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One for the Ozmate military...

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One for the Ozmate military...

Old 11th Jun 2009, 05:30
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One for the Ozmate military...

I don't have a subscription to the 'Australian Financial Review', so I'm unable to give details of the article in today's AFR by Mark Latham, the ex (Australian Labo(u)r Party) Leader of the Opposition and Prime Ministerial hopeful only a few years ago, where he (to put it mildly) "unloads" on the ADF. Terms he uses when referring to serving members includes "limited intelligence" and "meatheads".

Here's the link for anyone who has a subscription. afr.com - Sign in/out - The Australian Financial Review

And to think... this person went very close to becoming PM.
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Old 11th Jun 2009, 12:23
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"Fitzgibbon is also better off out of Defence," Mr Latham wrote. "One of the habits of our national life is to glorify all aspects of the military. I have always assumed this gushing, out-of-proportion praise could come only from those who have never met our soldiers and experienced first-hand their limited intelligence and primeval interests in life. he must of spent a few nights on the piss with the boys to be so correct.

Mr Latham also declared spending time with military personnel to be the worst part of a career in politics.

"Surely the worst job in Australian politics is to be the minister for defence. Anything, even the most tedious and loathsome of public duties, would be better than knocking around with the meatheads of the Australian Defence Force."

Latho is a champion and obviously a clever bloke, he would have been a top PM, you would get away with all kinds of shit.

Reporter: "Mr Latham, what comments do you have on the latest behaviour crisis in defence?"
Mr latham: "oh, it is just those bloody dumbass meatheads doing their primeval stuff again - ask me about something important you moron Journo"

Legend!
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Old 11th Jun 2009, 22:44
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And we care what Latham thinks because................
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 02:19
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Hate to say it but many of his comments are on the money!
(I'm Ex OZ Army btw)
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 02:46
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Well maybe those comments apply only to Army then!!

1. He can say what likes about the ADF, but I'm sure he would be screaming for their protection should push come to shove just like a lot of others of the same opinion.

2. Must take a lot of guts to insult an organisation whose members do not have the same freedom of speech as other Australians have.
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 03:07
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Well maybe those comments apply only to Army then!!
Indeed they do apply to many parts of the Army and to a few in the RAAF too!

Must take a lot of guts to insult an organisation whose members do not have the same freedom of speech as other Australians have.
Good point. That fact does make his coments a very low blow. ADF personell at all levels need to have more of a voice in the public domain, not just career-minded senior officers.
There is a perception in the civillian community that the ADF do not Defend as their title suggests but are professional combatants (even meatheads) that earn a living fighting conflicts that have little to do with Australians (I am not some lefty tree hugger, I have known soldiers to join for this very reason). There is a disconnect.
To Politicians like Latham (Whom I can't stand and would never have voted for), Howard and Rudd war is a political game and the ADF the tool for playing that game. The public become cynical and this perception becomes reality.
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 03:51
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It's indisputable that Trojan's comment
There is a perception in the civillian community that the ADF do not Defend as their title suggests but are professional combatants (even meatheads) that earn a living fighting conflicts that have little to do with Australians (I am not some lefty tree hugger, I have known soldiers to join for this very reason). There is a disconnect.
is pretty close to the mark. As someone who spent much of his younger adult life in the ADF, I know I can recall any number of colleagues who would have fitted the following classic truism to a T: "If you were in a very tight spot facing an enemy, you couldn't have a better man beside you - but I really hope my daughter never brings him home." (I'm pretty sure there'd be quite a few Brit fathers who've been in uniform who'd make similar comments about quite a few squaddies they've met.)

Whether his comments are accurate or not, Latham represents everything that is wrong with the major political parties both in Australia and in the UK, particularly the Labor/Labour Parties. He's been a professional politician his whole adult life, and apart from six weeks working as a 'glassy' in a Liverpool (Sydney's Liverpool, not yours) pub as a teeneager, he's never held a real job in his life, being groomed (and supported) for political office long before he finished university. He KNOWS he's better/smarter/superior to/than everyone else and feels he knows better in all fields than us, the great unwashed hoi polloi.

If the Peter Principle (in the guise of his own mouth) hadn't got him (just) in time, he might well have gone on to be a PM who would have made even Bob Hawke look good by comparison.

Thank God we didn't ever get to make that comparison.
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 04:25
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General lack of understanding on all things military...

It's funny how a man who lived a relatively obscure life in Aust politics as he was being groomed for the top job, and then failed in the vinegar strokes, is still thought ot hold relevant opinions by a rather "high brow" newspaper!? How long was he leader for? And did he ever do anything positive in parliament?

As has already been stated, many politicians simply don't have a clue about what is takes to defend a country or a way of life, and they don't seem to understand how much it costs or who they should ask to do the job.

Captain Sand Dune's point
He can say what likes about the ADF, but I'm sure he would be screaming for their protection should push come to shove just like a lot of others of the same opinion.
is true of most folk in Australia.

Even with that in mind, what are you guys playing at? This thread seems to be running in a very sensible, mature manner! Definitely not the usual way for such a topic! When do the "single issue pressure groups", lefties and righties start blowing the thread off track? About now, I guess?
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 04:31
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Latham's mannerisms closely parallel that of another Labour leader and general embarrasement we'd like to forget - Keating.
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 05:29
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Rudyard Kipling said it best:

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 06:46
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I haven't seen the full article. Was he referring to the ADF senior leadership, or soldiers in general?
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 09:53
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Andu,
just google 'Mark Latham Defence' and you will get the full article. I included the saucy bits in my earlier post.
He was referring to the Sailors, Airpeople and Soldiers. The guy is a very bitter little man, but it is still good stuff. Gave me a laugh and brightened my day.

Doors Off.
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 10:48
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As they say - it takes one to know one. How come Latham even manages to get media exposure, nowadays? - seeing as he's a has-been - is currently a nobody - and he has a record of contribution and beneficiation to Australia, that could be written on the flyleaf of the worlds smallest book.

He writes of Whitlam (his mentor, I might add - and little wonder that Lathan turned out as useless), recounting that; "the Labor leader had told him that one of the purposes of his office, as an ex-prime minister, was "to milk the system", and take full advantage of publicly funded entitlements ..."

Latham has done little more than follow Whitlams principles - engineer a political post via dubious methods (with even one of his closest Union mates in his Branch, telling a media reptile - "He's a right BAR-stard!") and then doing little to benefit the country once in power.
(Repeat the term "BAR-stard" slowly, with increased accent on the first syllable, and enunciated with malice, and you'll get the idea ... )

Latham is little more than a thug, a standover merchant, a bully, and a man of little principle.
A "roight narsty piece of werk" as a Pommy friend might put it. Latham not only suffers from Pancreas problems - he also suffers from a nasty case of SOL.

His comments aren't worth taking any notice of - because he specialises in vitriol and denigration, as his primary weapons, to try and make up for a lack of character and a diminutive ego. There are many more of his type in existence - and Gordon Ramsay immediately comes to mind.
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 11:25
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diminutive ego
???

That's the one failing I think we could safely say Latham, like his mentor Whitlam, definitely doesn't suffer from.

Interesting comment above regarding Whitlam and his unabashed milking of the system to the maximum since his political demise. When he finally goes, I think there'll be a noticeable easing of the annual national expenditure. That'll be after the obligatory State Funeral and the saccherine platitudes from Kev and Co about the man's towering [......] (insert the word you think would best go here).
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