Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hackle, Aug 7, 2007.
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Full article - Daily Telegraph
"The private soldier needs to know that the cause is esteemed at home."
A phrase from the article, which, sadly I very much fear will not be fulfilled.
The 'adventure' into Iraq, the result of an individual's amazing vanity and propensity for posing, is not popular in Great Britain. Soldiers know this and it is certain to affect adversely their morale - let alone their decisions regarding retention.
I am not certain about the public's perception of our involvement in Afghanistan. I rarely hear it mentioned and possibly this will lead to a similar conclusion by 'the private soldier' and undermine his, or her, morale.
Correct me please, but throughout our history, have we ever been led into war by a government with no experience of warfare or even military service. Let us not forget that Mrs. Thatcher was surrounded by gallant men, thus compensating for her lack of personal military experience. I refer to Military Cross holders - Whitelaw, Carrington, Pym and to others including her husband.
I suspect that the benighted idiot Blair watched too many war films in his youth.
Not forgetting the then-Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie (RIP):
Wiki entry - "He earned a commission in the Scots Guards during World War II, serving as a tank commander and earning the Military Cross for two feats of bravery in March 1945: he rescued one of his men from a crippled tank under heavy enemy fire, and the next day he took his own tank into an exceptionally exposed position in order to knock out three anti-tank guns. In May 1945 he was among the first British troops to enter Bergen-Belsen.
After the surrender of Nazi Germany, he served with the occupying forces in Cologne and then with the boundary commission dealing with the future status of the Free Territory of Trieste."
Very well written (as one would expect from Allan Mallinson), very pro-forces (also very nice) but I fear seeking a state of mind that this nation has lost and will never regain.
It has me thinking whether we are going about 'selling' the Armed Forces the right way. I think that this would also apply to the Police Force and Fire Services - both of whom I have friends and they de-cry the loss of respect from the public.
I appreciate that the majority out there just don't care in the selfish 'me' society of today - but is it incumbent upon us to provide that leadership to make them proud? (Before the comedians get out there and start suggestting comedy drill on the Old College parade square - I mean finding a way). Let us put aside the hired 'spin' lackeys - lets talk about real leadership be it from Pte level (let's look at our serving VC and MC winners here) to CDS. Britons have historically been an inherently violent nation - we like few things better than to fight for a cause that is just, create empires (and lose them! oops!!) and bet on the underdog (if they play fair).
This is last paragraph is admittedly a bit utopian - but striving for it is realistic and those of this nation who are followers (the majority) may get swept up by this and unite to support. The competition - NHS, state welfare and education. Are we going to have a big fight to get attention and win people over, but we are the underdog!!!!
I noticed this a while back so I checked
Blairs Cabinet 2001 - 2005
Tony Blair Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, and Minister for the Civil Service:
John Prescott Deputy Prime Minister
Gordon Brown Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury
Lord Irvine of Lairg Lord Chancellor
Robin Cook Leader of the House of Commons
Lord Williams of Mostyn Leader of the House of Lords
Andrew Smith Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Jack Straw Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
David Blunkett Secretary of State for the Home Department
Margaret Beckett Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Stephen Byers Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions
Alan Milburn Secretary of State for Health
Geoff Hoon Secretary of State for Defence
Alistair Darling Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Thatchers Cabinet 1981 - 83
Margaret Thatcher: Prime Minister
William Whitelaw: Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for the Home Department :Army, Major Scots Guards MC WW2
Francis Pym: Lord President of the Council:Army, MC and Bar WW2
Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone: Lord Chancellor :Army, Major wounded Western Desert 1941
Humphrey Atkins: Lord Privy Seal: Royal Navy, 1940 -1948
Sir Geoffrey Howe: Chancellor of the Exchequer: Army, Platoon Commander East Africa
Leon Brittan: Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Lord Carrington: Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs :Army,Major Grenadier Guards MC
Peter Walker: Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
John Nott: Secretary of State for Defence : Army Commissioned 2nd Gurkha Rifles 1952 - 56
Keith Joseph: Secretary of State for Education and Science :Army, Royal Artillary WW2 M I D wounded Italy
Norman Tebbit: Secretary of State for Employment :RAF Pilot
Nigel Lawson: Secretary of State for Energy: Royal Navy officer National Service
Michael Heseltine: Secretary of State for the Environment :Army 2nd lieutenant Welsh Guards 1959
Whilst I appreciate that it was a different era national service and WW2 etc I know who I would rather have in a war cabinet
Also alot of people seem to think that he soldier is to blame that one day the whole army just got together and said since Boz and Kosivo are quiet how about we go and invade somewhere
All this their arn't fighting in my name b0llocks needs to stop
Good article exceptionally well-written but I'm afraid the message will miss due to lack of understanding.
All three You quoted resigned from the government or were sacked. Carrington for screwing up on the Falklands, Pym for not agreeing with Das Fuhrerin and poor old Willie Whitelaw who was forced to take on so many jobs it did for Him - didn't Ridley say that the Conservative government started to sink after He resigned?
Even so, they are still more admirable than the current shower of politically-elevated cretins, time-servers, and jobsworths who comprise the present administration.
I would not disagree, but they are not at all representative of Thatchers governments
Not to the extent that this lot are, no.
I have an unhappy nagging feeling that when the dam of reserve breaks, we'll see veterans on the Green throwing their decorations at Parliament, furious at the sheer hubris that saw this mendacious Government send the Forces to war and then refuse to support them.
Separate names with a comma.