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To think being a member of the Armed Forces does not make someone "incredibly Right Wing".?

(75 Posts)
Sparklysilversequins Wed 10-Jul-13 12:25:44

I used to be in the army and was asked this week if now that I was out I still held such Right Wing views. I do not and never have though perhaps was not quite as Liberal as I am now but that was as much do do with lack of life experience than being particularly Right Wing.

The person who said it was actually quite accusatory in her manner as well.

So would you think this? It never occurred to me that anyone might.

specialsubject Wed 10-Jul-13 16:41:32

for the person who appears not to know about WWII - it was THAT close to Hitler winning. That would have put the UK under his regime. Then, as in other occupied countries, the plan would have been to round up all non-Aryans and gas them.

had this happened, my parents would have been gassed and I would never have been born. And unless you are 100% white, so would yours.

this outcome was not stopped by asking nicely.

think of that next Nov 11.

Not quite the same, but I used to work in the MOD (under a Conservative government fwiw) and nobody would believe how incredibly left wing it all was (including a lot of the retired Military I worked with) Political views and affiliation have very little to do with people's careers (unless you're planning on being an MP or political campaigner... grin)

Crowler Wed 10-Jul-13 16:45:11

Crowler you do understand that the military do not take their own decisions about where to, and where not to, intervene?



They do make the decision to join, correct? This means that we can make certain assumptions about their views. Why would you join an organization that you don't agree with?

Unless of course, it's just a job.

Crowler Wed 10-Jul-13 16:49:04

specialsubject, I don't know why people aren't allowed to distinguish between WW2 and Iraq. I think I've said twice now that I agree with the purpose of the military in theory, but I feel that it's stepped out of line in practice.

Which is why I would make certain assumptions about the philosophical bent of a person who joins the military today, in 2013. Which is why I ventured into this thread in the first place; I think it's reasonable to draw conclusions.

Nicknamegrief Wed 10-Jul-13 16:49:58

Crowler for certain people it is just a job.

See how much an army dentist earns compared to an NHS dentist (same job) and very very few deploy.

As I said earlier for others it's about defending the rights of others.

And for some it's the best career option to improve their circumstances.

AuntieStella Wed 10-Jul-13 16:50:49

crowler the PP meant the Military do not decide which operations UK forces are deployed on.

That is the politician's decision. The only imput military personnel have is on whether the operation is feasible and what size deployment is needed to carry out the government's aims.

CaptainJamesTKirk Wed 10-Jul-13 16:54:38

Ahhh I see the army bashing began. I also see why I avoided this thread like the plague. sad

Must every thread that even has the smallest mention of the armed forces turn into army bashing?

AuntieStella Wed 10-Jul-13 16:54:39

I think it's right to distinguish between WW2 and Iraq.

But the big difference is that of Government policy.

From the pov of the serving personnel, the difference is much slighter: it is about carrying out a legal operation that the lawful government has decided upon. And one can never predict what deployments will come next. Abhorring Blair's war-mongering is unrelated to what this, or future Governments, may will to use force to achieve.

LondonMan Wed 10-Jul-13 17:01:36

Apart from the invading other countries, the dropping bombs on people, the supporting regimes friendly to the government against the wishes of the inhabitants

Are you saying right-wing governments are more likely to do those things than left-wing ones? Why do you think that?

Assuming "communist" counts as left-wing, in my lifetime far more atrocities have been committed in the name of left-wingery than of right.

LtEveDallas Wed 10-Jul-13 17:04:44

I'm in my 23rd year. Joined up at 18, have seen active service in numerous war zones and trouble spots. Have been fired upon and have fired back. Have done a lot of good, a lot of things I am proud of and don't regret my service for a second.

...and hold very 'old hippy' liberal views grin

SorrelForbes Wed 10-Jul-13 17:11:09

I'm ex-forces and am very left of centre. As is DH who is still serving (he'll be well chuffed at being told he's upper class though! A boy from Slough...)

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Wed 10-Jul-13 17:17:18

Crowler when my DH joined up in 2000 he had no idea that the war in Iraq or Afghanistan was going to happen. Did you?
He joined when the most recent conflict had been that in the Balkans and the whole military was geared up for that kind of conflict. No one could have predicted what would happen next and no one joining up today knows what the next call on their services is going to be.

JenaiMorris Wed 10-Jul-13 17:18:27

Bosnia, piracy, Sierra Leone, a lot of things we never hear about...

Life in the British armed forces really isn't all about being a warmongering fascist.

monicalewinski Wed 10-Jul-13 17:18:37

Serving people don't necessarily agree with the conflicts we are currently engaged in, several joined in 'cold war' era and are still in; this surely refutes your sweeping generalisation crowler. Most people join for a job and in the RAF they generally join for a trade - not many war mongers where I work (if at all).

Sparklysilversequins Wed 10-Jul-13 17:26:10

When I was in I was attached to a unit called Military Works Force. They went all over the world digging wells, laying pipes, building schools etc, supplying basic amenities and other tasks too many to say here. This was usually in areas that had been destroyed by conflict, Rwanda was the focus when I was there. Full of draughtsman, surveyors, well drillers and supporting staff. Not quite the blood thirsty war seekers alluded to by some on this thread. I can't emphasise enough how much good work they did, intelligent, technical, professional men and women, no weapons required.

TalcAndTurnips Wed 10-Jul-13 17:27:37

DH is in fourth decade of service and reasonably senior.

Definitely left-of-centre and his personal politics have very little bearing on his job. Amongst his friends and colleagues I would say that there is a wide a range of opinions as you would find in Civvy Street.

Crowler Wed 10-Jul-13 19:14:26

Where have I called anyone a warmonger?

What I have said is, why would anyone sign up for active combat in the year 2013 if they did not support our most recent adventures?

It was obvious in my own head that I was not referring to those joining the military trades such as dentistry or engineering as mentioned above, I should have qualified my post accordingly.

And to the point that they carry out government orders. Sure, obviously. I don't think it matters where the orders are coming from for the purposes of this discussion.

AuntieStella Wed 10-Jul-13 19:21:12

I called Tony Blair a war-monger.

But to answer your question: Why would anyone sign up for active combat in the year 2013 if they did not support our most recent adventures?

The answer is simple. You don't know what the next deployment is going to be. I thought the Iraq campaign was utterly wrong for many reasons. But that is no indicator of what the Armed Forces might be called on to do next. And 'preparing to fight the last campaign' is a huge and well-known risk when considering the role and readiness of the Armed Forces.

YouTheCat Wed 10-Jul-13 19:25:22

I got called right wing (so funny and ludicrous) when I was a student -all because my dad was an aeromed in the RAF. My delightful flatmates called him a warmonger and all sorts of crap. The fact that he went all over the world (natural disasters as well as war zones) saving fucking lives completely passed them by.

Some people are just ill-informed twats.

PriyaKoothrappali Wed 10-Jul-13 20:13:01

If I were to join up in 2013 it would be through looking at the direction of travel for the armed forces over the next few years. I will have noticed the redundancies and the build up of the reserve forces, so I would know that my force would be smaller and I would be called more frequently to deploy on things like: tanker driver strikes, fire fighter strikes, military assistance to the community during things like floods, blizzards etc, humanitarian aid including standing commitments unlikely to go away like the UN green line in Cyprus and providing reassurance and support to the Falklands. I would know that by the time I would have finished my training that we would have withdrawn from Afghanistan apart from providing training support. I would know having read the papers that we are aligning more and more to working with the French and sharing assets.

It is true that there is a perception that the Armed Forces is right wing, Sir Richard Dannett didn't help by vocally supporting the Conservatives in the last general election and becoming an advisor afterwards. However, if you look back over the last 70 years, the Armed Forces have unilaterally been better treated in terms of pay, maintenance of air, land and sea platforms and development of new technologies by the Labour Party than by the Conservatives.

When members of the Armed Forces deploy to combat zones, its generally not due to a crazed desire to support the government of the day. For many, they support Her Majesty who is Head of the Armed Forces. For most, it's to support those already deployed. I know someone who was massively doubtful and cynical when the intelligence was coming in in 03 that there was WMD in Iraq. However, when the balloon went up, she threw herself into supporting the troops deployed and keeping the air line of communication open because at that point keeping morale high and providing the best conditions possible for your comrades in arms is top of the agenda.

PriyaKoothrappali Wed 10-Jul-13 22:06:01

Well, I seemed to have killed that thread. <totalling quite a few this week>

Latara Wed 10-Jul-13 22:10:36

My Grandad was in the army from 1933 to 1945 - he loved it and was proud to be a soldier.
He was also a Communist, so very Left-Wing!

One of my cousin's has a husband quite high up in the armed forces who believes in.... modern day conspiracy theories and is neither right or left wing.

Latara Wed 10-Jul-13 22:12:02

In fact my cousins husband also believes in Zombies I think....

Latara Wed 10-Jul-13 22:16:39

As a Communist, my Grandad fought on the streets of England in the 1930s against the Blackshirt Fascists so it makes sense that he was happy to fight in the British army against Nazi Germany.

thebody Wed 10-Jul-13 22:39:59

Agree YouTheCat.

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