After all the blather about a carefully considered cut to our armed forces, not only does it seem that it is all the usual ill considered slash and burn Tory cuts but also it is profoundly discriminatory. Any guesses who told the BBC's Andrew Marr:- "I'm a Cameron, there is quite a lot of Scottish Blood flowing through these veins"?
Scottish infantry spared as English regiments axed
All five Scottish infantry regiments are to be spared the axe as English troops take the brunt of defence cuts today.
The move has caused outrage among MPs and serving officers south of the border with three English and one Welsh battalion chopped.
Anger is likely to intensify when it is disclosed that the English battalions will now lose their historic titles such as the Green Howards, Staffords and Duke of Wellingtons.
It can also be disclosed that the Scots Dragoon Guards that had been considered for merger with another cavalry regiment will survive unscathed.
One serving officer called the move “deeply unfair, bordering on the outrageous”
The first four battalions of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will now reduce by about 100 to 450 men each and the fifth battalion, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders will shrink to a company of about 120 men performing ceremonial duties outside Edinburgh Castle and elsewhere.
However, English battalions will remain at up to 600 troops each.
Patrick Mercer, a Tory MP and former commanding officer of an English infantry battalion, said: “If this is the case why, yet again, do the Scottish unit get preferential treatment?
“They have been allowed to keep their regimental titles and now they are going to be reduced to nothing larger than a major’s command and yet English battalions now just have to lump it.”
The cuts in Army 2020 will be the biggest reforms to the Service since 1904 reducing it to 82,000 men, its smallest size since the Napoleonic Wars.
The Government has argued that the shortfall in numbers will be made up by boosting the Territorial Army to 30,000 troops. However it can barely field half that number with officers deeply skeptical of its future role.
“On which planet do they seriously believe that we will sustain TA force of 30,000,” one office said. “It’s just laughable. I have yet to meet a single individual at senior level who believes this feasible.”
In last minute deals struck by Downing Street it is understood that the deal with the Scottish regiments was made to undermine the pro-independence lobby.
The wrangling over cuts to famous names has been going on for months with the Army 2020 package originally meant to be announced in April.
The English battalions to go will be the 3rd Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment (the Duke of Wellington's) and the 3rd Bn The Mercians, who gained renown as the Staffordshire Regiment.
As disclosed in The Daily Telegraph earlier this week the 2nd Bn The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, one of the best recruited in the Army, will also be cut.
It will be joined the 2nd Bn The Royal Welsh, who can trace their roots back to Rorke’s Drift.
Two English cavalry regiments will disappear when the Queen’s Royal Lancers amalgamates with the 9th/12th Lancers and there is a merger of the 1st and 2nd Royal Tank Regiment.
However the biggest cuts will come with what are known as “combat support” arms vital to servicing an army in the field. The Royal Logistic Corps, the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers all face losing a third of their strength.
It is understood that the cuts, which Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary will announce in Parliament at midday, were delayed by a week to avoid embarrassment to the Prime Minister during Armed Forces Day ceremonies last Saturday.