Monday, 24 September 2012

On Thrasher, Limousines-for-Dictators, Saints and Army Veteran Status

Thrasher Mitchell should be sacked, obviously. He lied about swearing at the police officers and now, whilst denying using 'the words attributed' to him, hasn't told us exactly what he did say. The sin of a Cabinet Minister lying is far greater than the sin of being a short tempered arrogant little twat, and he should go.

Anyone who thinks he will be a loss to this government hasn't been paying attention for the past two years, during which time he has been spending £30m a day of taxpayers' money on fleets of Mercedes for dictators, shopping trips for their wives, and space programmes for India (OK, he will say that it was spent on clean water provision, but by doing so he freed up the cash for the Indian government to build spaceships and plan interplanetary fact-finding missions, etc). £500m a year goes to 'consultants' and £476m to 'climate change'. Oh, and £120m on 'administration' - ie salaries, pensions, offsite meetings, boondoggles, freebies and a little light expenses fraud - the usual stuff.

I think we have every right to suspect that they find it quite hard to spend all this money at all, let alone wisely. The major project for 2012/13 is £58m for the 'St Helena Access Project'. That's £13,631 per inhabitant ('saint') of St Helena for a new airport. Good luck to them, at least they are loyal subjects of Her Majesty. As for the rest, I'm with the gutsy Dambisa Moyo: "Limitless development assistance to African governments has fostered dependency, encouraged corruption and ultimately perpetuated poor governance and poverty."

As for the constant reference in the press to Thrasher's army officer past, this seems overstated. He was commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment in February 1975, but this commission was 'terminated' in October of the same year, when he appears to have joined the TA. He resigned his TA commission less than 18 months later, when an undergraduate at Cambridge. Frankly, I got more military experience in the Wellington College CCF between 1975 and 1979. Someone wrote a letter to the Telegraph this morning complaining that Mitchell was giving the armed forces a bad name. I really wouldn't worry - spending six months in the RTR as a 19 year old really doesn't count. For the first year of my own commission (as a 19 year old platoon commander on suntanning and cocktail party duty in Hong Kong, since you ask), I was a public liability. Thank heavens for my NCOs and good relations with the Chinese border guards.


Bill Quango MP said...

I learned how to fire a .303 in the CCF. Fire a .303 and wait around a lot to no purpose.

The second skill has proved more useful.

Thud said...

I have a tidy 303 stashed away in America to show my american relatives that guns don't have to be made of plastic.

Anonymous said...

When I was in my school's CCF, there was a chap a year ahead of me who made it to the rank of Sergeant in charge of the Army section. I was RAF, thankfully.

He made it to that rank and position for the simple reason he had let the masters know he wanted to join the Army after leaving school. It was well known that if you wanted promotion, hinting that you wanted to make it your career worked a treat.

I'm not sure how many months he lasted at Sandhurst, but it wasn't long. He then joined the TA and even went to his sister's wedding in his TA officers uniform.

He sounds very much like Andrew Mitchell...

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Mitchell should go because he's a lying scumbag who's been nasty to the help in a way no genuine toff would ever be. Not a gentleman. But then the RTR never were, were they? One of my chums was commissioned into the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars. On reporting for duty he was informed by the Adjutant: "When off duty you will always carry an umbrella. Never wear brown suede shoes. It's the 'underground' never 'the tube'. This isn't the RTR. Carry on."