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LOBBYING UNCOMMITTED MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
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LOBBYING UNCOMMITTED MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

Attached is a factsheet of what has been discussed and largely unanswered in Parliament in respect of 2RRF. It is this which should form the agenda for a discussion with local MPs. We need not lobby those who actively support us, it is the silent or uncommitted MPs we need to press. A small contingent 3 or 4 Fusiliers who must reside in the constituency merely need to book an appointment at the MPs “surgery”. This is therefore any constituency anywhere in the UK. They should attend, in Beret and Hackle and ask for specific answers on these questions. They should make it clear that this is what they expect their MP to do for them. If necessary let them have a copy of the sheet, AFTER YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH IT WITH THEM IN PERSON. An individual can do this but a delegation with a spokesman tends to have a bigger impact.

No constituency MP can refuse such an approach to their public access “Surgeries”. A call to the local press may solicit a photographer. If not then a digital photo can be taken instead and provided to the press with a headline such as ;

“Veteran Fusiliers, XYand Z visited their MP’s “surgery” (Mr ABC) today to strongly lobby for answers to their questions about the unfair selection of 2RRF for disbandment in the current defence plan”

Please copy such photos to the website and Facebook too.

How fortunate that others should now begin to have the privilege of meeting Fusiliers.

As ever, more to come

Ian Brazier

2RRF Factsheet – October 2013
• On 5th July 2012, the Secretary of State for Defence announced the Army 2020 proposals to Parliament. This included the loss of 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Five infantry battalions in total were to be cut.

• Answers to Weekly Parliamentary Questions tabled by John Baron MP in July 2012 show that other, more poorly-recruited battalions are being retained ahead of better-recruited battalions in the British Army.

• On 14th August 2012, John Baron MP received a letter from the Secretary of State confirming that, unlike the other infantry battalions being cut, 2RRF was alone in not initially being included on the basis of military capability and sustainability. Instead, 2RRF fell victim to the Government’s additional criteria to limit regimental losses to one battalion each and that no cap badges were to go. Without this, the letter makes clear two other battalions would have been axed because of their poorer recruitment histories and sustainability forecasts.

• If there are to be Army cuts, then military capability and sustainability should be the key determinants. Government interference to save poorly-recruited Scottish battalions appears to indicate concern ahead of the Scottish referendum.

• The Government’s insistence that no cap badges are to go makes no sense when only six years ago four cap badges and six battalions amalgamated to form the five battalions of the Rifles, which is held up as an example of ‘best practice’ by the Commander Land Forces.

• The Government’s justification for capping regimental losses to one battalion is that any more would be disruptive. This does not withstand scrutiny. Five-battalion regiments can more readily withstand the loss of two battalions than two-battalion regiments losing one. Single battalion regiments also find it harder to meet the operational flexibility required and to offer their officers and soldiers a varied and demanding career profile.

• The MoD makes a major omission in failing to recognise London as a regional recruiting area for the Fusiliers – traditionally one of the Regiment’s strongest. The Regiment’s traditional recruiting grounds of the three largest British cities and the four counties have far better demographic sustainability than Scotland.

• There is a real concern as to the TA’s ability to plug the loss of regular battalions, as highlighted in the Daily Telegraph on 17th October 2013. On the same day House of Commons voted 92-0 in favour of delaying the cuts until at least the reservist plans are shown to be viable and cost-effective.

Find a couple of mates to go with ( partners would be useful too) and get to work.

Put results on here.

Good luck.

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