Spectator article - 'Why I Quit The Army'

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by error_unknown, Nov 24, 2002.

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  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:
  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.
  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

  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:

    Challenger 1
    Clansman Radios
    New webbing
    Combat Boots

    and of course Options for Carnage

    (I am kidding)

    Be careful what you wish for???
  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.

  9. I have to agree with Chris on the photo, he does look like an advert for 'Silvermans' or 'Cadet weekly' ;D ;D ;D
  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.
  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.

  12. :-X

  13. I take it you are having a pop at the article an not me in your little rant 2 post ago ??? ;D
  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?