"Morale is high in the Armed Forces"

who do these people talk too?
I have spoken to several RN snr rates who are going outside as they are pissed off & spoken to several soldiers going on their 3rd tour of Iraq who are well pissed off & waiting to leave.
Is it still the same, those who speak to VIPs are the ones on the promotion ladder & those who would speak out are kept well away.
It really pisses me off that the lads & lasses are getting shafted big style by clowns with no idea of what goes on, maybe its time for a military coup to get this country back on track.
Surely a mistake?

All is rosy in the armed forces, our part time defence minister says so.

Comment said in jest before anybody gets hot under the collar. I agree with the original poster in everything but the military coup.
Remember, when the VIP's visit the Forces, the heiarchy will never say anything untoward, it may affect their promotion chances.

Also the SNCO's that normally are chosen also are chasing promotion.

Anyone suspected of possibly saying things as they are are never allowed near them.

Or then again, the old saying

I hear what you are saying BUT!


War Hero
Let's just set the record straight, for all journalists and politicians watching. Morale is far from 'high' in the services. It is perilously low, and abundant numbers are notice-in and this is causing significant manpower stretching and 'rebalancing' (remember that? you don't hear too much of it these days) is a thing of the past. People are either fed up with being sent on tour after tour in the sandpit for a war that everyone has forgot, or fed up of being rear-ended by the subsequent cuts to fund it. If Brown can't see the truth (as is his game) then there will be a breaking point, one day. He and his cabinet are not that bothered about sorting out this mess - rather they'd rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic and bullshit their way out of it, hoping the so-far ambivalent British public can keep their 'look at the shiny coin' attention span focussed of mortgage prices and other such fripperies.

The clock is ticking, Gordon.



Lantern Swinger
It has always been a pet hate of mine, when a VIP comes to visit and we have to put on a show for them. They only let the yes men talk to them saying that everything is ok. They never speak to the real people! It’s always an act to make the CO look good, they need to get these people that say everything is great to visit out of the blue and un-announced to get a true picture of the way things are!


Lantern Swinger
Sorry to throw a spanner in the works but my experience of VIP visits is that everybody takes the opportunity to get their drips in and it is certainly not a stage managed "everything in the garden is rosy" affair. Any VIP worth his salt will take the opportunity to speak to all and sundry -not just those lined up for him/her.
ctfairway said:
Sorry to throw a spanner in the works but my experience of VIP visits is that everybody takes the opportunity to get their drips in and it is certainly not a stage managed "everything in the garden is rosy" affair. Any VIP worth his salt will take the opportunity to speak to all and sundry -not just those lined up for him/her.
A couple of points spring to mind.

The visiting VIPs are not worth there salt or the VIPs only hear what they want to hear. From reading comments in RR and ARSSE things are far from rosy.


War Hero
ctfairway said:
Sorry to throw a spanner in the works but my experience of VIP visits is that everybody takes the opportunity to get their drips in and it is certainly not a stage managed "everything in the garden is rosy" affair. Any VIP worth his salt will take the opportunity to speak to all and sundry -not just those lined up for him/her.
Hmmm. Not what I have seen. Usually there are two types of VIP visit. Ones where the lower-deck lawyers are calmly advised to STFU and smile (or are conveniently at use elsewhere) or the others where a loose collective of dumbstruck individuals are rolled out to provide good photo-ops for the VIPs. Whatever the weather, the conversation usually ends up with a 'Looking at the Bigger Picture*' soundbite or a 'What is is important to mention is ... **' emotive.

* 'Bigger Picture'. This is rolled out, usually by senior staffers against trouble causers to overbear somewhat on a contentious issue by over patronising and thereby trivialising the item concerned. Bigger Pictures are, by design, usually viewed from a distance and although they offer fantastic scope of what is happening, usually when you get up close they pixillate and lack sufficient detail, almost as if whoever made the picture couldn't really give a rat's arse about the finished product. Try standing real close to a 40" plasma for the same effect. If this rings any bells as an analogy, then you'l start to understand, and maybe are a smaller, more detailed kinda picture person.

** 'What it is important to mention, is ... '. Is usually utilised by pisspoor politicians and supposed 'betters' when they are truly cornered and need to swiftly switch the tracks of the debate onto more user-friendly subjects, such as what was happening pre 1997, i.e. before the ten years of chance to put things right that Labour has squandered has evolved. It's a canny trick used by successive Defence Secretaries since Robertson, Hoon being a potent practicioner of evading salient issues (like Kelly's suicide) by highlighting that Married Quarters spending has risen, year-on-year since 1997 and our proposed spending review, which undoes all the damage done by the Conservatives over the previous eighteen years ... yada, yada, yada ...' You see what the trick is? They will look at you with disparaging arrogance and fire meaningless statistics (possibly untrue) at your blank stare until you have forgot completely that you asked this basic question: 'Mr Defence Secretary, sir. With respect. The so-called 'War on Terror' is seriously failing, isn't it? We went into Iraq on the back of lies told by the government to the voting public ... most of whom were against the war ... and now our land forces are practically slumped on the ropes after an under-researched, under-funded and virtually politically barren bit of suicidal foreign policy based on regime change for mineral avarice. What is the exit strategy this week, Mr Browne and whist you are answering that, can you also answer why you feel that you have enough 'spare time' to do the Scottish portfolio, given that we have forces committed in combat on two fronts and your former Defence Chiefs are dusting off their swords and showing their mettle in the upper house? And as a supplementary question, tell us all why battle injured soldiers have to raise cash through a charity to provide facilities when your Chancellor and fellow Cabinet Member pumps £29Bn into a failing bank when he has no guarantee of it's return and in any case, is based upon it's investors risk anyway and not the taxpayer's. Try not to use statistics, the antics of the previous government over a decade ago and condescending gammatical flowerage in your answer, please.'



Lantern Swinger
Don't forget Des Browne has a 3rd job, as member of parliament representing my constituency!

You would think Defense Secretary would be responsibility enough. I guess not.

Speaking from a civvy POV, I can certainly see the dangerous game the government are playing by trying to insist everything is rosey as **** in the garden of eden. Even though joe-public is generally ignorant to the plight of the armed forces, tabloid grabbing headlines about underfunding and "bringing our boys home" from Iraq DO hit nerves with people.

But as was mentioned, it only takes one stupid (neigh, one MORE stupid) blunder from the government to takes everyones attention away to something else (for instance the 25 million records fiasco at the moment). Your average joe-public tabloid reader has a very fickle outrage meter that changes on a daily basis.

Basically, most people are just too stupid or ignorant to care about funding in the armed forces, and will rant about it one day then ignore it the next. I never though I'd say it, but we need more consistent government defense bashing in the tabloids to really get the public behind this.

All IMO of course.
So nothing's changed. When I was in the ROC back in the 1980s I complained to my MP about the Home Office taking a lax attitude to basic safety down the posts. Officially the Home Secretary told Parliament that there were no manning, equipment or other problems with the ROC. There were worrying manning problems (no other Juniors joined my monitoring post after me!) the equipment was outdated (we were still using bakelite headsets in the mid-80s) no proper ventilation and a hatch that had the nasty habit on slamming down on your head. So I asked my MP if anything could be done. It was done, actually - our hatch was repaired - afterwards I got the entirely expected bollocking.

It is difficult to see how MPs can take on board servicemen's complaints about conditions when they seem oblivious to morale problems due to low pay amongst their own junior employees in Parliament. Even there, official statistics do not record resignations unless the resignee says something positive. They will only really listen when the services are literally unable to carry-out operations and when Forces Chiefs' say NO can do! Until that day comes, nothing will change unless defence becomes a political hot-potato.
"Morale is high in the Armed Forces"

Is it ****!

Nephew has decided he's been sold a crock o' shite… Joined the Army to see the world as an Pioneer, (or at least see the odd stint in Germany with his now ex wife), not spend turn and turn about playing footslogging cowboys for the indians in Basra and Helmand to shoot at and has given notice.
Think back to the late 70s when Labour were last in power: Servicemen leaving in droves, and nobody ever asked the simple and obvious question - WHY ? This lot, New or Old, just don't understand the Service ethic, and never will. The only time I was asked why I was leaving was on the day I was discharged - a little bit late to encourage a change of heart.
IMHO this current bunch are endangering the future of ALL the Armed Forces except possibly the crabs, who wants to join up to go straight to Iraq? or join a service with no ships?
I remember that the RN Morale team visited Prestwick because about 50% of the squadron had their notice in, they spoke to the DOs while the troops were waiting in the hanger to air their gripes, only for the said team to be led to their aircraft & away they went.
Don't underestimate the pain and grief the crabs are getting. Their PVR rate is apparently going through the roof and they are the ones who are being forced to fly very old aircraft (Nimrod, VC10) in an operational theatre on a daily basis. The stories of what was and was not known regarding the Nimrod fuel leaks are going to run and run. Their SH folk are working at least as hard as CHF in both theatres as well.....

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