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Posted by Richard Friday, August 19, 2005

The Daily Telegraph shows itself off in all its infantile glory today with a story that excels only in sheer banality and puerility.

Despite all the growing disasters in armed forces procurement, ignored by the paper, it is presented with MoD spin on its new range of desert uniforms and what does it focus on? The underpants.

Rather confirming Michael Buerk's dismal view of the fairer sex, the article is written by a woman, Catriona Davies, who starts off her piece with the stunningly stupid comment:

The modern soldier has the best in high-tech weaponry, satellite navigation and lightweight combat clothing, but until now there has been one thing missing from the kit bag: sensible underpants for hot climates.
Earlier this month, we reported on the procurement disaster over the Army’s medium-range anti-tank missile, arising when the MoD decided to go for a European project, only to have to cancel it when it failed to deliver, wasting £109 million.

The missile was supposed to replace the Army's 20-year-old Milan, production of which ceased in 1989. We now learn that the missile stocks had a shelf-life of ten years. Since, only this month has the MoD brought into service the US Javelin missile (available since 1995), this means that for nearly six years the Army has been without a medium anti-tank missile – a tad more important than underpants. But have we seen anything of this in the Telegraph?

I gather a colloquial expression of disapproval currently in vogue is "pants!" A rather fitting description of both the paper and the dire Mz Davies.

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