In November 2012, Deborah Haynes, The Times Defence Editor used a photo of Alfie and me to illustrate an article she had written exposing failings in Army Recruiting. Four years later and she is still writing about it.
It is yet another example of the extent of the incompetence and arrogance at the MoD. Despite obvious failings, little has been done to address the issue. As General Melchett once said, ‘If nothing else works a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through’.
The impact is considerable. It creates significant gaps in our defence capability, leaving the army undermanned and the nation vulnerable. The knock-on effect is to increase the demands on our serving soldiers who are required to do more with less to fill these capability gaps which, in turn damages morale and well-being.
But perhaps the most depressing aspect of this astonishing mismanagement and waste is that it appears to have gone unchecked without any apparent accountability or culpability. Even now the MoD seems to be in denial, insisting ‘action has been taken’.
SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand is the unauthorised, unvarnished and irreverent story of one man’s midlife crisis on the front line of the most dangerous district in Afghanistan where the locals haven’t forgiven the British for the occupation of 1842 or for the Russian Invasion of 1979. Of course, all infidels look the same so you can’t really tell them apart.