It Has Never Been A Better Time To Be A Volunteer

It’s Official.

Be a Volunteer.

Loads of opportunities.  Never be Bored and Fed Up again.  Let’s take a look and see some of the opportunities Volunteering has to offer.

Territorial Army – OK I know it’s not Voluntary Work in the accepted sense, but I’m sure you get my drift.  “They have sometimes been dismissed as “weekend warriors” who lack the fitness, discipline and commitment of regular soldiers.

But the Territorial Army (TA) – in the process of being rebranded the Army Reserve – already makes up a sizeable part of the British Army’s manpower and will soon be playing an even greater role.”

Under the government’s Army 2020 review, the size of the regular army is being reduced by a fifth and reservists will have to help meet the shortfall.

The intention of the MOD is that by 2020, the British Army will have 120,000 soldiers, of which 84,000 will be Regulars and 35,000 Reservists (a ratio of 70/30).

I am most definitely knocking the TA, they do a fine job, but what kind of half-arsed mentality would have 30%  of our Army as Reservists?  Or is it just me?  Maybe I’m the half-arsed one and everybody in government and MOD is normal.  And that’s just the Army, not taking into account the fine chaps of the RAF and Navy.

It is intended that by 2020 10% (1,800 personnel) of the RAF will be High Readiness Reserves.

It is intended that by 2020 the trained strength of the Maritime Reserves will be 3,100 sailors and marines

So there you are, plenty of opportunity, go Volunteer.

Policing – Theresa May has got that one sussed;

The number of the voluntary officers would increase more than fourfold – from the current 15,000 to the peak levels of 67,000 last seen more than 50 years ago, said Theresa May, the Home Secretary [in 2010]

She also outlined plans for a volunteer “police reserve force” to bolster the country’s 141,000 (Ha!!!) front-line police officers, whose numbers are said to be under threat because of public sector spending cuts.

Mrs May disclosed the volunteer plans as she outlined a wide range of police reforms, described as the most radical for half a century.

The trouble is that her plan has gone a little wobbly and Specials numbers have actually REDUCED.

There were 17,789 special constables in the 43 police forces on 31 March 2014, a decrease of 1,222 or 6.4 per cent compared with a year earlier  By 30th September 2014 this number had gone down even further to 16,792, or a further 5.6%.

With the College of Policing’s plans for the Special Constabulary it has seldom been a better time to Volunteer.

Especially when you take into account the College of Policing’s marvellous tome, Leadership Review.

You don’t need to read all 37 Pages, the bits that refer to the benefits of Volunteering are here;

5.4.17
“As well as having access to leadership development, police staff and members of the special constabulary should have the opportunity to be considered for police officer positions, via direct entry routes.Developing leadership opportunities for police staff is discussed further in recommendation 7.”

5.6.4
“Specials cannot currently progress beyond constable, and the ranks they have are administrative grades. They should be entitled to seek promotion to different ranks, provided they meet national standards and pass the selection process. If they attain a rank and are deemed proficient they could be considered for direct selection to full-time roles. In doing this, it is important to ensure that the essence of volunteering is retained, and a two-tier culture is not created within the special constabulary.”

Specials do a fine job, of that I have absolutely no doubt, but I do feel that they are being used as a Tactical Option in the war on the Police Service being waged by Imelda and the Milky Bar Kid..

…………….and every other Police Force you can mention

 

milkybar

…………….and every other Police Force you can mention

CHARITY SHOPS – one of the traditional locations for anybody wanting to give up some of their time and help the less fortunate.  Well, actually, don’t bother.  Charity Shops have now become de rigeur for anybody on Job Seekers Allowance, to maintain their benefits they are being sent to work (unpaid I believe) in the nation’s Charity Shops.  Mrs Angry is less than impressed.  Her sanctuary at the local Charity Shop has been invaded by a veritable army of Job Seekers sent their by the Job Centre, who don’t want to be there and just clutter the place being sulky like Kevin the Teenager, and generally spoiling the atmosphere to the extent that quite a few of the Blue Rinse Brigade (duck!!!) have left because they felt so uncomfortable.

But if you still feel lie a bit of Voluntary Work, fret not, Sir Dave has come to the rescue with his Election Pledge

15 million workers to get three days’ paid volunteering leave each year

Every public sector worker and anyone working in a company with at least 250 employees – more than 15 million people in total – would be entitled to the volunteering leave.

Who is going to pay for this three days extra leave?  The Employer? – That will just be added on to the end cost and prices and inflation will ultimately rise accordingly, it will not come out of profits you can rest assured on that.  The Government?  Well if they can afford to fund that, they’ve got more money in the kitty than they’re letting on and they should put into one of the struggling Public Services instead.

Finally I thought that the whole concept of Volunteering was based on the principle of giving up some of your own time for the benefit of others.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Buffoonery Without Equal

According to MI5’s website the Threat Level for International Terrorism today is SEVERE, which is only one less than the maximum of CRITICAL.

Since March 2010 this unelected coalition, led by a man intent on become the least popular Prime Minister ever, has reduced the strength of the Police Forces of England and Wales by almost 17,000 officers, not counting PCSOs and Specials, whose numbers are also being slashed.  The government was hoping to make up the slack by recruiting more Specials, but the evidence doesn’t seem to support that happening.

The Armed Forces fare no better;

If I may quote from the September 2014 UK Armed Forces Monthly Personnel Report

The full time trained strength of the UK Armed Forces was 147,660 at 1 September 2014, down from 148,160 at 1 August 2014 and down from 150,890 at 1 April 2014. This trend is likely to continue due to the SDSR’s decision to reduce the size of the Regular Armed Forces by around 17,000 posts (around 5,000 each from the RN/RM and RAF and approximately 7,000 from the Army). A further reduction of 12,000 to the Army was subsequently announced as a result of the 3ME, bringing the total reduction of 19,000 to the Army.

The requirement for full time trained UK Armed Forces was 154,890 at 1 September 2014, down from 155,460 at 1 August 2014 and down from 159,640 at 1 April 2014. This is likely to continue to decrease as the Services move towards the targets identified in the SDSR and 3ME exercises (RN/RM 29,000 Army, 82,000 and RAF, 31,500) in 2020.

The deficit for the UK Armed Forces trained strength was 7,230 (4.7 per cent of the requirement) at 1 September 2014, compared to a deficit of 8,750 (5.5 per cent of the requirement for trained UK Armed Forces) at 1 April 2014 and a deficit of 2,230 (1.4 per cent of the requirement for trained UK Armed Forces) at 1 April 2013.

At 1 September 2014, all three services the RN/RM, Army and RAF were in deficit (50, 5120 and
2,070 respectively).”
Closer scrutiny of that document shows that the strength of the UK Armed Forces has been below the Required Level since at least 2008.
So the Threat Level is increasing.  We have allegedly 100s of disaffected Jihadis making their way to Syria and elsewhere to fight for a cause.
An unprecedented number of arrests are being made for Terrorism-related offences, Border Controls are virtually non-existent.  It is absolutely impossible for the Police and Security Services to maintain surveillance on even the most serious of suspects for any length of time, resource-sapping activity that one.
So what are our illustrious government doing about it?
I’m not quite sure is the answer.  I’m reasonably confident that SB, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ will be doing absolutely everything within their remits and abilities to keep us safe, but I’m left seriously questioning the sanity of a Prime Minister, Defence Secretary and Home Secretary that can sanction wholesale slaughter of our trained Defenders in such times.  Maybe they’re hoping to just ‘wing it’ till after next May and that any disasters will be on someone else’s watch?
I do hope Alexander the Meercat is standing for election next year, he must be able to do a better job than this crowd.