The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Five rounds each - can any MoD equipment snafu story get traction?

Before the war, I mentioned several times the truly woeful record of the UK Ministry of Defence in supplying equipment that works to the forces it deploys. The SA 80 rifle and Challenger 2 tank were two of the MoD's Edsels in the firing line. As it were.

Then there was Sgt Steven Roberts who had to give up his body armour - and was then shot, and died for lack of the armour.

And the MPs sent into a hostile area without a workable radio to call for backup.

Now, a soldier has said that
We had five rounds each to defend ourselves. I actually crossed the border with five rounds.

The magazine held 30 separate bullets but I was issued with five separate bullets to last the entire hostilities of the war.

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon was whistling Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah after his Hutton reprieve, and his record on previous kit snafus has been as Teflon as his supremely lucky boss. (Except Hoon usually has to make a chump of himself in the process - as with his appearance before the Commons Defence Committee on February 5 - where his outburst on the 45 minute WMD intel overshadowed his questioning on the issue of defective and inadequate equipment.)

Tony loves having him around as Fall-guy Apparent for Iraq, and any future pre-emptive jaunts he may consider joining: the grieving widow of Sgt Roberts has failed to make an impression, so I doubt whether the five round guy will do any better.

We'll see.

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