Spectator article - 'Why I Quit The Army'

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error_unknown

Guest
#1
There's a good article in the current ish of The Spectator:
"'Why I Quit The Army'

Tony Blair tells us continually that the British armed forces are 'the best in the world'. They are fighting fit, says the government, and straining at the leash to do battle with Saddam Hussein. It is all the more frightening, therefore, that in truth the Prime Minister is about to deploy a British military force as ill equipped for full-scale war as it is to provide the nation with adequate fire cover. Under New Labour, our soldiers, airmen and sailors are badly trained and woefully equipped, and their morale is being sapped by bad pay and humiliating and absurd exercises in political correctness.
[...]"

The rest of the article is at:
http://www.spectator.co.uk/article.php3?table=old§ion=current&issue=2002-11-23&id=2517
 
#2
Whats wrong couldnt you cut the mustard.
Well most of what you say is correct.
But as we humble grunts etc, always do is work with what we have & make the most of it.
Hardship is the norm when on op's so forget about the fancy bits of kit,
That most other forces have ( We dont need it )
Happy with what we have well most of us are.
I & no doubt many others knew what we where getting when we signed that dotted line. :)
 
#3
For starters he did not quit the Army, he was a marine.

The article also claims he resigned commission, but he talks very much from a toms perspective.

Otherwise not a bad article, but not a patch on Lord Morpeths famous "Salami Slice Army" of the 80's.

The sad thing is is that little seems to have changed.
 
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error_unknown

Guest
#4
Chalky663 wrote:
"Whats wrong couldnt you cut the mustard. Well most of what you say is correct."
Let me emphasize that it's what he says - the author of the article - not me. I am decidedly not an ex-marine, nor an ex-officer. Let's be very clear on that.

I do think the author raises many good points however. Particularly as regards training.

Chalky663 wrote:
Hardship is the norm when on op's
The author is not arguing against hardship - rather the reverse.
From the article:
"The steep ravines worn into the slopes that recruits had to run up and down at various points on the seven-mile course were also contrary to all sorts of well-meaning [Health & Safety] legislation. The recommendation was for proper steps and handrails to be installed — just like the ones you find in the mountains of Afghanistan or the wadis of Iraq."
Fairly obviously he's arguing against reducing the hardship of training. As the old saying has it, 'The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.'

"Happy with what we have well most of us are."
You're happy with the SA80/LSW? Radios that are woefully out of date? The restrictions that hamper soldiers' ability to do their jobs properly in NI, Kosovo, etc?
You're happy with the current state of our armed forces in general? Each and every defence cut?

Words fail me.


YeoTanky wrote:
"not a patch on Lord Morpeths famous "Salami Slice Army" of the 80's."
I'm afraid that one must have passed me by. Could you provide a few more details? I'm not getting much success with 'Lord Morpeth' or 'Salami Slice Army' through Google. Appreciate it.
 
#5
I dont think that article was written by a Royal Marine. I think it was written by a journo with maybe an ex RM officer he knows as a drinking partner.

Certainly would not allow it to be headed ex Army Oficer cos he aint.

The picture is not of the said individual. Rolled up sleeves and a sling on the weapon.

Apart from that what is that webbing it looks crap and as for the rifle the SA80 is a nice toy but I dont think they allow the lads to buy their own yet.

Erm. Some truth in it but written by a civvy

Chris
 
#6
I was sure i had a copy of Salamai Slice in my cutting box but some bugger has nicked it.

It was a long time ago.

The main difference was that Morpeth (Major in 9/12L I believe) wrote the article while still serving.  caused huge row, I believe he was forced to resign.  But as a direct result we got great new kit:

SA80
Challenger 1
Clansman Radios
New webbing
Combat Boots
C95

and of course Options for Carnage

(I am kidding)

Be careful what you wish for???
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#7
Greatly appreciate you taking the time, YeoTanky.
I think I recall the episode now (I vaguely recall a serving officer causing a fuss - if I recall correctly he was even allowed to continue serving? was a posting to a training college part of the story?).

YeoTanky wrote: Be careful what you wish for
True, unfortunately very true. :-|
Still, I dunno, gotta try, eh? Or something?


Exmarine wrote:
"Certainly would not allow it to be headed ex Army Oficer cos he aint."
It's The Spectator. Say 'marine' to them and they probably think 'aqua' first and 'USMC' second. I'm happy enough that they're on the side of the Forces. God knows that's getting to be a rare quality.

"The picture is not of the said individual."
A representative picture is usually fairly obvious, even when unlabelled. This looks like a 'happy-snap' to me.

"Rolled up sleeves and a sling on the weapon."
I thought it was only the paras who disliked slings, I thought marines were OK with them? Personally I found slings to be quite useful when going over obstacles, carrying simulated wounded, that sort of thing. If a soldier isn't switched on enough to carry his weapon correctly when circumstances demand, and his colleagues and commanders don't tear him a new one as a consequence, then they're all stuffed; taking their slings away isn't going to make them better soldiers.

"Apart from that what is that webbing it looks crap"
Always said you can't beat a good set of customised '58, but each to his own.

"and as for the rifle the SA80 is a nice toy but I dont think they allow the lads to buy their own yet."
I figured it was a pose picture. Although I did wonder if he was following in the footsteps of those Israelis who, during the '67 war,  chucked away their FALs in preference for AKs taken from POWs.
Once knew of an officer who had an arms-dealer's licence, he had all sorts of cabby kit. And once people get out of sight of OCs and COs and all the rest, a lot become laws unto themselves.

"Some truth in it but written by a civvy"
If they were making it up why didn't they go the whole hog and claim that he was ex-sas, an ex-major and had done a dozen years and as many wars? If they'd claimed ex-sas they'd have been justified in writing it anonymously. However the author's name is at the top of the article, there are no claims for it being a pseudonym; how hard can it be to verify?
But if that's what you think, you should write to The Spectator about it.


IMO, I think the article is very good and worthwhile. I'll concede to YeoTanky though, in that Morpeth was showing greater gumption by publishing his article while still in the service.
 
#8
You dont need to tell me that bolloxs.

I stand by what I said.  Quoting a Marine gives it cred whilst not being over the top.

I did not say the article was bad.  It has some good points that are only known to those who have been amongst it.

It is not written by a serving or retired Marine but by somebody who knows one and may have colluded with it. He certainly did not see the finished article before print. My opinion.

The fact that it says resigned from the Army is the dead give away

The webbing he has is crap and the rifle looks AK series of some sort (foreign variant).

His sleeves are rolled up, Marines dont do that, army do. He would have got an instant bollocking or the piss taken out of him for being a pongo.

Slings on SA80ties are good, the only bloody thing. That crap sling would be taken off of that weapon in the pic by a marine.

He may need it for crossing obstacles etc.  Thanks for the top tip.

Niet Beret as well.

Nah.  Not buying it.

Pure conjecture of course based on 23 years in the Corps.

Chris
 
#10
Well put all apart from the author I did wonder how long it would take to suss this imposter out, be he a wannabe ( read to much Andy Mcnabb " possibly think you are him " )
Any way most of your winges are & where taken up on other discussions prior to Kosovo, ETC, ETC, ETC.
So who did you serve with & where please give details accurate of course & not from a BLOODY BOOK OR SOME MATE OR CONVERSATION YOU MAY HAVE HEARD.
OTHERWISE KEEP IT  :-X
 
#11
Ok  His Assault Vest is SADF Issue ( Note the Empty Pouches + they will not accept an AK Magazine )
The Wpn Is of An AK Variant But Not Soviet Issue
Will Get back to you on this one.



You dont need to tell me that bolloxs.

I stand by what I said.  Quoting a Marine gives it cred whilst not being over the top.

I did not say the article was bad.  It has some good points that are only known to those who have been amongst it.

It is not written by a serving or retired Marine but by somebody who knows one and may have colluded with it. He certainly did not see the finished article before print. My opinion.

The fact that it says resigned from the Army is the dead give away

The webbing he has is crap and the rifle looks AK series of some sort (foreign variant).

His sleeves are rolled up, Marines dont do that, army do. He would have got an instant bollocking or the piss taken out of him for being a pongo.

Slings on SA80ties are good, the only bloody thing. That crap sling would be taken off of that weapon in the pic by a marine.

He may need it for crossing obstacles etc.  Thanks for the top tip.

Niet Beret as well.

Nah.  Not buying it.

Pure conjecture of course based on 23 years in the Corps.

Chris
 
#12
:-X






For starters he did not quit the Army, he was a marine.

The article also claims he resigned commission, but he talks very much from a toms perspective.

Otherwise not a bad article, but not a patch on Lord Morpeths famous "Salami Slice Army" of the 80's.

The sad thing is is that little seems to have changed.
 
#14
No way is this geezer a bootie - look at his sleeves!

If he was a Royal, he'd have his sleeves rolled up neatly, well above the elbow in that slightly camp way favoured by the builder in the Village People. ;) :D

Of course this is only true if the weather is extremely cold, otherwise he would be wearing an arctic smock done up to the neck with a woolly pully next to his skin and a woolly hat, cockleshell heros for the use of ;D ;D
 
#15
I don't read the Spectator, far too right wing for me. However, what is the general consensus of opinion out there of boys who write their stories a la Andy McNab et al?

Do you think they have breached security? Do you think the Regt was right in banning them from coming back?
 
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error_unknown

Guest
#16
Exmarine wrote:
"Quoting a Marine gives it cred whilst not being over the top."
If you can prove that the author of the article is lying then you should get in touch with The Spectator - I doubt that they'll be pleased if someone has pulled a fast one on them. Or, if you believe that it's The Spectator that is behind the alleged scam, you should get in touch with one of The Spectator's competitors: magazines like the New Statesman, papers such as The Guardian, Independent and Mirror. They'll only be too keen to p*** on The Spectator's chips - they might even pay you for your help.

"The fact that it says resigned from the Army is the dead give away"
But that headline was almost certainly written by editorial staff at The Spectator, few of which appreciate the sensitivities of serving Forces and ex-Forces as to their respective (former) trades, branches and units. All it 'gives away' is that whoever wrote the headline has never been in the forces.

"The webbing he has is crap"
Each to his own. Everyone has their own opinion on what constitutes a good set of webbing - jacket rigs, chest rigs, conventional designs.

"and the rifle looks AK series of some sort (foreign variant)."
So? British soldiers never get their hands on a foreign weapon long enough to get a pic taken, if nothing else?

"His sleeves are rolled up, Marines dont do that, army do."
I beg to differ, at least as regards your statement about army practices: it would not have been allowed in my old unit. Even in units that were more casual I'm not aware of any rolling up their sleeves in situations where it would compromise camouflage, so who cares anyway?

"That crap sling would be taken off of that weapon in the pic by a marine."
Were you ever involved in photographic analysis? int work? Because you're extrapolating an impressive quantity of information from a small photo of not especially good quality. Impressive if correct, that is.
If he'd grabbed the weapon just to pose for a pic, maybe he wouldn't have taken the trouble to remove the sling.

"Thanks for the top tip."
You're welcome.
Another scenario where slings are useful, that I forgot to mention in my previous post, is public order situations like NI.
The point is that slings are useful when used correctly. And, I repeat, taking slings away doesn't make a better soldier. But it might just make a bad one harder to spot.

"Niet Beret as well."
But it's mostly helmets now, isn't it? I can understand someone preferring to get a 'happy-snap' taken sans helmet.

"Not buying it."
There are plausible explanations for every point that you've raised, so I'll continue to 'buy it' for now. But I'll keep on an eye out for a letter from you to The Spectator. If you get an article published in the New Statesman or any other publication about this, I'd appreciate you letting us all know.


I'm astounded that people have got hung up on a photo. Who cares? What about the article?
If anyone disagrees with any of the points that the author made in his article, then, whether they're writing to The Spectator or posting here, can someone actually make an argument? An actual argument based on issues raised by the article? Instead, all we have here are ad hominem attacks on the author, much of them based on a subjective interpretation of one small photograph.
 
#17
PFC Winterbum you are a complete tosser.

I cannot be bothered to dissect your last reply its too pathetic.  

Go away.

I notice you use PFC as your call sign and mentioned USMC as well in your last post, go tell it to the yanks they might believe it.

The photo is a combat indicator.  I say again I do not dispute much in the article but I do now dispute your cred.

Your mouth wash aint makin it

Chris
 
#19
Quote from PFC. The point is that slings are useful when used correctly. And, I repeat, taking slings away doesn't make a better soldier. But it might just make a bad one harder to spot. Unquote

Sorry I have to thank you for that comment. Classic. LOL.

I may respond to that comment correctly some time but at this moment in time I am chilling and do not wish to teach a civvy Fieldcraft and weapon handling.

Thank you.  Which Platform to you live on?

Chris
 
#20
You also state in one of your posts that you are not an ex Marine and emphatically not an Ex officer.

Your posts certainly try to emulate an Officer.

Another give away.

Shoot me down and give me some DTG of your service.

er Your Service.

Thank you Walter

Chris
 

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