Senior Officers Running the UK

#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?
 
#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.
 
#6
"The punishment for wise men, who fail to take part in politics, is to be ruled by fools." Plato, I fink.
 
#7
Krankenschwester said:
there's also a Labour MP who was an officer (from the ranks before commissioned).
No, not him, please. We'd rather forget Eric ever existed. And, anyway, a Major isn't a Senior Officer, even to me.
 
#8
Wasn't Tony Benn an orrificer also?
 
#9
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?
 
#10
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!!!
 
#12
Most army officers are basically honest. That usually precludes them from entering politics.
 
#13
Before Blair culled the house of lords were any of them ex-officers?
 
#14
Should have said "Elected to Run the UK." And the House of Lords is merely a guide, not a rule.
 
#15
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.
 
#16
Michael Mates ex Lt Col QDGs and Airey Neave ex Lt Col were Tory cabinet ministers, Airey tragically being bumped off by the IRA in the late 70's in the H o Commons car park.
Preffered current route is Human rights lawyers!!!!!!!!!
 
#17
The Iron Duke was Prime Minister later in life.

The main difference is in the US these are appointments where in the UK they tend to be career polititians, so anyone serving long enough to be a Senior Officer is unlikely to be a senior enough polito.

There are exceptions (Lord West) but these are rare.
 
#18
stacker1 said:
Before Blair culled the house of lords were any of them ex-officers?
Remember the SMC course most of the Guards chaps were sons of peers of the realm on work experience before toodling off to their estates.
 
#19
For what it's worth the Iron Duke was a godawful PM: brought the UK to the brink of revolution over Parliamentary reform.

Am I right in thinking that Airey Neave was involved in the Nuremburg trials?
 
#20
Lt Col seems to be the limit here. I was looking for an elected leader sold to voters on the strength of his command experience. Like what the Israelis get and what the Yanks sometimes get (Gen Petraeus would be a good outside bet). I mean, there are 41 admirals to run a fleet of 40 ships. What do they do upon retirement?
Has 40 years of "Lions Led By Donkeys" history made senior command experience a disqualifyer for the Top Job? I mean, there have been loads of soldiers in Parliament but they don't seem to hit the big time.
(Attlee,Churchill,MacMillan,etc come from an age when every man had Done His Bit.)

Even the bloody Frogs could manage Le Pen...
 

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