OK, So Whats The Answer Then?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Legs, Feb 14, 2006.

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  1. More and more we, the British Armed Forces, and especially the Army, are getting slagged off left, right and centre. The media concentrate on the tiny, tiny minority that get filmed/photographed doing 'bad stuff'. They blame us for the violence in the world, the public (or at least the vocal part) hate us, they don't want us dating their sons and daughters, they make a big deal about gay 'weddings', they criticies the way we do business, the way we train and nurture our recruits and probably for global warming as well. In short, nothing we do is right.

    So, fellow ARRSErs, what can we do to make them see that most of us are human, and doing a damn fine job, despite what the politicians do and journos say. Can we turn around the tide of hate that is slowly swallowing us up, or will we have to accept that we will never be wanted (until the next fire/ambulance/bin strike, foot and Mouth outbreak or flood).

    I have heard it suggested that service personnel should be seen in uniform more often, but would this help? Would you want to be in uniform any more than you have to?

    Over to ARRSELand for ideas....
  2. A small tactical nuclear strike on Fleet Street might be a good starting point.
  3. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    I wonder what would happen if the millitary didn't turn up tommorow? If there was no military for say 12 months, sabattical everyone? I think that might make them change their mind about our worth.
  4. I don't think that Joe Public seeing Billoddies in uniform in pubs, on Railway platforms and in Motorway service stations is going to help with the media's portrayal of us, unfortunately. Kipling had it right, I'm afraid.
  5. Read post by our dear moderator Part Time Pongo - STANDARDS- THIS AFFECTS YOU AND ARRSE.

    Don't use flourished expressions, use state of art English, prhases like

    It would be very kind of you to explain me sir..
    I dare to disagree with you sir...
    Wholeheartedly support your intention sir but with my respect I couldn't...

    I would play a role of a typical bumpkin that uses Benny-style vocabulary to highlight image of gentlmen in British military uniforms, noble warriors, highly intelligent polite persons, true soldiers.

    Next time then this dirty piece of paper Guardian would reprint costless thoughts of our friends these pinko-left devillish Graunidad-readers would be impressed by good manners and thus image of British armed forces would be boosted.
  6. Not one person I have spoken to has expressed any negative views on the armed forces. But then I live among real people, not the metropolitan chattering idiots who make more noise than they are entitled to.

    Negative comments get news coverage, but I bet if there were a properly run poll on attitides to HM forces we'd see a far better picture than the one we perceive now.

    Edited for typo.
  7. Don't just blame fleet street for this one, I think this may have Mr Alistair Campbells fingerprints smudged on it as well. It diverted attention from a disastrous by-election result, and eased Tony and Gordon away from the issues raised at this last weekends rally. Funny how the film came to be in the BBC's hands, and they managed to find the preceding scenes last evening!

    There is more to this than is at first visible!
  8. I would suggest in our defence having our own embedded press units from said popular press agencies and a revamp in the Army press relations department.

    They would get access to events as they happen and military commentary to put the story straight.

    An example would be a denial of access to military events for journalist and press agencies who are found to be constantly giving out a neg vibe. Also denial of access to events such as Trooping the colour, Medal parades etc.

    All in all though it is a shame to see once again it would appear that there is going to be a witchhunt by the Goverment, MOD and the press against soldiers serving or having served in Iraq.

    What saddens me even more with the latest pile of sh ite doing the rounds is that just as the goverment caved into demands for compensation for the destruction of the Al Jameat Police Station in Basra even though that was a rescue and had to be put in due to the soldiers not being handed over. Said Unit and men involved in the latest claims i believe do not stand a chance.

    I wonder, if i check my civilian liability insurance prior to the next time im due to go back to Iraq, will it still cover me against this sort of stuff?
  9. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    This is not a new problem.

    You just need to read Kipling's poem Tommy to see that.

    Mind you one of McGonagall's best is not great but the sentiment is there!

    Lines in Praise of Tommy Atkins
    Success to Tommy Atkins, he's a very brave man,
    And to deny it there's few people can;
    And to face his foreign foes he's never afraid,
    Therefore he's not a beggar, as Rudyard Kipling has said.

    No, he's paid by our Government, and is worthy of his hire;
    And from our shores in time of war he makes our foes retire,
    He doesn't need to beg; no, nothing so low;
    No, he considers it more honourable to face a foreign foe.

    No, he's not a beggar, he's a more useful man,
    And, as Shakespeare has said, his life's but a span;
    And at the cannon's mouth he seeks for reputation,
    He doesn't go from door to door seeking a donation.

    Oh, think of Tommy Atkins when from home far away,
    Lying on the battlefield, earth's cold clay;
    And a stone or his knapsack pillowing his head,
    And his comrades lying near by him wounded and dead.

    And while lying there, poor fellow, he thinks of his wife at home,
    And his heart bleeds at the thought, and he does moan;
    And down his cheek flows many a silent tear,
    When he thinks of his friends and children dear.

    Kind Christians, think of him when far, far away,
    Fighting for his Queen and Country without dismay;
    May God protect him wherever he goes,
    And give him strength to conqner his foes.

    To call a soldier a beggar is a very degrading name,
    And in my opinion it's a very great shame;
    And the man that calls him a beggar is not the soldier's friend,
    And no sensible soldier should on him depend.

    A soldier is a man that ought to be respected,
    And by his country shouldn't be neglected;
    For he fights our foreign foes, and in danger of his life,
    Leaving behind him his relatives and his dear wife.

    Then hurrah for Tommy Atkins, he's the people's friend,
    Because when foreign foes assail us he does us defend;
    He is not a beggar, as Rudyard Kipling has said,
    No, he doesn't need to beg, he lives by his trade.

    And in conclusion I will say,
    Don't forget his wife and children when he's far away;
    But try and help them all you can,
    For remember Tommy Atkins is a very useful man.
  10. I would advocate media and info ops of a dramatically more effective and aggresive style than now in evidence. We have been criticised for relying on Soldier magazine to get the good news out. Mobilisation of the local media (as seen by DWR this week in making sure the local Chronicle knows that Dukes weren't assoicated with the most recent video) and national media has to be at the forefront of evryone's mind.

    Human interest sells stories. We do not sell ourselves. The counter argument is, of course, that by courting media attention tehy will bite us - to this I say testicles because they will bite regardless of whether we give them good news or no news. We must be proactive. How else did the story of the tallest guardsman get into the Sun? because it was put there by the Army, not because someone sold the story... (!)

    How I am going to hate myself for saying this... we must be as steel-minded when dealing with the media as Katie Price has proven to be. She knows how to manipulate the media to good effect and when there is a bad story about her it is then flooded out by good news and new images.

    This weekend showed in good effect how appalling we are at it. We were quick to get our story out to the tv media, but didn't capitalise on the radio or press interest. Our internet sites were next to useless - the MOD news site was effective eventually, but the Army website was late in the extreme in getting our line out there.

    Where does the problem lie?

    1. Senior Civil Servants running MOD news and not servicemen.
    2. Fear of the media because it is unknown to us.
    3. Reticence to engage with good news.
    4. Being pompous in defence of our people.
    5. Neglecting local media on a large scale.
    6. Failing to be proactive.
    7. Not taking media ops seriously and failing to understand that there is an info ops campaign to be fought at home, on ops and in the homes of our potential enemies.
  11. Top post Fang
  12. Be seen in uniform as often as possible. That doesn't mean you walt it in premark or Sainsburys of a weekend! Ensure your kit is emaculate. If it's after an exercise ensure you look dog tired and filthy (you have been grafting!). Be as polite as possible in shops and service stations, nod at the old lady as you pass her and wink at the good looking chicks (they secretly love a guy in uniform). Hold the door open for people and generally be as polite and civilised as possible.

    All of the above is what I'm sure most soldiers do anyway.
  13. In light of the parallel treads about the Times and Guardian...

    Rather than letting ‘centre’ and the media ops people enable journo's do the gucci stuff with Eurofighter and alike we should just throw open the Military to these people. Invite them on no-frills work-shadow placements for a few days at a time. Randomly (and i mean randomly) pick appointments for them to shadow (subject to Sy sensitive ones) and trust the Toms to do us proud. I think that they would be shocked to find that life in the forces is relative banal 9-5 work but with espirte de coup than you get in the average office or company in the UK. In fact this is such a good idea I think MPs should do it as well!

    It would only work if they do a reasonable length of time on their placement and that the Media Ops people and CO’s and OC’s stayed well clear.
  14. I've thought along those lines for a while. The only way to reverse the current trend is to make the army look more "fasionable". And how do you do that? Exactly what devilish said. The Army needs to get back into the public eye. We need to re-instill a sense of pride and 'comunity spirit' that the Forces used to mean.

    T C
  15. Tommy this and tommy that - it's the only time it'll matter