Brassed Off The Press Bites Back

#2
I dont normally care what the guardian prints - but did read this and its kind of rings true, we shouldnt rely on Generals whining to sort this out, ultimately, the voters of this country should/will pass verdict on flawed government policy to restore the 'covenent' between country, govt and the armed forces...

Wishful thinking perhaps when most people will vote for tax breaks, and glib personalities over issues of substance....

Ratcatcher
 
#3
Ratcatcher said:
I dont normally care what the guardian prints Ratcatcher
Ditto but average daily circulation estimates vary from 380,000 to just shy of a million, most of whom will probably take it as gospel! :roll:

Ratcatcher said:
- but did read this and its kind of rings true, we shouldnt rely on Generals whining to sort this out, ultimately, the voters of this country should/will pass verdict on flawed government policy to restore the 'covenent' between country, govt and the armed forces...

Wishful thinking perhaps when most people will vote for tax breaks, and glib personalities over issues of substance....

Ratcatcher
Unfortunately I have to agree with you there too :x
 
#4
Priam said:
Ratcatcher said:
I dont normally care what the guardian prints Ratcatcher
Ditto but average daily circulation estimates vary from 380,000 to just shy of a million, most of whom will probably take it as gospel! :roll:

Ratcatcher said:
- but did read this and its kind of rings true, we shouldnt rely on Generals whining to sort this out, ultimately, the voters of this country should/will pass verdict on flawed government policy to restore the 'covenent' between country, govt and the armed forces...

Wishful thinking perhaps when most people will vote for tax breaks, and glib personalities over issues of substance....

Ratcatcher
Unfortunately I have to agree with you there too :x
With regard to voting, the people didn't vote for tax breaks Tory style last time - mind You they didn't vote Lib Dem in large enough numbers either
 
#5
I think the article is fair and the last comment is accurate, as long as you accept that our political masters are allowed to make war using us, if it is in the Nations interest. Personally I agree with that.

The writer at least acknowledges the fact that so many people were unhappy with the process that Bliar used to deploy us. This to the point of having to give up powers because of his high handediness. He has done more damage to the democratic process with his abuse of process than any General speaking up, IMHO.

I think the comments so far posted on the article are even more interesting. Only one I saw made comment about the behavior of UK Forces, serving or out, to date. The rest sailed off to attack Bliar and Bush policies.

Now, consider the role of the Armed Forces. It's the ultimate task of the Army, Navy and Air Force to defend the nation. Are they actually in a position to carry out this primary duty at the moment? I believe the answer is no. Generals have every right to become politically involved if their highest calling, to Crown and Nation, is being hampered by political failings at least the equal of the cock-ups within the NHS, but masked by the cloak of an unwillingness to complain and 'duty'.
This is a crisis, no doubt, the scale is only being made clear by the fact the generals are taking the drastic step of speaking out in the first place
I think the readers are still on our side rather than the politicians. Whilst this attitude continues, as long as we don't threaten to revolt and our numbers continue to decrease because of deaths in far a way places, I think this state of sympathy will remain. We should continue to make noise when we can. BAFF to the fore!
 
#6
Sven said:
With regard to voting, the people didn't vote for tax breaks Tory style last time - mind You they didn't vote Lib Dem in large enough numbers either
Sven

Make comment on the article rather than yet another Labour newspeak soapbox attempt, FFS
 
#7
The article was interesting and worth reading. The Guardian feels it has a moral duty to be paranoid about the military on behalf of its latte-sipping readership, and issue such warnings from time to time in case the Army marches on Parliament, overthrowing the complex multi-cultural and PC society that Guardianistas have helped create by "holding their noses and voting Labour"! :wink: :twisted:
 
#8
At the moment the paper which has most suprised me by its attitude towards the Forces has been the Independant. You'd expect from its political stand-point to be a raving bunch of soldier-hating loons, but it certainly seems to be the opposite from what I've read in it over the past year or so.
 
#9
ouyin said:
At the moment the paper which has most suprised me by its attitude towards the Forces has been the Independant. You'd expect from its political stand-point to be a raving bunch of soldier-hating loons, but it certainly seems to be the opposite from what I've read in it over the past year or so.
Yes but you have to pay for the independent! :wink:

In the cheap seats,

I missed the comments page :oops:
Some well worded replies and mainly anti-policy but pro-Forces!
 
#10
Priam said:
Is this the start of the tide of Public Opinion turning!

The generals are opening up new constitutional territory...Society owes a debt to the armed forces. But we, not they, decide what they do.
Full article here!

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1981158,00.html#article_continue
Who do they mean by 'we'? I suspect that they mean themselves, the slimy creatures inhabiting 'Fleet Street'.

I am part of the 'we' they should be referring to, that is to say a tax-paying, law-abiding, subject of HM The Queen.

I applaud all the generals and others who are stating what a massive majority of people feel in this country, and that is: HM Forces have been and continue to be, treated abyssmally by this appalling government.

I have never bought or read a 'Guarnod' but I am led to believe it is worth far less than the paper it is written on.
 
#11
I agree with the comments about the Independent. it is provided free at work, really is an impressive newpaper nowadays. Not afraid to campaign and very supportive of the troops.

Keep up the good work in 2007!
 
M

Mr_Logic

Guest
#12
The key phrase in the article is 'wars of choice.' I am sure that history will view our current involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as undertakings we deliberatey chose to get involved in. Wiser political masters could equally have chosen not to be involved.
 
#13
Another precedent came when the then chief of the defence staff, Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, demanded a formal assurance from the attorney general that the war was legal. It was done in private. But the implication was clear: a willingness to reject government policy.
I'm not convinced that "the implication was clear" that Admiral Sir Michael Boyce was ready to reject government policy - after all, in the Clauswitzian tradition the Armed Forces are a tool of politicians - but in light of the international community's recent-times pronouncements on war crimes, I'd suggest that it was more a case of an attempt to cover the back of the Armed Forces in case of any such accusations.

I know that the "just following orders" argument was rejected in a large number of cases following WWII, but in the case of invading another country, my belief is that so long as military action is prosecuted in line with accepted international conventions, if the international community subsequently judges the invasion to be illegal, the politicians who order the military to act should be the only ones open to prosecution for it.
 
#14
lsquared said:
....I have never bought or read a 'Guarnod' but I am led to believe it is worth far less than the paper it is written on.
Don't believe everything you're told. The Guardian is as good in its reporting as the other quality daily papers - Daily Telegraph, Independent and Times. They only really differ in their political perspective and their specific strengths and weaknesses (which themselves depend on editorial priorities and the quality of particular journalists at the time). All of them are in a different league from the tabloids, in which group I include the Express and (shudder) The Mail.

I'm not a regular Guardian reader (although I dip into it every now and again), but it has come out with several pro-Forces stories recently. I think the article covered by this thread is spot-on, and it's good to see the quality press, particularly at the more liberal end of the spectrum, recognising the risk of the current crop of political clowns breaking the military train set. It won't do any harm in the run up to ministers considering the next AFPRB report and Comprehensive Spending Review, either.

Don
 
#16
ouyin,
you make the same mistake as many serving personel.
You believe that to be anti war is to be anti soldier.

with some people of course it is, but in my case and many many others it is not.
it was ex sevice people I spoke with before these wars that I found the most sceptism.
 
#17
just by way of general info.
The Guardian was one of the first print journals to take to the web.
Its site is a well designed one and it now has a huge readership around the world.

I have been regularly reading American papers on line myself for some time.
A few years ago if an American referred to the guardian they would describe it as 'the British newspaper, the Guardian' now no one bothers its so widely read they just call it the Guardian.

(I'm neither for or agin the paper myself - just saying)
 
#18
SLRboy said:
ouyin,
you make the same mistake as many serving personel.
You believe that to be anti war is to be anti soldier.
A very important distinction. And most soldiers who have any genuine experience of warfare recognise that to be so. The real purpose of armed forces should be to prevent war.

Any military action ought to be considered to be the last resort. True, once commenced it should be pursued relentlessly and professionally, but casual engagement in battle is a failure of policy and intellect.
 
#19
I think the article is interesting and balanced. I do have concerns about Generals wanting to get invoved in policy. It is not their job. What is their job, is to say what can and can't be done within resources and to stand up to our policitcal masters when we are being insufficiently resourced for the job in hand ( including UK infrastructure) and to advise them when the policy is militarily unsound. However it is not to direct policy. I accept that this government has not used a collective decision making process to go to war, and so the action has not be fully scrutinised, therefore encouraging debate and comment outside of parliamnet. But then there has never been a requirement to go before parliament since the declaration of war is a matter of crown prerogative.

Therefore I approve of Gen Dannett's statement in that he states a shortfall in resources and a breech of the military covenanat, but not when he is referring to when we should leave Iraq.

However once they have retired, a General like any other commentator should be free to say what he likes about policy as long as comments do not breach the official secrets act.
 
#20
I have noticed a trend, especially prevalent in left wing politicians, to judge extremely harshly those from the public sector who disagree with their views. For all that talk about the rights of 'workers', politicians don't actually want the workers to have any rights which might affect them. The excuse that is used is that it is undemocratic to usurp the elected body - but that seems an odd from of democracy to me - cast your vote and then shut up. Moreover, it never seems to apply when the 'workers' views are in line with the politicians. Clearly, this is all about power. Politicians have fought like buggery to get it, and are certainly not going to see ebbing away due to the intervention of those whose pay packet they control. It is this sentiment that leads to the last setence in the Guardian leader, and I, for one, don't like it. When the Guardian (which I quite like) refers to 'we' in the context of telling public servants what to do, it doesn't mean you and me. It means a coterie of activists, politicians and supposed intelligentsia.
 

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