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The Labour Party – Good for the Armed Forces?  Dis

Many years ago I heard the statement that "a Labour Government was always good for the Armed Forces".  I think it referred to pay and conditions rather than kit.

My first day's pay goes back to the last year or so of the last Labour Government under Callaghan.  In the period Sept78 to Sept80 my pay went from £2,416 (engraved in my memory) to about £5,500.  That included one incremental annual pay rise and one (automatic) promotion.  Those in themselves would not have made a major difference but somewhere in there were a few noticeable general increases.  What I cannot remember is whether they were from the outgoing Labour Government or the incoming Tory one.  Can any other  "old fart" remember?

I have also been giving some thought to the changes in the Labour Party since the 1970's:

It was darkest RED.  Nationalisation and wealth redistribution were fundamental policies.
It was male and definitely heterosexual.
It leadership had in most cases come up from the shop floor and had worked in the real world.
The leadership & membership either had direct experience of the Armed Forces either during the war or during National Service.  If they did not, then other members of their family would have certainly done so.  They may have despised the Class System prevalent in the Forces then, but they would have recognised that the vast majority of the servicemen & women would be from a "working class background" and so they were "one of us" and so needed to be looked after.

New Labour

It is brightest PINK bordering on grey.  Policies seem a bit flexible but nationalisation has gone.
Pink & tree hugging.  Being male & heterosexual is not a plus.
The leadership seems to be lawyers, academics and party workers given a safe seat in recognition of services done.  Very few have worked in the real world, let alone in the Forces.
The leadership & membership have had no direct experience of the Armed Forces.  Indeed the Forces are part of the despised "forces of conservatism" etc.  [Switch off rant]  I will not go on to list their various attacks & betrayals of the Armed Forces, Woopert has done an excellent job elsewhere in this forum.

I must, however, commend Bruce George MP, the Labour chairman of the Defence Committee.  He is very much pro the Forces and has been a real pain in the neck to the government.  Long may he do so!
Maggie brought in the large pay rises for the army, mainly because by 1979 forces pay had fallen far behind industry and the army had big recruitment problems.

The Labour party has always been split over the armed forces, the working class co-op movement types being quite pro and the middle class lefties being very anti. As something it preferred not to understand Labour Govts have let the Brass and bean counters get on with it.

The tories have always had strong views and have tended to stick their tuppence worth in. Aforesaid Brass, beancounters and civvies, therefore, tend to regard tories as a bloody nuisance.

Holding the belief that there isn't a politician in the world who wouldn't sell his own grandmother for half a crowns worth of self advancement, I would much rather none of them had anything to do with the forces.


War Hero
The big pay rise was in 79 as previously stated, I remember it well, as it was something like 27 percent and did make a real difference.

The Labour gits did nowt.

It strikes me now, that they talk like Tories about the armed forces, but do not back it with resources.

I think I would prefere the old attitude as smiling assassins rely piss me off.

Apologies.  Apparently at least one Labour MP has been in uniform.  Eric Joyce, Falkirk West.

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