Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Army in the news, all bad (again)

Oh well, and people seem to be making it a couple of difficult days for Army and MOD PR. Ho hum. That's what you get for having a nice desk job in the Madhouse rather than being in the field.

The stories do raise some interesting points however. Everybody's favourite elected baboon whitters on about the drugs issue at the end of one of his usual semi-literate diatribes. (I had thought he had discovered paragraph spacing, rather than actual sense of course, here but it seems to have been a brief lapse into legibility.) If, Terry, you really don't know what is wrong with a bunch of armed people, nice though they may be to their mums, being out of their skulls on whatever-drug-you-choose, take a brief visit to Somalia or one of the dodgier bits of LA. Assault rifles, even the SA-80, and hard drugs make tragedy when mixed.

As for His Grace, well, this may be the start of the biggest (financially) divorce in British history but although that should be a private matter for his family, I assume all of the gory details will be dragged in front of us, whether we want to know them or not. I will also assume, for the sake of this posting, that the Screws are correct in what they allege - the Grosvenor fortune can afford enough excellent lawyers to cull the herd of gutter journos if they are wrong. What I want to rant about is whether, or not, this makes a blind bit of effing difference to his abilities as a (General) officer.

The "damned licentious soldiery", which Terry tries to mention but fails, have been at it since they invented armies. Even if the only things you know about the British military are from watching Sharpe or that Robson & Jerome thing, you know that whores, like the smell, follow soldiers around. I was intrigued to see the Screws mention the Armed Forces Code of Social Conduct, which I was not aware of. So I read it to see if it actually says "Commandment 11: Don't get caught (bonking tarts by a sleazy newspaper)".

Of course it doesn't. It says the old things: don't shag your juniors; don't shag somebody else's spouse (or civil partner - though that never came into it in my day); and if you're shagging in the barracks be careful about the implications for military discipline. To quote the "Service Test":
"Have the actions or behaviour of an individual adversely impacted or are they likely to impact on the efficiency or operational effectiveness of the Service?"

As for risking "blackmail and security scandal by revealing his name and Army connections to the girls", he's the Duke of effing Westminster for god's sake. A public figure. If you didn't know who he is, you could find out easily enough. Silly, possibly, but a scandal?

Now, I do appreciate that as ACDS with responsibility for the Cadets, as well as the Reserves, some people may now consider him an inappropriate role model for the (vicious) little (bunch of sociopathic) kiddies. If you're worried about this, you haven't met many cadets. They are teenagers - a bunch of sex-obsessed, fornicating little <Ed's note. S-E has had to be taken away and given his medication.>

I am not personally concerned - even if every word written is both accurate and true, this has been between consenting adults. There is a huge gulf between 'horny' and 'paedophile'. His public position and huge wealth (mostly gained through his efforts in re-establishing the value of the estate) give him a public profile significantly in excess of that attributable to his (valuable) military service and current position. For that, he (and his family) will have to take the hit. Personally, I hope that he continues to serve for his current appointment.

I suspect that the questions being asked in Basrah and Helmand are not "How dare he do this while we are fighting?" but more likely "Cor, where do we get four of those then?"


PS - Grinned when I read "full-blown major general" (sic). Err, yup, seems so.

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