It really does fuck me off when I read about women who sue their employers because they get knocked up and want the world to revolve around them. But it really winds me up when these women are in the Army, and an Army at war, at a time when one only needs to open a paper to see real courage whilst the defence budget gets slashed.
Sadly, Tilern DeBique appears to be one of those women who thinks her right to every weekend and evening off because she had sex without using contraception means that her colleagues should work more evenings and weekends.
A single mother soldier was today seeking a substantial six figure payout after winning her sex and race discrimination claims against the Army.
Tilern DeBique, 28, was serving with the 10th Signal Regiment and expected to be available for duty around the clock.
The mother-of-one was disciplined after failing to appear on parade because of childcare difficulties.
Her commanding officer told her that the Army was a 'war-fighting machine' and 'unsuitable for a single mother who couldn't sort out her childcare arrangements'.
Miss DeBique, a Foreign and Commonwealth soldier from St Vincent and the Grenadines, had two-bedroom family accommodation at Chelsea Barracks in south-west London.
But she had no-one to look after her daughter and wanted to bring her half-sister from St Vincent to the UK as a live-in carer.
I agree with the CO on this one. He has a Battalion to care about, not just one soldier.
A panel at Central London Employment Tribunal criticised the Army for not making any appropriate childcare arrangements for Miss Debique - especially after its costly recruitment drive in the Caribbean.
I'm thinking that there are better ways of spending the defence budget than child care?
It ruled that the Army had treated Miss DeBique less favourably than male soldiers and her non-Foreign and Commonwealth counterparts.
Her colleagues who didn't insist on having every evening and weekend off work. They were treated differently to her but presumably they aren't allowed to complain?
The landmark rulings are embarrassing for the Army, which must now consider the implications for its recruitment policy.
Do you remember when Godfrey Bloom said legislation pushing for 'rights' for women in the workplace was harming employment prospects for young women? A case in point here. Why would the Army make a point of recruiting women now, especially since there are only so many areas they can work in but men can work in all areas in the forces?
Miss DeBique was today seeking compensation for loss of earnings, injury to feelings and aggravated damages at Central London Employment Tribunal.
She says that had she not suffered discrimination, she would have seen out her full 22-year period of service.
Which most people don't serve.
It is believed that she is seeking a substantial six figure sum.
Funny, that. Easy street for her whilst former colleagues fight for their country.
Lawyers for the Ministry of Defence told the tribunal that the parties remained 'a very long way apart' after negotiations over a payout.
Miss DeBique told the tribunal today that it had always been her 'dream' to join the Army in England.
But to be treated differently to other soldiers because of her lifestyle choice?
She gave birth in August 2005 and made arrangements that she would work from 8.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays but would not undertake weekend duties.
Miss DeBique had childcare but in December 2006 her daughter fell ill and she missed training.
In January 2007, she failed to appear on parade for 'a reason relating to childcare difficulties'. She was told this was a serious offence and that she faced disciplinary action.
Maybe this makes me a complete bitch but I think the most important point about the Army is that it's a unit where everyone works together as a team. People risk their lives for each other and that bond is probably closer than many family units. This is called into question when certain people decide that they don't want to play by those rules.
I don't think that having children is a right, I think it's a privilege. As I have said on many occasions, I don't want children and it annoys me that because of that I don't leave work on the dot of 1700 but work unpaid overtime whilst my colleagues with kids wander off and expect us to continue filling the gaps.
But what really winds me up about this story is that Miss Childcare 2010 will get more for her one night of passion than someone will for losing a leg.
And if she thinks that is right then what the fuck was she doing in the Army in the first place?