what do all the top brass actually do for the six figure salaries they get. Notice in passing that the military chief chaplains get more than the Archbishop of Canterbury. Then you'll look for the equivalent civil servants but in vain all the duplicating civil servants no longer appear and you'll perhaps wonder why. Finally you'll ask yourself why the taxpayer stumps up for servants, country houses and public school education for these heroes and their families.

Once you've done that, you'll reflect on all the money wasted by the MoD on useless procurement like Chinooks they can't fly because they forgot to ask the Americans for their instructions.

Then finally you'll go back and read again that the MoD are trying to weasel out of paying compensation to the guys in the armed forces who've been wounded and maimed fighting unnecessary wars because the last Dear Leader wanted to strut on the world stage as the best friend of the americans.

There are times when however idealistic you try to be, you just can't manage it.

Anonymous said...

Oh I am quite sure that some "advisor" has told the so-called gov't that the public are mad about gov't compensation pay outs. Yeah, we are...to lazy, no-good, sly, welfare basket cases...and politicians!
I think most people are not of the same view when it comes to hard-working soldiers, I.E. people who put their lives on the line.
The scum that make these decisions just don't get it do they?

Anonymous said...

Not a clue. This lot are hopeless.

RSLAdvocate said...

Yes all very true - except, this is done quite often where a Court has awarded payment higher than the legislation allows. It is merely seeking a clarification, and if the high court supports the increased payment from 9,000 to 42,000 ( not sure of the exact figures and don't have them to hand) then it sets a precedence for future awards.

The timing is unfortunate (to put it mildly) but the principle is sound. Sad but true. That the military receives far less compensation than fire officers or police due for injuries experienced in the course of their duty is what you should be pursuing.

stuart said...

It beggars belief. It really does show how the wheels have come off. A few years ago Labour would have killed this initiative stone dead long before it hit the headlines.