Army Rumour Service

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Party Politics - Where do we stand?

What limitations are placed on HM Forces with regard to expressing their political beliefs and/or taking politicians to task?

One gets the impression that when a minister or member of government visits a unit they are not open to questioning in the same way by the "employees" as they would if they visited a factory.  I assume they can hide behind the fact that they are "in the chain of command" and so, like a senior officer, not subject to interrogation by the rank & file.  Given the shoddy way the regular forces get treated by the current government I am sure, given the opportunity, there are a number of people who would like to prod the minister in the chest whilst chanting "and another thing....".


I worked a couple of days with Tb once and was told to keep firmly shtum before he arrived. The only option I had was to childishly blank him everytime he spoke. Still, made ME feel slightly better.
From personal experience -Don't

Really , just don't. Unfortunately, there are elements in the Army, who whilst they admire and applaud your courage over certain issues, will blow your kneecaps off for expressing them, up the chain of command, or in a errrr ahem , broader , heavier medium  
This is normally proceeded by...."Oh, so it was YOU":-[

Yes it was, and presented with the same scenarios again, I'd do it again in a heartbeat  :mad:


There are, I am sure, many soldiers who would like to have what No 10 would call "an open and frank exchange of views" with any member of the government.  However it certainly isn't encouraged.  A unit of mine was visited by members of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme in the Balkans.  Beforehand (and I don't know from how high high up this came) there was a parade and the Scary Monster explained to the men just how they should respond when asked questions by the MP's.  The general gist of which briefing was that they didn't speak unless they had no choice, and if they were forced into speech then everything was A1 tickety-boo.  No complaints were to be aired.

I was furious, but too junior to make my views count.
 No complaints were to be aired.....I was furious, but too junior to make my views count.
Well, now you can:

Labour: 08705 900200 or email


Liberal: Who are they?

Crack's your right!

Human Rights Act 1998


Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers......
Agreed Eagle,

In an ideal and unilateral world. However, this is the Army  :-[

Believe me, while that would stand up in law, it doesn't stop the more tiny-minded from making sure that  your prospects in the Army are made temporairily "difficult"


I've always said what I've felt and don't care, anyone who thinks they can shut me up can kiss my hairy white butt!! We are in this army to defend democracy and freedom of speech!!

If tree huggin hippies have the right to state their proposterous beliefs then surely we as defenders of this right have more of a right, no fcuker is going to stop me saying my piece, besides, for me its only a part time job with no pension to risk etc etc etc.

Funny how I'm never introduced to anyone though...??


I agree Verm, I will say exactly how I feel to any rank. However, I have never had the pleasure of being addressed by someone from No 10 or his cronies, but likewise, I would probably still air my views.

I would probably then be booted out. :'(
There have been instances of serving Territorials being MPs but since they were Tories & the Tories were in power then they probably spent the whole time defending the government.

There are at least two ex-TA in Parliament, both Tories, Julian Brazier (Canterbury) and Andrew Selous (Bedford somewhere).  There is also one serving TA officer in the House of Lords (to my knowledge) , the Earl Atlee.   However, when TB & pals get rid of the last hereditary peers he will get the push.


I was always led to believe that MP's were voted into parliament to act on behalf of the people who put them there.  This makes them Servants of their constituents in particular and the whole populace in general.

Why is then that once they are MP's everyone (particularly they hierarchy of the forces) fawns to them and treats them as masters. :mad:

Read my lips "They are our servants, we put them where they are to serve us".

Still, typical of the hierarchy of the forces.  They no doubt tell politicians what they want to hear without any concern for those below.


War Hero
The Queens Regulations for The Army 1975 (Amdt 25)

Para 5.581


Here's an idea.  Being an Irishman I come to this from a different viewpoint - our upper house, the Senate, has particular constituencies which are not geographic, but based on communities; I, for instance, vote for Trinity College Dublin contituency being a graduate, and my senators (all independants, not party members) answer to me.  

Since the forces are moved so often from one geographic constituency to another, why shouldn't we have our own representatives elected by ourselves to represent us?

The UK upper house would obviously be of little use to us, we already have ex CDS's there and much good has it done us :), so what we need is Common's MP's who answer to us and us alone and who can ask awkward questions in Westminster.

I would like to see Tony sweat at PM's questions as he tries to bluff someone primed by us... "Well, hey you know, I'm just a guy who has to take tough decisions..."

Vote Arrse!


I always liked the line:

"we are here to defend democracy, not take part"

My experience of hosting Armed Forces Special Interest Group MPs in NI was very disapointing.  The Tories were rude and did not communicate cwell with the soldiers.  The Labour members were intersted while present but in most cases promised follow up did not materialise.
I'm going to take a different line and defend the rules preventing the military from being political.

I think that you're all missing the point.

The biggest potential threat to any democracy is that country's own military forces. We take for granted that fact that we haven't had a military government since Oliver Cromwell, but bear in mind that we are the only European country that HASN'T had a military government at some point over the last 100 years.

Look around the world, and see how easy and common military coups are, if you allow the military to become too interested in politics.

In our private lives we can hold our own opinions, we can vote in General Elections, but as soon as we put our uniforms on we must cease to express political opinions. We do the bidding of Her Majesty's Government as elected by the British people, REGARDLESS of the what colour it is and what our personal beliefs are!!


Bad CO

Hear, hear.
In our private lives we can hold our own opinions, we can vote in General Elections, but as soon as we put our uniforms on we must cease to express political opinions. We do the bidding of Her Majesty's Government as elected by the British people, REGARDLESS of the what colour it is and what our personal beliefs are!!
Maybe that's just what Germany's armed forces' train of thought was in the run-up to and during WWII...."Oh well, not much we can do is there?"......apathetic and unquestioningly obedient to the last.......

Just think about that for a moment........


We do not have opinions, we are simply numbers and will be paying the blood price when required.
fao Eagle

I know that Hitler was elected, but it's precisely BECAUSE he politicised the Army (by installing his henchmen in senior positions, and creating the SS - his personal military bully boys), that he was able to get away with abolishing democracy.

In our system, we pledge alliegance to Her Majesty and her elected ministers. If Tony B decided to abolish General Elections and declare himslef PM for life, there would be a constitutional crisis but the Armed Forces would in theory be within their rights to refuse to obey him from that point on.

Until then, however, his government was democratically elected by the public, and we are public servants.
I am in 2 minds about this one. redXR makes a good and valid point about the seperation between forces and politics. However, and this is a big however, there has always been some tension between politicians and the forces. In the instance of the Smiling One it goes much deeper.

The Invidious Thing wants to replace the Establishment of old and forces of conservatism with the new Establishment of New Labour, unswervingly loyal only to him. He has no philosophy and governs by the politics of the media headline with his rotweiller-in-chief the bully boy Campbell. He is indecisive and weak, embittered with his battles with the intellectually superior Brown, and devoid of purpose other than his own ends. The concept of responsibility has been eradicated bvy pervasive rights. We all have to beat our breasts to his mea culpas that we are institutionally racist. In his speech to the 1999 Labour Party conference he likened what he described as the "forces of conservatism" (and which he defined de facto anyone that does not hold the views of New Labour as he went on in that speech) as the party of "fox hunting, Pinochet and Hereditory Peers; the uneatable, the unspeakable, and the unelectable" He further described New Labour as "the forces of modernity that has the courage to change against the old elites.....the forces of conservatism, the cynics, the elites, the Establishment".  In one speech he had decried anyone that did not sign up to his agenda as murderours (ref to Pinochet), racists (in ref to Steven Lawrence), Mysogynists (a ref in his speech to the Establishment acting to keep women out of top jobs and universities), and enemies of the new order.

This government has used the politics of liberalism to brand anyone that disagrees with them an "ist" of some order. The mentality of the country has changed in the past 5 years to a point where fear is the over-riding emotion of anyone who dares question. Question the Government's record on immigration, you are a racist. Question their actions on Zimbabwe you are a racist. Question the intervention in Kosovo and you are shoring up a murderous regime. Question their position on Europe you are a xenophobe. This New Labour Government is a communist tyrranical state ruler by another name.  It is precisely because of this that we as individuals must take an interest in politics to asfeguard our own freedoms and country. The mish-mash of multi-cultural diversity without identity is destroying britian and any form of British identity for the younger generations. How many now are taught about the so-called horrific wrongs of the zionist Empire and that our actions are responsible for the starvation of millions in Africa? How many RE lessons teach Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism and anythign so long as it isn't CofE Chritianity? How much do we as a nation feel embarrassed to talk about our heritage? How often are we called names and accused when we try? I sense a real plot to erase history to re-write the book so that only the one philosphy is acceptable, a paranoid need to wipe out any trace of self-knowledge and therefore dissemination.

Think about our country and study the changes. If you come to the same conclusion, that this government hates Britian and free thought and expression, then take an interest in politics. All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing, the saying goes. It is all too easy to become complacent that the military does not need to interest itself in politics for all to be right. the military should be a check and a balance. the reason it is loyal to the Crown and not the government is so that it can act if it feels compelled to do so in the interests of the nation. It is therefore de facto, not independant of pilotocs, rather independant of a party by virtue of the Queen's embodyment of britain and the British people.

Oh, and if you believe Article 10 of the Declaration of Human Rights applies to a philosphy other than that of the left-liberals, you are mistaken.

New Posts