Are Private Military Companies the answer? Need your help with a research project.

Discussion in 'Police, PMCs, Security' started by joshw568, Sep 8, 2010.

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  1. Hi,

    I've heard from a few of my solider buddies that there is a raft of knowlege and experience loitering on this fine forum.

    I was wondering if I could kindly ask for your assistance with my University dissertation. My 10,000 word epic has barely made it off the drawing board - would you be so kind as to spare 5 minutes of your time to fill out a little questionnaire about your opinion of Private Security Companies?

    Private Security Companies Survey

    My dissertation is exploring what members of the Armed Forces think of Private Security Companies and whether they are an attractive employment option after leaving the Forces. Whether you're currently serving, are retired or are thinking of joining the Army - I'd really value your thoughts?

    I've spent days making this online questionnaire - so it shouldn't require too much effort apart from some intelligent clicking in the right places!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Stonker

    Stonker On ROPs

    If you think a forum populated by anonymous and unidentifiable souls, any one of whom might be anything from old'n'bold used-to-be soldier, a wannabe soldier, a Walter Mitty-never-could be-a-soldier-so-I'll-just-tell-porkies-about-it, or a curious civilian is the ideal source for a statistically valid survey of current opinion in the Army, you might just be wasting your time going any further with your academic efforts, my friend. . . .
  3. Hi Stonker,

    You raise a valid point - the online survey is only one part of my research. I'm also getting responses from serving soliders directly via face to face interviews.
  4. have tried to do the survey a couple of times, keeps defaulting to first question after a varied number of pages

    Ed to add:
    PMC is a very narrow definition. If you can work Singer's "spear" analogy in, that would be a little better.
  5. The survey should be working fine now. Would you mind giving it another go? I've changed all reference from PMC to PSC. Having spoken to quite a few of the security companies themselves, they appear to be favouring either PSC or PSMC.

  6. Hi Guys,

    There were a few teething problems with the online survey yesterday, including it sporadically deciding to pop back to page 1 mid-survey. Apologies to anyone who was filling it in at the time. If you experienced this issue, I'd be grateful if you could spare a couple of minutes to complete the survey - I've gone through it myself several times and it's working fine. I've already got 30 responses which is great.


  7. Josh

    There was a long and often entertaining series of threads on a chap called James Shortt.

    Unfortunately it was moderated to be Shorttcentric.

    Some facts I recommend to you are:

    (1) In 2003 General De Chasterlain checked his terms of reference and sent a report of concern to the Northern Ireland Secretary. The question of interest to you is whether the Arms Decommissioners could deploy to England, under Tony Blair's commitments in Good Friday Agreement, to check Police issued firearms certificates and activity at gun ranges.

    (2) The answer appears to have been that activity by members of the security services was exempt from the decommissioning inquiries and action.

    (3) Last year, concerning the activity of James Shortt, an MP wrote to the Minister of Defence and received the reply that Shortt had no authority to conduct military training and live fire training.

    (4) This comes to the heart of your question. The Unlawful Drilling Act 1819 made it an offence to conduct military training without CROWN authority. In my view such an act is essential to the maintenance of our constitution. Armed force is under Her Majesty the Queen and is a Crown monopoly ensuring a check and balance on govt and also safeguarding other CROWN functions like the independence and primacy of the administration of justice.

    (5) The reply about Shortt highlighted that the 2003 response to General De Chasterlain was not correct. The test of whether someone had authority to train at arms was the Unlawful Drilling Act 1819 and the MOD minister response re Shortt in 2009 shows that De Chasterlain was misled in 2003 and probably did have GFA authority to investigate mainland police issued firearms certs and activity at mainland gun ranges. As far as Shortt is concerned it seems self evident there was much mischief for De Chasterlain to have found.

    (6) Jack Straw and Tony Blair had an interest I suspect in Straw repealing the Unlawful Drilling Act 1819 when Straw was Justice Minister. Repealed at a time there were live complaints under its terms. These complaints involved Straw and the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry when Straw was Home Secretary. IMO Straw has some serious questions to answer. But the repeal of that act paved the way to private militia and non-Crown authorized bearing of arms.

    (7) Without Straw's malignant repeal of that Act where would your thesis be ?

    Best of luck with your work.
  8. Hi BounceBanana,

    Thanks for the info on James Shortt - I've just been reading about him on the forum and on Wikipedia amongst others. I remember now The Sun newspaper story about him from a few years ago.

    There's definitely an angle regarding Jack Straw and Tony Blair and their links to directly/indirectly endorsing the activity of PSCs - thanks for the tip, I'll look into it.

  9. Josh

    It is an area that interests me from my history.

    Misprision of treason - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    IMO there are two possible treasons in this area :

    (1) If Govt diverts funds and or functions and or development of skill away from the Armed Forces that would be treason under the category of any act which would weaken or TEND TO WEAKEN the ability of the REALM to resist or attack an enemy.

    (2) If Govt diverts funds and or functions and or development of skill away from Armed forces and or Constables that would be treason under the category of undermining HM the Q as sole fount of justice in mercy. (Our constitutional; safeguard against govt taking over the admin of justice by forming a ministry of justice ... whoops !! Straw again)

    You might (not an area I know much about) care to use the Unlawful Societies Act 1799 as an analogy. Dastardly Napoleonic agents in Celtic secret societies etc. Freemasonry (Antients and Moderns) were exempt the ban because loyalty to the Crown and obedience of laws of the Realm was built into their structure. Harold Wilson repealed this in 1967. Opening the way to non-loyal secret societies rather as Straw has opened the way to non-loyal private military companies.

    It may interest you that in 2003 two non Crown authorized pseudo military cadet groups lost their Kent County Council Youth Group affiliation status. Around about the time Jack Straw suddenly needed Kent's Chief constable David Phillips in a public sector role and instantly out of the police.

    One of these groups was Kent Adventure Training Corps. I recall that they were supposed to have a youth member meet the Queen. Can't recall what year. But I sent MI5 the information that one of their adult leaders using a bogus REME record had been a civilian security guard at Deal Barracks in 1989 the year of the IRA bombing of the barracks. That another adult leader had been arrested under the Unlawful Drilling Act 1819 in 1987. Whether Gen De Chasterlain's terms of ref query prompted the withdrawl of affiliation status for non Crown authorized military cadet groups and an instant change of Kent Chief constable.

    If you really want to impress then attach to your thesis a copy of your mandatory Common Law Information of Suspected Treason naming Blair and Straw to your local Justices of the Peace. Best of luck.
  10. Hi BounceBanana,

    Misprision of treason is not a law that I was previously familiar with, but I can see how it would potentially apply to PSCs, especially if the government continue to outsource more and more of the services formerly done by the Armed Forces. I suppose the main sticking point is going to be at which point the Armed Forces are judged to have been weakened sufficiently so that it weakens the ability of the Realm to resist or attack an enemy.

    I suppose you could argue that this point has been reached already - if PSCs immediately withdrew all of their current services (military training, support, equipment provision, protection etc), it would be evident that the lack of direct government investment in these areas had led to a reliance on the private contractors. Whilst this is of course unlikely, the possibility still remains that in some areas, PSCs services are open to the highest bidder - if this is no longer the British government, but a foreign government, where would this leave the ability of the realm to resist or attack an enemy?

    I'm thinking out loud here - but you've definitely raised a very interesting issue that I look forward to looking into in more depth.

    Thanks for taking the time to mention it,

  11. Hi,

    We're up to 68 responses to the online survey on Private Security Companies so far, so thanks very much for everyone who took the time to let me know what they thought. If I could get 100 responses, it would be fantastic, so if you are currently serving in the Armed Forces or are now retired - I'd really appreciate if you could spare a few minutes to provide your feedback on Private Security Companies.

    Private Security Companies Survey

    Thanks again,

  12. Stonker

    Stonker On ROPs

    You need to bump your thread occasionally, to keep it on the '50 Most Recent Posts' pages, which is where most will look for new/interesting threads: be aware, though, that ARRSErs are most active Mon-Thurs (or so it seems to me, at any rate)
  13. Thanks for the tip Stonker - will do.

  14. PMFJI,
    I do not agree. The use of armed force is not a monoploly of The Crown, it is one of the subjects fundamental rights.

    Safeguarding the Courts is down to the Sherriffs and the Posse Commitatus per S.8(2) of the Sheriffs Act 1887:

    "(2) If a sheriff finds any resistance in the execution of a writ he shall take with him the power of the county, and shall go in proper person to do execution, and may arrest the resisters and commit them to prison, and every such resister shall be guilty of a misdemeanor....".

    Article 5 of the Bill of Rights (the prohibition of standing armies in peacetime without the consent of Parliament) is the constitutional check on tyranny by an army.

    Regarding the Unlawful Drilling Act 1819, the subjects rights confirmed by the Bill of Rights were acknowleged in the debates in Parliament as they were in the debates on the Firearms Act 1920 which was an ammendment to the 1819 Act.

    It has not been repealed BTW.

    Regards, John H.
  15. BounceBanana,
    Funny you should say that, I have refused to pay my Council Tax for those reasons, amongst others. I am invoking Ch. 61 of Magna Carta and duress of circumstances:

    1. The Respondents Submissions Opposing a Liability Order.

    i. I am a British subject of good character and have twice sworn the Oath of Allegiance, as a soldier and as a police officer. Both of those oaths require allegiance to the law, not an office holder, and require the individual concerned to make judgments about the lawfulness of his, or her, actions. So does the Judicial Oath.

    ii. Regarding Ch. 61 of Magna Carta, I submit that a Baron’s Committee was lawfully raised, that their Petition was served on The Queen on 7th February 2001 and that the provisions of Ch. 61 of Magna Carta 1215 apply until the Committee or a duly constituted Constitutional Convention decides otherwise. I have sworn allegiance to that Committee. In these circumstances I submit that Powys Council has no authority to issue a tax demand to me.

    iii. Regarding the defence of “duress of circumstances”, I have an honestly held belief that my life, liberty and property are at risk because laws that are repugnant to the Common Law are being applied within the UK. I did not place myself voluntarily in this position. Refusing to pay taxes to The Queen, who, together with certain evil counsellors, is responsible for this situation and is in breach of the Common Law and her Coronation Oath is an act of self defence on my part. Any refusal by Crown Officials to acknowledge the restraints that they are subject to will be further evidence that my beliefs are well founded.

    iv. The Judicial Studies Board document referred to at Para. 3. iv. above confirms that it is for The Crown to prove beyond reasonable doubt the defence of duress does not apply.

    Regards, John H.