‘Obscenity’ And The Ministry of Defence

Defence Secretary, Bob Ainsworth, has been forced to reveal, in reply to a parliamentary question, that a senior official at the Ministry of Defence trousered a bonus payment of £84,500 last year.

The average payment for senior fixed term appointees was said to be £31,890 over the same period.

What the heck is a ‘senior fixed term appointee’? Well, the Cabinet Office describe the positions as either consultants brought in from outside the civil service, or seconded from other departments. Hmmm… I am still none the wiser.

Given the way we follow everything the US does, I am tempted to question whether these ‘senior fixed term appointees’ are really private security personnel (aka mercenaries) contracted to perform dirty deeds – while allowing plausible denial for the government – in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Alliance branded the payments ‘obscene’ but what is really ‘obscene’ is the sight of the coffins in which our dead military personnel return, after losing their lives while earning a fraction of the pay being awarded to the recipients of the bonuses.

What is ‘obscene’ is the fact that the Ministry of Defence could not afford to supply our troops with the equipment needed to protect their lives during a war we should, arguably, not be fighting but can, instead, afford to pay consultants large bonuses.

What is ‘obscene’ is the cost of the security circus that will be protecting the man who led us into the present military actions, Tony Blair, as he is grilled by the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, at the end of this week.

But the biggest obscenity of all is that it has taken a parliamentary question to even discover that our tax payments are being frittered away in such an unsavoury fashion.

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