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Corbin and CDS Squaring-Up

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Corbin and CDS Squaring-Up

Old 8th Nov 2015, 19:19
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Lots of Corbyn outrage on this thread gentlemen, but who was it who said something along the lines of "I don't agree with what he says, but I would die for his right to say it"? I'm sure comrade Corbyn is quite capable of becoming a short lived political leader, without any external help. I thought the CDS was quite right in his opinion, but few serving officers can get away with such overt political comments on national TV. Right or wrong, does he have a remit to take a party political view on military matters ? Awaiting my reeducation.

Smudge
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 19:20
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Omegav6

Queen and country, brilliant emotive phrase. The monarch, currently a queen, has a constitutional position in that she does not make policy. She takes advice and can advise and ultimately assents to the will of her subjects as expressed through, guess where; parliament.

If we democratically decide to join South Africa and unilaterally disarm then so be it. I think it would be a mistake, but it would be a democratic and constitutional one and one I would have to live with if I were not to be treasonous.
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 19:35
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Whatever the rights and wrongs of what CDS did or didn't say, wouldn't it have been better not to do such an interview on Remembrance Sunday? If his intention was to promote the Armed Forces and remind the viewers that the debt that they owe and acknowledge today is as real now as ever it was, then all well and good.

It seems however that the BBC wanted to politicise the interview, or at least Andrew Marr did. The same comments about the appropriateness of choosing today to do so applies equally to the BBC as it does to CDS in my view. The latter has the excuse that he was bowled a bit of a googlie, no such excuse applies to the bowler. Perhaps we will see rather more of CDS in future on ITN or Sky News? If so I wouldn't blame him at all. The BBC has outgrown any usefulness that it might ever have been to this nation. As someone else (for whom Mr Corbyn might well feel a certain amount of sympathy) once said:-

You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 19:41
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Haven't very senior officers been asked to express, shall we say, a professional opinion publicly before now?

I watched the interview and apart from the slightly pejorative remark about fear of Corbyn becoming PM, all he did was explain the logic of the deterrent and how it would be foolhardy to undermine it in such a way by promising never to rely on it. But as has been oft said of the Jeremy Corbyns of this world, he's seems a nice chap but on the political front I rather fancy that he is subjective in whom he himself thinks is playing foul. It's therefore easy to shut up the professional heads of the armed forces and the likes of the police because it frightens democracies if the elected great and good don't have a really short tight choker chain on the Generals and Police Chiefs, the problem here is, the men in uniform are professionals and know their stuff just as in any other professional field, just that they are not allowed to speak frankly publicly.

Be interesting to hear Cameron's and other opponents take, so far I don't think anyone else has pulled Sir Nicholas up?

FB
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 19:56
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by smujsmith View Post
Lots of Corbyn outrage on this thread gentlemen, but who was it who said something along the lines of "I don't agree with what he says, but I would die for his right to say it"? I'm sure comrade Corbyn is quite capable of becoming a short lived political leader, without any external help. I thought the CDS was quite right in his opinion, but few serving officers can get away with such overt political comments on national TV. Right or wrong, does he have a remit to take a party political view on military matters ? Awaiting my reeducation.

Smudge
I'd rather let Comrade Corbyn die for his own right of free speech, particularly given his recent stance on remembering the WW1 fallen. But said Comrade would never do such a thing - he is a protester, nothing more. He is entirely dependent on others for matters of importance, including his own freedom of speech and safety- but he would still criticise and protest. Its called Norman Kember disease.
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 20:23
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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It's hilarious to suggest that this is a party political intervention by CDS.
Even within his own party, it seems, there's little or no support for Comrade Corby's Trident stance.
All parties have manifestos that should cover everything involved in how their country would be run. When parties differ and an individual takes a particular view on an issue, it's nothing more than their view. End of story.
Corbyn's very quickly looking like the bullied kid at school with little to offer as intellectual retort...
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 20:24
  #27 (permalink)  
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The Grauniad, no less.....

Houghton received the backing of Maria Eagle, the shadow defence secretary, who told the programme that the chief of the defence staff was within his rights to express his doubts about her party leader becoming prime minister......

Although Houghton’s comments could be seen as a challenge to the authority of an elected prime minister, Eagle, who like most members of the shadow cabinet supports the nuclear deterrent, said the chief of the defence staff was entitled to say what he did. “He has to answer questions from journalists such as yourself when he’s asked and I’m completely comfortable with that,” she told Marr. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with him expressing himself in those terms.”

She said that she agreed with what Houghton said about nuclear deterrence only being credible if there was a possibility of a state using it and that she had said this herself when Corbyn made his comments at the Labour conference...... She also suggested she would resign if the party did back unilateral nuclear disarmament. Asked if she would serve in a unilateralist government, she replied: “I am not a unilateral disarmer. I don’t believe that that works. I think I would find it difficult but we’re not there yet.”

Later, John Woodcock, the pro-Trident Labour MP, said Corbyn had no right to complain about Houghton because Corbyn himself had signed a Commons motion in 2009 praising Lord Bramall, a former chief of the defence staff, for speaking out against Trident. Woodcock said: “Supporters of CND can’t have it both ways. Unilateral disarmers have been eager to applaud the occasional member of the armed forces who has expressed doubt about Trident renewal. They should welcome these authoritative observations on deterrence by the chief of the defence staff.”
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 20:39
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Uncle Ginster,

How right you are. CDS stepped right into the trap laid for him. No reply was required from him, but he insisted on giving one which was immediately leaped upon and interpreted as a political one by politicians eager to diminish the impartiality of the military. His reply was a personal opinion and as such should have stayed private and confidential. The moment he put on the uniform he spoke for the defence staff.
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 20:56
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Corbyn makes Neville Chamberlain look like a war monger.
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 21:28
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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I would rather Corbyn argued his case than complaining about CDS giving an intelligent view on the case for nuclear deterrence.
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 21:41
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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beardy,

I don't see CDS walking into a trap at all; I think you are seeing what you want to see in his comments. Shortly after his comment that a Corbyn premiership would "worry him", he explained why. Bits of this have been posted earlier but I've added a couple more sentences for additional context:

‘But the reason I say this – and it’s not based on a personal thing at all, it’s purely based on the credibility of deterrence. The whole thing about deterrence rests on the credibility of its use. When people say you’re never going to use the deterrent, what I say is you use the deterrent you know every second of every minute of every day and the purpose of the deterrent is that you don’t have to use it because you successfully deter.’
All CDS was doing was explaining the doctrine of nuclear deterrence, a topic which is a staple of strategic studies textbooks and solidly in his area of professional expertise. He was not expressing a personal opinion in any way, or indeed trying to influence the party political debate. If the audience, equipped with a better understanding of deterrence, decided they didn't like Corbyn's policy, then does that mean CDS is guilty of political interference? I would argue not. Any democrat should be wary of arguments along the lines of "keep them ignorant".

Furthermore, since both Government and official Opposition policy are currently pro-deterrent, CDS can hardly be accused of entering a party political debate. Yes, there may be some disagreement within Labour at the present time, but Corbyn himself was complicit in keeping it off their conference agenda, so it is a bit rich for him to get worked up about it now. Can you imagine how little we would be able to say if we had to respect differences of opinion between each individual parliamentarian? Until Corbyn's views are adopted as Labour policies, that is exactly their status - individual differences of opinion. The fact he is leader matters not in Parliamentary terms.
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 22:11
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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CDS can say what he likes, but if the politicians of the ruling party, of whatever colour, tell him what's what, he'll just have to put up with it.
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 22:53
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Although Houghton’s comments could be seen as a challenge to the authority of an elected prime minister
Absolute nonsense! CDS was merely responding to a direct question.

I watched the whole interview with Murnahan and CDS responded to the questions eloquently and sensibly, with no political leaning at all. Would you have a CDS with no views at all?

At least the present CDS is prepared to offer a reasoned input while he is serving, rather that to tow the party line until retirement and then sound off ineffectually from the House of Lords like Stirrup, Danatt et al.
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 23:17
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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When I ask when supposed Nuclear deterrent will be used I find myself struggling to find a case where it will be.
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Old 8th Nov 2015, 23:40
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by racedo View Post
When I ask when supposed Nuclear deterrent will be used I find myself struggling to find a case where it will be.
Then you've missed the point entirely. What you have thought about is when Nuclear attack would be used.

Ask yourself who would attack us knowing that Nuclear destruction is the inevitable result and you'll find out why we have a deterrent.
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Old 9th Nov 2015, 00:03
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Stuff
Ask yourself who would attack us knowing that Nuclear destruction is the inevitable result and you'll find out why we have a deterrent.
Not 'the inevitable', just 'a possible'. But that is all it needs to be for deterrence to work. Indeed I would argue that as long as Trident exists, a Corbyn government would benefit from a small degree of nuclear deterrence. He could change his position in the blink of an eye; unlikely maybe, but such are the calculations that a putative attacker would have to make.

racedo - Suggest you listen to Gen Houghton's comments online, he explains precisely why not using the deterrent is the desired outcome of possessing it.
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Old 9th Nov 2015, 01:29
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A simple way to get this across is to ask yourself:

If it had been known in the summer of 1945 that Japan had developed an atomic weapon, and had a credible means of delivering it to the West Coast cities of the USA, would Truman have sanctioned the dropping of the Bomb on Hiroshima ?

D.
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Old 9th Nov 2015, 05:55
  #38 (permalink)  
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Old 9th Nov 2015, 06:55
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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When the commander of the boat opens the letter of last resort, written by the incumbent PM.


They will do their duty, whatever that letter says.
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Old 9th Nov 2015, 07:23
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Sign of a losing team....winners play the ball and not the man.
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