Senior Officers Running the UK

Discussion in 'Staff College and Staff Officers' started by gennithmedic, Jan 6, 2009.

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  1. I just saw that Gen James Jones USMC has been appointed to the US equivalent of a ministerial post. Following Colin Powell and, of course, Dwight Eisenhower. I tried to name a UK senior officer who has entered politics. The closest I got was Enoch Powell.

    What stops UK senior officers from going into politics?
  2. treehuggers
  3. They are far too qualified, have some real life experience and are generally not ex-members of the Communist party.
  4. As you mentioned a Marine first off, we have Admiral Lord West?

    More seriously, there is a relative lack of appointed rather than must-be-elected-first senior posts compared to the US system because we don't have a formally separate executive.
  5. "The punishment for wise men, who fail to take part in politics, is to be ruled by fools." Plato, I fink.
  6. No, not him, please. We'd rather forget Eric ever existed. And, anyway, a Major isn't a Senior Officer, even to me.
  7. Wasn't Tony Benn an orrificer also?
  8. Spitfire driver, back when the RAF was cool. But not senior. Also Paddy Ashdown, Fitzroy MacClean, Winston Churchill.Army x3.

    There is Precedent. The Prime Minister job was good enough for the Duke of Wellington. Question is, have any subsequent Generals been good enough for Prime Minister?
  9. Kitchener was Minister for War in WW1.He could certainly have been a Prime Minister,had he not drowned.Being a Sapper was an additional qualification for such a post!!!
  10. Also Desmond Swayne on the Tory side. He's done a tour in the sandpit with the TA.
  11. Most army officers are basically honest. That usually precludes them from entering politics.
  12. Before Blair culled the house of lords were any of them ex-officers?
  13. Should have said "Elected to Run the UK." And the House of Lords is merely a guide, not a rule.
  14. Paddy Ashdown was RM. Rumours he won the Lib Dem leadership after defeating all comers in naked roll mat wrestling are probably an exaggeration...

    Lord Carrington, Foreign Secretary at the start of the Falklands War, was ex Army (Guards Armoured?). Going further back, Lord Kitchener was Minister of War for the first part of the Great War.

    There have been a number of officers who've had distinguished military careers before entering politics. That's changed in the last 50 years as 1) politics has become more 'professional' 2) political parties become less tolerant of independently minded individuals.