In terms reminiscent of Norman Tebbit's advice to the unemployed in the 1980s, RAF pilots have effectively been told to park their planes and get on their bikes.
"Of course we've had regular 'downsizing' from the natural wastage fatalities in Afghanistan for a number of years but unfortunately, since we've had to give them better equipment, the numbers have fallen off somewhat" said a typically upbeat Defence Secretary Liam Fox. Speaking today at a press conference he announced major job cuts in all three armed services and in the M.o.D. itself. "We'd hoped for significant 'staff reductions' from the recent NATO action, but to be frank we've been victims of our own success. Not only did we take out the Lybian Airforce but their entire air-defence system as well; they had no chance. Who knew? We'd hoped to lose at least a couple of dozen or so, but now we'll just have to make them redundant instead. On the plus side we won't have to pay them any Death-in-Service grants. So, swings and roundabouts eh?" quipped the jovial former medical practitioner.
Doctor Fox emphasised that the prospects for those being made redundant is far from bleak. "Military experience will stand them in good stead in what is currently a very challenging jobs market. For instance, statistics clearly show a very high proportion of ex-military personnel in the UK prison population. With an increase in ex-military personnel there is bound to be an increase in the prison population and thus an increase in opportunities to work as Prison Officers. There are any number of examples but to give you just one more; I can announce that the M.o.D. will shortly be recruiting a number of 'buddies'. That is, people with recent military experience - to act as un-qualified counsellors I suppose you could say - to assist military personnel come to terms with redundancy."