Britain’s new generation of soldier-statesmen

#1
In the Economist, Bagehot suggests that "Politicians steeled in war are well placed to unite a divided country"

A couple of snippets from the top of the article:

"WHENEVER it has been confronted with crisis in the past, Britain has summoned up leaders worthy of the challenge. Yet today it faces the crisis of Brexit without any leaders who deserve the name. Theresa May has dithered where she should have been decisive and been decisive where she should have dithered. Jeremy Corbyn has been on the wrong side of most of the serious arguments in post-war history."

"Britain suffers from more than just a shortage of leaders. It suffers from a growing problem of trust in leadership in general. The country long ago turned against professional politicians such as Tony Blair and David Cameron, who slithered from Oxbridge to the cabinet while barely making contact with the public. But its brief flirtation with conviction politicians is beginning to sour, thanks to anti-Semitism on the far left and swivel-eyed incompetence on the Brexit right."

https://www.economist.com/britain/2018/09/01/britains-new-generation-of-soldier-statesmen

Virtually all political parties have been in turmoil, particularly in the past couple of years. They seem to be led by the SPAD guided hapless and hopeless. More debating society than substance. I agree with the author that politicians with military experience can be a great asset and if given the opportunity can make a positive difference. Are they being heard though or are they being sidelined? Another issue is how the individual comes across. IDS does not seem to resonate with the public, irrespective of his policies or opinions. I don't agree with Ruth Davidson in a number of areas but she has made an impact and transformed the Conservative situation in Scotland from teetering on near extinction. Where are her contemporaries?
 
#3
I would be curious how the new "Camel Corps" see things.

The likes of Rory Stewart and Leo Docherty (Pashto and Arabic courtesy of the Army, and Swahili/hindi degree from SOAS I believe) for example would have seen the reality of foreign intervention (as well as having cultural insight).

Perhaps they could speak some truth to power, and to their constituents. Many of who need to stop whining and be very grateful for living in a developed first world nation.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Then again, the Duke of Wellington almost caused a revolution.

I'm not exactly sure what qualifies as 'steeled in war'. Personally I'd be happy with principled, well educated, civilised and worldly wise.
 
#5
Then again, the Duke of Wellington almost caused a revolution.

I'm not exactly sure what qualifies as 'steeled in war'. Personally I'd be happy with principled, well educated, civilised and worldly wise.
Sadly we only seem to get "well educated", and by that I mean PPEs (stand-fast Dianne Abbot) - despite the name it (generally speaking) makes the individual MP completely unsuitable for life in politics.....
 
#6
Then again, the Duke of Wellington almost caused a revolution.

I'm not exactly sure what qualifies as 'steeled in war'. Personally I'd be happy with principled, well educated, civilised and worldly wise.

....wouldn't we all, unfortunately the present crop of greasy pole climbing carrer orientated overpaid wastes of skin do not qualify, and never will, to reiterate my thoughts from another post , they are the manifestation of the greed and Me Me culture that manifested it self with thatcher, and was compounded by A one Mr T B liar, the few honest and trustworthy MP's that inhabit the Westminster bubble, are overshadowed by the inept, greedy, short sighted, and just plain stupid, and the present crop in the labour party are totally beyond the pale. Is it any wonder that the British Public hold Politicians in total contempt, I dread to think what other western countries think, and how it effects our standing with the larger political communitys around the world.
 
#8
I would be curious how the new "Camel Corps" see things.

The likes of Rory Stewart and Leo Docherty (Pashto and Arabic courtesy of the Army, and Swahili/hindi degree from SOAS I believe) for example would have seen the reality of foreign intervention (as well as having cultural insight).

Perhaps they could speak some truth to power, and to their constituents. Many of who need to stop whining and be very grateful for living in a developed first world nation.
Yes, but that would mean putting experienced people into positions where they could make a decent fist of it - rather than a well placed lackey that will vote your dumbass policies through the HoC regardless of their lack of experience, knowhow, common sense, ability, empathy, resourcefulness, initiative etc...

Remember, this is a country where there is a real risk of Diane Abbott becoming the Home Secretary.

Diane Abbott as the Home Secretary.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
Sadly we only seem to get "well educated", and by that I mean PPEs (stand-fast Dianne Abbot) - despite the name it (generally speaking) makes the individual MP completely unsuitable for life in politics.....
Such creatures aren't educated, they're trained. The test of education is the ability to, as Cromwell put it, "think it possible you may be mistaken".
 
#11
Remember, this is a country where there is a real risk of Diane Abbott becoming the Home Secretary.

Diane Abbott as the Home Secretary.
We need a button for "please take my tie, belt, shoelaces and ID lanyard from me for my own safety".
 
#12
Virtually all political parties have been in turmoil, particularly in the past couple of years. They seem to be led by the SPAD guided hapless and hopeless. More debating society than substance. I agree with the author that politicians with military experience can be a great asset and if given the opportunity can make a positive difference. Are they being heard though or are they being sidelined? Another issue is how the individual comes across. IDS does not seem to resonate with the public, irrespective of his policies or opinions. I don't agree with Ruth Davidson in a number of areas but she has made an impact and transformed the Conservative situation in Scotland from teetering on near extinction. Where are her contemporaries?
The senior officers we have at the moment are busy ******* over the army by sticking their tongue *********** of any minority, they get dry bummed by civvies companies (although its their soldiers who suffer) and the most important thing in the world is shirts in/out. I doubt them working as politicians will change anything. If the army was well run, morale was high and soldiers were happy it might be a different story.

For every decent politician who may have a military background you have people like Eric Joyce. I don't think service makes much of a difference (unless a politician is working in a defence role).
 
#13
I wonder if a former Royal Marine's Colour Sergeant would like to throw his hat in.....?
Colour Sgt Muir of Government House, Stanley fame as Foreign Secretary?

It would add a certain level of robustness to our post-Brexit dealings with the wider world...

[For younger Arrsers for whom the Falklands conflict might as well be the Peloponnesian War, please do a site search for Colour Sgt Muir's outstanding contribution to Anglo-Argentine diplomacy in 1982]
 
#16
The senior officers we have at the moment are busy ******* over the army by sticking their tongue *********** of any minority, they get dry bummed by civvies companies (although its their soldiers who suffer) and the most important thing in the world is shirts in/out. I doubt them working as politicians will change anything. If the army was well run, morale was high and soldiers were happy it might be a different story.

For every decent politician who may have a military background you have people like Eric Joyce. I don't think service makes much of a difference (unless a politician is working in a defence role).
Good answer. Helps illustrate that past performance of ex-miltary MPs is no guarantee of the same in the future. Also that the pool from which they would be drawn has changed somewhat. This is why I asked the question because although the author has a point I think his item was a little emotive and simplistic. Ruth is definitely one to watch but I have just a slight concern about direction of travel. She want's to be a game changer and prove what can be done with hard work and determination. No problem with her being a role model as long as the country comes first.
 
#18
Colour Sgt Muir of Government House, Stanley fame as Foreign Secretary?

It would add a certain level of robustness to our post-Brexit dealings with the wider world...

[For younger Arrsers for whom the Falklands conflict might as well be the Peloponnesian War, please do a site search for Colour Sgt Muir's outstanding contribution to Anglo-Argentine diplomacy in 1982]
I was actually referring to the one sponsored by GoPro although I think yours would have a tad more tact and diplomacy.
 

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