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Old 27th Dec 2010, 11:59
  #7340 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 79
Posts: 4,454

The company I keep....... includes former Ministers (even a former PM), senior politicians of all parties and professional military and civilian aircrew and engineers
The irony of your quote (heavily edited to make my point) is that JP and his chums could say much the same thing. When a great wrong such as this is inflicted from above it immediately effects everyone, from AC2 to ACM and above. Each and everyone is faced with a moral dilemma to obey orders or to challenge them. That decision then stays with them forever and as we have seen so often in these pages results in continual efforts to defend the indefensible, ie their own original decision. That I am afraid is their dilemma, ours is to learn from them. There has been a tendency in these pages for those like me, who call for resignation when no other honourable course seems possible, to be derided. At least such a course leaves you with a clear conscience and a fresh start, whereas toeing the unjust party line compromises you forever.
We have had the pleasure of having our three grandchildren with us again this Christmas, and as ever they made me feel both young and very old in equal measure! As to the former effect their attitude to unfairness is clear, it is simply not acceptable! If one thinks back to one's own childhood those episodes are the sharpest memories, well for me at least. Discipline and punishment when fairly administered were acceptable albeit reluctantly, injustice then though rankles to this day! No matter how high and mighty we be, we would be well advised to relearn those childhood attitudes, for out of the mouths of babes etc....
Illegal orders do not merely consist of ones concerning shooting POWs behind barns, those are the easy ones to resist. The difficult ones are those that involve "the good of the Service" etc. No doubt that was an oft repeated phrase over the many phone calls that spread this particular cancer. I do not see what good it has done to the Service or the Nation. Both are now bereft of any MAR capability and the former bears a shame to match the Dreyfuss case.
There is a lesson here for us all, particularly those still serving. You could be the recipient of such an order, such a phone call. Now is the time to consider your response, for then will be too late. To a profession that is based on the "What if...." premise that shouldn't be too difficult a task. It might just save you in years to come from defending the indefensible on forums such as this!
Chugalug2 is offline