Times Poll - Defence Minister needs Military Experience

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Travis, Jul 16, 2009.

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  2. MODS - I've posted above link but can't believe someone else didn't do so first. Please delete if duplicate
  3. Wow.... over 91 Percent in favour....... Well one cannot see Bob the Builder Ainsworth running around a square with Musket held over his head being chased by a Drill Corporal shouting and screaming obsenities at him...

    "Picket yer feet up ye little b'stard... run ye knut...... (and words of that meaning)....!"

    Oh yes... now that would be a sight to see, something to tell the kids and grandkids.... wow....!!!
  4. I would settle for a defence minister with some brains,backbone and integrity.
  5. In normal circumstances I'd tend to argue that the Secretary of State for Defence should be an elected politician. After all, the forces exist to defend our democracy- and that means democratic control over those forces.

    These are not, however, normal circumstances. The forces are worn out from fighting two wars in the last decade, on a peacetime budget that has been repeatedly squeezed by a Government for whom the military covenant has effectively been a license to ask servicemen and women to do more with less, and to live with the consequences without word of complaint.

    We need a number of things. A proper defence review which sets out what the UK armed forces are expected to do, and identifies the level of funding they will need to do that. Secondly, we need a commitment from whatever party is in power, that they will provide that level of funding. No ifs, no buts, no clever accounting tricks.

    Finally, we need to rebuild the relationship between the government and the forces, because the trust that should be between them has been tested to destruction. That relationship cannot be rebuilt by an ordinary politician, because politicians broke it. For that reason the next Defence Secretary ought to ex military at the very least.
  6. P2000

    I don't think we're suggesting a former General or Admiral should be Defence Secretary- at least, I'm not. There are several MPs with former service as company-level officers who would be eminently suitable. I feel that an understanding of the military is important, but whoever has the job will be receiving advice from the Service Chiefs so they don't have to be especially senior.
  7. We already have an ideal man for the post who is retiring from the forces soon. A man who has consistently displayed honesty, integrity, honour, loyalty and a clear understanding of the issues.

    Which is why he would never be given the job.
  8. Magdovus,

    I accept your point, and am agnostic on the seniority issue.
  9. Ah good, drop the next candidate for the Defence into Helmand for 6 months, if you make it the jobs yours if, not too bad so sad on to plan B.
  10. An excellent suggestion Peter, perhaps if Cyclops were to spend 6 months travelling around in a snatch it would give him a greater understanding of the force protection issues.
  11. Too true. When it was clear we were fighting the most intense war since Korea - what does Brown do? Appoint a parttime Secretary of State to fight our corner with the Treasury. Is it any wonder we are under-resourced.

    The obnoxious little unelected turd is working to his own petty, spiteful socialist agenda nd the sooner he fecks off back to Dunfirmline the better.
  12. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    Maybe there should be a caveat in law that automatically switches from Defence dept to War dept when a certain ratio of the military are committed operationally.
    Priority funding and decision making processes would naturally be attached to said caveat.
  13. Can see the reasoning but not sure the logic really holds water. Should Health Ministers be doctors and nurses? Should Education Ministers be teachers? Should Arts Ministers be artists?

    Not sure it's necessary. Just someone of quality should be enough, but I think they ran out of those a while ago.

  14. Although if the Attorney General should be an Attorney . . .
  15. It depends on what is meant by 'military experience'. Service personnel, more often than not, come with a whole heap of single-service bias. Electing a former soldier, sailor or airman may well result in a loss of the bigger picture of defence. They also may not be competent in the seedy world of politics. If what is being suggested includes defence analysts, lecturers and the like, then that would be preferable.

    But anything would be better than what we have now.

    I like that idea, lots. Perhaps at the same time CDS should be a 5-star appointment, thus placing them further above the need for them to play politics.