Friday, October 13, 2006

Should He Stay or Should He Go

What a clash. The Chief of the Army staff has, depending on your point of view, courageously spoken out on behalf of his troops, demanding their early withdrawal or he has committed a gross act of insubordination to his Commander in Chief.

His words mean that there will be an inevitable clash between politicians and the military. I have no doubt that the instinct of Tony Blair and Des Browne is to call Sir Richard Dannant in for an interview without coffee and sack him on the spot. But just imagine the reaction among the army staff and troops if that happened. Mutiny is not a word I use lightly, but Blair knows that it is not inconceivable.

The reason they can't sack Sir Richard Dannant is that if they did, they would have to get rid of his boss too - the Chief of Defence Staff. I am assuming he will have at least tacitly approved the nature of Sir Richard's remarks in the interview.

The most likely scenario is for the politicians to persuade the CDS to take action himself. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that Sir Richard may fall on his sword, albeit involuntarily.

It could, of course, all blow over but in the absence of any other big story to help bury this one, I think that's unlikely.
This is a major political crisis in the making. But it does have one silver lining for Labour. At least it has knocked the ridiculous Sion Simon off the headlines.
From Iain Dale's Blackberry

77 comments:

Pedant said...

Iain, are you suggesting this is a set-up for a "realignment" of power in the UK?

Richard Bailey said...

At last a general with the balls to tell Blair and this Govt where to get off. He has finally done what Guthrie and Jackson should have done ages ago. Hope he hangs around and makes a thorough nuisance of himself.

Anonymous said...

Dannatt had an MoD press officer with him and the interview was okayed by the Secretary of State.

Perhaps Des Browne should fall on his pen.

ken from Gloucester said...

If you look at the Army Rumour Service website you will find huge support for the Generals comments.

He should, as a serving General, have still kept quiet and yet again i reiterate my previous comment,This Government is too weak and rudderless to sack him!

For goodness sake Tony just go!!!

Slim Jim said...

Perhaps Sir Richard would like to arrange a military coup and overthrow this vile band of Stalinist Thugs masquerading as a government. Imagine a Ceausescu-style firing squad in No. 10's back garden...

Colin D. said...

He should stay!!! WHY are WE questioning a man for TELLING the truth. Are WE so indoctrinated with spin [LIES]that a truthfull man is punished.again. ie Dr. david kelly!

GET RID OF ALL OF BLAIRS, LIARS!!

Harry Basset said...

Under no circumstances should he go for a walk in the woods.

Chris Doidge said...

Did you hear the General on the Today programme? He came across as a thoroughly decent man who hadn't intended his remark to be interpreted the way it was by the Daily Mail. His explanation actually sounded like a statement of the obvious "we should leave Iraq when we've finished the job, and that should be ASAP".

Not a big crisis at all, unless you only read the Daily Mail and those who *want* it to be a problem for the government.

Anonymous said...

Don't shoot the messenger. Sir Richard Dannatt knows the war in Iraq is lost. He cannot get Blair on the phone for a chat about it, so he's trying the Daily Mail as the best way to let folk know.

AnyonebutBlair said...

What foreign policy does Blair now have? His rationale, carefully laid out, for retaining our military presence in Iraq has been shattered by the Head of the Army. How can we continue down this path when it is clear that the top brass has serious doubts? This is an earth-shattering political crisis. If Brown wanted to strike, now is the moment......

Unixman said...

oh joy ... would dwarf the Curragh Incident ..

Mark Burgess said...

His Commander in Chief is the Queen, not Tony Blair.

Iain Not Dale said...

If the General is sacked or encouraged to jump, I will burn my uniform and my commission scroll outside Downing Street. I am a former RAF officer and, although I have no current service obligation, I will renounce any future obligation to the current Prime Minister.

paulipoos said...

A comment from a popular Army Forum says it all.
What makes Sir Richard's comments all the more amazing is his decision to go-it-alone. My fingers are crossed for him tonight. He has crossed the line of no return. Who will blink first?
His future is no doubt in the balance as an army officer, but whatever happens his conscience is clear and he will probably never have to buy a round again.

Anonymous said...

Iain,

Sir Richard's loyalty is to the Monarch, the country and his troops. The government's loyalty should be to the same people, it is not.

Sir Richard has said what HE feels is the truth, it is his duty to do so. If he is ordered to shut up and get on with the job as ordered I am sure he will do so but he should, even for a second, think of standing down. If he goes (either jumps or is pushed) you will see the British army become very, very unhappy.

Trust me, you don't want that to happen.

Anonymous said...

But didn't Blair tell the army they could have whatever they wanted just last week.

Sounds like Dannatt has simply taken Blair at his word;-)

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Scary Biscuits said...

Sir Richard is in very dangerous company. His comments have been lauded by anti-war campaigners and other assorted passivists. Perhaps he agrees with them that we need an army like the Spanish or German's, too scared to fight.

Instead of making comments about where to deploy the army (clearly a political decision) he would have been on much safter ground criticising the government for sending them into battle without enough materiel or personnel.

Blair's lies last week that the army 'could have anything it wanted' was possibly the last straw for Sir Richard. If so, he has completely missed his target. He has allowed Blair once again to get away without answering for the real scandal: the incompetent and often incontinent waste of tax payers' money on defence, health, schools, railways etc.

David said...

Yaay Dickie D! A no nonsense officer who was excellent as a Brigade Commander! Says it as it is and if he thinks his soldiers are being screwed he'll fight for them. The majority of serving and ex soldiers I know support him and wish the previus CGS Mad Mike Jackson had said the same before he went!

If you read the original comments Dickie is saying Yes we are part of the problem albeit we have the support of most of the Iraqis to help and then leave but no we cannot leave until we have made it easier for the Iraqis to sort their own sectarian gangsters out. Methinks the Mail went too far in an attempt to stir things up here.

Og said...

I think Dannatt knew what he was doing and calculated that he wouldn't get thrown into Colchester Jail for this; too much evidence of having discussed the interview with the MoD beforehand.

MY morale has been raised by his comments, and I left the colours twenty years ago, so I can only guess that the poor bloody infantry in the sandy wastes of Asia Minor will be much pepped by this. At last! A CGS who will not allow the army to be shafted at every turn by weasel NuLab ministers and timeserving mandarins. Give him another gong - take one away from Guthrie or Jackson, if necessary.

Prodicus said...

Sacking him or asking him to fall on his sword would damage the Army beyond repair and utterly destroy troop morale. Can't be done.

The problem now is all Blair's, and of his own making.

The General might have been a bit more discreet but he's actually doing his job, which is to lead and support his soldiers.

All political spokesmen ought to tread very warily now.

The Remittance Man said...

Mark got the comment in before I could, but as a prospective parliamentarian, Iain should know that Her Majesty is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

Blair may have presidential ambitions but to date he is simply the Queen's First Minister and thus also a Servant of the Crown.

As for this particular storm in a tea cup? Sir Richard probably overstepped the mark a bit by making the comments he did; but I suspect that the government is too weak to do much more than spin its way out of trouble having given the good general a bit of a quiet talking to and extracting a promise that he will keep schtumm for the rest of his tour as CDS.

Of course that presupposes that Sir Richard is willing to stay quiet. If he really thinks his soldiers need him to keep making this sort of comment, I doubt he will stay quiet.

Interesting that he was "let off the leash" though. I read somewhere that no serviceman, even the very senior ones, was allowed anywhere near the press nowadays without a political commissar at his shoulder. Just to make sure he stuck with the party line.

The Morningstar said...

I think raising the spectre of mutiny is going a bit far Iain. Our troops are professionals and I just can't see it, especially in this day and age.

The CDS may have had knowledge of what Dannatt was going to say, but I don't think the CDS will sack Dannatt either.

Regardless of what New Labour and Downing Street are saying this will have hurt them quite badly.

Neil Craig said...

Downing St is playing it that there "isn't a cigarette paper" between their views. This will defuse it but not make it go away. And the general keeps his job.

In a democracy it is normally a general's job to shut up & soldier. That he, & some lesser oficers previously are saying this suggests either our military discipline is breking down or the war is going very seriously wrong. Particularly in Afghanistan I think the latter is true.

Peter Hitchens said...

I agree with what he said but disagree with his having said it , it is bad for morale.
If he was really keen to do something he should have resigned and made a statement to the effect that he was no longer prepared to send young men to die in an illegal war to feed the vanity of the empty headed sociapath who pretends to be prime minsiter of this country.

ghost of john trenchard said...

"His Commander in Chief is the Queen, not Tony Blair."

My thoughts entirely. what *is* going on here? He has also warned about the army being "broken by Iraq".

is this a shot across the bows by the General, with the tacit approval of Her Majesty?

it's VERY interesting what he said about the "moral vacuum" in the UK. We all know that Liz is a deeply religious and Christian to her core. it is that aspect , rather than his Iraq comments, that find rather intriguing.

from the mail:
His comments come after an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, where Sir Richard warned that the continuing presence of British troops "exacerbates the security problems" in Iraq and added that a "moral and spiritual vacuum" has opened up in British society, which is allowing Muslim extremists to undermine "our accepted way of life."

Link here

Verity said...

As Mark Burgess said, Sir Richard's Commander in Chief is HM, not trashy Tony Blair.

I am finding this intriguing. Very intriguing.

CityUnslicker said...

He is so right, we need the troops for the new war in North Korea. Need to get out of Iraq first...

Splashitallover said...

James Cleverly - what are you suggesting? some sort of coup?
i thought you wanted to be an MP? or would you prefer to be a bagcarrier for a military government?

"Trust me, you don't want that to happen"

Oooh, scary. you'll be showing me your toy rifle next.

verity said...

Wot James Cleverly said.

Plus, Scarey Biscuit says Sir Richard is in dangerous company. Oh, for heaven's sake! The anti-war fascists aren't "dangerous company". They're irrelevant to what the country's most senior soldier has to say.

griswold said...

Look deeper. The General made his comments with the approval of Blair. This is the first little opening of the door to withdrawal. Expect similar hints and winks from Des Browne and then Blair. Utter failure.

barnacle_bill said...

Hopefully with the approval of his CinC Dannatt will be packing the corrupt bunch of NuLaborites who deceived us into this mess off to Afghanistan in a punishment regiment.
But hats off to the man for telling it as it is, and not the daily diet of spin which we have to normally put up with.

UK Daily Pundit said...

Don't they teach them anything at Staff College? He could have leaked this stuff, better still he could have resigned. The General has more than a smidgeon of the Billy Cotton's about him. As for Liam Fox welcoming his remarks - would he be so suppportive if, God help us, he was Defence Secretary? Badly handled by Labour and badly handled by the Tories. The General should resign today.

ghost of john trenchard said...

oh dear - he's got the kiss of death. Blair has given him his "full backing"...

(sidenote: it is interesting how radio 4 are quoting from the Army Rumours forum, reading out the messages....)

Anonymous said...

I know Sir Richard Dannant. He wouldn't make such comments lightly or without being aware of the implications. Given his impressive background, the high regard in which he is held by soliders of all ranks and his personal style of being upfront and honest, I suspect Blair and Browne have more to come.

ghost of john trenchard said...

ho hum - the BBC are concentrating on the general's Iraq comments and ignoring the "moral vacuum" and "christian values" comments, which are to do with the nature and state of the UK today. Also his facing up to the "islamist" threat comments.

No mention on "PM" on Radio 4.

The Morningstar said...

said...
"Peter Hitchens said:
I agree with what he said but disagree with his having said it , it is bad for morale.
If he was really keen to do something he should have resigned and made a statement to the effect that he was no longer prepared to send young men to die in an illegal war to feed the vanity of the empty headed sociapath who pretends to be prime minsiter of this country."

His statements will raise morale, it will convince the troops that their ultimate boss isn't some toadying arselicker.

How is resigning going to do any good? Resigning to make a statment instead of staying on and fighting your corner is the act of a coward.

You should only resign when you screw up and your position is untenable, something else New Labour hasn't come to grips with yet.

realist said...

As an ex regular myself, I would much prefer to see a military junta running this country until we can elect a proper democratic Government. They couldn't make a worse job of it than the present spineless, lying, power obsessed, gravy train passengers, that call themselves New Labour.

I do think that the country is finally waking up to what so few of us have known for years.

Casual Observer said...

The UK military shouldn't be in Iraq to supervise their civil war. They should leave now because the job, insofar as there ever was a job, is done. Sir Richard Dannant is absolutely right to say what he did and if anyone should go, it's those lying sods in No 10 and the White House. It's time the UK forces went home and Iraq was left to get on with its civil war. It's not the UK's business.

ghost of john trenchard said...

Denis McShane on C4 says that the language of General Dannant , regarding his statement that Judeo-Christian values underpin the British army, "need to be looked at", because there are Muslim soldiers in the British Army.

Malcolm Rifkind explains that in the past if military leaders disagreed with government they would have resigned.

Which begs the question - why *hasnt* Dannant resigned, considering what has gone before.

Shotgun said...

I am a bit offended, being an ex-soldeir, by the first paragraph of this Iain, and am greatly surprised at you for making such a boob.

demanding their early withdrawal or he has committed a gross act of insubordination to his Commander in Chief.

Are you referring to Bliar as CinC? Hold on mate, Bliar is NOT the President of the UK and is NOT the CinC!

Tony Blair and Des Browne is to call Sir Richard Dannant in for an interview without coffee and sack him on the spot.

Surely this is PARLIAMENTS job and not the Governments? Are you honestly, seriously, telling me YOU THINK that the forces are there to serve the policies of the Government?

All and any military personnel take an oath of allegiance to the crown, and therefore to Parliament and the people, NOT the Government. I can never forget trying to explain to supposedly inteligent people that the forces DO NOT serve Government policy unless that policy is the policy of the whole of Parliament, and that goes also for the hierarchy.

There are so many mongs that think if Bliar says the army does this, then that is what the army does...but this is NOT the case if we have not been attacked or if the nation is not under threat.

Bliar is ONE MP, with the same say on what the forces do, as every other MP.

Soldiers know this, civvies, even those who should, do not.

Andy D said...

'Malcolm Rifkind explains that in the past if military leaders disagreed with government they would have resigned.

Which begs the question - why *hasnt* Dannant resigned, considering what has gone before.'

Probably becuase military officers took that course of action there would be no one left in the army....

Adrian Yalland said...

Surely, his duty is to his troops - not a, if I might say so, 'here today, gone tomorrow' politician!

The point is that he talking common sense. I imagine this man is however professional enough not to allow his personal view interfere with his abiloity to follow orders!

He is brave and I salute him!

Odessa Calling said...

He should be asked to form a Government.

Anonymous said...

As this whole charade has been about George wanting extra oil to feed the gas guzzling 4x4s in America, it's time that we pulled out of this illegal (under international law)war on terror against the Iraqis.

xsk45 said...

Bliar from St Andrews was epic on the subject. Dialled in the performance from Tokyo 2003. Maybe he and Gerry are off to Balmoral tomorrow to infernally spawn our next leader.*

mupstermupp said...

* er, yes, it's John Reid. And his mini-me. All together now,

"The jihadists's flag is now died deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyr'd dead,
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts' blood dyed its ev'ry fold.
Then raise the talib-black/scarlet standard high,
Within its shade we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag and other tricolors flying here.

Look round, 3 Para temporarily loves its crimson blaze,
Whilst the sturdy Talib chants its praise,
In Moscow's vaults its hymns were once sung,
Now Bradistan swells the surging throng.

It waved above our infant might
When all Talib ahead seemed dark as night;
It witnessed many a deed and vow,
We must not change its republican colour now.
It well recalls valiant Harrowdown triumphs past;
It gives the hope of eternal stalinist peace at last:
The banner bright, the symbol plain,
Of stalinist right and talib gain.

It suits today the wahabbi meek and base,
Whose minds are fixed on commission-corruption and automatic trough-place,
To cringe before the moral man's frown
And haul their wretched sacred emblems down.
With heads most-cover├Ęd swear we all
To bear it onward till we fall.
Come dungeon dark or gallows grim,
This song shall be our parting hymn."

Love from the Gorbals.

PS. Norman Stone ate Johnnie for breakfast in 1968.

Jock Coats said...

Soldiers know wrong then, Shotgun. Parliamentary approval is not required for a government to commit British troops.

Indeed, HMQ was persuaded to prevent even a discussion of this in parliament as recently as five years ago.

So it could easily be said, especially under this government, that British troops are serving (and when have they not) in furtherance of British foreign policy - set by government.

NB: I'm not saying it is right, just that it is.

verity said...

mong 10:33 - "illegal war"????

Since when has a war been "legal"?
Under the terms of which jurisdiction? (Bearing in mind that the UN is not a legislative body - meaning, for lefty fact-deniers - a debating chamber which is able to put through legislation.)

Did the Vikings or the Normans think, "Oh, wait a minute! This ravage may be against an international convention! Let's hold off while we check!"

Pedant - I thought the same.

verity said...

iain not dale - He can't be sacked by anyone but HM. Why are you people so cowed by the the alastair and tony double act?

It doesn't matter how angry tony is - except, he won't be very angry because he has no rudder; no beliefs. He won't be stirred, except by fear.

Anonymous said...

As an ex-Regular who is also involved with the nascent British Armed Forces Federation, I'd draw everyone's attention to General Dick's comments on the medical and welfare services which are available to casualties returning from Ops TELIC and HERRICK - i.e. mixed civilian/military wards at Selly Oak, astonishingly shabby treatment by the MoD, even up to sneaky discharges of wounded TA soldiers in order to throw them fully on the mercy of the NHS and so on and so on.

He was also very sound on the Military Covenant and the damage it has sustained since 1997.

Shotgun said...

Soldiers know wrong then, Shotgun. Parliamentary approval is not required for a government to commit British troops.

No, soldiers know right. You should read the rest of the post where I say that only under certain circumstances does the Government have the right to take our troops to war.

This was not one of those cases.

Indeed, HMQ was persuaded to prevent even a discussion of this in parliament as recently as five years ago.

Parliament narrowly allowed the troops to be deployed to Iraq in 2003...Bliar needed the dodgy dossier to persuade Parliament to vote in favour of what he wanted. Parliament is not the Government. Parliament, as a whole, represents the people, and the people command the troops.

So it could easily be said, especially under this government, that British troops are serving (and when have they not) in furtherance of British foreign policy - set by government.

But it isn't. The troops are serving under Parliaments voted intentions.

Don't you remember Bliar saying he would resign if he did not get the vote passed through Parliament for the troops to be deployed to Iraq? If Bliar wanted to commit the troops by the Government policy or wish alone, without Parliament voting on it, he would first have to declare a state of emergency and invoke various laws.

I repeat, the government and parliament are two different things, and Bliar has only one single vote in Parliament, and this is why he had to lie to get the troops deployed in 2003.

This is a very common misconception, but as I said, the troops know differently.

verity said...

How very interesting ... Sir Richard Dannant is now in control of British foreign policy. Blair was frightened to cock his leg and do a little territorial wee over what he would have regarded as his own territory. So he lost it.
A very British coup. Tony isn't in charge any more.

The military is.

No unseemly fighting on the streets, or anything. Understated, that's our style.

I love the way this is playing out.

verity said...

Shotgun - Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!

Also, d'accord.

Anonymous said...

Poor shotgun (above) seems to know SFA about the UK's unwritten constitution.

The troops' loyalty may be to 'the Queen' but this does indeed mean in effect to the policies of the Prime Minister as 'Commander in Chief', since Parliament is never let near day-to-day or even month-to-month affairs of war. It is a purely executive function,

The PM of course is meant to be aided and advised by a Cabinet, but Blair's attitude to the creeps he surrounds himself with is pretty much the same as Margaret Thatcher's in the famous 'Spitting Image' sketch about the Cabinet dinner:

Waiter: ". . .and the vegetables?"

MT: "They'll have the same as ME!!"

Greg said...

Shotgun, I'm afraid you are talking rubbish. The Govt didn't have to have a vote on the war in 2003. Technically they wouldn't even have had to follow the outcome of the vote had the Commons voted no. The practical effect however would probably have been to force Blair's resignation. That they chose to is neither here nor there, although it probably sets a tricky precendent for any govt wanting to do similar without parliamentary approval in the future.

Perhaps you could point to the parliamentary vote that approved British military involvement against Germany in 1914, Germany in 1939, in the Korean War, against Egypt over Suez, against Argentina in 1982, against Iraq in 1991, even under this government in Iraq (1998), Serbia and in Sierra Leone?

The Prime Minister has total practical control over the pursuit of military action in this country, under a little thing known as the Royal Prerogative. Only the Queen can overrule him.

james higham said...

Richard Dannatt was referring to not just Iraq but society in general in the UK but unfortunately, this aspect, central to him and to his remarks, is being passed over by most commentators. I wrote about this.

Iain Not Dale said...

iain not dale - He can't be sacked by anyone but HM. Why are you people so cowed by the the alastair and tony double act?

It doesn't matter how angry tony is - except, he won't be very angry because he has no rudder; no beliefs. He won't be stirred, except by fear.


Cowed?!?!

It is precisely because of the overwhelming vocal support of all ranks for General Dannatt, that Bliar's hands are tied.

The Armed Forces expect higher standards of their military and political leaders than wider society. "Truth" and "integrity" are seen as fundamentals of leadership. General Dannatt is living up to these expectations, unlike some of his predecessors. His honest and forthright views have also struck a chord in wider society, who are fed up of the lies and dissembling over Iraq.

Neil Craig said...

I was impressed by Malcolm Rifkind coming out & saying that while he agreed with the general he shouldn't have said it & by implication that blair should have fired him.

"realist said...
As an ex regular myself, I would much prefer to see a military junta running this country"

which is where such things lead.

verity said...

Tony is going to do what Sir Richard tells him to do. He has ceded power to him.

Lagwolf said...

He should go; he is serving in the military and has undermind the sitting Prime Minister. I believe its called mutiny.

verity said...

lagwolf - He's not answerable to the prime minister. His Commander in Chief is HM. For all we know, he was doing her bidding.

griswold said...

Malcom Rifkind is right. So is Chas Moore in Spectator. The General is engaging in politics. Why. Its is because of the magnitude of catastrophe facing both our army and the country that was Iraq. He knows BlairBush are in denial and that a catalyst is required to get some bleeding common sense introduced. Blair's vanity does not allow retreat so he uses soldiers' and Iraqi civilian blood to assuage his concience. The General's concience, a sounder one, has spoken. We should not be there nor in Afghanistan.

hatfield girl said...

Consider the statements of General Sir Richard Dannatt as military rather than political and the frightening prospect appears that there might be a defeat awaiting the British Army if it is not withdrawn in good order and in recognition that what it could do, it has done; Iraq is a political failure, let's hope it doesn't become a military disaster.

Keir said...

Agree completely with Matthew Parris. Agre completely with what he said, but as a soldier he can't set a precedent for questioning his orders. Certainly not in a public forum.

verity said...

Well, Keir, as I said above, I believe this was a very low-key military coup.

I think blair has been relieved of his power, although he'll be allowed to stay in Downing St, but I think we are going to see a new agenda - re Iraq, re Afghanistan, re muslims, re the trashing of Christianity that has taken place, re this multiculti garbage. This will be imposed on blair, who I think will be encouraged to leave office nicely. And soon.

Anonymous said...

Was General Dannatt's criticism cleared in advance with Gordon Brown? If the Sec of State was backing him, it might suggest that Gordon Brown sees this is an effective way to lever Blair out of power.

And Dannatt would feel able to run the risk of incurring Blair's anger if he knew Brown was behind the initiative.

Andrew Zalotocky said...

griswold - Richard North at EU Referendum has a lengthy post arguing that Dannatt is acting with the full approval of the government, as part of a political strategy to "extract the Army from Iraq in one piece".

verity - to interpret an officer speaking out of turn (or not, if North is right) as a "military coup" is simply paranoid.

verity said...

I don't think Sir Richard gives a toss about "risking blair's anger" one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

Verity. Heads of Armed Forces with lifelong careers behind them are not often given to making statements which would terminate their careers in disgrace. Sir Richard has his pension to worry about. He's only 55. The price of whistleblowing under Blair has been universally brutal.

Yes Dannatt's man of principle, but he's also likely to have taken a calculated risk, not a completely impulsive one. He would certainly have had an eye to who would back him. And in the current atmosphere in Westminster, he would have known that Gordon Brown would be delighted if he humiliated Blair.

The question is was he assuming he would have Gordon Brown's backing, or did he know?

nobby said...

"realist said...
As an ex regular myself, I would much prefer to see a military junta running this country"

which is where such things lead.

Do you think there might be a place in a military governmant for an elderly ex corporal? I could do with a couple of years on £60k just before my pension.

Anonymous said...

Griswold and Hatfield Girl caused me to remember; it was Hitler's vanity that caused him to forbid withdrawals that cost his men so dear. Are Bush/Blair up the same pole?

Reread Hatfield Girl, slowly.
She is spot on the money.

Johnny Norfolk said...

He should stay, if the opposition were doing the job properly, he woud not have had to have done their job for them.

Shotgun said...

Greg said...

Shotgun, I'm afraid you are talking rubbish. The Govt didn't have to have a vote on the war in 2003. Technically they wouldn't even have had to follow the outcome of the vote had the Commons voted no.


I'm not talking rubbish, and most people with sense know it.

Bliar or the sitting Government cannot arbitrarily send troops to war, unless there is a threat to the UK.

Shotgun said...

Poor shotgun (above) seems to know SFA about the UK's unwritten constitution.

Unwritten constitution?

The troops' loyalty may be to 'the Queen' but this does indeed mean in effect to the policies of the Prime Minister as 'Commander in Chief', since Parliament is never let near day-to-day or even month-to-month affairs of war. It is a purely executive function,

The PM is not the CinC, and this shows what a mong you are to try and state such. The PM is asked to form a Government, but the people are represented by the whole of Parliament.

Once the troops are then yes, the Government does control the situation as the executive, but that's not what we are talking about.

It's a shame the likes of you don't get better informed, like Greg, who I respect more because at least he signed his name. What yopu are suggesting is what was outlawed hundreds of years ago when Cromwell was outed, and later after his death hung drawn and quartered.

Parliament has the power, but because Bliar has it full of his bumboys and because he is willing to lie, he gets his way.

Fucking idiots like you seem to believe that Bliar, or any PM, can take us to war against...say France and there is nothing anyone can do because they have the power

This is not a dictatorship between elections, even if it is run by a cabinet dictatorship. Are you honestly suggesting that the only function of Parliament is to decide the numbers of who gets to be PM?

Mongs, and very badly informed mongs at that.

Neil Craig said...

I doubt if Brown's opinions influenced Dannat a jot.

In fact I think if Blair thought Brown was behind him then he WOULD have fired him.

Of course to believe that I would have to think Blair a very petty minded short-sighted man with no concern for British constitutionality.

verity said...

Tapestry writes: Verity. Heads of Armed Forces with lifelong careers behind them are not often given to making statements which would terminate their careers in disgrace. Sir Richard has his pension to worry about. He's only 55. The price of whistleblowing under Blair has been universally brutal.

True. But Blair is irrelevant in this instance, as is the opinion of Broon. Neither one of them can sack Sir Richard or advance him. Only the Queen can do that, and I have a feeling that the message he delivered does, in fact, come from HM.