Thursday, January 04, 2007

Squalor on the barracks

The state of housing provided for members of the armed forces has come under scrutiny. In the main, it's crap. Having lived near a couple of barracks out East Yorkshire way a while back, it never looked particularly appealing. 50s prefabs were order of the day and cracks were visible from the road. Flat roofs were prevalent too, and in my experience, that's not generally a good sign. As Jerry Chicken himself taught me, "never drink in a pub with a flat roof". Sound advice.
I digress. I'm convinced by these reports and the raising of rents to equal private rented accomodation while not upgrading the accomodation doesn't seem like a good thing. On the radio this morning was the wife of a serviceman talking about her experiences of substandard MoD housing. And for about 8 seconds, that's what she did. The rest of the relatively long interview
consisted of her talking about why her husband wanted to quit the forces for reasons totally unrelated to the issue at hand - the fact that time away is longer and more frequent due to shortage of numbers in the face of growing commitments, for example, seemed more of a reason than a shit house. The reverential tone of the interviewer - James Naughtie - and subsequent army bloke interviewee made it sound like her speech was relevant and moving. It wasn't.
So if you're going to get someone on the line to discuss a particular point, make sure they're going to do that and if they digress, pull them back on topic. I managed to lose all sympathy within 20 seconds.

1 comment:

Gary said...

When I wor a young apprentice surveyor the company I worked for had to tender for hundreds of Army house rewires in Catterick and Leeming.

Nothing paticulary remarkable about that but I'll never forget my bosses face when we went to survey one officers house and the snooty wife wouldn't let us in until we'd taken our shoes off on the porch - a real stiff upper lip British Colonels wife she was, probably more used to beating the coolies than letting ragamuffin tradesmen tramp all over her Army property.