Political Involvement

Discussion in 'Military Discipline' started by bloodgroup_o+, Jul 19, 2011.

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  1. Hi could anyone please tell me the reference and relevant paras relating to Regular personnel being forbidden from membership or involvement of a political party, this is just to settle a heated discussion which has been going on for almost 2 weeks. Cheers
     
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  2. I no longer have access to QRs and they are not available on the Net. You will find them in the Library section of Armynet.

    I can tell you that Service personnel are NOT precluded from membership or involvement in a political party but such involvement must be in the individual's own time, not use any MOD resources and not involve the MOD being linked, in any way, with that party. You also cannot allow the party to use the fact that you are serving to support their agenda in any way. Nor, in general, can you canvass for your political party within your workplace.

    To take an example, Major Eric Joyce became involved with the Fabian Society, IIRC, and published a paper that described the Services as "racist, sexist and discriminatory" (source: Eric Joyce - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). (Remember that much of that script will have been written by one Major (Retd) E Joyce MP...).

    Much was made by the media of his continued service as a commissioned officer. The MOD took offence and Major Joyce resigned. I don't know whether he resigned because he had criticised the MOD or because he had used his membership of the overtly political Fabian Society to do so. But he left and is now a Labour MP who is quite highly rated in the Daily Telegraph's League Table of Parliamentary Expenses.

    In another example, I thought General Dannatt's public support for the Conservatives immediately after stepping down as CGS was sailing close to the wind. After all, when does a senior General retire from the Army? I look forward to a future Tory SoS for Defence getting excited about a senior officer expressing similar opinions biased towards, say, Labour! IMHO, the Tories should not have asked General Dannatt to support them and he should have declined when asked. (He can do what he wants now because time has elapsed).

    So, by all means, join a political party but don't canvass for the party in uniform, in or out of work, or allow them to use the fact that Cpl BG_O+ is a member!

    Litotes

    PS. If you are just after a shag, the Tories reportedly have the best totty at the moment, with the LibDems just behind. But that's a topic for the NAAFI! :)
     
  3. Cheers litotes, that was a great help! Your advice ref possible shags are now noted in the black book.
     
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  4. • The Queen’s Regulations for the Army (1975) para J5.581 states:
    • Regular personnel are not to take any active part in the affairs of any political organisation, party, or movement. They are not to participate in political marches or demonstrations.
    • No restriction is to be placed upon the attendance at political meetings of such personnel, provided that uniform is not worn, Service duties are not impeded and no action is taken which would bring the Service into disrepute.
    • Whilst organisations may not be allied to any particular political party, an organisation that seeks to effect change to the laws or customs of this country can be considered to be a political organisation or movement. The active participation of a Serviceman in the activities of such an organisation could well be prejudicial to good order and Service discipline.
    • It should be made clear to all ranks that they represent their Service, particularly when in uniform, and, irrespective of their personal beliefs and feelings, it may well be prejudicial to Service discipline for them to participate in, or appear to encourage, any controversial rally, protest march or demonstration, as such participation is incompatible with their duty as soldiers. They may not disseminate propaganda on behalf of any political or quasi-political organisation. See also 2008DIN03-020 (Contact with the Media and Communicating in Public).
    • If it is thought that an offence has occurred, legal advice should be sought as to what charge, if any, should be brought.