Guthrie Speaks out...

#1
Ministers are failing to give proper support to troops embroiled in a war on two fronts that has become "extraordinarily dangerous", a former head of the Armed Forces said yesterday....Lord Guthrie, the former chief of the defence staff, told The Daily Telegraph: "We are in two very serious insurgencies and although it is not general war we need to face facts that things are very serious. . . we are just muddling through. It is reprehensible that our politicians are hiding behind the generals."

Lord Guthrie's outspoken attack came on a day British soldiers and tourists were the target of terrorist attacks in three countries.
Interesting: I wonder if this was coordinated with Dannat's remarks?

Telegraph Article
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#2
Also intereresting is that I don't recall him making remarks along these lines when he was the CDS.......
 
#4
Nibbler said:
Ministers are failing to give proper support to troops embroiled in a war on two fronts that has become "extraordinarily dangerous", a former head of the Armed Forces said yesterday....Lord Guthrie, the former chief of the defence staff, told The Daily Telegraph: "We are in two very serious insurgencies and although it is not general war we need to face facts that things are very serious. . . we are just muddling through. It is reprehensible that our politicians are hiding behind the generals."

Lord Guthrie's outspoken attack came on a day British soldiers and tourists were the target of terrorist attacks in three countries.
Interesting: I wonder if this was coordinated with Dannat's remarks?

Telegraph Article
Not at all..... probably nothing more than shear coincidence :)
 
#5
Also intereresting is that I don't recall him making remarks along these lines when he was the CDS......
Actually, my understanding is that, of all our recent VVIPs, he was the most robust, and did actually poke politicians in the chest several times, to some effect. These comments are of a piece with his views at the time - I wouldn't knock him for still holding them...
 

untallguy

Old-Salt
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#6
Nibbler said:
Also intereresting is that I don't recall him making remarks along these lines when he was the CDS......
Actually, my understanding is that, of all our recent VVIPs, he was the most robust, and did actually poke politicians in the chest several times, to some effect. These comments are of a piece with his views at the time - I wouldn't knock him for still holding them...
I'm told that the stand-up row he had with Brown is still spoken of in Whitehall. Apparently, Gordon gave him the perfect cue (whilst red-faced and shouting) of "You think I know nothing about the Armed Forces!" which got the reply "No, Chancellor, I know you know nothing about the Armed Forces."
 
#7
I'm told that the stand-up row he had with Brown is still spoken of in Whitehall. Apparently, Gordon gave him the perfect cue (whilst red-faced and shouting) of "You think I know nothing about the Armed Forces!" which got the reply "No, Chancellor, I know you know nothing about the Armed Forces."
Exactly... :lol: I've also heard a story about a certain foreign CGS, from a 1st world nation, who commented after an abrasive interview, still trembling with indignation, that he 'hadn't been spoken to like that since officer school'... The man has a weird accent, but also big cojones...
 
#8
chimera said:
Also intereresting is that I don't recall him making remarks along these lines when he was the CDS.......
Fair point - but if he had spoken out then - he would have been sacked.
 
#9
It's a shame that we have Generals..so long as they say what the governement wants to hear.!!

When are they going to realise that Generals DO know what they are talking about. Our Troops DO need better kit AND we need more of them.

Guthrie..Good man..very very good man
 
#10
Lord Guthrie was a very political animal but I think managed to come out with more self-respect than General Mike has after living in the snake-tank. He didn't speak out in public but he fought every inch of the way behind closed doors. He also didn't say things because they made policy look right.
 
#11
Postie said:
Exactly Chimera - A shame he is being so outspoken now.
Any high level gestures are welcome, whether the man is retired or not. As a serving soldier, you can't overly criticise or you will lose your job and Lord Guthrie can say things that General Dannat is unable to say in his current position. I'm pleased that Tim Collins is sticking his oar in as well as he is a real 'soldier's man' and is not afraid to let people know the truth!
 
#12
Two things. First; I read somewhere that Lord Guthrie is a user of Arrse. I assume they meant this website.

Secondly, If he is being outspoken now, rather than when he was our boss I can only assume that he was doing his best and he did what he could with the hand he was dealt. Now, I imagine he is playing more from his heart. There would have been no use falling upon his sword to make a point previously.
 
#13
Having spoken to other retired senior bods - falling on one's sword is no bad thing. It sends a clear message to all those serving that the poweres-that-be do care and are prepared to make a sacrifice. Also, if enough of our senior bods threaten to do so, then the politicians and civil servants will have to take note eventually. The line that is often pedalled by senior officers is that they can't do anything once they've resigned - perhaps better than sitting in office powerless to make any changes.
 
#14
Admiral Boyce chucked it in early as CDS over the government's politicisation of the reasons for the Iraq War.

He hasn't gone public about his views on it since though, which is a shame. I wonder if he's waiting for Bliar to be ousted first?
 
#16
precis said:
Having spoken to other retired senior bods - falling on one's sword is no bad thing. It sends a clear message to all those serving that the poweres-that-be do care and are prepared to make a sacrifice. Also, if enough of our senior bods threaten to do so, then the politicians and civil servants will have to take note eventually. The line that is often pedalled by senior officers is that they can't do anything once they've resigned - perhaps better than sitting in office powerless to make any changes.
Fari one but I imagine not many people here have the ability or facts to be able to say if that is true for Guthrie or not.
 
#17
Mr_Lucky said:
Two things. First; I read somewhere that Lord Guthrie is a user of Arrse. I assume they meant this website.

Secondly, If he is being outspoken now, rather than when he was our boss I can only assume that he was doing his best and he did what he could with the hand he was dealt. Now, I imagine he is playing more from his heart. There would have been no use falling upon his sword to make a point previously.
Only when you have people at the top who are prepared to do just that in protest are things going to be recognised. Dannet comments "only just" may as well say "everything in the garen is rosy" as far as whitehall is concerned.
TB
 
#18
Tytus_Barnowl said:
Mr_Lucky said:
Two things. First; I read somewhere that Lord Guthrie is a user of Arrse. I assume they meant this website.

Secondly, If he is being outspoken now, rather than when he was our boss I can only assume that he was doing his best and he did what he could with the hand he was dealt. Now, I imagine he is playing more from his heart. There would have been no use falling upon his sword to make a point previously.
Only when you have people at the top who are prepared to do just that in protest are things going to be recognised. Dannet comments "only just" may as well say "everything in the garen is rosy" as far as whitehall is concerned.
TB
lousy initials mate!
 
#19
As I recall, the then Gen Guthrie, who was percieved at the time as a Neu Arbeit drone of some kind, was particularly vocal about what he correctly recognised as 'PC creep' in the armed forces and strongly criticised it, to the extent he said outright that it was now impeding training and operations.

I am therefore pleased, but unsurprised by his statement. To be honest, if all I have heard about Gen Jackson is true - a soldiers soldier, viking drinking ability, requires almost no sleep (hence the huge bags under his eyes, I assume!), it would not surprise me too much if Gen Jackson, once he speaks, is scathing in his comments.

I certainly hope so. I cannot imagaine 'Iron Mike' Jackson having been entirely happy and content with the way this government has treated the military during the tenure. Go on Gen J, say it - you know you want to!
 
#20
I don't quite understand how these things work but if Guthrie had quit, would he have been replaced by a RAF or RN chap. Obviously if so, wouldn't the inter-force politics have played havoc for us (army)? E.g., cancel Challi2, we've got Eurofighter, or cancel SA80 upgrades, we've got aircraft carriers?

Or am I thinking of a different appointment?
 

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