Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 25 May 2016

How on earth will we soldier on if the world does end?

By Lindy McDowell

Published 06/12/2012

Members of the Armed Forces have landed a surprise and unusual Christmas present. A 25-day break over the festive period which will apply to somewhere in the region of 110,000 military and civilian personnel.

The break is being sold to the soldiers as a recognition of their efforts during the Olympics but is being interpreted by retired officers as something altogether more cynical - a cute cost-cutting exercise.

With army barracks and other military sites effectively closed down for more than two weeks there are impressive savings to be made on utility bills.

But with some soldiers who have already used up their year's hols being told that they will spend the designated period "working from home", isn't the whole situation a bit, well, daft?

Dangerous even - should Kim Jung Un decide now would be a good time to have a pop at global domination.

Or at the very least, invasion of the Home Counties.

And far be it from me to fuel the conspiracy theorists but note the Army is taking off for the period December 14 to January 7.

This is of some timely relevance since it includes December 21 - the date on which Mayan calendar-watchers warn the world is due to end. Does the Ministry of Defence know something the rest of us don't?

Shouldn't all armed forces available remain on stand-by on the day? Just in case? Meanwhile back to that revelation that some troops will be "working from home". What precisely will that entail?

A return to Capt'n Mainwaring's Home Guard?

Don't panic, as Private Jones used to cry.

Sometimes when you consider the penny-pinching lunacy of officialdom, it's hard not to.

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