May 2024

Lions led by greedy, corrupt donkeys

As another three British troops die in the pointless war in Afghanistan it might be worth comparing the prospects for ordinary service personnel and their multimillionaire leaders.

Over the last 20 or so years, as the number of ordinary troops has declined, the number of officers has increased. The ratio of officers to lower ranks has gone up by about 30%. And this situation is about to become even more absurd – by 2020, the Royal Navy will cut 8,500 jobs, the Army 20,000 and the Royal Air Force 11,000. There is a plan to reduce the number of officers, but by nothing like the level of reductions in lower ranks. In Britain, we have around 490 officers of brigadier level and above for 180,000 troops – in the US Marine Corps there are just 86 for a force of 200,000.

And what do our officers do all day? The Navy has 421 officers for less than 40 fighting ships and submarines. The RAF has 26 Air Vice Marshalls, 90 Air Commodores and 330 Group Captains for around 820 planes. As for the Army – there are so many officers and so few regiments, we would put the Italian army to shame.

While ordinary troops risk their lives before coming home to collect their P45s and head off into a life of poverty, their officers are laughing all the way to the bank. The top 32 military bosses get over £156,000 a year each in taxfree housing allowances. A further 390 officers receive over £87,000 a year each.

As for pensions, most squaddies will get a pittance, particularly if military chiefs manage to give enough of them their P45s just before they accrue sufficient years service for a full pension. But their bosses can look forward to living the rest of their days as multimillionaires. Most top military will retire with pension pots in the £2m to £3m range, giving pensions of £70,000 to £100,000 a year. In addition, they get a taxfree lump sum of 3 years’ pension – so, well over £200,000. Plus they can make hundreds of thousands of pounds a year more by whoring themselves out to arms suppliers. Our troops may not be getting the best equipment, but their retired bosses are getting the best “bribes”.

Yes, it’s a grand life being one of Britain’s multimillionaire military bosses, but not so great if you’re a lowly squaddie being thrown on the scrap heap to save money, so your masters can continue in the taxpayer-funded luxury to which they have become accustomed.

1 comment to Lions led by greedy, corrupt donkeys

  • John Fields

    It makes me sick to read this. Nothing ever changes. As a young Merchant seaman
    In the last years of the war, the older A.B ‘s told us of the early war years when
    their ships were torpedoed, their allotment home was stopped. The ship going
    down meant that their contract with the shipping company was ended.

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