Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Spine - at last!

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Spine - at last!

Old 3rd Sep 2009, 19:39
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 932
Spine - at last!

Former Maj who was a junior Ministerial Aide has resigned over Afghanistan and is saying why:

BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | Aide quits over Afghan strategy

BZ! Good for him!

Now to get rid of the rest of the Defence "Team".

S41
Squirrel 41 is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 20:04
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Shefford, Beds, UK
Posts: 109
One down . . . . .

His letter in full:

Gordon Brown MP

10 Downing Street

LONDON

3 September 2009

Gordon

As you may know, I told Bob Ainsworth some weeks ago that I intended to step down as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Defence Secretary before the start of the new parliamentary term. This seems to me the least disruptive time to do that. I have been privileged to work as PPS to four senior Labour ministers in four government departments and now feel that I can make my best contribution to the Labour effort in parliament by concentrating on helping, as a regular back-bencher, to show that Labour remains sound on matters of Defence.

Labour was returned to power in 1997 on the back of your great success in turning the Economy from a weakness into a strength for Labour. Our continuing success in helping people from all parts of society become more prosperous, while helping the least well-off most, is built upon that. More quietly, during the 90’s, Labour’s then shadow defence team showed how Labour had become, after the disaster of the early 1980s, ’sound’ on Defence. It seems to me that your personal success on the economy won the deal in 1997, while colleagues at Defence sealed it.

We are now, I think, once again at a critical time for Labour and Defence. The Conservatives, of course opportunistically, think they can convince the public that we have lost our empathy with the Defence community. We must not allow this to happen. I know that you have great commitment to our armed forces and this was clear when you visited Afghanistan this week, yet there seem to me to be some problems which need fixing with the greatest urgency.

As you know, two Black Watch soldiers gave their lives during your visit. I do not think the public will accept for much longer that our losses can be justified by simply referring to the risk of greater terrorism on our streets. Nor do I think we can continue with the present level of uncertainty about the future of our deployment in Afghanistan.

I think we must be much more direct about the reality that we do punch a long way above our weight, that many of our allies do far too little, and that leaving the field to the United States would mean the end of NATO as a meaningful proposition. The British people have a proud history of facing such realities. They understand the importance of the allied effort in Afghanistan/Pakistan and I think they would appreciate more direct approach by politicians. We also need to make it clear that our commitment in Afghanistan is high but time limited. It should be possible now to say that we will move off our present war-footing and reduce our forces there substantially during our next term in government.

We also need a greater geopolitical return from the United States for our efforts. For many, Britain fights; Germany pays, France calculates; Italy avoids. If the United States values each of these approaches equally, they will end up shouldering the burden by themselves. The first place to start is an acceptance this week by them, and by the Afghanistan electoral authorities, that there must be a second round in the elections there. I do not think the British people will support the physical risk to our servicemen and women unless they can be given confidence that Afghanistan’s government has been properly elected and has a clear intent to deal with the corruption there which has continued unabated in recent years.

Most important of all, we must make it clear to every serviceman and woman, their families and the British public that we give their well-being the highest political priority. Behind the hand attacks by any Labour figure on senior service personnel are now, to the public, indistinguishable from attacks on the services themselves. Conversely, in my view we should allow our service personnel greater latitude to voice their views on matters which make distinctions between defence and politics pointless.

I believe the next election is ours to win, thanks greatly to your personal great economic success. But we cannot win unless we grip defence. Above all, Labour must remember that service folk and their families are our people. We say that we honour them for their risk, bravery and sacrifice and we must at literally all costs continue to show by our actions that we mean it.

I intend to do what modest amount I can to help from the back-benches.

Yours sincerely

Eric Joyce MP
Goodbye Eric thanks for your insight and 'influence' on all those ministers . . .
In Tor Wot is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 20:17
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bridgwater Somerset
Posts: 459
At last someone who has the Cahoonas not just to resign but to spell it out to Gordon.
Tappers Dad is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 20:41
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 734
I'm not totally sure this guy has true situational awareness.
I believe the next election is ours to win, thanks greatly to your personal great economic success.
Either that or he's complimenting Mr Brown on his personal finances...?
dallas is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 21:02
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: South Wales
Age: 59
Posts: 729
The first place to start is an acceptance this week by them, and by the Afghanistan electoral authorities, that there must be a second round in the elections there.
Now that is an interesting statement; one that I have been thinking of for several days now.

Of course, anybody with any intelligence realises’ that when the government (both British & the USA) and the press go quite on election results then the party they wanted to win has not done well.

Democracy in this kind of country, in the eyes of the USA and GB, is only good if the right party wins. If the wrong party wins.........well something must have been corrupt!!

Hypocrisy will never win over the “ordinary” person in Afghanistan or any other country. When will politicians learn that??

When they do learn, a lot of lives, on both sides, will be saved.

However;

Dallas

I believe the next election is ours to win, thanks greatly to your personal great economic success.
I agree with you. Let’s face it, overall the letter is a bit of a suck up to Gordon

Last edited by SRENNAPS; 3rd Sep 2009 at 21:26.
SRENNAPS is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 21:02
  #6 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 76
Posts: 16,646
Originally Posted by In Tor Wot View Post
His letter in full:
Load of cobblers:

Labour was returned to power in 1997 on the back of your great success in turning the Economy from a weakness into a strength for Labour.
Labour only came into power on the back of the Tory great success. Nothing to do with the East Lothian MP.

More quietly, during the 90’s, Labour’s then shadow defence team showed how Labour had become, after the disaster of the early 1980s, ’sound’ on Defence. It seems to me that your personal success on the economy won the deal in 1997, while colleagues at Defence sealed it.
Man has it wrong again. It was Tory sleaze that gave NuLabour victory nothing to do with the economy.
Pontius Navigator is online now  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 21:16
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Walnut Hill Staffordshire
Age: 69
Posts: 1
A (Very) short reply to Mr Joyce....

I have to agree with my fellow poster with regard to that most vital of abilities, "Situational awareness".

Mr Joyce wrote a very carefully constructed and extremely articulate, erudite and evocative resignation letter, indicating to me ( as an amateur astronomer ) that he is indeed most situationally aware,. . . .for someone in a stable orbit around Saturn, but...regrettably not representative of a normal, seriously thinking human being being lucky enough to be in close proximity to Earth.

Thank you Mr. Joyce, I feel certain that the nation owes you a debt of gratitude for your sterling service and will be collectively devastated at your departure.

JGF
Justgoanflyit is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 21:21
  #8 (permalink)  
Below the Glidepath - not correcting
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,642
Hate to be the lone dissenter, but I don't believe Mr Joyce has spelt anything out or told anyone the way it is. He makes a couple of vague references to the Afghanistan elections, pumps up the rhetoric for the Armed Forces but he is hardly burning any bridges here. As for...

Most important of all, we must make it clear to every serviceman and woman, their families and the British public that we give their well-being the highest political priority
...just what is a "political priority?" Is it one that gives the Forces the right equipment to do the job in hand, or is the one that gets my political cronies re-elected next time around.

Sorry, but ex-squaddie or not, this is just more hot air from a politican who knows which side his bread is buttered on. What does his resignation as Number 4 memo writer to the Chief Parliamentary Notetaker change - not a damn thing.
Two's in is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 22:01
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Scotland
Posts: 664
Joyce is what is technically known to the Scottish medical fraternity as "aff his tattie".

Exhibit A.

After 4 yrs in the ranks in the Black Watch he went off to Uni and was commissioned in the RAEC. He left the Army in a hissy fit as a passed-over Major spouting about racism and walked into a sinecure with the CRE before landing a safe Labour seat.

Given that he was the top claiming MP and the first to pass the cumulative £1M mark, many have been hoping he wouldn't let the door slap his backside on the way out for some time. I suspect this is an engineered departure with a rather confused veneer of 'principle' tacked on.
An Teallach is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 22:29
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Green and pleasant land
Posts: 657
An Teallach,

Thank you for posting that. It's a very timely reminder that we are talking here about a man without any notion, let alone understanding, of principles or indeed honour.
cargosales is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 22:55
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 49
This comment Iain Dale's Diary: Labour Defence PPS Quits seems to describe Joyce usefully
LeggyMountbatten is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 22:57
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Anglia
Posts: 1,910
...and Labour was "returned to power in 1997" Does anyone remember who was in prior to Saint Maggie?

Although it was "Nu Labor" that got in the door.
Rigga is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 23:06
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Scotland
Posts: 664
I like the nickname given to him by one of Dale's commenters:

Lord Hee Haw

(for the uninitiated Hee Haw is Scots for SFA and for the very young, google Lord Haw Haw for the Joyce reference)
An Teallach is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 23:26
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,074
Anyone else think they are about to call the General Election in the next month or so?
VinRouge is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 23:37
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,519
spine...cahoonas...are you kidding me!

If you can't see this tosspot for what he is, you need to get out more.

Opportunistic, publicity seeking, self-obsessed....

I give up.
The Old Fat One is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 23:38
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,451
Gordo wouldn't have read past the first paragraph.
Wiley is offline  
Old 4th Sep 2009, 00:26
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Darling - where are we?
Posts: 2,499
Not sure how much of a loss he will be to Defence. His resignation letter is a mixed bag of jumping on the public opinion bandwagon (how much longer will the public accept further losses) and shear wishful thinking (Defence sealing the last Liabour win, the next election being Liabour's for the taking).

But his point about the public not accepting further losses without good reason is an important point for me. It is indicative of how we as a country have become afraid to take risk and accept loss during military operations. Military commanders are now fighting with one hand tied behind their backs, constrained by the politicians' desire to fight a clean clinical campaign - something that will never happen in a grubby COIN campaign.

And much of this political desire has less to do with a genuince concern for the military and more to do with squeezing every last vote they can out of the public. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the country probably has little idea about Afghanistan, what we are doing there, the relevance of UK plc's approach, informed debate over resource and troop numbers and importantly the risk associated with military operations. Most of the public unfortunately take their lead from the tabloids, hunting for ratings and column inches, rather than informing accurately.

We need to get back to military operations being run by apolitical military commanders. They know what needs to be done, the best way of achieving it based on years of experience and guidance from within their Staffs, and understand the risks associated with it. They should own the risk, not the politicians. Public opinion should not be influencing the conduct of military operations.
Melchett01 is offline  
Old 4th Sep 2009, 07:08
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pays Basque
Posts: 577
From Wiki

Joyce was the top-claiming Member of the House of Commons for the 2005-06 Parliamentary Session, claiming £174,811 in expenses, of which 62% was for staff and office costs.[20] After the 2005-06 Parliamentary Session, he made a public pledge to cut his expenses. Subsequently, during the 2006–07 Parliamentary Session, he moved down to 11th on the list of MPs' expenses and allowances.[21] However, he once again rose to the top of the expenses list for the 2007-08 Parliamentary Session with £187,334.[22]

Joyce was the first MP to claim more than £1 million cumulatively in expenses.[23] In October 2007 Joyce claimed £180 for three oil paintings. When asked why he had used taxpayer's funds in such a way he replied "because they look nice."[24] In May 2009, tabloids reported Joyce was seeking advice from HM Revenue and Customs regarding £40,000 in unpaid capital gains tax on the sale of his London home, which he had designated as his second home under the Second Homes Allowance scheme. The tabloids wrote that when asked what he would do were he asked to repay the money, Joyce stated he would "suck it and see."[25][26]
Did he fall or was he pushed..?
sidevalve is offline  
Old 4th Sep 2009, 08:30
  #19 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 76
Posts: 16,646
Originally Posted by Rigga View Post
...and Labour was "returned to power in 1997" Does anyone remember who was in prior to Saint Maggie?

Although it was "Nu Labor" that got in the door.
Rigga, I was refering in particular to:

on the back of your great success in turning the Economy from a weakness into a strength for Labour
He seems to be saying that Brown turned the economy into a strength for NuLabour when Brown didn't get his hands on it until after 1997.

Or is he saying that Brown managed a PR coup and made the economy ...... oh I don't know. Just seems a load of b*ll*ck spin and poof keeping his options open.
Pontius Navigator is online now  
Old 4th Sep 2009, 08:57
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 2
Never posted before, but I can't stay quiet about this git.

He's leaving in disgrace having scammed tens of thousands of pounds from the publc purse. He hasn't done us any favours, other than highlight "Incapability Brown's" forthcoming (and no doubt misleading and vague) speech about Afghanistan.

Joyce is a worm who has decided that the best way to cover his arse on departure is to deflect attention away from his own misdemeanours by shifting the press spotlight onto the PM (admittedly, no bad thing).

By all means rejoice in the continued questioning and public scrutiny of the PM's "leadership" wrt Afghanistan, but do not give that fool Joyce credit he doesn't deserve; don't for a minute think that he has anyone's best interests at heart but his own.
HMA8 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.