Labour wants ex forces personnel to be Labour MPS

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jim30, Nov 28, 2010.

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  1. Taken from todays independent (Jim Murphy: 'Unions must not block ex-forces MPs in Labour's ranks' - News, People - The Independent). I'm sure there is a whole list of ARRSERs who would just love to serve the party ;-)

    Jim Murphy: 'Unions must not block ex-forces MPs in Labour's ranks'

    Party's defence spokesman demands selection overhaul to address 'emotional disconnect' between party and military

    By Matt Chorley, Political Correspondent

    Sunday, 28 November 2010
    Jim Murphy dismissed the 'stupid political analysis' that the Labour Party would look after the NHS while the Tories looked after the Army Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are to be recruited as Labour candidates at the next election under plans to address the party's "glaring gap" of military experience in the Commons.
    Jim Murphy, the party's defence spokesman, said union influence over the selection of candidates in winnable seats is to be curtailed to "create a space" for former members of the armed forces. After 13 years in power – which saw military intervention Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Kosovo – there is "an emotional disconnect" between the Labour Party and the services, he said.

    The intensity of military deployments, at times in the face of public opposition, had damaged the relationship between the two sides, he said, but insisted there is "no good reason" for the Tories to have "dozens" of MPs with military experience while Labour has only one, Falkirk's Eric Joyce.

    He blamed the "nomadic" nature of life in the forces and the ban on its members joining unions for the lack of MPs with a military background within Labour. "I want to see a lot more candidates in winnable seats who have experience of being in the armed forces. It just brings something better and bigger to Parliament and to the Labour Party."

    He dismissed the "stupid political analysis" that the Labour Party would look after the NHS while the Tories looked after the Army. "All Conservatives are patriots, but all patriots are not Conservatives." He noted how in the US "the military is an intrinsic part of the DNA of the nation" in a way it is not in Britain, and certainly not in the Labour Party.

    In his first major interview since being appointed to the role, Murphy reveals that David Miliband had guaranteed him the defence brief in reward for his role as his leadership campaign manager, and that he was surprised when his brother, Ed, offered him the post after his September victory.

    Murphy is "determined" Labour should overhaul the way its candidates are selected, while also using the space created by its policy review to develop a "deeper understanding of Islamic-inspired violence" which, he said, will continue to threaten Britain "for the rest of my life and my kids' lives".

    "We know there isn't a military solution in Afghanistan," he said. By the time British troops withdraw there will have to have been a reconciliation between the Taliban and the democratically elected Afghan government. "But to have a sense of that reconciliation, you have to have a better understanding in terms of what is going to happen next in Afghanistan or elsewhere."

    The 43-year-old Glaswegian said his only experience of the armed forces came as a schoolboy in South Africa, where he emigrated with his parents when he was 12. Conscription was still in place for white teenagers, but he refused. "It just wasn't my role to serve in the South African army."

    He claimed "some serious mistakes are being made with the defence of the nation in the name of deficit reduction" by the coalition, which unveiled an 8 per cent cut over four years. The defence and security review "only scratched the surface" of the analysis needed of future threats, he added. He also held out the hope that the Government's order of aircraft "carriers without Harriers" could be reversed. However, he warned against Labour opposing everything as "an unthinking battering ram against the Government". "On defence, it is cheap and nasty to be opportunist for the sake of it," he said.

    Murphy called Labour's 29 per cent share of the vote in May "pretty garbage", saying it had left the party "on the cusp of catastrophe". While Gordon Brown's government "captured the logic of the moment" and the need to rescue the economy, it was "silent on the emotion of the moment: the worry the fear, the hope". In the election, Labour was not forward-looking enough, he added.
  2. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Yes, Eric Joyce is a shining example to all prospective Labour MPs - and to all Serving Soldiers :)

    And if this MP thinks that "Gordon Brown's government "captured the logic of the moment" " then h'es even more insane than he appears.
  3. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Murphy is one of the few Labour politicians that I would trust (in as much as one trusts any politician).

    His take on Eric Joyce could be 'FFS surely Labour could come up with a better ex-serviceman than Joyce' What he has said and is trying to do is correct; Labour has lost touch with most of the common people in Britain if they only look to union members to stand for parliament. In this instance I support what he says.

    I think there are many Arrsers who could stand as MPs in Labour garb, just think how an Arrse 5th Column within Labour could work!!

    BTW, I am not a Labour supporter in any shape or form, but anything done to make parliament actually reflect the real life outside Westminster can only be for the good.
  4. Could it ever happen? Sadly all I read seems to indicate that we need "professional politicians" who know how to play the game in order to make the Westminster circus keep rolling along,and ultimately get things done.
  5. The three worst things that I can imagine happening to me:

    Third Worst: Becoming addicted to eating dog faeces.

    Second Worst: Being a convicted paedophile.

    VERY WORST: Being associated with the Labour Party in ANY way whatsoever.
  6. Fight back the reflex to gag at being associated with Labour and think about what he's saying for a minute.

    Would it be a bad thing to have more representatives across the political spectrum with military experience? Labour will be re-elected at some point and when that happens it would be better for the Armed Forces and the country if they had at least some MP's with a passing grasp of military life. Not every serviceman / ex serviceman is a conservative so better them in Parliament as Labour members than some rabid, union bred, left wing scrote.

    Besides, the Tories like to wrap themselves up in the flag and talk a good game, but taken in the context of the last 30 years is that reputation in anyway justified or grounded in reality? I don't think it is and the default setting of 'Tory good' by many soldiers often seems to be born out of habit rather than analysis.

    More people carrying the values imbued by military service into Westminster cannot be a bad thing. That's not to put ex-military folk up onto some saintly pedastal, but they are at least more likely to put country before self, a trait sadly lacking in the current crop of political pygmies.
  7. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    I,like my father before me am a true Labour supporter, but New Labour are farther from the the original concept of the labour movement than the bloody Tories , they have proved themselves to be nothing more than a bunch of untrustworthy, dishonest, sycophantic cnuts, who have completely destroyed what was once a good political concept, I for one would not want to be in the same room with such shite people, unless going Postal
  8. Unfortunately, the "grass-roots" of my party would rather see it become a hard-left, trot dominated, talking club then face up to the hard challenges of actually trying to run the country.....
  9. udipur

    udipur LE Book Reviewer

    Makes you wonder why there's a 'glaring gap of military experience' in the Labour party.

    Could that be that people who are trained to analyse problems, reach practicable solutions swiftly and work selflessly for the greater good might find their calling in other parties?

    Or could it be that wishy washy job creationist parties make the military lip curl just a little bit...?
  10. 12345678910
  11. Yup that's exactly the same as my view and why I won't vote for them.
  12. OK,so Joe the Squaddie gets voted in.Do his policies have any chance against the other 649 MP's?
  13. Murphy's only claimed connection with the armed forces is as a schoolboy and refusing to be conscripted into South African army. What is he on about?

    I'm sure the article is selective about his comments however what is reported shows his complete un-suitabiliy for the brief, but as he admits he was only offered the job because of his campaigning role. Rewarded for his failure - how very New Labour! Still better than Joyce I suspect.
  14. They have identified a problem if they can resolve it would be a good thing.
    not sure how they go about it though.
    Just because your ex services does not make you a good politico but a few people who've been in DPM or dark blue
    (obviously nobody wants the crabs anywhere in goverment:))

    is a good thing in fact anything that gets more choice into the house than professional mp ,something in the city or a lawyer or trade union offical has to be a good thing.
  15. I'm from a typical Labour voting background & when young believed in the Labour = working folk & tories = toffs. I even believed in the miners' battles against the Police (although not in the coal at all costs mantra), particularly after a mate who was a copper and on almost permanent overtime told me of the tricks they used against the miners to get them to kick off. I was pleased as punch when TB took the Labour party to their general election victory but by the time they were at the end of the first stretch I witheld my vote as I couldn't believe how disappointed I was in what they'd done. By the end of the second term I vowed I'd never vote for Labour again whilst the Labour Party were still infected by the mentality of rape those working to support those who won't (not can't) and their ever increasing support for the illegal & economic migrants to my country.

    I'd love to be a Labour MP but at my age I'm unlikely to see the flushing of the Labour Party Liberals & Far Left lunatics it needs to encourage me to even join the Labour Party let alone attempt to stand as an MP.