Military covenant could become law

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jim24, Oct 29, 2010.

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  1. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

  2. Let's hope it does.
  3. Personally, I don't think it should be statute law. We have a huge surplus of laws made over the past few years, most of which have no effect on improving the lot of British citizens. A law on the military covenenant would be a bitch to draft, very difficult to implement, and would not address the problem of those whose mindsets are anti-military; in fact a law could exacerbate how those people feel.

    I prefer the status quo - no law on the matter, but widespread indignation when the covenant is seen to have been broken.
  4. I very much agree.
  5. Yep, I'd second all of that. There's little point in unenforcable laws, particularly as they won't address the attitudes which have created this issue in the first place.
  6. Based on my initial reaction yesterday in a similar discussion elsewhere:

    Not so sure about creating new offences for shopkeepers etc, which could be counter-productive and lead to an erosion of goodwill, but I would support the inclusion of a general duty in the forthcoming Armed Forces Bill.

    This would be a duty on the part of the Crown - i.e. not just the Ministry of Defence - to ensure fair treatment of armed forces personnel and veterans and to prevent discrimination against them due to their armed forces status.

    Such a provision could have a secondary effect by requiring HM Government to prevent unfair treatment of forces personnel and veterans by others, such as housing authorities.
  7. Though I obviously agree with the sentiment, the trouble with such laws is they tend to work against the people they're meant to protect.

    Women, ethnic minorities and gays are sometimes unfairly looked down upon because "fair" recruitment practices mean they aren't always promoted purely on their skill.

    Many small employers refuse to employ women because they know they'll be seriously out of pocket if the woman gets knocked up and takes maternity leave.

    And there's no better way to turn the public against a certain group than to give that group "special" status.
  8. This is about as likely as a government telling the EU to stuff itself!

    The EU rules in GB and the Armed Forces are a pain in the arse to the federalists! God only knows what the Euroswine think of Her Majesty and her prominence.

    Those on this site who wish to remain loyal to their Oath of Allegiance to Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors and to repudiate the 'authority' of the unelected and hugely expensive, Hermann von Rumpelstiltskin, be prepared to stand up and be counted and to take to the street if necessary.

    It is not the 'British way' to go screaming around the streets, the Marxist students and Union leaders excepted, but I will go onto the streets to ensure Her Majesty remains my ultimate 'boss' and not some foreign shite of the Tony Blair ilk.

    Be warned Arssers - the day of decision is drawing near - Cameron is now, in Euro terms, a busted flush - a failure - a toady - a Euro bum-sucker. He clearly has no balls, and someone should have bought him a handbag!!!

    We WILL be beaten and broken by the Euro monster, unless we get up off our arses and refuse to submit!
  9. Agreed, sick to death of what was originally a trading partnership for the good of Europe has become the maker of laws in this once great country. The dumbing down of education by all parties has produced an ignorant and blasee populus who are easily led. The politicos of this country are all the same, just using different banners.
    Sorry state of affairs for us all.
    On the original OP question I don't think a law will work as our weasel politicos will set a get out clause somewhere in the legal structure. They are mainly lawyer types so it will be second nature to them to put in a few quid pro qous and clauses.
  10. It would depend on what you define as either discrimination or unfair treatment, just because someone has served in the armed forces doesnt mean they are anything special.
  11. This could be a useful and timely discussion. The Government's intention to rewrite the Military Covenant and "give it the force of law" was announced by the Prime Minister in his visit to HMS Ark Royal (yes the same vessel now being decommissioned) in June:

    Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Defence Policy and Business | Military covenant to be enshrined in law

    So that is a firm commitment from David Cameron, but I will be fascinated to see how the Government do actually intend to give the covenant the force of law. I touched on this in an article in the 2010 party conferences edition of Government Gazette.

    Clearly there is a view, quite possibly shared by some ARRSErs, that this is an opportunity to create criminal offences such as refusing without good cause to serve forces personnel in uniform (this was raised in the House of Lords discussion on 28 Oct), or wearing official medals to which one is not entitled.

    As mentioned earlier, my view is that it could be counter-productive to associate such offences (whether or not desirable in themselves) with the covenant.

    Also, I would not wish to see the Military Covenant which we have at the moment replaced with a legal provision. That would completely miss the purpose and value of the Covenant. I don't think it is likely to happen, but I would be opposed.

    In the House of Lords question on 28 Oct, Lord Astor replied for the MoD that the covenant "will be a new tri-service document setting out key, enduring general principles which can be applied to particular problems as they arise. It will be accompanied by more detailed material on what the service community can expect to see delivered."

    Asked whether the covenant would be given legislative force, he replied that "we are looking at all kinds of options and hope to come forward with something either at the end of this year or early next year. We have not decided whether it will be part of the Armed Forces Bill, but we are looking at the issue."

    The House of Lords debate is worth a scan if you are interested:

    Armed Forces: Refusal of Goods and...: 28 Oct 2010: House of Lords debates (
  12. The thing is when do soldiers ever get refused service? Except from the few mistakes because staff in supermarkets are unaware of the alcohol rules or when they are refused to be let into a hotel/nightclub usually because of soldiers previously trashing the place. Making these kind of things illegal is just going to piss various civvies off. These are just headline grabbing laws that will do little to help the armed forces.
  13. "The Covenant" has been broken by various governments over the years, and needs fixing, not legislating. Making a law that protects the rights of the military both serving and ex, would i feel lead to much resentment from the civilian population I always believed that the so called covenant was an unwritten agreement between our Govt and it's forces, that would ensure fair treatment toward those that served. An earlier post states that it doesn't mean the forces are anything special, and shouldn't be treated as such. Whilst i agree with the general tenet of his point, is it also fair if they are treated worse?? Arrse has many varying topics on the subject contained in it's pages, but as can be seen from the responses, nothing seems to change! There are still as many ex military living on the streets or in prison, as there was the last time lip service was paid to it by the govt. However, i don't think a law should be made specifically for the Armed forces, as it would be both expensive to instigate and virtually unenforceable...All our laws should apply, and be applied to everyone fairly, that way we will avoid giving perceived special treatment to certain parts of our society, and not to others.
  14. How about when my car insurance (brokered by Swinton) went up massively? When I asked why, it was because the company I was insured with, through Swinton, would no longer quote for me, as they had stopped providing insurance cover for members of the Armed Forces. I have a sensible family car, have not had a 'blame' accident since 1992 (no claims even against someone else since 2001 when someone ran into the back of me), I'm 40 and have no points on my licence. So why discriminate against me?
  15. Insurance companies charge blokes more because they are blokes, they charge the over 50s less because they are over 50, boy racers get charged the earth because they are boy racers, Do you moan about that discrimination as well? Or is it because you wear a uniform you think you are special?