CGS on BBC News - What a let down?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Whistleblower, Sep 23, 2006.

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  1. Always willing to give the new man a chance - but not any more. Anyone else just a little disappointed that the HEAD of the Army did not how many of HIS soldiers have been killed and wounded in Afghanistan? Instead we get some bluster that the figures will be on his desk early next week.........spoken like a true politician. Not as if it was a new topic that caught him out following this weeks previous news - so not eactly good preparation, but more importantly - shouldn't he know anyway??

    Am i being harsh?
  2. My bold

    To me that says it all. Waiting for his seat in the house of lords.

  3. Purple_Flash

    Purple_Flash LE Moderator

    Maybe you should cut him some slack; after all he probably needs to check the figures now that it is claimed that the official figures do not reflect the truth in that many of the more minor injuries dressed in the field are not being counted.

    Maybe he wants to compile a more accurate count.

    But, if not, I agree that it will make it seem like a political answer if they hope that by buying time the issue will no longer be newsworthy when the figures arrive on his desk...
  4. Whist willing to give our Gen the benefit of the doubt, why didn't he quote current figures available then mention that due to recent questions raised by members of the armed forces state that they are currently being reviewed for any inaccuracies.

    This would surely have been a more positive response and would have shown some sort of support from the powers that be for the good Maj who is probably going through the political mill at the moment.

    Two main points though.

    1. The head of the Army doesn't know! FFS
    2. Another classic example of losing the PR initiative, making the men in charge look like something out of Blackadder.
  5. He came across as badly prepared, unconfident and lacking in media savvy or trg. How long has the military known that it has to play the media game to send out psitive dynamic messages? Learn the lesson once and for all - train our people properly in media handling, practice them well, polish the message that the MoD wants to get across and anticipate the harsh questions that will inevitably crop up.

    There was a young Cpl from the RIRISH on TV last night (the lad who has just won the MC in Iraq) - he was a great ambassador for the Army - said what he wanted to say with no fuss and came across well. Maybe CGS could learn a lesson or two from the young lads out on the ground about how to court the press and use it to your own advantage.
  6. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    He's caught between a rock and a hard place. He's recently taken over as CGS and inherited a situation that wasn't of his making. I don't pretend to know what his views are but as the head of the army, he has to toe the line and make the best of what is a fairly desperate situation in Afghanistan. It illustrates why all ranks need something like BAFF, which can articulate the opinions of service personnel outside the chain of command.

    As it happens, BAFF were invited by the BBC to comment on the email leaks and related matters but declined to do so as it would have contradicted the policy of not giving an opinion on operational matters.
  7. I think he needs a refresher on his Media handling course.

    Saying that he was in a horrible situation, I bet there was no queue of Senior Officers willing to sit where he sat. He could have released a statement but instead he sat in front of the cameras and had a go.
  8. Agreed, but that wouldn't prevent

    a) a slightly less 'nervous' manner.

    b) as others have said, a more non-committal response about the e-mails: he could have come across as perfectly robust and decisive, but at the same time supportive of one of his field commanders, by simply saying something like

    "I don't personally agree with the comment, but I fully understand the circumstances that led to it: anyone who's experienced the pressures of operations will understand that at some points, people need to let a bit of steam off. I intend to establish exactly what led to this remark, and until then I have nothing further to say about this fine soldier's private thoughts...As far as I'm concerned, the RAF are doing an asolutely excellent job. " End by fixing civvy with gimlet eye and firmly closed jaw.
  9. Possibly a little harsh... but like any good commander when given a straight question he will want to give a correct and straight answer.

    I would guess before he puts his name and credibility to a number it will have to be right. Lets hope Herrick doesn't turn into to the farce that Telic 1 did when people were put on the first plane to Cyprus for any medical excuse. Only the cynical would suggest that this was to ensure the in theatre figures could be massaged.

    I do agree that he should know the figure. In the words of the long dead Von Moltke... "There can be many reasons for failure.... but no excuses."
  10. I got to see the CGS on the World Wide BEEB.
    I think that Major up the Sharpe end is putting up a better show.
    Mind you his neck and the lives of his lads are on the line.
  11. Anyone know where and when he got his MC?
  12. Special pleading? FFS the man was CINC Land. The situation may not have been of his making but he contributed the forces to it. He must have had a view and I would have expected him to know what was going on just as much in his previous position as his current one.

    You appear to have contradicted yourself with your comments on BAFF or is it just too early for me at the moment?

    I agree BAFF were correct not to comment on operational matters but I would expect them to have a view where the impact of operations on the welfare of its members is concerned.
  13. NI in the 1970s I think.
  14. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    And they do, of course, but the tenor of the BBC enquiry was: 'Is it true the RAF keep fecking up?'
  15. After all the years of training and experience if this is the best performance the CGS can manage then he should be replaced . For any one to go on TV like that so poorly prepared and not have the information to hand was a total disaster