Rumour Schmumour

#1
In the course of one of my occasional forays onto this site (okay, so I do get hopelessly bored with my barrier duties), it occurred to me that, for an 'army rumour service', ARRSE is high on humour and decidely light on, well, rumour. Don't get me wrong. When it comes to trivial stuff (e.g. what cufflinks are de rigueur in the mess, the weight of Blessed Baby Cakes' next offspring or how often Lord Flasheart changes his colostomy appliance), the site is truly remarkable. Look beyond the apparently underemployed and overbearing clique who seem to dominate this site, however, and you will see that the really weighty rumours originate from that much-ARRSE-pilloried establishment, the press. This is the same press that many self-important ARRSErs have become so comically paranoid about.

Post 1: "Would anyone care to speculate on when our troops might be withdrawn from Iraq?"

Post 2: "Fcuk of journo."

Truth be known, any journo worth his salt is going to head straight for his contacts in Whitehall, rather than wading through the crud here, on the off chance of discovering a Pulitzer Prize-winning gem (or, in the case of the red tops, they'll just make it up).

Posters on ARRSE are constrained from publishing any rumour of any real import, by opsec and persec (or by the mods) or, in the case of the over-represented veteran community, by a lack of any current inside knowledge. Frankly, if you want real army rumours, stick with the Sunday papers.
 
#2
This ignores two of the fundamental principles of rumour:

1. It doesn't have to be true.
2. It doesn't have to be important.

The site is (on occasion) gainfully employed by the press for anonymous quotes on military issues as serving personnel are prohibited from expressing their views in more conventional ways such as speaking directly to journalists or writing a letter to a newspaper - unless they are prompted to do so by MoD.

On issues of importance, I would point to the electoral registration campaign as of great significance, thanks to the hard work of Hackle and Lord Garden. This made a mockery of the MoD do-nothing position and achieved something that will benefit service personnel in the future.

The site has 10,000+ members and participation is not compulsorary.
 
#3
You can tell the cooler weather has drawn in - does that mean one hour on and one hour off the barrier?

That means more time playing with the PC while you're sitting in the Portacabin 'off shift' - therefore can we expect more of your post please.

Look beyond your criticisms and you may note a lot of people doing a lot of good and having a lot of fun.

BTW - I've heard they're going to buy some wireless tablet PC thingys so you can surf ARRSE while you're on stag.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#4
TNJ thanks for your comments, although they might have been better placed in the Int Cell or Current Affairs.
Your devotion to the NAAFI is however, commendable.

The_Next_Darjeeling said:
...

Truth be known, any journo worth his salt is going to head straight for his contacts in Whitehall, rather than wading through the crud here, on the off chance of discovering a Pulitzer Prize-winning gem (or, in the case of the red tops, they'll just make it up).

...
In my not inconsiderable experience of journos, the majority of those that write for 'newspapers' are more interested in the distribution of their story rather than the factual accuracy.

As to their utility or value, it can normally be expressed by weight, material and speed, the preponderance of hacks being worth approximately 147 to 168 grains of Cu coated Pb moving at between 2500 to 2800 fps.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#5
The_Next_Darjeeling said:
In the course of one of my occasional forays onto this site (okay, so I do get hopelessly bored with my barrier duties), it occurred to me that, for an 'army rumour service', ARRSE is high on humour and decidely light on, well, rumour. Don't get me wrong. When it comes to trivial stuff (e.g. what cufflinks are de rigueur in the mess, the weight of Blessed Baby Cakes' next offspring or how often Lord Flasheart changes his colostomy appliance), the site is truly remarkable. Look beyond the apparently underemployed and overbearing clique who seem to dominate this site, however, and you will see that the really weighty rumours originate from that much-ARRSE-pilloried establishment, the press. This is the same press that many self-important ARRSErs have become so comically paranoid about.

Post 1: "Would anyone care to speculate on when our troops might be withdrawn from Iraq?"

Post 2: "Fcuk of journo."

Truth be known, any journo worth his salt is going to head straight for his contacts in Whitehall, rather than wading through the crud here, on the off chance of discovering a Pulitzer Prize-winning gem (or, in the case of the red tops, they'll just make it up).

Posters on ARRSE are constrained from publishing any rumour of any real import, by opsec and persec (or by the mods) or, in the case of the over-represented veteran community, by a lack of any current inside knowledge. Frankly, if you want real army rumours, stick with the Sunday papers.
So, what are you saying?
 
#6
The_Next_Darjeeling said:
ARRSE is high on humour and decidely light on, well, rumour.

Post 1: "Would anyone care to speculate on when our troops might be withdrawn from Iraq?"

Post 2: "Fcuk of journo."
Just in case anyone misunderstood - no humour intended there, we really did want them to fcuk off.


The_Next_Darjeeling said:
Truth be known, any journo worth his salt is going to head straight for his contacts in Whitehall, rather than wading through the crud here, on the off chance of discovering a Pulitzer Prize-winning gem (or, in the case of the red tops, they'll just make it up).
But that is both funny and a new rumour - well done!
 
#8
I think he's trying to imply that even though you've done 22 and you drove out the gate at 50 miles an hour and launched your ID card at the chimp on the gate, and told everyone you're glad you're outside, you may actually miss the forces and use this website as a conduit! :D
 
#9
Shite! ...do you mean that I've wasted my time being all serious on this forum... when YOU GUYS have been taking the piss all along?

I feel violated....

(Oddly enough, the 22-ers can still spell better than any of you serving 'whipper-snappers' and 'journalists'...)

...now where's my slippers missus??

:)
 
#11
Plenty of rumour and gossip herein. Go and look at the RLC forum's 'Today I saw...' thread, it means little to me, less to you, I assume, as a sidling MGS-type, but that does not negate its value as a conduit of rumour for those who are involved.

You might also consider that the inclusion of 'Rumour' in the title was a function of the requirement to have ARRSE as the acronym...





















Arrse.
 
#12
Mr PVRd

I was not, for one moment, suggesting that rumour has to be true. I was pointing out that the ARRSE-originated content on this site tends to be devoid of weighty rumour and that, ironically, it is the broadsheet press that tend to fill this gap.

Bearing in mind the British Army currently has around 112,000 regular personnel, 40,000 Territorial Army personnel, numerous veterans and other interested parties, I think 10,000 registered users is a relatively modest number. I would suggest that the regular posters on this site number no more than a few hundred. I think there is a danger that the views of a vociferous minority, who regularly post on this site, could be mistaken as being representative of the majority of the British Army.

Cutaway

I did consider posting this thread in one of the other forums, but concluded that some of the replies would make it better suited to the NAAFI Bar. I wasn't disappointed.

I am not necessarily arguing with your view of journalists. It is all the more ironic, therefore, that this site is so heavily reliant upon them as a source of momentous rumour.

abacus

My point was, anyone asking a question similar to the example I posted, is immediately assumed to be a journo, a point which, by your reply, you have simply reinforced.

Incidentally, selective quoting is also a journalistic favourite.

growler

It was an observation that the opinions of ex-Army personnel, which seem to predominate here, are not necessarily representative of what is happening in today's Army, even though many such opinions tend to purport otherwise.

fas_et-gloria

I acknowledged that there is, indeed, lots of rumour and gossip on the site. It is the quality, rather than the quantity that is questionable.

The individual regimental and corps forums no doubt fulfil an important need, but they are necessarily parochial in outlook.

'Ranting' could have substituted 'Rumour', without any loss of ARRSE

Biscuits_AB

Please see above.
 
#13
Excuse me if you feel I am ignorant or maybe I am being thick but what exactly are you trying to say - some of it makes sense and some of it is contradictable! ahem!!
 
#14
Well, The_Next_Darjeeling, you seem to be good at finding (ostensible) fault with ARRSE. So how about letting us have the benefit of your wisdom and making a few suggestions that you think would improve on our primitive efforts, since I've noticed that you've yet to start a thread.

Wirrorleers!

MsG
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#15
The_Next_Darjeeling said:
...

I did consider posting this thread in one of the other forums, but concluded that some of the replies would make it better suited to the NAAFI Bar. I wasn't disappointed.

...
Had you posted in CA you would have found the replies to be different, in wording at the very least.

Seen the sign on the door ?
 
#16
There is an important distinction to be drawn between the journos who post, pretending to be someone/something other than a journo, hoping to harvest lurid or salacious tales of military personnel, and those who either post 'in clear' with a request for information, or who have established their bona fides and make contact with individual members on specific subjects. The latter are not jumped on; if necessary their credentials are checked and members are generally happy to help. In addition, I have it on very good authority that ARRSE is seen as a useful reference resource by a number of serious journalists in both print and broadcast media.
 
#17
The_Next_Darjeeling said:
Incidentally, selective quoting is also a journalistic favourite.
It is also an ARRSE convention not to continually quote an entire post but to extract those elements to which you wish to reply as I am doing here. Should any viewer wish to read TND's full post, please scan back from this one.

The_Next_Darjeeling said:
Bearing in mind the British Army currently has around 112,000 regular personnel, 40,000 Territorial Army personnel, numerous veterans and other interested parties, I think 10,000 registered users is a relatively modest number. I would suggest that the regular posters on this site number no more than a few hundred. I think there is a danger that the views of a vociferous minority, who regularly post on this site, could be mistaken as being representative of the majority of the British Army.
Those are establishment numbers, actual numbers are substantially less, or so the many rumours started in many threads on this site would suggest. Given that a HUGE %age of both Regular and TA are on Operational Tours (there's another rumour for you) I would suggest that 10,000 is an astonishingly high number (not a rumour, just an opinion). However, to investigate your opinion that the site is dominated by a vociferous minority I think we should do a search of users by number of posts:

At time of writing, 630 of the 10,000 have contributed 100 posts or more. 999 have contributed 50 or more. You may well have a point about vociferous minority but almost 10% of users is still a very significant sample and this percentage of regular contributors is continuing to grow as the site evolves.

You certainly DO NOT have a point regarding representing the views of the British Army. The language used on ARRSE is certainly far more colourful than that used on ArmyNET and I wouldn't expect to see anything close to the "mong" thread on an official site, but I struggle to find any real variation in theme between the two regarding "rumour" although as mine is only the view of a few hundred whilst your's is the view of a single you, I could be wrong.

The_Next_Darjeeling said:
I was not, for one moment, suggesting that rumour has to be true. I was pointing out that the ARRSE-originated content on this site tends to be devoid of weighty rumour and that, ironically, it is the broadsheet press that tend to fill this gap.
Wrong - as has been pointed out by others. There is a difference between rumour and carefully planted Govt leaks to guage reaction from the public. And it's not a beauty contest; ARRSE does what it says on the tin, so do the broadsheets. If the COs ever go into the newspaper business, I'm sure we can compare the offering sthen.

The_Next_Darjeeling said:
I did consider posting this thread in one of the other forums, but concluded that some of the replies would make it better suited to the NAAFI Bar. I wasn't disappointed.
What a shame you didn't read through more of them.

The_Next_Darjeeling said:
I am not necessarily arguing with your view of journalists. It is all the more ironic, therefore, that this site is so heavily reliant upon them as a source of momentous rumour.
So are you suggesting that our rumour may only come from official sources? I'm not sure I understand the complaint here unless you are simply tying yourself in knots trying (unsuccessfully as it turns out) to prove a point.

The_Next_Darjeeling said:
It was an observation that the opinions of ex-Army personnel, which seem to predominate here, are not necessarily representative of what is happening in today's Army, even though many such opinions tend to purport otherwise.
Again, if you had read even a modest number of threads across the site you would discover that mistaken viewpoints are quickly corrected by individuals clearly in the know. Or are you suggesting that a rumour started may never be stopped even if it is completely wrong?
 
#18
Nice one, Abacus! Much better than I could've done! I've a very fair idea of who this gonzo could be, but I need the oaken foundation of other ARSSErs to be sure! Keep ridin' 'im fellas!

MsG
 
#19
abacus

ARRSE convention notwithstanding, you chose selectively to quote from two separate paragraphs and present them as one continuous quote. People can, indeed, read my entire post, so why not allow them to do so, instead of repeating that which has already been said?

Even allowing for inflated establishment figures, the number of people regularly posting here (by your own reckoning) amounts to around 1% of the British Army. The fact that so many soldiers are away on ops at any one time (and, as you imply, therefore unable to post here) would tend to indicate the sharp end of the Army is away walking the walk, while the majority here are talking the talk.

Far from tying myself in knots, I think I've been pretty consistent in what I have to say. ARRSE probably is an important forum for the exchange of professional information and advice, as well as an excellent source of humour. What it is not is an important source of rumour.

Bugsy7

I'm offering a critique, not a panacea.
 
#20
abacus said:
The_Next_Darjeeling said:
ARRSE is high on humour and decidely light on, well, rumour.

Post 1: "Would anyone care to speculate on when our troops might be withdrawn from Iraq?"

Post 2: "Fcuk of journo."
Just in case anyone misunderstood - no humour intended there, we really did want them to fcuk off.


The_Next_Darjeeling said:
Truth be known, any journo worth his salt is going to head straight for his contacts in Whitehall, rather than wading through the crud here, on the off chance of discovering a Pulitzer Prize-winning gem (or, in the case of the red tops, they'll just make it up).
But that is both funny and a new rumour - well done!
Read it again. Two seperate quote blocks so definitely not presented as one continuous quote. Apart from which, the two topics are related only on the basis that they appeared in the same original quote. As regards allowing others to read your entire text, your post and my post were on the same page FFS. Please stop judging other ARRSErs by your standards, they are quite capable of reading previous posts in the same thread as well as posts in other threads.


My intent was to imply that home based personnel have the opportunity to post far, far more often than personnel on Op Tours. Again, though, if you had been sensible enough to read a variety of forums across the site you would have discovered many posters utilising IT facilities in Operational Theatres to participate in the ARRSE Forums. What was that drivel about walking the walk? Are you implying that anyone who is not at this very moment in time on an Op Tour is unable to comment based on experience - which for many users of this site is very recent experience indeed. Let's take that concept further, what about individuals sitting in a Bde HQ whilst a sect is out on patrol. Is it only the Sect who are qualified to comment?

Your final paragraph is laughable and again demonstrates either that you have not been reading widely across this site or that you are incapable of making sense of the information such a course of action would have provided.

TNJ, your continued postings provide neither professional information, nor advice based on anything other than demonstrable misconceptions nor are they humorous in any way I can divine. In short, you are a pain in the ARRSE (pun intended) please go away.

edit to add: or get with the programme and join in the way we all do. ARRSE greatest advantage - open to all with the freedom to rant as anonymously as you wish.
 

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