Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Brown Gets Away With Troop Murder

Fresh calls for Brown to come clean and face the music at the Chilcot whitewash over a woeful lack of troop equipment and kit is set to fall on deaf ears. Brown got away with murder the first time around.

Chilcot has played into the hands of the spinners with no chance of a recall this side of the election.

With a masterstroke of timing, Brown has managed to duck the election bogeyman of a Chilcot grilling over starving forces of funds, despite a damning inquest verdict into the deaths of soldiers in Snatch coffins which happened on his watch.

The 'unlawful killings' verdict on the deaths in 2008 came just a week too late for Brown to be held to account. An appearance this week and he would have been forced into a corner with some harsh questioning.

Instead the canny politician with a dab hand at ducking responsibility was allowed to drone on with denials, reeling off meaningless tractor stats to fudge the facts.

Insisting that no request for new kit had ever been turned down during his time as chancellor or at No 10, flies in the face of contrary evidence from practically everyone expect his band of New Labour cronies.

Chilcot witnesses, including ex-defence secretary, Hoon, have accused the treasury of 'penny-pinching' over the Iraq war. Ex-top MoD civil servant, Tebbit, told how Brown "guillotined" military spending six months after the invasion.

Even the might of The Times and Telegraph making a splash with ex-army chiefs gunning for Brown made no difference. No sooner had he left Chilcot than Brown was facing demands to reappear after his top MoD official, flatly contradicted claims to have always supported troops.

Brown, said Jeffrey, forced the military to make 'cuts' leaving them 'very stretched indeed' because he did not give them enough money.

And to top it all, Brown's appearance came as an inquest into the deaths in a Snatch was hearing how troops believed vehicles were unsuitable but were told to make do.

The coroner at an inquest into the deaths of four soldiers in a blast in Afghanistan made it clear the deaths highlighted the problems of the Snatch Land Rover.

Even back in 2008, The Times was reporting how the military blocked replacing Snatch Land Rovers with safer vehicles because no extra funding for the vehicles was provided by the treasury.

The MoD was left struggling to fund the vehicles from its overstretched budget.

The inquest heard that the soldiers' commander had requested a replacement for their Snatch Land Rover but was refused because of equipment shortages. Soldiers had not been shown how to use metal detectors in the UK because of an equipment shortage.

The coroner's verdict and damning public slating of the funding shortfalls coming just days after the prime minister insisted 'troops had all the equipment they needed'.

But Brown has been allowed to get way with murder in front of his Chilcot stooges, droning on for hours with denials and fudge. And what does he do? Skip off to Afghanistan for a sickening photo-ops and Brown PR stunt.

Hand-picked Chilcot placemen, working to a tight Downing Street remit with plenty of wiggle room. Brown getting away with murder, despite the massed weight of evidence against him. An inquiry about to enter a period of pre-election purdah so there's no chance of a Brown recall this side of the election.

All part of the disgrace of the pre-election plan to prevent the shame of underfunded troops sent to their deaths in the killing fields becoming a hot election issue.

Cameron may have something to say about this at today's PMQs, if Ducking Brown decides to turn up.

UPDATE 1.55pm: Cameron finally showed some fire in his belly rounding on Brown over the inquest verdict and his Chilcot 'evidence' at PMQs. Brown's feeble response was to shout 'Ashcroft'. Pathetic.

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