Armed Forces

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:13 pm on 22nd November 2007.

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Photo of Baroness Park of Monmouth Baroness Park of Monmouth Conservative 4:13 pm, 22nd November 2007

My Lords, before my very brief peroration, I point out to the Minister that both the NAO and the families unit—the organisation of the noble Baroness, Lady Dean—have come out with the greatest detail on the problems of harmony. It really exists and cannot be put off with more and more discussions by all sorts of committees that are set up to discuss the matter again. It is a fact that has to be faced.

I thank all noble Lords for a splendidly vigorous, passionate and well informed debate. I congratulate the Minister on her baptism of fire, which she seems to have come through very well. I cannot help noticing, however, that the Benches behind the Minister have been singularly empty. That has been more than made up for by two remarkable members of her party—the noble Baroness, Lady Dean, and the noble Lord, Lord Gilbert—who have, I suppose had the strength of 10. It would have been nice, however, if we had seen a little more consideration of and interest in a subject that is a national issue, not a party one. It is sad that those Benches are so empty.

I hope that both the armed services and the public will hear all that we have said today. The man who I want to listen, as we all do, is the Prime Minister. He admires courage, has spoken for veterans and seems happy to use the Armed Forces as the powerful policy arm that they are. Let him give us one Secretary of State, not two halves; that would make an immense difference and send a signal that he is actually listening. Lastly, I would settle for the return of the noble Lord, Lord Drayson, in some capacity, as a down payment. I beg leave to withdraw the Motion for Papers.

Annotations

kieran Locke
Posted on 23 Nov 2007 5:33 pm (Report this annotation)

The House of Lords is so much more adult. The debates are informative and polite. In the commons, the MPs seem to act like chimps and throw frankly irrelevant personal attacks at each other. IM afraid I find it tiring.

David Tolhurst
Posted on 28 Nov 2007 3:06 pm (Report this annotation)

Wonderfull speeches all of them. All forces must be brought back to where they will be needed, here. The enemy is within the dirty bomb a reality. All major installations and buildings of importance must be guarded by our forces. They must also help the police to bring back some semblence of law and order. Units must be trained up quickly to cope with the after effects of a dirty bomb explosion. Time is running out. David Tolhurst