Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by whiffler, Jun 21, 2006.
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From the latest Private Eye
An extra egg banjo to that man.
Feckin' excellent repost! Well done that Tom!
Class! Let's hope that he didn't get rogered by his RSM for that one...
Promote that man!
The Defence Minister (an ex solicitor) seen off with barrack room wit, brilliant.
Edited for copying Litotes almost word for word
watch this space... I bet his regiment is in the next roound of disbandment!!!!
Anyone gripping the young lad for that comment needs a slap.
Extra egg banjo and the day off ... yesterday.
I feel a change of career coming on for that young man........
Quite the quip from the young man.
However, I think the more serious issue is, what kind of retort was that from the Defence Secretary? 'Er...I don't know bugger all about the military, but there again you don't know about parliament naaa na na naaa naa.'
Now, if that is a true recounting of a genuine conversation (a big "if"), I find Browne's response to one of his charges' valid question absolutely abhorrent.
The choices that minister will make over the next couple of years will directly affect that soldier's life, the lives of his mates and no doubt his family. The soldier has asked if the minister feels he is competent in that role. I think that question, however couched, deserves a direct and (hopefully) reassuring answer. Not a blithely issued "Fcuk Off."
As a comparison: when the latest crop of new officers hit the streets after Sandhurst, each one of them will have to stand in front of 30 or so soldiers and introduce him/herself as the person who will lead them through the next two years of operations, hardships and crises. Each of those 30 or so soldiers will look at that officer and assess, in their own way, whether their well-being and aspirations are safe in their hands. Such evaluation may be vocal, it may be silent - it will certainly be blatent and unflinching. Many of those officers will suspect that they are woefully underequipped for that task.
Despite all this, when their soldiers ask "What do you know about what we do?" not one of those 18-25 year old men and women will answer "Nothing, what do you know about proper conduct in the mess?"
Hang your head in shame sir.
Good point. The Tom in question hasn't been put "in charge" of the political process but Swiss Tony has been put "in charge of the military". Additionally, for anyone outside the broad military community who might scan these pages: earmark the next Sec of State for Defence now, in advance of the next enforced panic reshuffle and get the man briefed up to present at least the veneer of competance. (It tends to reassure us troops, simple souls that we are.....)
I was lucky enough to accompany the new Defence Secretary Wes Brown on his inaugural visit to Iraq. Certain details have to be ommitted because of security implications but the visit went very well.
The plane landed enabling us to finally get out and stretch our legs. We were in Basra in southern Iraq and it was sunny. I asked Les Brown how he felt touching down in a conflict zone and on his inaugural visit. He asked me what inaugural meant and not for the first time. We chatted about his rise to the dizzy heights of Defence Secretary and he told me that it was through his dedication, hard work and support of the two leaders of the Labour Party. "It's just a juggling act," he told me spilling his coffee on my laptop. The usual entourage of defence staff and civil servants had packed the plane and we struggled our way through to the exit.
I saw him him kiss the ground and asked him if this was for the benefit of the troops but he told me he was scared of flying. The heat really hits you in Basra so they switched the heating off. The reception tent cooled to a meer forty degrees and the ice sculpture of the swan looked slightly happier. Pimms all round and a talk with a general followed by a buffet lunch as there weren't enough chairs to sit down. It was canapes under the canopies and all very formal. The minister Les Browne looked very cool despite wearing a heavy worsted suit but he positively glowed in the heat. "Don't forget the 'E' in my name" he asked me. So the minister Les E. Brown went onto his next engagement, addressing the troops.
The minister Mr Browne gave the usual moral boosting speeches, how everybody was appreciated, what a good job they were doing and how they would be back in time for Christmas but since it was mid-summer and he didn't say which Christmas, this did receive a slightly frosty reception. Somebody orderd three cheers for the minister Les Bowen and a few actually joined in.
His last engagement was to meet several photogenic, specially selected solidiers who had some specially selected photogenic questions to ask. The first was a young subaltern which had to explained to Mr Broon. "What do you hope to achieve in your time in office?" was answered with the standard serving my country to the best of my ability type answer and the young subaltern nooded almost asleep in the heat. The next question was from a rock of an old and bold sergeant who asked "Is the governmemt going to back us all the way?" The question was answered using the answer from question one but the words "The government will back you all the way" were possibly unintentionally left out.
The last and final question was from a young lad who didn't actually look old enough to be serving let alone in Iraq. The question was "What do you know about the military?" and truthfully the minister answered "Not much" but added a reply that he might live to regret "But what do you know about politics?" to which the soldier replied "Well, I can lie well" this brought fits of laughter despite the attempts of certain officers in trying to shut everybody up. The minister's answer was sadly lost due to the laughter but he later told me he had said the following "That's a good one. Yes Ha Ha. Yes very funny but seriously............" He had then gone into a long statement about the integrity of HMG and how lies don't play any part in politics. The words "Cheeky cnut" were also fortunately or unfortunately drowned out by the laughter.
So the visit over, the entourage stamped up the stairs onto the plane and the minister waved goodbye to several handpicked soldiers, mostly those on some form of punishment duty. We disappeared into the plane and headed off for the UK. The plane struggled to lift off with the weight of the entourage but finally we were airborne and homeward bound.In the UK, several of the entourage got severe tickings off as weapons had been smuggled back but as they were just intended as souvenirs, no further action was taken.
The young soldier was originally to feel the wrath of the military with words coming down from on high that an example was to be made of him. Fortunately common sense has prevailed and it has been rumoured that he soon will become one of the first fulltime moderators on ARRSE, an army forum website. A source told me, it was hoped to edge out some of the older moderators and they welcomed the addition of some younger fresher blood.
Lardbucket McNasty, celebrated SCUM journalist.
Winner of the Wurlitzer Prize 2005.
Yet another classic flows from your keyboard, Mistersoft!
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