BAFF media appearances Jan 2008-Dec 2010. For current page click here: BAFF in the news

 December 2010

08 - BAFF Chairman Douglas Young was interviewed on BBC Radio Wales about an expected Government announcement pledging new measures to support armed forces personnel and families. The Report of the Task Force on the Military Covenant was released later in the day, following which Young was also interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive programme.

November 2010

14 - BAFF Chairman D Young recorded comments for Radio 5 Live about Remembrance Sunday.

03 - bfbs_weale_covenantWhat does the SDSR mean for the Miltary Covenant? Adrian Weale discussed the British Armed Forces Federation's concerns on BFBS British Forces News.




October 2010

19 - BAFF Chairman Douglas Young discussed the announcement on BBC Radio Wales. With Professor Eric Grove, British naval historian and defence analyst. Eric Grove: Navy under attack from vested interests 

19 - British Armed Forces Federation spokesman Adrian Weale was interviewed on Sky News in advance of the SDSR announcement by the Prime Minister.

06 - A BAFF spokesman was interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive programme about improvements to mental health services for armed forces veterans announced today at the Conservative Party conference. See also: Respun help for veterans provides top cover for real battle between MoD and Treasury.

September 2010

29 - BAFF's Chairman D Young was interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland's 'Good Morning Scotland' programme about the Defence Secretary's leaked letter to the Prime Minister about the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).

August 2010

16/17 - BAFF's Douglas Young gave several TV and radio interviews, including the BBC's News Channel and BBC Radio Humberside, in response to news that former PM Tony Blair was to donate the advance and proceeds of his memoirs to The Royal British Legion.

16 - BAFF Chairman Douglas Young was interviewed on 5Live and BBC Oxfordshire (TV and radio) about reports that some British troops returning from Afghanistan are paying for commercial flights back to the UK because the RAF's ageing transport aircraft keep breaking down. Young praised the engineering staff and 216 Squadron RAF air crews for their work "even though you don't always feel grateful as a military passenger". He also welcomed the recent MoD announcement that time lost from R&R due to such delays would be added on a day-for-day basis to Post Operational Tour Leave.

13 - BAFF's Douglas Young was interviewed on the BBC's News Channel about Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox's speech today revealing plans for a 'leaner' Ministry of Defence.

June 2010

25 - The British Armed Forces Federation's Douglas Young took part in a discussion on the Good Morning Wales programme about Armed Forces Day commemorations in Wales. With Rear Admiral Chris Parry and military historian Taff Gillingham. Followed a report from HMS Kent in Cardiff Bay. Cardiff is the venue for this year's national AFD event.

14 - The BAFF Chairman took part as a studio guest in a phone-in discussion on Radio 5Live which sought to link the Saville Inquiry's report on the events of Bloody Sunday with the Prime Minister's wish to put the troops "front and centre of our national life again" and "create a new atmosphere in our country, an atmosphere in which we back and revere and support our military".

11 - BAFF's D Young discussed on BBC Radio Scotland the Prime Minister's speech in Afghanistan about creating a 'new atmosphere in our country, an atmosphere where we back and revere and support our military.' The interview mentioned, amongst other things, Armed Forces Day events in Scotland (main date Saturday 26 June) and support in Scotland for charities such as Erskine and Combat Stress.

May 2010

23 - BAFF was quoted in a Sunday Mail report 'Secret defence budget cuts put historic Scots battalions in firing line'.

14 - BAFF Chairman Douglas Young recorded a 'welcome message' for Radio 5Live for the new Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox.

08 - A BAFF spokesperson contributed to a BBC World Service package about the 65th anniversary of VE Day.

04 - BAFF was quoted in a Daily Telegraph article about the "low-key" celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.

April 2010

21 - BAFF chair D Young was quoted in a major Guardian report by Audrey Gillan about attitudes to voting in an Army regiment recently returned from Afghanistan: General election 2010: Battle-weary soldiers lose appetite for politics.

18 - The BAFF Chairman was quoted in the lead story in today's Independent on Sunday: Afghanistan: A conspiracy of silence.

14 - Interviewed on Radio 5 Live, Douglas Young discussed the forces pay proposals in the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

13 - Douglas Young took part in a televised discussion for BFBS Forces News about the Tilern DeBique case, with Col Patrick Mercer.

13 - Douglas Young was interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland about the Tilern DeBique employment appeals tribunal case.

09 - BAFF's Adrian Weale was interviewed on BBC Radio Wales about service voting, and Douglas Young was interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland. A third  interview, for Radio 5 Live, was aborted due to a technical problem. 5 Live did run a quote from Andrew Colver, Head of Elections at Rushmoor Borough Council, who is involved in the special voting arrangements for service personnel in Afghanistan: Hampshire Council to aid Afghan troops vote.

08 - BAFF's Douglas Young, author of  icon Silence in the Ranks, was interviewed on BBC Radio Solent about the special arrangements for delivery of ballot papers to and from Afghanistan for service personnel. While welcoming these efforts as a one-off expedient, Young pointed out that they did nothing to help would-be service voters in other locations such as Germany, Cyprus or personnel at sea.

March 2010

23 - BAFF's Douglas Young was interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme about the Return of the brown envelope: Manning Control reintroduced in the Army.

20 - Peter Oborne writing in Daily Mail mentioned our 'brilliant' document called Silence in the Ranks.

18 - BAFF Chairman was interviewed on BBC News Channel about the award of the George Cross to RLC Ammunition Technical Officers SSgt Kim Hughes and the late SSgt Olav Schmid.

06 - BAFF's Adrian Weale was interviewed on BBC Radio Wales about the ongoing defence budget controversy.

February 2010

26 - Interviewed on BBC Radio Wiltshire, BBC Radio Solent, and BFBS TV about service voting.

10 - BAFF Chairman D Young interviewed on the BBC News Channel about today's announcement of the outcome of Lord Boyce's review of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

07-10 Multiple interviews. Changes to Armed Forces Compensation scheme, BAFF quoted in News of the World and Telegraph, Interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio Wales.

BAFF link: Bob Ainsworth announces AFCS changes

January 2010

12 - '5000 soldiers unfit for front line duties' - radio interview.

November 2009

24 - On the day of the first public hearing of the Chilcot Iraq Inquiry, Douglas Young was interviewed on BBC Radio Wales. Adrian Weale, who as a mobilised Army reservist served as Deputy Governor in Diqhuar Province, was interviewed on Radio 5Live.

12 - BAFF Chairman Douglas Young gave two interviews - on BBC Radio Scotland and BFBS Forces Radio - in response to The Daily Telegraph's report that civil servants at the Ministry of Defence have been paid £47 million in performance bonuses so far this year despite claims that troops in Afghanistan lack essential equipment. Young praised the exposure of this issue by the newspaper and a parliaentary question by Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox MP, understood the reported outrage on the part of bereaved service families and of other commentators, and welcomed the Prime Minister's offer to examine issues arising from the scheme.

12 - Welsh rugby squad continued to train during the Silence at 1100 on Armistice Day. Opening a discussion on BBC Radio Wales, BAFF Chairman Doug Young said that as a Scotsman, he was happy to go along with any criticism of the Welsh rugby team! However, he understood that the coach and the WRU had rightly apologised, and that the side had done much to raise the profile of the Poppy Appeal, including staging a minute’s silence and a performance of the Last Post prior to that Saturday's international against New Zealand.The omission was regrettable, and would have been a disappointment for the national football squad who were training nearby and did observe the Silence. Young commented it had only been in recent years that universal observance on the 11th (as well as on Remembrance Sunday) had come back into vogue. It was right that so many people had participated in acts of Remembrance across Wales, but Young felt that the squad's omission while unfortunate was insufficient reason for another outing of the "outrage bus".

09 - British Armed Forces Federation featured in Independent story about armed forces electoral participation: One-third of armed forces have no vote.

04 - A BAFF spokesman gave a brief non-speculative reaction on the BBC Radio Scotland 'Good Morning Scotland' programme to the deaths of five British soldiers in Nad-e'Ali District, Helmand Province, reportedly at the hands of a rogue ANP policeman.

October 2009

30 - Douglas Young was interviewed on BFBS Forces Radio about the implementation of the Armed Forces Act 2006, ushering in a new tri-service system of service discipline.

28 - 'Good Morning Wales' programme on BBC R Wales - BAFF's Douglas Young discussed reports that the Government will retreat today from the TA training cuts contained in the In-Year Savings measures. Independent - BAFF retreats over TA training cuts. Young also discussed the financial situation facing the armed services as a whole, exacerbated in the case of the Army by the fact that recruiting figures were up and the Government had not, according to Young, budgeted for an Army which was nearer full strength.

21 - Speaking from a local BBC studio, BAFF's Chairman took part as a studio guest in a BBC Radio Wales lunchtime discussion about the annual Poppy Appeal and the wearing of the poppy by public figures.

20 - Douglas Young was interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme about the Public Accounts Committee's latest report on Service Families Accommodation.

20 - Young was also asked about criticism of the British National Party (BNP) for "seeking to hijack" the military. Young said there were a number of issues but he would defend the right of ordinary service personnel to support any legal political party if that was their choice, within the reasonable restrictions laid down in Queen's Regulations; but no political party should be claiming some special connection with the armed forces. BAFF comment: However, we refute the BNP's claims that "almost everyone at the coalface, fighting in Afghanistan, vote for the British National Party", and that wounded soldiers at Selly Oak hospital are being charged to watch television in hospital.

18 - BAFF was quoted in a Sunday Times story - 700k for top brass household bills - Times Online: "Doug Young, chairman of the British Armed Forces Federation, called for a reduction in the outlay to match cuts elsewhere in the service." This was a reference to the recently revealed In Year Savings Measures - see below.

16 - BAFF's Chairman Douglas Young was interviewed on BFBS Forces Radio about the impact of the In-Year Savings Measures (cutbacks) in the current financial year (Apr 2009 to Apr 2010). British Army recruitment reduced in $97 million cuts package - Telegraph. Acknowledging the seriousness of the situation facing the public purse, Young highlighted the delay to planned upgrade work on single soldiers' living accommodation, and the Territorial Army training cuts, which he said many in the TA would see as a fundamental betrayal of trust which would have an unforeseeable long-term impact on our Army reserves.

08 - A BAFF member was interviewed by the BBC's Caroline Hawley as part of a package for the Radio 4 PM programme about the plight of a former local emloyee who worked for British Forces in Iraq but fell short by six days of the arbitrary qualifying period for assistance under the LEC Scheme, and says that he is now in great danger in Basra.

08 - Speaking on BFBS Forces Radio, BAFF's Douglas Young gave his reactions to the partial retention of BFPOs in NATO locations.

September 2009

25 - Speaking from the Council of Europe in Strasbourg where he was taking part in a working group on the human rights of armed forces personnel, BAFF's Douglas Young was interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland, Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Manchester about the Daily Telegraph's latest MP's expenses story: MPs' expenses: how fury over plight of our soldiers blew lid on claims. Excerpts from the interviews were carried on various channels later in the day.

25 - Young also discussed on BBC Radio Manchester the latest Napo report about Veterans in the Criminal Justice system.

07 - Linda Gilroy MP discusses Armed Forces Federation with Defence Minister:

"Linda Gilroy today met with Defence Minister Kevan Jones MP, accompanied by representatives of the British Armed Forces Federation (BAFF).

They discussed ways in which BAFF can engage with the Ministry of Defence."

04 - Resignation of Eric Joyce MP as Parliamentary aide to Defence Secretary - BBC R Scotland.

02 - Reactions to Liberal Democrat proposals to increase the pay of the lowest paid troops raised by £6,000 a year so that no service personnel in the army, navy or RAF would receive less basic annual pay than a new-entrant police constable or development-level firefighter. Later the BAFF spokesperson added the following note to a discussion on the 'Army Rumour Service' website:

"I was on R5Live earlier with Tam McFarlane of the Fire Brigades Union, who was extremely supportive about increased pay for junior ranks [and happens to be ex-forces himself]. However, while I applaud the longstanding Lib Dem interest in forces personnel issues I was sceptical as to whether increases could be funded as suggested. I pointed out that the figure for MoD civil servants includes RFA, MOD Police, and so on and suggested it might be no easy matter to achieve the scale of further reductions suggested without an impact on effectiveness and on personnel themselves. Not everything we need to do can be funded by savings elsewhere in Defence. The nation has to pay for the defence it wants.

I suggest we all keep a very beady eye on what is said at the various forthcoming party conferences - the last before the General Election."

August 2009

28 - Gen Sir David Richards takes over as CGS in succession to Gen Sir Richard Dannatt - BBC R Scotland

27 - Kerry Fletcher employment tribunal case - BFBS Forces Radio.

26 - Travel Concessions for Veterans; Initiative by Welsh Assembly Government - BBC R Wales

19 - Afghanistan - BBC R Wales, in discussion with Eric Joyce MP

17 - Afghanistan - BBC News Channel (TV), BBC R Scotland

16 - Casualties in Afghanistan - Radio 5Live, BBC News Channel

16 - Leaked Bernard Gray report on defence procurement - The Guardian:

Douglas Young, chairman of the British Armed Forces Federation, said: "This is worrying news because it is not just about the well-known complexity of defence procurement but that taxpayers' money, instead of being spent on real defence needs, has been poured down the drain because of delays and underfunding."

July 2009

30 - Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS): 2 radio interviews about AFCS - R5 Live and BFBS Forces Radio.

30 - Iraq - Chilcot Inquiry: 1 radio discussion (R5 Live) in advance of Chilcot Inquiry press conference.

28 - Armed Forces Compensation Scheme - MoD appeal against two awards in favour of injured soldiers. BAFF's D Young gave three radio interviews, two in discussion with Defence Secretary's parliamentary aide, Eric Joyce MP, and one TV interview (BBC News Channel).

19 - 'Commanders must be given the resources they say they need in Afghanistan'. BBC Radio Wales: BAFF's Chairman Douglas Young gave a supportive reaction to comments from former Defence Secretary John Hutton in a Sunday Telegraph article and BBC interview.

BAFF itself had been calling for commanders on the ground to be given the equipment and manpower resources they say they need in order to achieve their mission in Afghanistan.

Young spoke about the way in which military issues were being complicated by the present fevered political atmosphere with a General Election in the offing. While it did not matter in the short term if political feathers were being ruffled if it meant that things were to be improved with the necessary urgency, Young would be concerned in the longer term about over-politicisation of the issues because the armed forces should be able to operate with broad cross-party support.

Young recently expressed concern that a relatively junior officer who was not a military commander had (through no fault of his own) been put in the position of being quoted by name in Prime Minister's Questions, as an authority on military affairs, and in effect quoted against the professional head of the army.

15 - Armed Forces mental health issues: BAFF's media officer, Adrian Weale, discussed Armed Forces mental health issues for BBC Radio Wales.

14 - Afghanistan Casualties: BBC Radio Wales, early evening news. BAFF's Douglas Young reacted to media coverage of thousands paying respects at Wootton Bassett to eight British soldiers who had lost their lives on operations in Afghanistan.

11-13 July: Multiple interviews - Iraqi former interpreters and other local staff: BAFF's Adrian Weale was interviewed for the Radio 4 Today programme, 5Live breakfast, BBC TV news, BFBS and the BBC Arabic News about the latest legal moves in the battle on behalf of former local staff and their families. The BAFF position on this is that we have a duty to behave honourably towards those who helped us.

11 - Afghanistan: BAFF's Adrian Weale was on BBC Radio 5Live for the Saturday evening weekend news slot talking about the Afghanistan campaign. He said that morale won't suffer in the long term if forces personnel know they're being properly supported by HM Government.

8 - Defence Review: BAFF media officer Adrian Weale was interviewed on BBC Radio Wales about the announcement by Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth of the first "root and branch" review of Britain's defence policy for 10 years. Weale had argued in previous broadcasts that a defence review was long overdue. He was also asked about the morale of troops in Afghanistan, a theatre in which BAFF members are presently serving and others - including members of the BAFF Executive Council - are preparing for deployment.

5  - Interviewed on Radio 5Live, BAFF's Douglas Young explained the background to a call by Kenneth Gibson MSP and other members of the Scottish Parliament for time spent travelling from operational theatres not to count as part of the R&R leave allowance.

According to a report in the Sunday Herald, Gibson believed service personnel were being "cheated" out of their full entitlement by a "begrudging" MoD and had written to Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth urging a rethink.

Young spoke about the frustrations of travel delays eating into that special R&R time so looked forward to by service personnel and their families, but was not optimistic that a solution would be found when there was such little flexibility in the air bridge from Kandahar, and additional time on R&R would be additional time out of theatre.

5 - A BAFF spokesperson was interviewed on BBC Radio Wales and Radio 5Live about Armed Forces Day, 27 June 2009.

June 2009

22 - 'A professional staff association for HM Forces - Recognition campaign arrives in Parliament'. The 22 June edition of The House parliamentary magazine had a policy focus on Defence, with an article by the BAFF Chairman about the recognition campaign and the BAFF parliamentary reception on 20 May.

10 - BFBS Forces Radio - review of WRVS support to the armed forces

BAFF representative Douglas Young discussed this afternoon's announcement that an MOD-led review was in progress of the welfare support and recreational facilities provided by WRVS to single and often young members of the British armed services. It was clear from the announcement that WRVS had already decided to withdraw from that role, but they had emphasized that they would not abruptly withdraw from providing support to the armed forces and would work with the MoD to ensure there is a smooth transition to a new service provider. Young expressed sadness, and emphasized the importance of an informal independent support mechanism which could be approached by personnel and parents without presenting as a welfare case. Tribute was paid to the work of WRVS Service Welfare Officers and their predecessors.

Sky News Lunchtime Debate, 2 June - Should HM The Queen attend the D-Day commemorations in France?

02 - Honorary BAFF media offocer, Adrian Weale, took part in Sky News Lunchtime Debate - Should HM The Queen attend the D-Day commemorations in France? Sample excerpts from transcript at

We asked you - should the Queen be there, or should it be left to Gordon Brown? Sky News political correspondent Niall Paterson and Adrian Weale from the British Armed Forces Federation joined the debate.
Adrian Weale BAFF: From our point of view, the bald fact is that she should have been invited. The UK and Canada - she is Queen of both countries - provided the majority of troops who came ashore on D-Day. Whether she then chose to go is a matter for her and her advisors. The real question is why she wasn't invited, not whether she should have been...
Niall Paterson: Adrian - how will this type of thing play with ex- and current servicemen?
Adrian Weale BAFF: Ex-servicemen will certainly be disappointed that the Queen will not be there to represent the nation and - indeed - her father.
Adrian Weale BAFF: Current servicemen tend to espouse views similar to those aired here!

Niall Paterson: There are rumours circulating that a "senior royal" will be making the trip. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Adrian Weale BAFF: It would be good if they did!

30 minutes later it was reported that HRH The Prince of Wales would attend the commemorations.

01 - A BAFF representative was interviewed on BFBS Forces Radio and Radio 5 Live about the report released today of the Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey 2008.

BBC Radio 5Live, 18 May 2009 - Appeal Court backs soldier's human rights

BAFF's Chairman D Young was interviewed about today's landmark Appeal Court judgement arising from the heatstroke death of Scottish TA soldier Jason Smith while serving in Iraq in 2003.

Young is a member of the EUROMIL delegation participating in a key Council of Europe working group about the human rights of armed forces personnel.

The discussion was with Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, a former infantry commanding officer. While Young took a more optimistic view of the military implications of the decision and pointed out that tactical decisions taken during combat did not (and should not) come under the ruling, there was agreement on many of the points discussed.

Footnote: The following view was stated by BAFF in early May, ahead of the judgement issued by the Court of Appeal on 18 May:

It is important that human rights be applied to armed forces personnel while on operations without impacting on operational effectiveness. The way to achieve this is to impose relevant and justified restrictions, as the law allows, rather than a blanket prohibition. A blanket prohibition will not, in the end, be sustainable and it would be far more sensible to address the issue before it gets to the courts.

BBC News, 03 May 2009 - Iraqi interpreters 'still at risk'

The British Armed Forces Federation was quoted in a BBC News report by Caroline Hawley about the special protection scheme for former local staff who worked for British forces in Iraq.

The protection scheme itself has also been criticised for being too restrictive - and too late in coming.
"I was disappointed that it took so long to come up with the scheme and there are so many hurdles to get through," says Doug Young, of the British Armed Forces Federation.
"To have an arbitrary requirement to have served 12 months is not right and should be removed. It's quite wrong to exclude those who served for lesser periods, but find themselves in danger."

BBC Radio Wales, 01 May 2009

In a brief interview, BAFF's Douglas Young discussed some of the implications of the ending of the UK combat mission in Iraq.

Young also mentioned media reports to the effect that the end of the combat mission in Iraq would free up around 4,000 personnel and that there had been proposals consequently to increase the Afghanistan deployment by around 2,000, but that the decision had been taken at the highest level not to authorise any increase beyond the short-term additional deployment for the elections.

Background note: BAFF is barred by its own Constitution from commenting on operational or national strategic decisions. Interviews may however take place against the background of such decisions. BAFF would equally not wish to comment on such decisions by allied countries, but has recently spoken in EUROMIL circles on the issue of burden sharing.

BBC Radio Wales, 14 April 2009

British Armed Forces Federation chairman Douglas Young, taking part in a discussion with Albert Beale of the Peace Pledge Union, strongly supported a call for flags to be flown on public buildings in Wales as part of the celebrations of National Armed Forces Day 2009. Such would be a modest and appropriate form of commemoration which in no way glorified war. Arguments about current operations should be directed to the Government.

BBC Radio Scotland, 19 March 2009

BAFF's Douglas Young gave a reaction to the National Audit Office report on service family accommodation.

Young acknowledged improved efforts by the Ministry of Defence, but felt that they were "playing catch-up after years of neglect". He called for all service family accommodation to be brought up to standard within five years, instead of the current forecast of 20 years. NOTE: The subsequent annual pay report by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body suggested that at the current rate of investment, service family accommodation would NEVER be brought up to standard across the board.

BBC Radio Wales, 17 March 2009

BAFF's Douglas Young took part in a discussion of issues arising from reports that two RLC soldiers who had gone absent over alleged bullying. Young drew attention to a forces confidential phoneline and to the new Service Complaints Commissioner. Details were on the homepage of the BAFF website.

While correcting a reference to the two soldiers as "recruits", Young added that BAFF had recently agreed to grant free membership to new entrants to the armed forces.

Radio 5 Live, Simon Mayo Show, 16 March 2009

BAFF's Adrian Weale took part in a studio discussion about whether the minimum age for joining the British armed forces should be raised to 18.

Radio 5Live, Drive Time programme, 10 March 2009

BAFF's Douglas Young discussed with 5Live presenter Peter Allen the background to the test case about the extent to which the 'right to life' applied to soldiers on operations. The case originated with the death in 2003 of Scottish TA soldier Jason Smith as a result of heatstroke while serving in Iraq.

Young argued that members of the armed forces, who were subject to duties under the Human Rights Act towards detainees overseas, did not themselves lose all protection under the Act simply because they were on operations. The Act should not, however, have a bearing on the tactical decisions made by commanders at any level. Mr Justice Collins, in his 2008 judgement which was now being appealed by the Ministry of Defence, had given the very clear illustration that " failures to provide any adequate medical attention in the Crimean War would [breach the Human Rights Act] whereas the charge of the Light Brigade would not."

Radio 5Live, 2 March 2009

BAFF's Douglas Young discussed the Healthcare Commission's report on the clinical governance of the Defence Medical Services in the UK and overseas.

BBC News Channel, 28 February 2009

BAFF's Adrian Weale spoke in support of the concerns voiced by LCpl Johnson Beharry VC about the care provided for ex-servicemen and women with mental health problems.

The Sun, 16 February 2009

British Armed Forces Federation spokesman Adrian Weale said: “You can’t treat service personnel like children. They are in the front-line of the war against terrorism but the MoD doesn’t trust them to behave responsibly online.”



Archive of some BAFF media appearances between January and April 2008, most recent first. Links have been removed.


19 Apr 08 Radio 5 Live


A member of the BAFF Executive Council discussed the implications of increasing expenditure by service personnel on special insurance cover for death, injury and kit loss while on operations.


09 Apr 08 The Daily Telegraph - One in three troops hit by tax change


by James Kirkup, Political Correspondent


A third of all members of the Armed Forces have been made poorer by Gordon Brown's decision to scrap the 10p tax rate, calculations have disclosed. ...


In his last Budget as Chancellor last year, Mr Brown scrapped the 10 per cent starting rate of income tax and used the money raised to cut the basic rate from 22 per cent to 20 per cent.


The changes have left 5.3 million households worse off, among them the lowest-paid workers in Britain. Anyone earning between £5,200 and £18,500 will lose out because of the abolition of the 10p rate.


Among them are up to 66,000 Armed Forces personnel, according to calculations by Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman. ...


The most junior private soldiers and their equivalents in the other services have a starting annual salary of just £14,349. Abolishing the 10 per cent band will cost them £89 over the next year.


For those junior service people, this year's 2.6 per cent pay rise is worth £373. ...


Douglas Young, of the British Armed Forces Federation, said ministers had tried to keep the impact of the changes quiet, meaning many military personnel were only just starting to realise they are worse off.


He said: "It is outrageous that our junior service personnel are going to be made worse off.


"When things are being increased, the bands are playing and the Government makes a lot of noise about it, but the Government has not owned up to this change."


01 Apr 08 BBC Radio 5 Live - Iraq UK troop reduction delayed


BAFF's Douglas Young discussed the breaking news that Defence Secretary Des Browne would be making a Commons statement that there were no current plans to reduce the number of British troops based in Iraq, despite the Prime Minister's statement on 8 October, 2007 that the numbers would be reduced to 2,500 by spring.


Hopes to reduce the number of soldiers from the current total of 4,100 may have been dashed by recent fighting in Basra, said the BBC's Defence Correspondent Caroline Wyatt.


Along with other points, Young suggested that the decision to delay any further reduction had already been on the cards, and had now been confirmed by the inconclusive results of the recent "Maliki offensive". He hoped that the military Chain of Command would have been managing the issue as well as it could be, but there would be real disappointment to troops and particularly their families if individual end of tour dates were being extended. Young commended the dedication of not only the troops on the ground, but the RAF who were playing a very active part in current operations, and the Royal Navy in the Gulf.


Young added that the armed forces were still very stretched, so the sooner the Iraq troop deployment could realistically be reduced, the better.


26 Mar 08 BFBS Radio 2, with Richard Hutchinson - Army wife wins visa battle


BAFF's Douglas Young discussed the breaking news that Canadian citizen Mrs Samantha Crozier had been granted a 'spousal visa' to join her British soldier husband, Andrew, in the UK. Young conceded that along with sympathy there had been criticism of the young couple for failing to apply during the husband's posting in Germany, but he hoped that everyone would welcome the news that the Croziers and their two young boys would be reunited and the threat of deportation had been lifted. 'The Sir Humphreys have made their point', he said.


It had been reported that SSAFA Forces Help had provided financial and administrative support to the Croziers, and Young had also heard that the Army Welfare Service had been involved. He urged other families who might be in a similar position to review their status and make any necessary applications in good time, before being posted to UK.


Douglas Young also mentioned the 'unjust' case of Rogers Jean-Baptiste, the ex-soldier whose application for British citizenship had been turned down on the grounds that he had not been in the United Kingdom on the date five years before the date of application - because he had been serving with British Forces Germany.


External links:


Crozier case:


'Soldier wife wins deportation row'


Jean-Baptiste case:


'Refusal is a slap in the face'


'Commonwealth soldier who fought with British Army in Iraq is denied UK passport - because he was serving abroad'

Helpful info:


MOD Army: British Army's Foreign and Commonwealth Citizens Serving in the Regular Army and their Families


Army Families Federation: Foreign & Commonwealth

See also:


On this BAFF website: Commonwealth & foreign personnel


14 Mar 08 The Inverness Courier - Fighting for soldiers who put themselves on the front line


A media profile of one of BAFF's founding members.


12 Mar 08 BFBS TV - BFBS reports - Martha Fairlie reports


"Prince Harry called it "Pants". But does the British Forces Post Office deserve such a Royal brickbat? We'll be examining the highs and lows of the BFPO service..."


See Forces Mail 'is pants?' on this website.


09 Mar 08 Scotland on Sunday - MOD to spend £5M on actors. By Murdo MacLeod, Political Correspondent


MEET the gang 'cos the boys are here, the boys to diversity train you. Defence chiefs have caused widespread outrage with plans to spend £5m on actors to help spread the message of tolerance throughout the armed forces.


The 2008 version of It Ain't Half Hot Mum will visit military bases throughout the UK and abroad, performing self-penned sketches and plays on the theme of "equality and diversity". ...


Douglas Young, chairman of the British Armed Forces Federation, said: "Equality and diversity are very important, especially at a time when the armed forces have problems with retention and really need everyone who is willing to serve.


"But we would question this use of £5m.Whoever decided this should really think again. This £5m will have to come out of an increasingly hard-pressed military budget, and when our forces are so stretched, many in the audiences will think that this money could have been much better spent."


07 Mar 08 A BAFF spokesman, Douglas Young, gave separate interviews on Radios Three Counties, Hereford & Worcester, Cambridge, Cornwall, Newcastle, and 5 Live in response to revelations of RAF Wittering's advice to its personnel not to wear uniform in Peterborough.


Young deplored the abuse of service personnel by those he described as "numpties" and welcomed the fact that personnel in uniform were becoming a more familiar sight in many parts of the country after an absence of many years. Young hoped that the ban would be lifted as soon as possible but, in contrast to many commentators, he defended the right of the Station Commander to take such decisions in accordance with local conditions.


03 Mar 08 BFBS Radio 2 - Forces postal service "is pants"


BAFF's Douglas Young discussed comments by Prince Harry about the postal service for deployed troops.


UPDATE - See Forces Mail 'is pants?' on this website.


01 Mar 08 Daily Telegraph - Harry in Afghanistan - Forces' View - What the defence chiefs say


We are delighted for him, it is what he wanted to do and he has obviously enjoyed himself. He is an Army officer and I think we can all very much sympathise with his wish to go out there. He clearly has been doing a useful and necessary job.


None of our members have expressed any concerns whatever about additional risks to others. For his sake I hope he gets the chance again.


Douglas Young, Chairman of the British Armed Forces Federation.


29 Feb 08 - British Forces Broadcasting Service


BAFF's Douglas Young contributed to a BFBS radio news package about premium increases for PAX insurance cover for members of the armed forces. Comments included disappointment that PAX had decided against extending cover to include PTSD.


28 Feb 08 - Sky News


BAFF's Adrian Weale was interviewed about the revelations of Prince Harry's operational service in Afghanistan.


20 Feb 08


BAFF Executive Council member Richard Bartle gave a talk on BAFF to the prestigious Kettner Lunch in London.


18 Feb 08 - Publication of report of Commons Defence Committee inquiry on Medical Care for the Armed Forces


Written evidence on behalf of the British Armed Forces Federation.


BBC Wales - 28 Jan 08 - Overstretch 'driving troops away'


BAFF's Adrian Weale was interviewed about the House of Commons Defence Committee's response to the MOD annual report.


BBC Radio 5 Live - 21 Jan 08 - MOD laptop theft


BAFF's Douglas Young, following Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox on the programme, commented on Defence Secretary's statement in the Commons this afternoon and revelations of more stolen MOD laptops. Young welcomed the appointment of Sir Edmund Burton to conduct an independent review of the circumstances which led to the "systemic failures".


BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire - 21 Jan 08 - MOD laptop theft


BAFF's Douglas Young answered questions from presenter Liz Kershaw.


BBC Radio WM (West Midlands - includes Birmingham area) - 21 Jan 08 - MOD laptop theft


BAFF's Douglas Young in a discussion, with Dr David Dunn of Birmingham University.


Multiple media - BAFF comments on MOD laptop theft story - 18-20 Jan 08


Some of BAFF's comments on this major story have been carried by multiple online and print media.


Radio 5 Live - 'Weekend Breakfast' programme - 19 Jan 08


Another interview about MOD laptop theft story. ['Listen Again' link now superseded.]


BBC News 24 & Radio 5 Live - 18 Jan 08 - MOD laptop theft


A BAFF spokesman gave one of the earliest reactions to this breaking story on Friday evening: the theft of a laptop containing personal data of 600,000 actual or potential recruits to the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, or Royal Air Force. More information on new BAFF web page - MOD laptop theft.


Radio 5 Live - 10 Jan 2008 - UK troops in blood disease checks


A BAFF spokesman gave a balanced reaction to reports that a small number of British troops were undergoing medical checks after it emerged they had received emergency life-saving blood transfusions which had not received the normal retrospective testing after being donated during military operations. From part of this interview:


'Douglas Young, the chairman of the British Armed Forces Federation, told BBC Five Live that such checks were vital after emergency transfusions.


"If the necessary testing couldn't take place before the blood was given at all, then clearly there should have been what is called retrospective testing, where the donors or the blood batches are checked to ensure there are no issues involved," he said.


"Because in some circumstances, if there is a problem, it's as well to know that quickly, because some kinds of treatment may be given that isn't possible a year or two years later." '


UPDATE: See also Blood transfusion fears on this website.


'The House' parliamentary magazine - 7 Jan 2008 - British Armed Forces Federation - Representation in Action


Less than two years have gone by since Parliament began to discuss the idea of an Armed Forces Federation. ...


Update: Full article now added to BAFF website.


BBC Three Counties Radio - 7 Jan 2008 - The Nine o Clock Show


BAFF's Douglas Young discussed with 3CR presenters Ronnie Barbour and Katherine Boyle the report 'Informed Choice? - Armed Forces and Recruitment Practice in UK' which has been widely publicised today. While BAFF has never been slow to criticise problems in the armed forces with a view to bringing about improvements, Young defended MOD recruitment practices and emphasised the importance of potential recruits being encouraged to reach their own informed decisions. See BAFF page Joining HM Forces.


Radio 5 Live - 6 Jan 2008 - Weekend Breakfast


BAFF's Adrian Weale reacted to the reported decision to close Deepcut Barracks.


(Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut, Surrey. Press Association external link - Deepcut Barracks could be destroyed.)