Party Politics - Where do we stand?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Gas Gas Gas, Aug 12, 2002.

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  1. 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....".
  2. 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.
  3. 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:
  4. Purple_Flash

    Purple_Flash War Hero Moderator

    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.
  5. Well, now you can:

    Labour: 08705 900200 or email


    Liberal: Who are they?

    Crack's your right!

  6. 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"
  7. 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...??
  8. 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. :'(
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. CGS

    CGS War Hero Moderator

    The Queens Regulations for The Army 1975 (Amdt 25)

    Para 5.581
  12. On a similar vein, has anyone seen the recent missive re speaking to the press?  Hmmmmmm!
  13. Purple_Flash

    Purple_Flash War Hero Moderator

    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!
  14. 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.
  15. 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!!