Nov 082011
 

According to a recent newspaper article, the Irish defence forces have been exempted from the cuts in  numbers imposed on the rest of the public service.  I thought this was an interesting decision, considering the fact that Ireland is not currently at war with anyone or facing an external military threat.  Indeed, even internally, paramilitary violence is at a historically low level.

Why, then, in the face of an economic crisis, would a government decide to ring-fence the numbers of soldiers it keeps, while cutting the police force?

Let’s see.

Perhaps the soldiers are needed to plant flowers, or to tidy up badly-littered areas of our towns and cities.  Maybe they’re needed to help old ladies across the road.  Could it be that we have a shortage of stewards at fund-raising 10k runs?

Of course it could.  Any of the above might be the reason that a bankrupt government facing the danger of civic disorder might decide not to cut the military while all other public bodies are being slashed.

What do you think?  Flowers? Litter?  Mini-marathons?

Personally, I think it might be all three.

 

  23 Responses to “Irish Army Exempted from Recruitment Embargo”

Comments (23)
  1.  

    Besides helping old ladies cross the road, plant flowers etc, don’t they keep the peace with the UN out in areas of conflict? e.g. Lebanon

  2.  

    Certainly. That would be a huge priority when the country is bankrupt.

  3.  

    What are our defense force costing us in comparison to other public sectors I wonder?
    It’s not like we have a huge defense force at 9,500.

    “The Irish Times understands Mr Shatter has secured an exemption from the moratorium by arguing if numbers fell any lower, the Defence Forces would not be able to meet overseas peacekeeping duties and domestic obligations.”

    Heres the thing Bock. Why is it that when there’s a recession it’s the people at the lower end of the earning scale that should be punished?
    And yet we fail to tax high earners.

    I mean listen to this. Is this the type of gibberish he spouts in Brussels?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yimSGViIBQw
    ‘Having lead from the front you don’t run around the back then, ya know’
    Their expenses are just ridiculous.

    Vincent was saying the other night that there could be 1 billion gotten from high earners in this country, but we refuse to tax them for fear they’ll leave. Well then there’s a solution to that – as they do in the U.S. If you’re a citizen you are liable for income regardless of where you reside. (granted there are double taxation amnesties between some countries, but the likes of Bono or Denis O’Brien could be made pay up if they changed this)

  4.  

    You don’t seem to be getting my point.

  5.  

    Okay I do. We probably don’t really need them.

    Maybe the powers that be have a secret fear with that we’ll all go out and loot and riot after the budget, hence the exemption from the hiring moratorium.

    Now I’ve the willies after that Noonan clip.
    Don’t know what it is about him.

  6.  

    Touché BOCK.
    That little nugget about ‘bankrupt government facing the danger of civic disorder’ really is the point entirely.
    However, there’s no ‘might’ about it.
    It will perform; exactly as it says on its tin-(hat).

  7.  

    Is it possible the Irish government has signed an order for 200 Leopards in order to be prepared to shovel stupid demonstrants off the roads, in case there occurs the need?

  8.  

    The Guards are their own worst enemy. Screw up the computerisation of the system, refuse to work with part-timers, refuse to co-operate with civvies in admin jobs and so on. Compare and contrast with the DF.

  9.  

    All that you say is true, but why is the government exempting the defence forces from the recruitment embargo?

  10.  

    Could it be that because the Irish state gets paid by the UN for it’s peace-keeping role it’s really a job-creation scheme funded by the UN?

  11.  

    Bock,
    Cash deliveries to banks and post offices in the Midlands appear to require two army vehicles – presumably eight soldiers – for each Brinks van. The squaddies stand in the street with rifles at the ready as if there were about to be an ambush. This must consume a huge amount of army resources.

  12.  

    I am proud that the rather small Irish defence forces have served as professional and well-behaved members of UN peacekeeping operations. If there is civil commotion and they start machine-gunning down protesting citizens don’t worry, Nato will pick ’em off from the air. (The soldiers, not the innocent citizens, as in Libya ha ha).

  13.  

    Agreed, I thought the same when I read this in the news, its got to be about being able to keep unhappy citizens in their place. Its frightening really, because our pols know full well what a docile lot we are, so they must know that there is some serious shit coming down the line at us. For some of us anyway, others are doing just fine.

  14.  

    One day, perhaps soon, when the euro falls apart, when the government can no longer pay welfare payments or public service wages/salaries, no longer keep order on the streets, when the looters are working their way towards your house and the unarmed guards stand helplessly and idly by, we might be glad that there’s an army to defend us. Could this be the reasoning behind this decision ?

  15.  

    Exactly Wrinkley Joe, ATCP, Aid to the Civil Power.

  16.  

    QUOTE: There has been no additional funding allocated to the Department of Defence to facilitate necessary recruitment. In this context it is worth noting that total Defence expenditure (both military and civilian) in the year 2000 constituted 3.2 per cent of total Government overall expenditure. In 2010 total Defence expenditure constituted 1.59 per cent of overall Government expenditure. Moreover, the Department of Defence comprising Defence Forces, civilian employees and civil servants is the only Department in 2011 that has fewer employees than in the year 2000 (12,240 at end 2000 and 10,491 at end of September 2011). UNQUOTE.

    Alan Shatters letter in the IT today.

  17.  

    Sometimes I think people don’t understand percentages.
    They mean diddly without a context.

    Regarding the above from LM –
    “In this context it is worth noting that total Defence expenditure (both military and civilian) in the year 2000 constituted 3.2 per cent of total Government overall expenditure. In 2010 total Defence expenditure constituted 1.59 per cent of overall Government expenditure.”

    1.59% of 2010 gov. expenditure could and most likely is a way higher actual figure of 3.2% per cent of expenditure in 2000.
    Obviously enough total government expenditure would be a lot higher in 2010 than 2000. Eh, 10 years earlier!

  18.  

    Well, it’s 3.2% of 30bill and 1.9% of 50 billion. My calculator doesn’t have enough zeros – and anyway I’m innumerate.

  19.  

    960 million and 950 million if those figures are correct.

    (I don’t bother with all the zeros. There’s a 1,000 millions in a billion. If you multiply 1,000 by 50 and multiply that by 1.9%, it’s 950 (million) or 950,000,000)

    Have you a link and extract to those figures of 30/50 billion LM?

  20.  

    Not any more !! I googled total Irish budget 2000 I think.

  21.  

    Oh right. Reliable source so you are.
    Thanks.

  22.  

    Why not try yourself ? Google is your friend.

  23.  

    I think the holder of the burder of proof is you here LM.
    Since you were the one who first gave those figures.
    Anyways, forget it now. You’ve discredited yourself enough already.
    It’s too late to redeem yourself now.

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