Officers and Politics

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by BrianBoru, Dec 29, 2012.

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  1. Evening all,

    This is my first of hopefully many posts on a forum which has been quite useful to me over the years. The question I have regards the pursuit of a full time career as a politician whilst holding a commissioned rank within the TA. The ever optimistic SaBRE say this is fine, but given my location in a somewhat sensitive political region (no prizes for guessing where), I was wondering whether it would be a suitable or prudent undertaking. The reason I have doubts about the feasibility of pursuing such a career whilst in TA service is that I recall my OTC days, when one of the OCdts was docked pay and given quite the bollocking for making non-military related statements on TV on behalf of another university society of which he was a member.

    Any relevant/semi-relevant/irrelevant responses welcome.
  2. Not sure how it would play in NI but Mark Lancaster MP is a TA officer so it's presumably ok in principle.
  3. AbrSpr you should be in the Int Corps with those deductive skills. To the OP there are several politicos that serve in the reserves, for example the MP for Portsmouth North is currently trg to be an RNR officer. Penny Mordaunt MP, Portsmouth North - TheyWorkForYou

    Very easy on the eye too.

    Ultimately it is your call, if your constituency is not positive about HM Armed Forces it is not likely to do you any favours.
  4. Very easy on the eye too.

    Too true, never noticed this one before.
    Shame about her political voting performance.
  5. There is no rational explanation for that happening.

    Several parliamentarians are members of the reserve forces.

    There has been some irritation on occasion when, for the best of motives, one or two parliamentarians have referred in the house to negative experiences during mobilisation.

    The DIN on Contact with Parliamentarians says that "There will be cases where Parliamentarians are also members of the Reserve Forces", and that "It would be wrong for briefing provided to an individual as a member of Reserve Forces to be then used for parliamentary or political purposes."

    The provisions in QRs about political candidature etc mainly apply to Regulars, so check out TA Regs for the specific rules. It will be obvious that no one should be acting as a candidate or attending political meetings while in uniform.
  6. I have two sitting MPs and a councillor in my unit. No problem, but they aren't allowed to pursue political activities when mobilised. You are also at liberty to comment publicly about non-military matters-at least that was what I was told when I joined up; I never looked into the detail.

    Not sure about the use of reserve forces briefing in Parliament but personally I don't see the problem of the principle of it-MPs exist to represent the interests of the electorate and hold the Government to account, and this is one more way of finding out about the workings of public life. No different from MPs from a select committee turning up to a camp to speak to people there-the MOD have come in for some flak recently for barring them access, ISTR.

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  7. msr

    msr LE

    TA Regs (Amdt35) Ch3 Part 7:

    a. Regular Army personnel serving with the TA, officers and soldiers of the non regular permanent staff and all personnel in permanent service or FTRS or ADC are governed in their political activities by QR (Army), Chapter 5, paras J5.581 - J5.586. They are not to take any active part in the affairs of any political organization, party or movement. They are not to take part in political marches or demonstrations. (See also paras 3.307-3.309.)
    b. Officers and soldiers of the TA may stand for election at local or national level providing that they are not in any form of full time service such as FTRS or when engaged on ADC. They have the normal rights and responsibilities of citizens of the United Kingdom. They may also release the fact that they are members of the TA in their compaign literature and on their web sites, however, the information released should be factual e.g. time served in the TA, places served. A photograph showing them in TA uniform is also admissible, however, the written passage should not contain any comment on current or future defence issues.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. There's many an African and South American that has combined a successful military career with politics.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Blimey never realised Croydon was the hub of Westminster!

    And young Penny has taken the PublicWhip, hmmm that sounds ever so kinky.
    Would she like a drink, bite to eat at a bernie inn (2 for 1 offer only) and back to my pad.
    Must buy a whip beforehand though!!
  10. Andrew murrison is minister for international security and a serving rnr officer as well.
    Generally its fine provided you dont mix military life with political life or falsely get my hopes up by marching into parliament in combats and assault rifle in order to vote on a 3 line whip...
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Well that never held Gerry or Martin back but then again they were regs.

    It has put some noses out of joint in the CoC as hackle has said; I think the best was when Maj Lancaster asked a question during PMQs, as to why the RAF movers were so crap. This upset people above him in the MoD CoC, but at the end of the day, its parliament who the forces work to. People often bemoan that not enough parliamentarians have enough real life experience. Good luck to you.
    But if you’re going to be canvassing in the Bogside you may want to give it a miss.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. One MP I can think of was mobilised from CVHQ RA and somehow managed to run his constituency while deployed in southern Iraq. Didn't seem to find it a problem.