Gen Mike Jackson on Radio 4

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by rubicon, Oct 20, 2005.

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  1. Sad git as I am – I was listening to Radio 4 this morning and caught Gen Mike talking about Iraq. He was asked a question about the state of morale of troops on the ground and somehow managed to totally avoid answering the question and gave some reply concerning how well we were doing on the ground. A couple of points here:

    a. Can anyone tell me at what rank a military officer looses his military thought process and starts using a politician’s thought process instead – to the complete exclusion of sound military judgement?

    b. What is the state of morale on the ground in Iraq? As Darth_Doctrinus mentioned on another thread, 300 member of the PWRR have just handed in the notice after being told they are going back to Iraq – is that a sign of high morale?

    c. Will Gen Mike ever again be trusted to give the truth or is he going to permanently toe Tony Blair’s (sorry – the Dear Leader’s) Party Line?
  2. The trouble is that his current appointment places him in a very awkward situation. It would be totally inappropriate for him to go on about how p!ssed off the boys and girls are about the latest insane demands on them courtesy of TCB. He's also aware that if he's seen banging on about how awful it is he may well depress those parts of the Army that are doing OK. Plus we should perhaps try and wash our dirty linen in private.

    Personally I would judge him on how forcefully he states our case in private to the politicos - but alas that's not something we get to see until much later. Plus if he pushes too hard he runs the risk that the current crop of spineless mendacious wastes of genetic material that run the country at present will replace him with someone more amenable to shafting our troops.

    Perhaps he should get a user on here and tell us what is really going on - deniably of course.
  3. It's not that a change comes over them as they rise through the ranks - it's that the higher they rise, the more important political ability becomes if they are to rise still further.

    Whitehall warriors emerge by a process of natural selection.
  4. there is always plausible deniability!

    Whatever Gen Jackson does in private (and that obviously is important) we should get the feeling that he is supporting us and isn't just an acceptable face for Blairism. I listened to his speech at the RMAs pass out in December, and to be honest in discussing FAS he seemed to be saying, 'I'm right and f/// off if you disagree with me', it was a very Blair style self-justification. We all understand the pressures that his position brings and the fact he has to deal with protectuing the Army on a day to day basis. Is he however, the same man quoted in serve to lead?
  5. I was about to turn over to listen to Terry Wogan, when I heard POoDle's dulcet tones, so listened in:

    My mind turned to his extraordinary dismissive remarks about the lack of loo paper and other comforts of life that he'd failed to get 'his' soldiers at the very beginning of this ill-fated expedition. Today he referred to the death of our men in, I thought, equally dismiisive tones, and started prattling on about when people die 'we have to lick our wounds'. He is, without doubt, a 'political' soldier. Ofcourse, he wouldn't have got to where he is without eating a few miles of Bliar's poo. He continues to feast on the stuff, and to hell with those he's supposed to look after.
  6. He strikes me as a Blairite toady, eyeing up the ermine in a few years.
  7. Perhaps (and I am merely surmising here) there is another view which could be taken here...

    The top brass are very well aware of the problems currently facing all three services. The current scale of operations is taking its toll on manning levels (see PWRR comment) as well as morale... but until the Politicians get their fingers out of their arrses and stop hacking away at our resources, things will not improve. Gen Jackson, as our interface with aforementioned politicians, has to at least appear to be on the same wavelength - what he actually does, of course, is another thing...

    I would suggest that more politicians listen to radio 4 than read such mundane items as MOD Policy statements and White papers.... lets see what Gen J produces in the near future that addresses the manning and morale issues, rather than crucify him for placating those civvy tw@ts who run "his" budget etc - Actions speak louder than words............

    Just my tuppenceworth, of course, but I hope to be proved right in the near future...

  8. Would love to know what REALLY happened between him and Wesley Clark in 1999.
  9. Well Gen. Mike Jackson really has a face for radio! :lol:
  10. Well on a technical point, all those PWRR who have signed off aren't actually in Iraq, so that shows how they percieve the moral in Iraq, not how it actually is.

    I'll get my coat! :oops:
  11. I share the massive cynicism of many here on ARRSE about our political 'elite' who feel the need to put on suits and mix it with civvy lickspittles in Whitehall, and there is no doubt that some elements do go native. Jacko isn't one of them. Granted - he has made some astonishingly nepotistic decisions regarding the Parachute Regiment to guarantee their future, looking to the time when the inevitable happens, and the money men look to chop either 16 or 3 Cdo Bde - again.

    However, he has fought tooth and nail for family stability, for improved operational effectiveness (across all LoDs), and for our soldiers' basic pay and 'rights', and in many ways has been actively constrained from taking even bolder steps by reactionary narrow-minded military types in Whitehall and elsewhere. If he comes across as 'fcuk you pal - I'm right' I suspect that long wearisome years fighting for his Army has worn him down, and let's face it - you never see a headline that says 'Jacko looks after his blokes' cos he does it all day, every day.

    In a climate where Broon is always looking to claw more and more money back from the MoD, and our political masters seem ever more ready to send our people off to foreign climes without adequate recompense or support, perhaps we should be grateful that we have such a professional chap at our helm, looking after our baseline interests.

    It is said that a successful General only fights the battles he can win - he does that.

    Before I get the inevitable deluge of 'Jacko is a ******' type responses, just ask yourself 'Am I a serving soldier'? or 'Am I married to a serving soldier? and 'Have I been on combat operations recently?' - without these key elements, you are not best placed to judge whether Jacko does the right thing by us.
  12. This puts him in my good books, I was still in green at the time and a gnats fart away if our former Soviet friends had kicked off.

    You have to like a boss that tells a SPAM where to get off when it's going to be you that gets some incoming.

    As I'm not currently serving I'll leave it at that:
  13. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    well said Doctor Darth

    You either accept the principle of civilian authority over the military or you don't.

    If you do, then the top military guys have to be able to deal with their political opposite numbers.....easy relationship to criticise,hard to get right.

    If you don't , the coup is next week...grab your webbing.

    I worked in Wilton when Gen Jackson was CINC LAND: I remember him telling the assembled Puzzle Palace courtiers that their ONLY function in whatever they found themselves doing was to enhance FIGHTING POWER.....anything else was secondary.

    I don't believe he has changed his spots since moving to London. I also think he would march a mile over broken glass for people he believed in - Civil serpents and handbag swingers don't count !

    Maybe Ramillies( who I hear shares a whisky with him now and again) might be enticed to comment ?

    Le Chevre