Sunday, July 26, 2009

Government to cut wounded soldiers’ awards

The government will this week launch an attempt to deny soldiers crippled in battle full compensation for their injuries.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will go to the Court of Appeal on Tuesday to try to slash the compensation awarded to two injured soldiers by up to 70%. If the government wins, it will fuel the mounting disquiet over the relatively paltry payments some soldiers are receiving for lifelong injuries.

The legal action comes as British troops are suffering their heaviest casualties since the beginning of the conflict in Afghanistan in 2001.

Yesterday a soldier from the 40th Regiment Royal Artillery became the 20th to die this month, and the 189th overall, when he was killed in an explosion in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province.

Related Links
'Troops should get pledge of fair treatment'
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It also emerged this weekend that the new commander of a platoon that had lost five men in a Taliban bomb attack earlier this month has himself been badly wounded in an explosion. Second Lieutenant James Amoore, 2nd Battalion the Rifles, stepped on an improvised explosive device last Sunday.

The 24-year-old officer had just replaced his predecessor, who had been seriously wounded in a similar explosion that killed five soldiers. Both officers are receiving critical care at the Selly Oak hospital in Birmingham.

The rising number of casualties has attracted attention to deficiencies in the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, which was introduced in 2005. Last week Sir John Major, the former Conservative prime minister, said the nation was not meeting its “obligations” to injured servicemen.

Compensation payouts to soldiers are routinely dwarfed by those awarded in the civil courts. In one of the most high profile cases Ben Parkinson, 25, suffered 37 injuries, including brain damage and the loss of both legs. He initially received £152,000. After a campaign by his mother, this was raised to £546,000.

Lawyers believe that Parkinson would have received £3m in a civil trial.

In the landmark legal case this week Bob Ainsworth, the defence secretary, is appealing against a ruling that two soldiers should have their compensation increased.

In September 2005 Anthony Duncan, a soldier with the Light Dragoons, was on patrol in Iraq when he was shot in his left thigh. He needed 11 operations to clean and close the wound and had a pin inserted in his leg to help the bone heal.

He subsequently suffered calcification in his thigh muscle and constant pain in his leg. He struggled to walk without crutches while attempts to run left him “crippled” with pain, according to court documents.

The MoD initially gave him £9,250 in compensation, arguing that his injury was only a fracture. Duncan appealed and a tribunal awarded him a lump sum of £46,000 and a guaranteed weekly income payment for life.

Matthew McWilliams, a Royal Marine, suffered a fracture of his thigh bone during a training exercise. He was awarded £8,250, which was increased on appeal to £28,750 and a guaranteed weekly payment because of damage to his knee following surgery.

In June last year the MoD took both cases to a higher court, claiming it should have to compensate the men only for the initial injuries and not subsequent complications. The three judges ruled against the ministry, saying it was “absurd” to divorce the injury from treatment.

The MoD was so concerned by the ruling that earlier this year it suspended payouts for three months, barring the most serious injuries. If it loses at the Court of Appeal, wounded soldiers who suffered further complications after treatment will be entitled to higher payouts.

Carl Clowes, 23, from Bradford, is among those taking a keen interest in the case. In July 2007 he was in a Land Rover in Helmand when it drove over a mine. Both his legs were crushed. His left leg was amputated below the knee 10 months later and he still suffers pain in his right leg. He can walk only short distances without crutches.

Clowes was awarded £92,000 for his amputated left leg, but £8,000 for his damaged right leg. He will be medically discharged from the army this week but will only be able to do sedentary work.

He appealed against his payout and shortly afterwards was delighted to find £48,300 in his bank account, which he used to pay off his mortgage. A day later the MoD contacted him to tell him the money had been paid in error. He is now being forced to return it.

“I’m permanently disabled. The last thing I expected was for the MoD to quibble over compensation,” he said.

Colonel Tim Collins, who commanded the Royal Irish Regiment in Iraq in 2003, said: “It is not surprising (the MoD) is doing this because of its finely tuned budgets, but it is a reflection of the regard this government has for the services.”

Sue Freeth, director of welfare at the Royal British Legion, said: “People who are putting themselves in harm’s way for their country feel cheated. These injuries affect people for the rest of their lives, but for many the compensation system fails to address that.”
Note: Is there no base line this Government will not stoop too ?
Also, why is the BNP still getting such poor results as the Norwich North by-election ? Griffin admitted there was no money to fight that campaign.


Anonymous said...

We could crucify this Government if we had a virile leadership in the BNP.

The treatment of the troops is shocking but resonates with the British public.

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Anonymous said...

What's a Tyndallite?

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Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
What's a Tyndallite?

26 July 2009 20:15

Is one who supports the policies of British nationalism rather than supporting Nick Griffin.

John Tyndall was the founder of the BNP, but who was expelled TWICE by Griffin.

Tyndall was about to take Griffin to Court again, to re-instate his membership, but he unfortunately died in 2005.

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Anonymous said...

"Operation in Afganistan is rooted in Israel"

24 July, 2009, Russia Today

The real reason why the U.S. continues its presence in Afghanistan is Iran – the country which is an annoyance for Israel, said Karen Kwiatkowski, a writer and former U.S. Air Force officer.

She says the real reason America continues its presence in Afghanistan is to keep the pressure up on Iran.

“Obama has not yet defined what winning in Afghanistan looks like,” Kwiatkowski says, “And what we are doing is working towards what is not defined.”

“Pressure from political opponents pushes Obama to increase troops in Afghanistan, to look like he understands war, to look like he cares about defense. It would be a weak point for Democrats, particularly after George W Bush, who was seen as a defense-oriented president. So it is a political gesture to his political opponents at home.”

“On a more strategic level we see a long-term trajectory of Middle East policy of manipulation and occupation that extends from the first George Bush to the second George Bush and now to Barack Obama.”

“US troops in Afghanistan are a verbal threat to Iran”
“This administration is very hawkish on Iran, so the reason why we are in Afghanistan is Iran,” says Kwiatkowski, adding “we want to be in an operational military position to threaten Iran from next door.”

“Iran is not a threat to US in any way. That is not even an issue in any way, shape or form. Iran is an annoyance to Israel, certainly it is a selling point that Iran could or might or has threatened Israel – so there is a concern because Israel is an ally. What we are doing is a part of a larger Middle East policy that necessarily embraces our interests in supporting or facilitating things for Israel.”

Anonymous said...

Very interesting Peter Hitchens column in yesterday's Mail on Sunday about the Marxists in modern politicals and how they are destroying our society. He names names!

"None of these people has ever been frank about his Marxist past or apologised for it or explained it. Almost all of them would have kept it secret if they could (just as Anthony Blair dishonestly denied his membership of that KGB tool, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament).

None of them, in my view, has given up the radicalism of the past. They have simply discovered that they can use Parliament to achieve a revolution they once thought would need barricades and red flags. And these, I stress, are only the ones we know about.

Who knows how many others – MPs, Ministers, civil servants, judges, BBC executives, even Bishops – still treasure revolutionary aims? Now, there is one other recorded instance of a Marxist government coming to power legally in an advanced, law-governed parliamentary democracy with a strong middle class and independent professions."

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Interestly on the Electoral Commission website the regional account unit is based in Wales not Yorkshire! What is going on?

British National Party: Accounting Units

Treasurer : Mr David Hannam

Second Officer: Mr John Walker

Regional Accounting Unit Address PO Box 158, Deeside, Flintshire, CH5 2WW.

Anonymous said...

As far as I can see the BNP Regional Accounting Unit ( which allegedly is run by Hannam and looks after the branches funds) hasn't submitted any accounts to the Electoral Commission. The EC will be publishing the Central Accounts of all political parties this Thursday ( 30th July.) It will be interesting to see the BNP's accounts for 2008?

Anonymous said...

whats happened to Michaela Mackenzie as nominating officer ? theres somone new the electoral comission website.

Anonymous said...

The Young British Soldier

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

Apparently we haven't learned anything in 120 years.

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Anonymous said...

"whats happened to Michaela Mackenzie"

She was sacked by Griffin & Dowson for doing her job properly. There's been a new National Nomination Officer appointed named Tanya Lumby from Birmingham. There has been a lot of turmoil in the West Midlands about this, hence 5 organisers being sacked recently by Griffin. Have anybody notice how much ' positive' region news about the W. Midlands region has been appearing on the BNP website recently, this is to cover up the massive problems in the region.

Anonymous said...

Latest news concerning alcoholic Barnbrook's disciplinary case is that bungling BNP legal representative Lee Barnes failed to respond to communications from Barking & Dagenham council's legal team, also that he didn't supple the information they had asked for and he didn't even confirm he would be attending the hearing that was scheduled for Tuesday 21st July. No wonder Barnbrook phoned in at the last moment with a doctors note stating he was suffering from stress. Below is link to the charges aimed at Barnbrook, it appears most of it is the fault of Simon Darby. The BNP really knows how to conduct itself, what a utter shambles. Incidentally Darby has been suspended from London City Hall over a different matter. Griffin really knows how to choose his employees. Griffin knows that Barnbrook is a complete ignoramus, why doesn't he support him by appointing competent staff?

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