Labour ministers plan to trash Dannatt

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by AlMiles, Jul 29, 2009.

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    Labour ministers plan reputation trashing of Army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt
    Labour ministers are threatening to launch a concerted effort to tarnish the reputation of British Army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt.

    By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent
    Published: 6:50AM BST 17 Jul 2009

    The threat came after it emerged that Sir Richard is planning to write a potentially explosive book about defence issues after he steps down next month.

    Relations between the Chief of the General Staff and the Government hit a new low after senior Labour sources warned the general will be “fair game” for political attacks when he leaves his post at the end of August.

    Sir Richard has publicly called for more troops and helicopters in Afghanistan, piling pressure on Gordon Brown over his support for the Armed Forces.

    Visiting Afghanistan this week, he again called for more “boots on the ground” and revealed he had been forced to borrow a US helicopter because no British aircraft were available.

    His words infuriated ministers, and after Sir Richard’s retirement on August 28, some Labour MPs plan to raise questions about the general’s role in recent decisions on defence policy.

    One minister said: “Once he’s gone, we can have a go at him. He can write his book and talk all he wants, but he’ll be fair game then.”

    In retirement, Sir Richard is likely to remain a thorn in Labour’s side.

    As well as writing a book about defence issues, he will be chairman of the Royal United Services Institute, a military think-tank, giving him a regular platform to comment on the subject.

    The Prime Minister has faced repeated criticism for failing to give the armed forces the proper resources in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Appearing before a committee of MPs yesterday, Mr Brown repeatedly ducked questions about his decision to veto Sir Richard's request for almost 2,000 extra troops for Afghanistan.

    Mr Brown also faced criticism from the Commons Defence Committee, which warned that the shortage of helicopters in Afghanistan is limiting commanders’ options and increasing the risk to British troops.

    A total of 184 British soldiers have died in Afghanistan since 2001. As head of the Army since 2006, Sir Richard has repeatedly questioned Labour’s support for defence.

    Sir Richard is understood to be thinking of writing about military strategy and the future of Britain’s defence capabilities when he retires. Friends say he will not shy away from passing judgement on the Government’s treatment of the Armed Forces.

    ”Richard will do his duty and carry out his responsibilities to the Army and the country whether he is in uniform or not,” said a friend. “He does not go out to be political or seek conflict with ministers, but he takes his responsibilities extremely seriously and he will say anything he feels he has to say about the situation facing the Armed Forces.”

    A Labour source accused the general of “building up his own reputation at the expense of the Army” and added: “The man’s a hypocrite. He’s sat in these meetings and approved these things, and then he comes out in public and complains about them.”

    As an example, the source cited the use of Snatch Landrovers in Afghanistan.

    Described as “mobile coffins” by some officers after several fatal attacks on troops using them, Sir Richard has defended their use as an operational necessity.

    General Sir Mike Jackson, the previous Army chief, in 2007 used his autobiography to launch a strong attack on the Ministry of Defence under Labour, accusing it of putting bureaucracy before the welfare of service personnel.

    A source close to Sir Richard said that he is considering a book about defence issues rather than a conventional autobiography. “He has it in mind at some point to write something in the future but I would not describe them as memoirs,” the source said.

    Whatever form the book takes, Sir Richard’s plain speaking about defence is likely to make it controversial. The general’s son Bertie, himself a former Army officer, is said to have suggested that his book should be called The Bald Truth, a joke about his father’s appearance and outspokenness.

    Reports of Labour MPs’ attacks on Sir Richard have caused anger in military circles, where some believe the general is the victim of a smear campaign.

    One former service chief told The Telegraph last night: “If Labour people are lashing back at him, it must be out of the guilt they feel over the way their Government has treated the Armed Forces.”

    Messages left on the Army Rumour Service website used by many service personnel yesterday reflected military anger about Labour’s treatment of Sir Richard.

    One user said: “The spin and smears are getting personal -- looks like he’s hitting them where it hurts with the truth.”

    General Sir David Richards, who will take over as Army chief next month, is said to be concerned about some of Sir Richard’s remarks and concerned that the row could sour relations between the military and the Government.

    Downing Street is wary of a confrontation with Sir Richard. As a concession to the general, the Prime Minister has ruled that a “temporary” deployment of 800 troops in Afghanistan will now be made permanent.

    Mr Brown’s spokesman said: “It is right that Richard Dannatt is able to talk about the issues that are affecting the Armed Forces at the moment.”

    And a source close to Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, also insisted that personal relations between Mr Ainsworth and the general were good.

    The two men sat together yesterday at the funeral in London of Lt Col Rupert Thorneloe of the Welsh Guards, who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month by a roadside bomb.
  2. Second story about this and it hasn't happened yet. :roll:

    and isn't this the paper that claimed that there would be no carriers? Uses single, unattributable sources (somewhat like this story) and rarely bothers with things llike facts.
  3. nope, first story. check the date on the article.
  4. Tut tut, observation skills, sven.

  5. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    You're fast, trigger. I'll give you that.

  6. So there wasn't another article, another thread trying to make (just as badly) the same allegations?
  7. I thought this had been dealt with, by Aintworth issuing an edict to his Ministers? Assuming the threat came from that quarter in the first place that is.
  8. You are hard work.

  9. Your first refers to Lord Faulkes who, as far as I am aware, is not a Labour minister.

    Your second has the paragraph

    "One minister said: “Once he’s gone, we can have a go at him. He can write his book and talk all he wants, but he’ll be fair game then.” "

    Which is I believe a single source, an anonymous source and therefore an unattributable source - something I bellieve I mentioned in my post.

    However, I thank you for proving my point. This story (and I use the word advisedly) has been written about before and commented on here before.
  10. Active and key words here are:

    From the article - plan
    From your post - yet

    Just because it hasnt happened doesnt mean they don't want to or that they wont. Luckily pretty much everything labour plan to do falls to pieces sooner or later. They will probably end up 'trashing' the wrong General. Incompetent political game-playing tossers :roll:
  11. An anonymous ans unattributable source... standard prctice in the new labour ministry of truth Sven.

    No one in your party has the courage to say anything on record.. cowardice starts with McBottle and infests the entire apparatus of state.

    If General Dannett gave the word... we would all happily remove them from power.... and the public would love us for it.

  12. Your first refers to Lord Faulkes who, as far as I am aware, is not a Labour minister.

    Shock news - 'Sven' is correct - 'Lord Faulkes' is NOT a Labour minister.

    Could this be that there is nobody in The House of Lords named 'Faulkes'?

    As far as the thread title is concerned, they may try but they will not influence the Electorate one tiny bit - excepting 'lame-brains' of course.

    Incidentally, it was Mr. Mandelson who ordered Aintwort to tell his ministers - all four of them - to behave.
  13. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Have some carriers that were promised actually been built then. :roll: Fcuking idiot!!
  14. It's the paper that had the sense to print the details of MPs expenses which was provided by an anonymous source.

    I suppose, according to you, the information provided to them was unfactual and it shouldn't have been published.