Is the lack of military service the cause of our very poor politicians?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by headgear, Nov 12, 2017.

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  1. The story is that Ernie Bevin said something along the lines of "Clem, get your arse down to the Palace and get confirmed before these bastards kick you out."
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  2. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Allegedly he took a bus as well.
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  3. Andrew Marr's book on the history of modern Britain shows a photo of him being driven to the Palace by his wife. Nice story though, and although I disagreed with him politically, I think that he was both a great and a humble man.
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  4. Attlee was awarded the MC for his gallantry at Gallipoli. Laski, a contemptible figure in my opinion and a backroom guru of the Labour Party. A wealthy dilletant like so many of his upper class ilk. National Service was one of his ideas. Not, in his mind as a good thing for the nation but more to turn, as he put it, pampered young men into good Socialists. Thank heavens at the time we had good patriotic men like Attlee and Bevin.
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  5. overopensights

    overopensights LE Book Reviewer

    His apprenticeship into the labour party as an MP's assistant just after WW1 was to ride about the Eastern counties on a bicycle, handing out copies of the party-line to would-be labour voters.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  6. overopensights

    overopensights LE Book Reviewer

    He was certainly humble, which was part of his strength I feel. When he went to the King in 1945 as the formal part of asking permission to form a Government, the King remarked; " Mr Churchill has been scathing of you, right up until the election, why have you not responded?" To which Mr Atlee replied. "Sir, I know my Winstone, he doesn't really mean it"
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  7. sirbhp

    sirbhp LE Book Reviewer

    had lunch with an MP yesterday who said he had served ( in the T.A.) Then that he had been to afgan twice , first for a memorial service for a day then back to blighy pdq and he didint mention his other "tour" . There you go another member of the Forces select committee with full background experience .
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  8. I think a lot of people get in to politics for the right reasons. Trying to make difference and do the right thing, what ever they think the right thing is.

    However, to get to the top of your party needs a lot of politicing and a very Machiavellian mind set. Pretty much everybody will be trying to stab you in the back and so you need to be able to fend them off, and get other to follow you.

    This is what makes modern politicians a bit crap. Add to that they are trying to pander to a voting populace who want instant gratification rather than deep, long term thinking and planning. Anybody mentions anything even remotely negative then everybody freaks out, the press rip you apart. You have to U-turn so everybody has a go a again.

    Its easier to do little or nothing but say empty words that you don't have to take back, than it is to try and actually fix any real issues.
  9. There must be a better way. More checks and balances with respect to policy making?
  10. overopensights

    overopensights LE Book Reviewer

    Are you sure he got the MC, he never seemed to have worn it?
  11. That is what the house of commons and the house of lords is for.
    Even this can be turned with ease though.
    A really good, helpful bill can be scuppered if you manage to tack on an amendment saying it is ok, in principle to kick puppies to death.
    Nobody (except the Tories) will vote for the new "Puppy Killing" bill as the Red Tops scum rags will call it. Hence the actually helpful bill goes nowhere.
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  12. The Right Honourable The Earl C.R. Attlee KG OM CH FRS PC served as a Captain with the South Lancs in WW1 (6th Service Battalion, "Ich Dien"). The MEF ORBAT shows the South Lancs, 13th Western Div 38th Brigade (Tidworth, Winchester, Blackdown, and Cape Helles July 1915). His regiment was chosen to hold the final lines during the withdrawal from Suvla in late 1915. He was the penultimate man (before Gen F.S. Maude) to be taken off Suvla Bay, to Egypt via Mudros.

    Atlee Clement Capt South Lancs (Prime Minister) . "Clem Attlee" by Francis Beckett – 2007.

    Clement Attlee went on to serve in Mesopotamia and was wounded in the leg by shrapnel when storming trenches at Hanna. He was UK based DS during 1917, made up to Major and returned to France in 1918 for the rest of the war. His book "As it Happened" was published in 1954.
    Clement Richard Attlee - WW1 Memorial and Life Story
    Citizen Clem: A Biography of Attlee | History Today
    Mesopotamia 1916 - 1918 | Lancashire Infantry Museum
    Clement Richard Attlee (1883 - 1967) - Genealogy

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  13. You may be right overopensights and I have been misinformed. I have always been an admirer of Clem Attlee despite not of his politics. I did read an article many years ago which stated he had been awarded the MC for Gallipoli but it may have been incorrect. History may well remember him for being one of the relatively few honourable and good men in politics.
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  14. Eden had the MC, not Attlee. I disagree with Attlee's politics but men like Attlee, Eden and MacMillan had served in the trenches, had served alongside the working man and cared for the working man. I sometimes feel that politically there wasn't much between them as they seemed to agree on the destination, just not necessarily on the way to get there.

    I come from Bishop Auckland and my paternal grandfather, a veteran of North Africa, Sicilly and Normandy died in the Lady Eden Cottage Hospital there, named after Eden's mother. Eden was born just outside Bishop and spent a lot of time growing up there. His mother was a philanthropist and Eden helped her in her work.

    Attlee like Eden was privately educated yet he spent time looking after the poor in (I think) the East End of London. MacMillan was profoundly influenced by his time as MP for Stockton during the Depression - he even mentioned it during his maiden speech in the House of Lords in the mid 80's.

    I don't think that is the lack of military experience per se that has resulted in the current crop of lousy politicians. Attlee, Eden and MacMillan had a shared experience in the trenches. Today's politicians have a shared experience at university, as SPADs and in unions. Ultimate reality verses artificial reality.
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  15. overopensights

    overopensights LE Book Reviewer

    Observer: Good stuff! Perhaps you may know which of those three said the following about 1950/51? "The Common Market, I am familiar with all six nations, we spent much blood and treasure preventing two of them from exterminating the other four" The two 'exterminators would have been Germany and Italy. Who were the other four, France for one and Norway another?