New Labour, the Army and political correctness.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Whiskybreath, Nov 14, 2005.

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  1. The Daily Telegraph editorial

    The betrayal felt by Mrs Mendonca reported on in the telegraph today is understandable; the Army is one of the very few organisations reporting to our Government where the vital integrity of its constituents must be repaid with full support from the PM and his Ministers, who, after all, expect unswerving dedication to the directives they issue.

    However, the rash of accusations against soldiers recenty which have led to witch-hunts even from within (see Brig Aitken's message in the same paper today: "(Brig Aitken)...wrote to officers who had led battalions in Iraq, asking: "Do you have any evidence of officer behaviour in Iraq which I could use?" is evidence of an increasing politicisation of the Forces, to the extent that some senior officers seem to be a little confused over where their loyalties should be.

    The principle that a leader has responsibility for his charges and their actions is true in politics, business, the Forces and the Law. There is nothing different about the Army, whether it is on operations or not. There is not, as suggested in the Telegraph, anything 'politically correct' about examining the conduct of officers in charge of soldiers accused of crimes. This editorial has only muddied the water surrounding the case, and it strikes me that it has done so deliberately. If Col Mendonca is subject to Court Martial I can only see him leaving it with his reputation considerably enhanced.
  2. Absolutely without any intended reference to any case pending, perhaps we need to appreciate that 'unswerving dedication to the directives' assumes that they be carried out exactly to the letter. There can be nothing in the instructions that supports criminal or otherwise improper conduct. Those who are put into positions not fully envisaged by ROE will be lumped in with the -I'm sure - small number of psychos who destroy good work put in by others. There has to be some way to sort the good-but-challenged from the rest. One would expect this to be an admin matter but the duplicity of our political masters seems to have destroyed public credulity in anything other than a full public inquiry.
    As regards Brig Aitken's request, I'm sure he could be snowed under with reports of valour, leadership and initiative and advised to put these into the balance.
    There can be no doubt that even the suggestion of bad conduct will be magnified many times over - even if not invented - and this is not just bad PR. The people we are fighting need little excuse to strap on explosive waistcoats and we should not be giving them more incentive.
    If the ROE are flawed and do not cover every circumstance - can one imagine they ever would? - it is up to experienced warrant officers and senior officers to discuss what these might be and to devise drills to cover such extra circumstances as they can. The fact this was done - and can be documented - could assist in any trial apart from making the soldiers' situation better.
    Yes - trust the soldier but there has to be some method to root out any apple that goes bad. If it can be demonstrated that this is done fairly, compassionately and with full regard for innocent until proved guilty there can be no complaint.
  3. I do not think that anyone is suggesting that criminal behaviour should somehow be excuse. I think the problem is the inordinate determination by Blair and co to hold as many show trials as possible for reasons of political window dressing and appeasement of the anti-war movement within his own party.

    This is not a about truth and justice it is about making Blair look good, and in that cause he will sacrifice as many of the people who have been ordered to cattyout his dirty work as possible.

    The man is a disgrace.
  4. Perish the thought that we are seeing the 'politicalization' of our Armed Forces senior Officers as with many police forces such as the Metropolitan with the two Blairs going hand in hand.Eyes on what is p.c/next rung on promotion ladder/next appointment/honours list-no particular order?
  5. Quite. Anyone see the POD and Andrew Marr this w/e? Clearly he was very uncomfortable about something and chose to keep his powder dry. Methinks all is not well and the POD's Memoirs (now being heavily trailed - although not even written yet) will be a wonder to behold!
  6. Saw PoD on the telly last night in his service dress - he had his top jacket button undone! WTF? Does he think he's a WW2 Spitfire pilot?
  7. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Would you b0llock him for being improperly dressed?
  8. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Fighter pilots to this day wear the top button of their tunic undone.

    This was clearly a Freaudian slip on POD's part - he obviously wishes he had joined the RAF! :lol:
  9. This absolutely hits the hail on the nedd! Is there no way to pull this excuse of a man up short?

  10. I am astounded by the amount of time it is taking for this to get to court. Sep 06 is a long time. The death in question happened in September 2003 and Col Mendonca reported this to the RMP as soon as he heard of it. The investigation of the chain of command commenced in July 2004. How, then, is the enormous amount of time between this investigation and the courts martial justified?

    If they are to try this man they should get it over and done with and do it properly.
    The colonel's wife has been wrongly advised in her claim that her husband was given the highest award for gallantry and then investigated. His OBE was well-earned but was not for gallantry. I wonder if this is indicative of the influence of the media who have seized upon her story - not one suspects, out of sympathy for the officer but as another stick with which to beat the government.
    There is ample sign that something is afoot. SIB investigations were carried out some while ago. There can be no suggestion that war-like conditions have prevented them from getting all the details (as was claimed in the 3 PARA case). There would have been much consultation prior to the colonel being interviewed under caution - one only gets one bite at the cherry and it needs to be right. The way in which questioning is undertaken nowadays refutes any suggestion that his interrogator would have gone to him without having a very clear idea of the likely answers. The case would have been ready for ALS or whatever review almost from the day after the interview was written up.
    There does seem to be some support for a suspicion that there is a malicious intention behind the case. I understand the likely trial date is 10 months away. This appears to be a heck of a long while for defence to get prepared. Why?
    There is mileage in this for the opposition if they can discredit B Liar. One avenue would be to demand a parliamentary explanation for the delay as demonstrated. The existance of a PQ used to get rockets up investigators backsides in explaining things. That there has been a delay cannot be denied - attention must be given to finding out why. This is something the media should be concentrating on and not in selling papers off the misery of the wife.
  12. Gents, as per all discussions concerning in progress or pending CM's here, this thread is closed until the case against the individuals concerned is either heard or thrown out.


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