Did the army build and shape you political views?

#1
When in joined in the late 1980s, I was your typical apolitical youth (if it didn't include masturbtion I wasn't interested) but I remember being posted out to Germany and it was an eyeopener.

Training as we all know is a sterile military enviroment but meeting the kind of ultra right wing lunatics on my first posting, who would use foul racist language to refer to our black and asian compatriots, a love of all things Maggie/Tebbit/Enoch Powell, a general sexist low opinion of the WRAC in operational capacity and a bigoted, right wing world view turned me from apolitical youth from a council estate in the north west of England
into the biggst lefty in the British army.

Being Germany, quite a lot of them had obsessive collections regarding nazi regalia and uniforms. tell you what, it scared the shit out of me and I ought to thank them because I have kept to the sane side of the political fence ever since so if you are reading this and you know who you are!
cheers for unintentionally enlightening me! :thumleft:

Anyway, did the army shape or change your political world view and why?
 
#2
So. Let me get this right. You saw how bad the far right was so you thought the far left would be right?

You ever heard of the middle ground?
 
#3
Dazza I take exception to your description of your side of the "political fence" as the sane one and thereby by inference that the other side ie the political right being insane. In my humble opinion it is the extremes on either side that we need to be wary of, but even more scary are those in the middle who don't / won't / can't make a political judgement. Please be a little more careful when making sweeping statements.
 
#4
rebel_with_a_cause said:
Dazza I take exception to your description of your side of the "political fence" as the sane one and thereby by inference that the other side ie the political right being insane. In my humble opinion it is the extremes on either side that we need to be wary of, but even more scary are those in the middle who don't / won't / can't make a political judgement. Please be a little more careful when making sweeping statements.
Again. You dont have to be either a lefty or a righty to have a an opinion.
 
#5
Brads_REME said:
So. Let me get this right. You saw how bad the far right was so you thought the far left would be right?

You ever heard of the middle ground?
I didn't say I was extreme left! you are right, all kinds of political extremism is bad. I just said 'I was the biggest lefty in the British
army' a joking aside meaning that after listening to some of the
shite I had to hear I adopted a stance which would be moderate left
in todays political climate, but it made me Scargill Jr to the majority
my peers!
 
#6
Brad, as I said whats scary is those that won't / don't / can't express an opinion, I did not criticise those in the Centre that hold a view.
 
#7
rebel_with_a_cause said:
Dazza I take exception to your description of your side of the "political fence" as the sane one and thereby by inference that the other side ie the political right being insane. In my humble opinion it is the extremes on either side that we need to be wary of, but even more scary are those in the middle who don't / won't / can't make a political judgement. Please be a little more careful when making sweeping statements.
In my opinion it was the 'sane side of the fence' and some of the loons and their views on the 'other side of the fence' were insane and offensive to me. Still if you think differently thats why we have a democracy. tu droit!
 
#8
rebel_with_a_cause said:
Brad, as I said whats scary is those that won't / don't / can't express an opinion, I did not criticise those in the Centre that hold a view.
Fair one.
 
#9
rebel_with_a_cause said:
Brad, as I said whats scary is those that won't/don't/can't express an opinion, I did not criticise those in the Centre that hold a view.
So let me get this straight. If somebody in "the Centre" doesn't hold a view, you criticise them? Is that not a teensy bit arrogant? And if they "hold a view" would they necessarily be in "the Centre"? Would they not, by definition, fall into either the "right" or "left" camp?

MsG

PS. The conjunction is the British "who", not the Septic "that".
 
#10
Only a teensy bit arrogant, I'm disappointed I was hoping to come across as a complete git.
 
#11
dazzer said:
When in joined in the late 1980s, I was your typical apolitical youth (if it didn't include masturbtion I wasn't interested) but I remember being posted out to Germany and it was an eyeopener.

Training as we all know is a sterile military enviroment but meeting the kind of ultra right wing lunatics on my first posting, who would use foul racist language to refer to our black and asian compatriots, a love of all things Maggie/Tebbit/Enoch Powell, a general sexist low opinion of the WRAC in operational capacity and a bigoted, right wing world view turned me from apolitical youth from a council estate in the north west of England
into the biggst lefty in the British army.

Being Germany, quite a lot of them had obsessive collections regarding nazi regalia and uniforms. tell you what, it scared the s*** out of me and I ought to thank them because I have kept to the sane side of the political fence ever since so if you are reading this and you know who you are!
cheers for unintentionally enlightening me! :thumleft:

Anyway, did the army shape or change your political world view and why?
No. But the Navy shaped my views in a very similar way to your experiences. After 7 years of being generally surrounded and crowded out by people who thought civvies were a lower form of life and Thatcher was a goodun cos she gives us a good pay rise, I eventually got out. I was bored. Talking politics was discouraged. I became 'starved of oxygen' and sought solace in digging the streets. This was the best move I ever made although I'm not going to just slag off the Navy or the services. I'd recommend it to any young 'un who wants a good crack, to travel and to shape a healthy reasonable outlook on life. Just don't stay too long!!
 
#12
Not a bit.

Coming from Labour's safest seat in Wales (until Blair tried to force a 'London dolly' on it, I suppose I should have had some 'lead in' - but no.

I joined the 'mob' in 1961 and left in 1997 - on 31st March 1997.
Some days later a Scotsman named Blair became Prime Minister. I cannot remember noticing. I recall many people being happy about this and I think I felt a little sad for John Major - who had always appeared to me to be a rather decent guy.

However, as I settled into my new world - going from 20 to 56 in the Army and then becoming a 'civvy' was a mite stressful for me - I started to notice politicians. I moved flat from a rabid 'loony left' council (Hammersmith & Fulham) to a Tory council (Wandsworth) because the rates in Fulham were £785 and for the same size flat in Wandswoth £228.

I started to notice even more 'oddities', and began to wonder what the f*ck was going on.It dawned eventually that the Bliar 'gang' were dreadful beyond description.

No amount of invective will do justice to their appalling performance as a government and as individuals. It is my fervent wish that each and every one of them is charged with some offence for which the punishment is severe.
 

Auld-Yin

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#13
frenchperson said:
dazzer said:
When in joined in the late 1980s, I was your typical apolitical youth (if it didn't include masturbtion I wasn't interested) but I remember being posted out to Germany and it was an eyeopener.

Training as we all know is a sterile military enviroment but meeting the kind of ultra right wing lunatics on my first posting, who would use foul racist language to refer to our black and asian compatriots, a love of all things Maggie/Tebbit/Enoch Powell, a general sexist low opinion of the WRAC in operational capacity and a bigoted, right wing world view turned me from apolitical youth from a council estate in the north west of England
into the biggst lefty in the British army.

Being Germany, quite a lot of them had obsessive collections regarding nazi regalia and uniforms. tell you what, it scared the s*** out of me and I ought to thank them because I have kept to the sane side of the political fence ever since so if you are reading this and you know who you are!
cheers for unintentionally enlightening me! :thumleft:

Anyway, did the army shape or change your political world view and why?
No. But the Navy shaped my views in a very similar way to your experiences. After 7 years of being generally surrounded and crowded out by people who thought civvies were a lower form of life and Thatcher was a goodun cos she gives us a good pay rise, I eventually got out. I was bored. Talking politics was discouraged. I became 'starved of oxygen' and sought solace in digging the streets. This was the best move I ever made although I'm not going to just slag off the Navy or the services. I'd recommend it to any young 'un who wants a good crack, to travel and to shape a healthy reasonable outlook on life. Just don't stay too long!!
FP - you are not doing yourself many favours here. Not only have you expressed views at odds with many other Arrsers (and you are more than welcome to do so IMHO), but now you tell us you are a Golden Rivet seeker. FFS where is this site going? :headbang:

Remember green is good, God is Green. :blowkiss:
 
#14
I had the benefit of being completely apolitical during my service. My father had my proxy vote but so far as I know never used it. I lived in an area where the Tory candidate was NEVER going to be unseated such was the party majority. I never felt that I, as just one person acting alone, could ever have any real influence on anything that concerned me. That meant that I did not take much notice in politics. So far as I was concerned, nothing in my immediate circumstances needed changing anyway. I was aware that others had it worse than me - given the places I served in, that was unmissable. I never became aware that there was any obligation on me to change this situation.
Now, with greater chances for involvement, I remain of the same opinion. I have not benefited from it. I do not see that it has made me a worse sort of individual. I support charities. I intervene where something is happening that I deem needs my involvement and where I can effect change.
Sad situation really.
So, to answer the question - no. It insulated me from politics. Didn't matter who one voted for, it was the Government that decided things.
 
#15
Auld-Yin said:
frenchperson said:
dazzer said:
When in joined in the late 1980s, I was your typical apolitical youth (if it didn't include masturbtion I wasn't interested) but I remember being posted out to Germany and it was an eyeopener.

Training as we all know is a sterile military enviroment but meeting the kind of ultra right wing lunatics on my first posting, who would use foul racist language to refer to our black and asian compatriots, a love of all things Maggie/Tebbit/Enoch Powell, a general sexist low opinion of the WRAC in operational capacity and a bigoted, right wing world view turned me from apolitical youth from a council estate in the north west of England
into the biggst lefty in the British army.

Being Germany, quite a lot of them had obsessive collections regarding nazi regalia and uniforms. tell you what, it scared the s*** out of me and I ought to thank them because I have kept to the sane side of the political fence ever since so if you are reading this and you know who you are!
cheers for unintentionally enlightening me! :thumleft:

Anyway, did the army shape or change your political world view and why?
No. But the Navy shaped my views in a very similar way to your experiences. After 7 years of being generally surrounded and crowded out by people who thought civvies were a lower form of life and Thatcher was a goodun cos she gives us a good pay rise, I eventually got out. I was bored. Talking politics was discouraged. I became 'starved of oxygen' and sought solace in digging the streets. This was the best move I ever made although I'm not going to just slag off the Navy or the services. I'd recommend it to any young 'un who wants a good crack, to travel and to shape a healthy reasonable outlook on life. Just don't stay too long!!
FP - you are not doing yourself many favours here. Not only have you expressed views at odds with many other Arrsers (and you are more than welcome to do so IMHO), but now you tell us you are a Golden Rivet seeker. FFS where is this site going? :headbang:

Remember green is good, God is Green. :blowkiss:
With posts like that, down the fr1gging tubes. See you there :thumright:
 

Auld-Yin

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Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#16
frenchperson said:
Auld-Yin said:
frenchperson said:
dazzer said:
When in joined in the late 1980s, I was your typical apolitical youth (if it didn't include masturbtion I wasn't interested) but I remember being posted out to Germany and it was an eyeopener.

Training as we all know is a sterile military enviroment but meeting the kind of ultra right wing lunatics on my first posting, who would use foul racist language to refer to our black and asian compatriots, a love of all things Maggie/Tebbit/Enoch Powell, a general sexist low opinion of the WRAC in operational capacity and a bigoted, right wing world view turned me from apolitical youth from a council estate in the north west of England
into the biggst lefty in the British army.

Being Germany, quite a lot of them had obsessive collections regarding nazi regalia and uniforms. tell you what, it scared the s*** out of me and I ought to thank them because I have kept to the sane side of the political fence ever since so if you are reading this and you know who you are!
cheers for unintentionally enlightening me! :thumleft:

Anyway, did the army shape or change your political world view and why?
No. But the Navy shaped my views in a very similar way to your experiences. After 7 years of being generally surrounded and crowded out by people who thought civvies were a lower form of life and Thatcher was a goodun cos she gives us a good pay rise, I eventually got out. I was bored. Talking politics was discouraged. I became 'starved of oxygen' and sought solace in digging the streets. This was the best move I ever made although I'm not going to just slag off the Navy or the services. I'd recommend it to any young 'un who wants a good crack, to travel and to shape a healthy reasonable outlook on life. Just don't stay too long!!
FP - you are not doing yourself many favours here. Not only have you expressed views at odds with many other Arrsers (and you are more than welcome to do so IMHO), but now you tell us you are a Golden Rivet seeker. FFS where is this site going? :headbang:

Remember green is good, God is Green. :blowkiss:
With posts like that, down the fr1gging tubes. See you there :thumright:
I very much doubt it - not my type :blowkiss:
 
#17
The Army itself didn't shape my views but what I see whilst serving did. Having been lucky enough to travel worldwide, I got to see the crap regimes, left wing, right wing and religous and the crap they had turned their countries.
 
#18
Dazzer.....If you think that was rough you should have been a National Serviceman in the 1950's, they had a turn of phrase for every occasion and most of time it would give you a fit of the giggles which landed you in more trouble
 
#19
I joined from a village in Durham, in Sedgefield constituency (now Blair). My parents have always voted labour as did grandparents. All of the males were down the mines and my parents wanted me to get out of the rut so encouraged my brothers and I whilst we went through our Secondary school (not grammar as failed my 11+) education to better ourselves.

I joined the civil service, then the TA, got bored and joined the Regs in 74.
In the LI I used to be nicknamed the 'Durham Marxist', because of some of my views eg fair pay for work, equality, looking after those who fall through the net etc.

However, as my service lengthened and I travelled (like some other posters) and saw other parts of UK and the world some of my views changed. By the time I was in the Int from 78 onward some guys used to say I was slightly right of Stalin (who was never a solcialist) but this was because there were more lefties in that lot than in the Infantry.

My parents had a proxy vote and in the post Falklands election I wrote to them to vote Tory which they couldn't understand. The reason why was at the time and in the job I was in, I could see the fallacy of UDI for Nuclear weapons that Foot then Kinnock were preaching and the dangers. I didn't agree with some of Maggie's social policies but I feared for the safety of my country under the other lot.

I think I now have a rounded view thanks to my service experience which helped me in civvie street. Also, living down south since '84 I saw some of the dreadful LA's like Lambeth, Hackney etc so always voted Tory in the local elections as they kept our spending down. Here in Croydon even in 97, my missus voted Labour for the only time in her life because like many others, the Major Govt (not him) was so corrupt everyone wanted a change. Next time round in 01 though she was back to the other side after 4 years of p####ng about and spending loadsamoney with little benefit.

In 97 Croydon LA went Labour for the first time in its history. In 2005 it swung back again and I think it will stay that way as long as they keep the spending under control. My parents now have the dubious honour of having the highest council tax rise for 07/08 and who is their MP? Teflon of course.

So much for the North/South divide on who gets stung for taxes, indirect or otherwise. I have now come to the conclusion that they are are all a bunch of crooks regardless and want to stay as members of the exclusive club as long as they can to milk the trough for all it's worth.

Here endeth the meandering down memory lane.....
 
#20
intli said:
I have now come to the conclusion that they are are all a bunch of crooks regardless and want to stay as members of the exclusive club as long as they can to milk the trough for all it's worth.
I hope you came to that decision a long time ago, as I did. Now lets hear all the "You have to have a vote, bring down from inside, dont sit on the fence, not part of the solution" timewasters (my time) reply how we have to change it.

A lot of people keep voting for these wasters. I just cannot understand it at all....

Putting my armour on now.......
 

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