Qualification to be Minister of Defence

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Outstanding, Dec 30, 2006.

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  1. Given the stunning lack of any military credentials held by the current (Swiss Tony)and actually any of the last lot of Ministers, should not there be a minimum prerequisit for any potential candidate.
    I don't believe that service in HM Forces is always ideal, but at least some formal qualification in service matters, strategic training (or even common sense) might be a of value.
    Whils these appointments are always political it is unlikely this could be achieved uness the training was given and "passe" on appointment, but that no actual power transferred until properly schooled.
    It might improve the appalling military knowledge displayed, provide more than an understanding of the fact that we have 3 services and be a means of ensuring that the job is being done by an individual who is competent!
  2. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I'll do it but not for these cretins, or the others, bugger that doesnt leave a lot of choice does it!
  3. Outstanding

    I'm not sure they would be interested in the job - they make far more money going straight into senior appointments in MOD suppliers eg BAE, EDS .....or writing their memoirs
  4. One could extend this argument to all cabinet posts - I know plenty of bankers who'd love to run the Treasury! Focusing on the Defence job, this is why the position of CDS exists - to offer their advice and expertise, however it's more than a pity that their advice and expertise so often seems to be ignored. Additionally, even if the Defence Secretary role were rotated, as the CDS role is, there'd no doubt be accusations of budgetary bias by each arm when 'their' man didn't hold the position.
  5. i asked the current defence minister Des Browne the question " what military backgroud do you have to qualify yourself as the defense miniter?" his reply " what political background did i have ?" to which ever1 laughed, then he promptly got up and said his goodbye and keep up the hard work .
    no shit that actually happend early 2006 when he visited BAS ,he met most of my company but in an hour and half of chatting my question was the first one he faced , in my opinion hes a spineless twat who needs to open his eyes and see the job which hes supposed to be doin. i think the british military machine is doomed as our leaders have sold us out to europe as you can see with all the cuts which are tacticly weakening our forces and therefore making us more reliant on the ******* over the water ( not the irish, the frogs and germans and the rest of em)
  6. Next time one of the politicians come out to patronise the troops, Can you not let them try on the wonderful body armour they have bought, and offer them a ride around in a Snatch, with covering fire from their duff machine guns.

    Blair says UK forces are the best in the world and doing a wonderful job, hows about rather than walkin the apron at theairport he gets a bit hot and bothered!
  7. Cabinet Ministers do not need experience in the field they work; that is the role of the Civil Servants, Special Advisors and (in our case) CDS and the Chiefs of Staffs. That is the way the British Parlimentary system works.

    Unfortunately, SofS Defence is seen as a second rate Cabinet Job, and certainly not up there with Home Sec or Foreign Sec. Thus we tend to get political place-men who have served their party well and need to be rewarded.

    At the end of the day, it is the fault of CDS and PUS if the SofS is not properly briefed. And as a collary, party politics will (almost) always win out when it comes to any initative - which has more votes, saving your local A&E or providing some more money for a war for which no-one really cares about?
  8. I seem to remember that the equivelent of defence secretary and chancellor in the original ancient Greek democracy were the two posts in which the holder had to have experience of 'the job'.

    They also had another, now unfortunately defunct practice, that of ostracism - In this reverse election to decide which leading politician should be exiled for ten years, voters scratched the name of their preferred candidate on a piece of broken pottery. All the biggest political fish risked being fried in this ceremonious way - I think the potential for 10 years for Tony in Helmand province could well re-awaken the public's interest in the political system!
  9. Petition No. 10 to bring it back! :twisted:
  10. Qualification for Minister, Defence Procurement :-

    Cash bung to Liabour = one coronet (tarnished), red leather seat and lucrative government contracts, followed by appointment to the aforementioned post.
  11. It would not matter one single iota what military qualifications a Secretary of State for Defence (to use his correct title) happens to possesses. He could be someone like Patrick Mercer with 25 years regular service and the command of a Battalion under his belt. He will, regardless of who he is, or what his qualifications and experience are, remain subordinate to the Prime Minister who, if weak, is subordinate to the Treasury.

    Many underestimate the enormous power possessed by a Chancellor of the Exchequer. He can make or break any policy a government has by agreeing with it and providing the funding. He can disagree with it privately and support it loyally in the Commons and then starve the project of funding and allow it to wither on the vine and die. Alternatively, he can do what Gordon Brown did when Geoff Hoon was Secretary of State for Defence by simply ignoring the Secretary of State and summon each of the Service Chiefs individually to 11 Downing Street and tell each of them exactly how much money they are going to shave off the defence vote.

    As in any abusive relationship, he who holds the purse-strings calls the tune.

    One of the reasons why the relationship between Blair and Brown is so fraught! One exercises supreme power and the other thinks he does!
  12. Come on then, lets judge them. I actually liked George Robinson - he seemed honest and if he didn't know what he was talking about, he was generally honest about it.

    Geoff Hoon. Spineless. Hopeless with the troops.

    Malcolm Rifkind? Hmmn. Failed his Mortar Numbers Course. A visible manifestation of his lack of understanding of the Beast he was in charge of.

    Michael Portillo?

    It's not an impressive list, frankly, is it?
  13. One thing we do have are the best medium and heavy machine guns in the world. Even the yanks have adopted the GPMG and they haven't got the quick change barrel 50 cal HMG which we have. Nothing duff about our machine guns!
  14. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    So that would be riding round trying to return fire from great machine guns with cheap and nasty ammo that doesnt work!
  15. STILL!

    Hasn't it been sorted out by now :?: