Thursday 20 August 2009

What's lurking down the back of Ainsworth's sofa?

I can just picture Bob Ainsworth one afternoon reaching down the back of his sofa looking for a jelly baby he dropped when a surprised look comes over his face.

“Hello, what’s this?” he says, pulling the end of an M16 assault rifle from underneath a silk cushion, “I’ve been looking for that everywhere – hold on there’s something else here…”

Low and behold 20 minutes later he has found billions of pounds worth of lost Ministry of Defence equipment.

Night goggles, machine guns, those jet engines needed an extra hard tug to get out – and one of them was ruined because it had a jelly baby lodged in its exhaust pipe.

Then later that day while clearing out the attic Bob gets surprised again when he lifts up an old box of Abba records only to find 50 armoured fighting vehicles behind it.

He says in his gurgling voice: “Oh there they the are…”

The National Audit Office (NAO) has found that in total the MoD could not account for £6.6 billion of kit – let’s just say that figure again, £6.6 billion.

But it’s ok because officials say the kit isn’t actually lost. It is in fact an “extrapolation” of the NAO’s audit. Did you hear that troops on the front line? It’s ok, it’s an extrapolation.

The Financial Times reports that the shortcomings have triggered an overhaul of procedures – now one person will be responsible for tracking front-line equipment and supplying the Afghan campaign.

Anyone up for the job?


Ollie Cromwell said...

Did he find his wig? he didn't have it when I interviewd him.

Anonymous said...

Whose head will roll for the £6.6 billion worth of equipment that no one can find. Seriously, if you lost £6.6 billion of kit anywhere else, someone would be looking for a new job.... so who?

Richard T said...

Did you mean anyone up to the job?

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