Should a elected member of arrse stand for parliament

A

armadillo

Guest
#1
Member of arrse to stand for Parliament

Should there be someone representing the British Armed Forces other the Secretary of state for defiance?

I think someone from this forum should stand for election and the forum be recognised as a party. We obviously cannot have a union and a federation for the armed forces is impossible to start up.

Answers on a ballot paper to 10 Downing street

Nuff said.
 
#2
I remember some talk prior to the last (re-)election , that PTP's name was bandied about.
Dunno if that helps.
Doubt they'd listen anyway, more base closures, regiment amalgamations etc,
ah the peace dividend !!!
 
#3
Surely part of the SoS Defence's job is to support the armed forces? Otherwise how about Shadow SoS? - what is his role?
 
#4
I'm sure we've done this...........
 
#5
armadillo said:
Member of arrse to stand for Parliament

Should there be someone representing the British Armed Forces other the Secretary of state for defiance?

I think someone from this forum should stand for election and the forum be recognised as a party. We obviously cannot have a union and a federation for the armed forces is impossible to start up.
I read this very quickly and wondered what a secretary of state for deviance would do?!! I suspect there would be no shortage of volunteers for that particular post.




Note to self: r e a d s l o w e r ! ! !
 
#6
There are some MPs who do take a serious interest in military matters, as there are members of the House of Lords. It would be very difficult to have an 'MP for the military' because everyone is spread out over many constituencies, and most don't get to vote/don't vote anyway. This is explained in greater detail (and probably more clearly) in Hackle's excellent paper to the Electoral Commission.

As far as a union or federation is concerned, clearly a traditional type of organisation would probably not be desirable, even if it were allowed. However, maybe there ought to be an Armed Forces Ombudsman, to ensure that MoD deal fairly in matters such as medical discharge, manning control, bullying and so on. I also think there is a place for a body to represent the views of service personnel and inform politicians; such a body could be made up of ex-servicemen (with the relevant professional advisers) but be accessible (in confidence) to serving personnel. In fact, something very similar to how ARRSE works. SSAFA and the RBL are unsuitable for the role in my view, because they already provide many diverse services; both also have a significant part of their resource focussed on ex-service personnel, and SSAFA are contracted to provide services (apparently) to Mod, which would be a conflict of interest. In the case of both an Ombudsman and a representative body, many of those involved need to be ex-junior ranks and SNCOs; too often the grass root level is not considered, yet it is precisely these people who are the backbone of the armed forces.

I would certainly be interested in taking part; anyone else?
 
#7
ViroBono said:
There are some MPs who do take a serious interest in military matters, as there are members of the House of Lords. It would be very difficult to have an 'MP for the military' because everyone is spread out over many constituencies, and most don't get to vote/don't vote anyway. This is explained in greater detail (and probably more clearly) in Hackle's excellent paper to the Electoral Commission.

As far as a union or federation is concerned, clearly a traditional type of organisation would probably not be desirable, even if it were allowed. However, maybe there ought to be an Armed Forces Ombudsman, to ensure that MoD deal fairly in matters such as medical discharge, manning control, bullying and so on. I also think there is a place for a body to represent the views of service personnel and inform politicians; such a body could be made up of ex-servicemen (with the relevant professional advisers) but be accessible (in confidence) to serving personnel. In fact, something very similar to how ARRSE works. SSAFA and the RBL are unsuitable for the role in my view, because they already provide many diverse services; both also have a significant part of their resource focussed on ex-service personnel, and SSAFA are contracted to provide services (apparently) to Mod, which would be a conflict of interest. In the case of both an Ombudsman and a representative body, many of those involved need to be ex-junior ranks and SNCOs; too often the grass root level is not considered, yet it is precisely these people who are the backbone of the armed forces.

I would certainly be interested in taking part; anyone else?
The only problem is that what you are describing is beggining to encroach upon what could resonably be termed a trade union. As far as im aware (wlling to be corrected) there are laws against the armed forces and to a lesser extent the emergency services forming or being a member of a trade union.

Obviously it could be argued that it wasn't a trade union (The fact that there would be no ability to withdraw your service/labour) by giving it a limited scope, but this would inevitably on one hand lead to the govt attempting to severly restrict the organisations powers and on the other hand, accusations of it being a 'union in disguise'

Other than that it is a fantastic idea! :D
 
#8
AS - noted, but my idea is that the actual body would be made up of ex-servicemen; no serving personnel would be members, so even if it were classed as a union, they could not be members and so no rules would be broken. Serving personnel would, however, be able to make contact in confidence, so that their views can then be put across on their behalf; indeed, opinions on important issue would be canvassed. Funding would come from donations.
 
#9
ViroBono said:
AS - noted, but my idea is that the actual body would be made up of ex-servicemen; no serving personnel would be members, so even if it were classed as a union, they could not be members and so no rules would be broken. Serving personnel would, however, be able to make contact in confidence, so that their views can then be put across on their behalf; indeed, opinions on important issue would be canvassed. Funding would come from donations.
Ahh, ok. See where your coming from.

Only issue is the donations. I presume serving soldiers (et al) would be excluded from contributing as this could be construed as donating to an organisation with a political agenda (or ar they allowed to do that?)

A_S
 
#10
How about, taking one person from arrse (a MOD) making him the head of the party. Then one person from every area stands in the next elections but they must be ex-forces. Obviously the advantage of this is that they would have some political pwer, a knowledge of the forces and it would also probably be very well voted for. If you think about it if you take allt he surviving forces folk plus all those that are all with an active interest still, it would have an amazing turn out. I bet you even Rose Genital (deliberate spelling mistake) would vote for us, so would most forces families and those that have lost sons/brothers/husbands in conflicts, simply because they would know that we would have loads better understanding of what actually happens.

I bagzy edinburgh North.
 
#11
The only problem is that what you are describing is beggining to encroach upon what could resonably be termed a trade union. As far as im aware (wlling to be corrected) there are laws against the armed forces and to a lesser extent the emergency services forming or being a member of a trade union.
Service personnel can join a trade union or similar organisation, but they cannot take an "active" part (I assume that means holding office) and they are forbidden from withdrawing their labour.

Also, just because something hasn't been done before doesn't mean it can't be done. The Police Federation was formed as the result of a dispute between the government and policemen:

It was established by the Police Act in 1919, following a strike in London, when almost every constable and sergeant in the Metropolitan Police refused to go on duty. They were demanding a big pay increase, a widows’ pension, the recognition of their illegal trade union, and the reinstatement of those who had been sacked for their union activities
The spooks also have a union, despite Margaret Thatcher's efforts.

So, if ex-serving and serving got together and set something up, with a prohibition on strike action and (initially) ex-serving office holders, then there's not much MoD could do about it. I'm sure it might be career suicide for anyone sticking their head up...at least in the early stages.
 
#12
ViroBono said:
It would be very difficult to have an 'MP for the military' because everyone is spread out over many constituencies, and most don't get to vote/don't vote anyway.
The third way:

1) Take an interest in politics. 1m people walked in London to say a big "no" to war in Iraq. How many wrote to their MP about it to demand he/she represent their views?
2) Really get interested - stalk your MP. Seriously though, make sure your MP knows who you are and that you are intelligent/passionate.
3) Leave the Army. Join an existing party.
4) Get interested in local politics.
5) Run for local office - have you seen some of the Cretins that become town Mayors. It's easy!
6) Get involved in the party, start working on important members. Adopt an appropriate stance for your area - (eg watch demographics).
7) Get selected as the next parilamentary candidate.
8 ) Get elected on a balanced, moderate ticket (hard part).
9) Once an MP, THEN take an interest in the Army.......

.......start the rot from the inside ;)
 
#14
All of the former Chiefs of Staff said their piece in the Lords recently over criminal charges against service personnel in Iraq.

Would some be willing to lend their good offices to a professional organisation that represented the views of the men and women in uniform?

Then, if someone from MoD spouts cr@p about "rebalancing" or "stretch not overstretch", a plain-speaking and trustworthy spokesperson (ex-serving, elected by their peers) will shoot them down in flames! I know who the public would believe!

All it takes is a bit of organisation.
 
#15
Just catching up with this very interesting discussion.

Darth_Doctrinus said recently in another thread 'More free calls for UK prisoners than Black Watch':
..the perennial issue of soldiers and unions! Not somewhere we want to go IMHO, but connect Bickie's excellent posts in the 'At risk' thread, and you can see why some might support the idea. I am against it, as I feel that we have a chain of command that efficiently addresses the majority of soldiers' concerns...
I agree 90% with Darth, but am not sure it is fair to expect the chain of command to identify and address all proper concerns.

Australia has a parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces (aka ombudsman) and the USA has a number of professional military associations or federations representing the interests of personnel. Not trade unions. Anything which could involve the withdrawal of labour, or agitation within the ranks, would obviously be completely incompatible with the military obligation.

The electoral paper mentioned by ViroBono does stress the importance of the chain of command.
 
#16
If a start was made now, then in four years there might be enough momentum to make recognition of a representatice Armed Forces organisation and appointment of an Ombudsman both election issues.

The chain of command should not be expected to represent issues - pay, accommodation, general conditions of service - that are beyond their control or remit. Decoupling these issues from the command chain would increase its effectiveness.
 
#17
MrPVRd said:
If a start was made now, then in four years there might be enough momentum to make recognition of a representatice Armed Forces organisation and appointment of an Ombudsman both election issues.

The chain of command should not be expected to represent issues - pay, accommodation, general conditions of service - that are beyond their control or remit. Decoupling these issues from the command chain would increase its effectiveness.
Nail, head, on target.

The Armed Forces Bill is due to start its parliamentary progress later this year. I don't think we have time to get official recognition of ARRSE inserted in the legislation :wink: , but it will affect many issues of concern to members, such as the 'redress' system.
 
#18
If a member of arrse is to stand for parliament surely it could only be MDN?..........ok I'll get my hat and coat.
 
#19
Shortly before I handed my kit in, my unit hosted one of the chief (civvy) bean counters. This was the same bloke who cancelled a SLAM project shortly before the personnel numbers doubled, causing major accommodation problems.

This person had never worn a uniform and would have no understanding of the unique duty of care that commanders are supposed to have for their subordinates. This person made a decision that caused a major screw-up for a lot of people and was, as a civilian, part of the chain of command.

The military ethos has been diluted by civilianisation and contractorisation. These people don't think in terms of loyalty or tradition; they think balance sheets, savings and "corporate communications". They have no fear of falling short of the standards of their regiment, unit or service as they will get the pension and directorships no matter what happens.

It is probably accurate to say that the things that go bang are the preserve of the military and the things that don't go bang are in the hands of civilians. A longstanding tradition and culture underpins the military part and ensures mutual respect and trust. There is nothing on the other side and a civil servant does not speak the same language or share the same ethos as the senior officers in the command chain.

A federation of some kind would ensure that the views of the soldiery (serving and ex serving) carried weight with the civil servants who look after the material conditions of Service life and who make so many decisions that impact on all in uniform. The worst fear that a civil servant surely has is generating bad publicity for his or her minister, and if an ex-serving representative of an "Armed Forces Federation" is criticising the latest cuts on the BBC then that may count for something.

Who knows, it might even become as effective at funding legal actions on behalf of members as the Police Federation apparently is!

If anyone wants an egregious example of the bean-counters that rule us then I simply point to "Sir" Kevin Tebbit....enough said!
 
#20
MrPVRd said:
The only problem is that what you are describing is beggining to encroach upon what could resonably be termed a trade union. As far as im aware (wlling to be corrected) there are laws against the armed forces and to a lesser extent the emergency services forming or being a member of a trade union.
Service personnel can join a trade union or similar organisation, but they cannot take an "active" part (I assume that means holding office) and they are forbidden from withdrawing their labour.

Also, just because something hasn't been done before doesn't mean it can't be done. The Police Federation was formed as the result of a dispute between the government and policemen:

It was established by the Police Act in 1919, following a strike in London, when almost every constable and sergeant in the Metropolitan Police refused to go on duty. They were demanding a big pay increase, a widows’ pension, the recognition of their illegal trade union, and the reinstatement of those who had been sacked for their union activities
The spooks also have a union, despite Margaret Thatcher's efforts.

So, if ex-serving and serving got together and set something up, with a prohibition on strike action and (initially) ex-serving office holders, then there's not much MoD could do about it. I'm sure it might be career suicide for anyone sticking their head up...at least in the early stages.
Thanks for the clarification

A_S
 

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