Deserter life sentences

#1
The Armed Forces bill is being debated in parliament and there's talk of life sentences for those who desert from military service.
The BBC News website states:-

"Labour's Kevan Jones backed the life sentence sanction, saying there must be controls over people who had made a decision to join the armed forces.

"We can't have a pick and choose army where people pick and choose where they do serve," he added"

No we can't, but we've got politicians who do the choosing for them and what sanction is applied to them when they get that wrong? Hell hath no fury like a non-combatant. I think life is probably too harsh.
Full story here

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5006638.stm
 
#2
On the other hand, you need to look at why soldiers desert or go absent in the first place.

Incidentally, Kevan Jones is supportive of a Forces Ombudsman, and a Federation, so he's not anti-military at all.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#4
Fair point, but knowing our judiciary, they'll make sure that the squaddie stays in longer.
 
#5
why bother giving them a life sentace when we could just revert back to standing them against a wall and shooting them, what a bunch of useless t*ts we have in this goverment.
 
#6
What about the RAF Doctor?
AN RAF doctor who refused to serve in Iraq was in Colchester military prison last night after being found guilty of five charges at a court martial. He was jailed for eight months.
Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith, 37, the first British officer to be charged and convicted for disobeying an order to go to Iraq, will serve half the sentence and then be released on licence. The Ministry of Defence said that he would be transferred to a civilian jail in a few days, as his sentence included dismissal from the RAF.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,200-2133812,00.html
 
#7
Ludicrous.

The UK armed forces are volunteer professionals. Anyone who does not want to fight should not be compelled - they would be a danger to their comrades and themselves. The current system works well enough - the shame associated with avoiding duty and the proporitonate punishment awarded by CM are punishment enough.

Something to do with stifling future dissent over more illegal wars I think. It won't work either - the conscientious objector route will be used more in future, with the active collaboration of those officers who do not wish to see anyone locked up for life. Even if someone did face CM, they would have this disproportionate sentence overturned on appeal. Why should someone who is not a threat to the public and who has not taken life be sent to jail for so long? Drunk drivers who kill get a fraction of this time.

Typical initiative by the spineless snout-troughs who hide behind armed police and barricades, unlike the rest of us. These are the real cowards.
This can only increase the support for a Federation.
 
#8
I can remember when guys used to turn up at the gates after a year or two awol, do their time and then soldier on and soldier on well, however to do a runner in the face of impending ops for the sole reason of missing the op is a different matter, I only hope that it gets extended to certain members of our reserve forces who like the odd weekend in and then cry off when they have to deploy
 
#10
I took the reports to mean that life would be applied to those "deserting in the face of the enemy" as the old version went.

Not those that just refuse to go into a combat area.

Even when the early morning last cigarette parade was in vogue I don't think they shot anyone who didn't return from leave or did a bunk from the rear areas. Of course I could be mistaken but thought that the ultimate penalty was only used on those that legged it whilst the battle was in progress or just about to start.
 
#11
Steven said:
I took the reports to mean that life would be applied to those "deserting in the face of the enemy" as the old version went.

Not those that just refuse to go into a combat area.

Even when the early morning last cigarette parade was in vogue I don't think they shot anyone who didn't return from leave or did a bunk from the rear areas. Of course I could be mistaken but thought that the ultimate penalty was only used on those that legged it whilst the battle was in progress or just about to start.
Being shot for desertion stopped in the 20's. During WW2 no Commonwealth/UK soldier was shot for desertion. Those executed were for murder etc. Even the mutiny in Salerno in '43 resulted in hard labour for those convicted but their sentences were later reduced and I think the longest serving had 12 years.

As pointed out earlier, as ong as the sentence matches that in civvie st, ie life for murder then out in 4 then I have no problems, but I reckon it will be a case of using the Army as an example and if that is the case they will be onto a non-starter. The Human Rights act will kick in and it will all trun to r##sh#t as usual.

I had the misfortune to be guard commander on a couple of occasions when deserters returned. They were immediately converted into AWOL for expediency, did 28 days in the nick until a paper discharge could be organised, then released.

There is greater merit in some form of punishment for those disappearing on active service, however, but that already appears in the Army Act along with a scale of sentence and guidance for CM's. This seems like another attempt at headlines and detracting from the problems the Govt has in other areas. :roll:
 
#12
I can not belive what I am reading in the news this morning.

Total removal of human rights, especially after what our grand fathers and great grand fathers went through during and after WW1. Who strived to ensure decent humanitarian rights for shell shocked soldiers in the trenches.

There is nothing worse than a couch potatoe General, expecting security of the nation whilst butchering its own men and woman, while hiding behind their own political power, deeply embedded within the protection of government.

Next they will be asking for the battle tactics of 1916 under General Haigh to be brought back.

All I can say is bring back the Black Adder series which typifies the current strife UK forces are having to put up with this government.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
intli said:
. Even the mutiny in Salerno in '43 resulted in hard labour for those convicted but their sentences were later reduced and I think the longest serving had 12 years.
Completly off topic, but where can i find out about this mutiny, i have never heard of it...
 
#14
Hmmm, an interesting picture for the press to play with as Cpl Shagnasty, or Capt Slackbladder is stood up in front of a Courts Martial and when asked why he "deserted" states that it was because he refused to take (further) part in an illegal and immoral war and as such was reflecting the view of a (very) large slice of the electorate. I have no dooubt that the new SofS for Defence, with his human rights lawyer background, will be very understanding.......
 
#15
Chieftain2A said:
I can not belive what I am reading in the news this morning.

Total removal of human rights, especially after what our grand fathers and great grand fathers went through during and after WW1. Who strived to ensure decent humanitarian rights for shell shocked soldiers in the trenches.

There is nothing worse than a couch potatoe General, expecting security of the nation whilst butchering its own men and woman, while hiding behind their own political power, deeply embedded within the protection of government.

Next they will be asking for the battle tactics of 1916 under General Haigh to be brought back.

All I can say is bring back the Black Adder series which typifies the current strife UK forces are having to put up with this government.
Are you quite mad or is this just a failed attempt at being funny? The latter I think.
 
#16
Totally disproportionate.

So objecting to a war in future that was totally illegal would be worse than drunkenly stamping someone's head to a pulp and leaving them paralysed? Or perhaps raping a minor?

I can only think they are raising it to par with the penalty that might be imposed by e.g the Hague for war crimes after participating in an illegal war!

Seems like whilst the cnuts realise they can defy the electorate and ride roughshod over international law they are worried about the ability to execute it being impaired by those they ask to do their dirty work saying "hold on a minute..."
 
#17
A life sentence for desertion?

As others have pointed out , even in the midst of a hot shooting war to free the world from tyranny , this level of sentencing did not happen. I seriously question the motives of MP's who wish to vote this into law.

Are we by any chance , about to go somewhere deeply unpleasant and unpopular during the rest of this PM's turn?

Incidentally, Kevan Jones is supportive of a Forces Ombudsman, and a Federation, so he's not anti-military at all.
Are you quite sure on that Viro , he may sit on the committee, he may make the right noises but my gut feeling is he is no friend of the Armed Forces.
 
#18
rickshaw said:
Hmmm, an interesting picture for the press to play with as Cpl Shagnasty, or Capt Slackbladder is stood up in front of a Courts Martial and when asked why he "deserted" states that it was because he refused to take (further) part in an illegal and immoral war and as such was reflecting the view of a (very) large slice of the electorate. I have no dooubt that the new SofS for Defence, with his human rights lawyer background, will be very understanding.......
Which would be all well and good if the media actually played ball, and decided that there was a story which would return their printing/broadcast costs. The RAF medic in the story Priam quotes, above, is in exactly that position. I don't necessarily agree with the man's point of view, but his situation is exactly parallel with that which you describe. The story is on the Times website, here, but I don't see the media going out of their way to incite the bleeding hearts electoral majority to riot in the streets in his support... but then they wouldn't would they, it's the child bayoneting b@stards in uniform who are responsible for the war in the first place, just like the police are responsible for all the burglaries, and the firemen are all arsonists (when they're at work!)... :roll:

The piece also shows what appears to be a remarkable degree of political editing; I can't for a minute believe that the Judge Advocate said;

“Those who wear the Queen’s uniform cannot pick and choose which orders they obey and those who do so must face the consequences.”
...without any caveat whatsoever about the legality of the orders in question. That is the whole point of the case, is it not? '...according to the rules and disciplines of war...' my commission reads; so the media are actually tending away from support of the 'soldier's' dissent, and simply underlining, in the public's mind the concept that anyone in uniform is an unthinking killing machine. The clear implication is that not only are we all murdering filth, but that, even if we were capable of making our own moral decisions, that we are disallowed from so doing by military law.

"Cpl Smith, just pop these prisoners around the back of the building and have them shot, if you would."
"That's an illegal order, Sir, and I shall not obey it. It is against the law of armed conflict, in breach of the rules of war and it would consistute a war crime for you, me and our soldiers, punishable by life imprisonment."
"Well that's as maybe, but the Judge Advocate says you can't pick and choose. Let me know when it's done so I can have APC (Glasow) bill their families for the cost of the rounds. I'll be in the Mess, reading The Guardian."


I mean, really.

PartTimePongo said:
A life sentence for desertion?

As others have pointed out , even in the midst of a hot shooting war to free the world from tyranny , this level of sentencing did not happen. I seriously question the motives of MP's who wish to vote this into law.

Are we by any chance , about to go somewhere deeply unpleasant and unpopular during the rest of this PM's turn?
For the love of all things holy, don't go pointing that around, not even in jest.
 
#19
chrisg46 said:
intli said:
. Even the mutiny in Salerno in '43 resulted in hard labour for those convicted but their sentences were later reduced and I think the longest serving had 12 years.
Completly off topic, but where can i find out about this mutiny, i have never heard of it...
The incident at Salerno happened because soldiers from 50 and 51 Div were recovering in hospitals in N.A and were told by Monty they would rejoin their Divs who had been returned to UK to prepare for D Day.

These guys were in a transit camp and were told they were shipping out. They boarded a boat and ended up on the beaches at Salerno as reinforcements. Feeling aggrieved (and p###ed off) they refused to go to other Bdes as they were not their cap badges. Also some of the guys weren't 100% but thought the boat was going back to UK so figured they could recuperate back at the depot.

They were told if they refused to soldier it would be classed as mutiny. Some of the seniors stated they were not refusing to soldier, just refusing to be pushed off to another unit after being promised to return to their units. After 3 attempts about 100 stood fast. These were disarmed and returned to NA for trial. Some of the SNCOs were sentenced to death, later commuted to hard lanbour. They were also stripped of their medals ( a few had the MM) and rank.

It subsequently turned out there were sufficient reinforcements at the transit camp and the wrong lot had been rounded up but no pardons etc were given.

Details first came out in a book called 'Mutiny at Salerno' some 15 years ago, there was also a documentary on TV about 4 years ago on it. I'll check up the author and book details and let you know. :roll:
 
#20
Jaeger said:
Are you quite mad or is this just a failed attempt at being funny? The latter I think.
No I am not from Barking and neither mad. There is nothing like squaddie humour in the face of adversity.

This is serious and they are playing a deadly game with the lives and the human rights of forces personnel. They are also breaking the agreed covenant between the Government and the Army and they have done so, in so many places when it comes to the aftercare of the British Forces.

They are in the provebial deep c$$p and up to their necks. They are trying to hide it all by silencing as many as possible.

The guys are coming back from the field of operations and not getting the care as we used too in the past. Some are waiting from 9 - 12 months before getting Physio for busted limbs etc and not through the military neither. They are ending up in the general care of the NHS because the MOD have failed them in so many ways for after care.

This is also said for the mental conditions too. They have privatised so many military mental facilities they are failing everyone and their families.

The true casualty numbers of medical limbs lost etc are also not being recorded. Because if you are treated by the Americans you are not registered on the British forces MED Gen. So the true number of actually recorded medical incidents are not recorded.

The enlistment rate has also dropped by 40% since the start of the conflict. The government are slowly waking up to the fact that the casualty rate out weighs the enlistment rate, because the true figures are not being revealed.

This was a back door job to try and keep the forces mouths sealed.
 

Latest Threads