Tory Frontbencher sacked over comments about racism in army

#2
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6431005.stm

Shadow home affairs spokesman Patrick Mercer, an ex-officer, told The Times he had "had the good fortune" to command a racially mixed battalion.

Of the English-born black men he knew in the Army, Mr Mercer told The Times: "They prospered inside my regiment, but if you'd said to them: 'Have you ever been called a n***er,' they would have said: 'Yes.'

"But equally, a chap with red hair, for example, would also get a hard time - a far harder time than a black man, in fact."

Mr Mercer, MP for Newark, added: "But that's the way it is in the Army. If someone is slow on the assault course, you'd get people shouting: 'Come on you fat bastard, come on you ginger bastard, come on you black bastard.'"
I agree, i think he was shot as the messenger.....but was what he was saying reason for him to loose his job? I'm of the opinion that he was telling the truth and therefore shouldn't have to resign.

Jules.
 
#4
Guilty of opening his Gob. The truth hurts and people don't like it but for an intelligent man he didn't behave too wisely. It is a pity because HM Forces NEED people like him who are able to speak on their behalf.
 
#5
#6
Just spotted this on BBC online and bit disappointed. He has basically lost his job for telling the truth FFS.

Hands up all those who have been called, or called someone a 'nasty name' to achieve an aim?? I certainly have and scousers (moi), jocks, taffs, brummies, gwars, lardies, lankys etc have all experienced the same.

Sorry if I missed anyone out by the way.
 
#7
And also nails mister Camerons colours to the mast, another "TV" politician who'll do anything to please everyone, shows a singular lack of understanding of the robustness needed to be a soldier... if you cant handle a nasty man calling you names how will you react under fire?

"is you shooting at me cos i is black/ginger/gay (delete as appropriate)"

Racialism is obscene and i despise it, take everyone at face value, but dont be afraid to call them a cunt if they are one.

Now don't get me wrong, I fucking hate the tories, but at least with the old tories you knew what you were getting, all this fluffiness is confusing me :)
 
#8
He's right, we all know what he is saying is true. The fact that this sort of language isn't necessarily a reflection of racism within the forces but a demonstration of the environment we work in. Merciless piss taking is part of the parcel within Army life.

I for one fucking hate gwars, they stink of piss.

If I saw 2Lt Wales, I would tell him - Sir you are a gwar and you stink of piss.
 
#9
His interview is at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1484909.ece

On the one hand, a useful and effective advocate for the Armed Forces - used to command 1 WFR.

But... guilty of "gob in mouth" disease, which, as a politician you can't get away with.

I have to say that if anyone in my unit shouted "you black b******d" at one of the soldiers, they would be in a LOT of trouble, not least from our black SNCOs and the large number of black juniors we have serving.

Perhaps Col Mercer's views are a bit too "old Army" for the 21st century?
 
#10
A decade or so ago I saw a fair bit of Patrick Mercer first hand and hold him in high esteem. He has a most unpoliticianlike ability to reduce an issue to its bare bones and tell a story as it is. The saddest aspect of this tale is that it reveals Cameron as unable/unwilling to accept one of his team expressing an honestly held and contextually relevant opinion. Patrick would have been a good ally to him.
 
#11
The problem with Mr Mercer is that he lives in the real world. MPs generally havent got a clue whats going on as the are kept away from such things. Abit like when a general visits a unit, he only gets told what he wants to hear thus the problems keep going.
 
#12
Hagar said:
Just spotted this on BBC online and bit disappointed. He has basically lost his job for telling the truth FFS.

Hands up all those who have been called, or called someone a 'nasty name' to achieve an aim?? I certainly have and scousers (moi), jocks, taffs, brummies, gwars, lardies, lankys etc have all experienced the same.

Sorry if I missed anyone out by the way.
When I was in a TA unit in Liverpool EVERYBODY who wasn't a scouser was ripped for being a woollyback!

I can't see what he's said wrong. Perhaps telling the truth automatically disqualifies him from parliament?
 
#13
Just spotted this on BBC online and bit disappointed. He has basically lost his job for telling the truth FFS.

Hands up all those who have been called, or called someone a 'nasty name' to achieve an aim?? I certainly have and scousers (moi), jocks, taffs, brummies, gwars, lardies, lankys etc have all experienced the same.

Sorry if I missed anyone out by the way.
 
#14
Cameron is a mong.

Bliar is self explanatory.

The Lib Dems are wishy washy.

THIS COUNTRY IS PROPER FUCKED!!!

Next General Election... I have no idea what I'm voting for!!!
 
#15
There was some truth in what he said, but he was extremely foolish to have phrased in that way. The Armed Forces have changed, and it is no longer acceptable for people to be told they have to put up with being called a n***er. There is a lot that people will put up with, but if a man is uncomfortable with the kind of language that is being used then it must stop and an officer is obliged to make that absolutely clear to his men that it is a matter of service discipline or he is not doing his duty. In fact, the presumption must be that it is not acceptable.
 
#16
"There is no racial bigotry in the Corps. We have no niggers, wops, kikes, spics or greasers in the Corps. Here you are all equally worthless!" - G/Sgt Hartmann, Full Metal Jacket.

Sounds fair enough to me. I echo Rickshaw-Major's comments. The guy seemed like an intelligent bloke. As an ex-Officer and an MP he should have been smart enough to know that you can't accuse anyone of exploiting racism in this country and get away with it if your skin's white.
 
#17
It is very sad that the state of british politics is so bad, that he has been forced to resign for speaking the truth.

Perhaps the issue is that the public simply do not understand the context of the 'insults' and 'abuse' thown at people in the army. Speaking as a civvie, it certainly took a while for me to understand that it is not meant in the same way that it is in the civvie world.

out of curiosity, I wonder what would have happened it this particular MP was black. My guess is that he would not have to resign. That would make our politicians institutionally racist.

Ski.
 
#18
The article in question starts

A Conservative front-bencher has caused outrage after claiming that being called a "black bastard" is part-and-parcel of life for ethnic minorities in the Armed Forces.
That he qualified his statement with "a chap with red hair, for example, would also get a hard time - a far harder time than a black man, in fact" does not exhonorate Him.

Incidentally, at an earlier time He referred to one of the few black guardsman as a mascot - I refer You to my post in the Commonwealth soldiers thread on The Household Division as to how THEY saw black soldiers.
 
#19
Hagar said:
Hands up all those who have been called, or called someone a 'nasty name' to achieve an aim?? I certainly have and scousers (moi), jocks, taffs, brummies, gwars, lardies, lankys etc have all experienced the same.

Sorry if I missed anyone out by the way.
You seem to forget that nowadays you can get a big fat cheque for 'hurt feelings' and everyone knows that NO-ONE in civvie street EVER calls anyone names as it may upset them.

It's only the nasty Army guilty of such things - and the Police of course.
 
#20
How confusing! If I've got this right, it's okay to say some things to some people but not other things to other people. Either we have it or we don't, we can't cherry pick because that just leaves people out on a limb making individual choices about what to say. I have been called a lanky Welsh tw@t on numerous occasions during my long career, and I'm not even Welsh! Define bullying, don't do it, everything else is fair game.
 
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