Discussion of the UK Government
:sunglasses: 14.3 % :thumbsup: 14.3 % :grinning: 71.4 %
By Cyclist
Membership Days Posts
And so it begins. Who was it who provided full employment by investing in the arms industry? Back in the 1930's, I think it was. Oh, er, perhaps Lord Rothermere could help me out here.
Malcolm Armsteen liked this
By Catkins
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
A friend of mine was interviewed in a group by Richard Madley years ago, to raise awareness of a disease they suffered from. Not going to name the disease as its outing but suffice to say it's communicable. Madley kept shaking their hands, touching them, and hugging them to show he didn't care about that (not that they could have transmitted an illness that way), which they thought was (a) hilariously Alan Partridge and (b) really rather sweet. :lol:
By The Red Arrow
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Neat summary...

Move over, Piers Morgan! Richard Madeley is breakfast TV's new oddball king

As an abruptly terminated interview with Gavin Williamson shows, Morgan’s Good Morning Britain summer stand-in is even more lacking in self-awareness than his predecessor

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radi ... itain-host
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
Jeremy Kyle standing in for Piers Morgan was also on top form berating a shadow cabinet minister for having no more of a bloody clue about Brexit than the Tories and suggesting the whole thing is a fuck-up.

More of this please
https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-ra ... orth-video
By Big Arnold
Membership Days Posts
youngian wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 10:17 am
Jeremy Kyle standing in for Piers Morgan was also on top form berating a shadow cabinet minister for having no more of a bloody clue about Brexit than the Tories and suggesting the whole thing is a fuck-up.

More of this please
https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-ra ... orth-video

The chat show host was embroiled in a heated rant during an interview with shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth and said Brexiteers did not know what they voted for in last June’s European Union referendum.
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
BuzzFeed gives the hapless defence secretary a going over
Just two days earlier, Williamson had been compared to Private Pike, the snivelling young character from Dad’s Army, by an “ally of the chancellor” in the Mail on Sunday. The pair have made no secret of their mutual distaste for each other and were locked in a briefing war over proposed military cuts throughout November and December – culminating in a stand-up row in the Commons.

“The comment that upset him the most was the ‘Private Pike’ comment from Hammond,” one Tory MP told us. “The reason that really upset him is because it’s so true.” https://www.buzzfeed.com/emilyashton/br ... .uyeLdqL3L
By Big Arnold
Membership Days Posts
Sanctuary at last for Afghan heroes: Local translators who served alongside British troops win the right to come to Britain after years of uncertainty

Around 50 Afghan interpreters will now be given visas so they can come to UK
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson last night tore up ‘failed’ interpreters policy
How does the Defence Secretary have the authority to issue visas?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... ainty.html
By Safe_Timber_Man
Membership Days Posts
PETER OBORNE: Yes, the military needs more cash... but Mrs May must get rid of her twerpish, disloyal defence secretary first

Matters are now so dire for Britain’s once feared and formidable defences that it’s reported the Army is contemplating investing in fake, inflatable tanks in an attempt to fool the enemy that our forces are larger than they really are.

No wonder top brass are so worried about losing our precious, so-called ‘Tier One’ military status, thus falling back from the front rank of military nations.

Tier One is the tiny group of powers with so-called ‘full-spectrum’ capabilities, including a nuclear deterrent, fighter jets and a deployable land division, as well as air and sea forces.

If matters carry on as they are, this elite group — which boasts the likes of the U.S., China, France and Russia — will soon not include Britain. Already, since the days that David Cameron started running down the Forces, the number of regular personnel in the Army, Navy and Air Force has fallen from nearly 190,000 to fewer than 150,000 last year.

No wonder up to 50 Tory MPs are reportedly saying they won’t support Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget if the defence budget isn’t increased.

These Conservative patriots reasonably feel that at a time when an extra £20 billion is being pledged to the NHS, £2 billion a year in extra funding — 10pc of the increase in health service spending — should be made available to the military. As with the NHS, any extra must be spent wisely and in the national interest so the MoD cannot be accused of wasting crucial funds.

So yes, I am all for increased spending on defence, which is, after all, the first duty of any Government.

But here’s the worrying part.I am afraid this campaign to squeeze more money out of our miserly Chancellor — himself one of the most cold-blooded defence secretaries in history, who did immense damage to our armed forces during his time in charge — has fallen into the wrong hands.

The current defence secretary, Gavin Williamson — a former fireplace salesman — is open to the devastating charge that he has put his overweening personal ambition ahead of the national interest.

Sources close to Mr Williamson insist they ‘do not recognise’ weekend reports to the effect that he boasted to defence chiefs about the Prime Minister: ‘I made her — and I can break her.’

Well, I made my own checks yesterday and I am afraid that my sources have confirmed that Mr Williamson did make exactly this vainglorious and profoundly stupid remark.

In truth, Mr Williamson did not ‘make’ the Prime Minister. He may have run her campaign for the Tory leadership, but she reached her present eminence by proving her worth as one of the safest pairs of hands at the Home Office in modern history.

Nor could this pathetic lightweight ‘break’ the PM. He wouldn’t last ten seconds in a metaphorical political boxing ring with Theresa May.

Alarmingly, Mr Williamson made his comments in front of the most senior serving officers in the Army, Navy and Air Force. This behaviour is utterly indefensible.

First of all, his comments are outrageously disloyal to the Prime Minister, who has done nothing but support Mr Williamson throughout his rather mediocre political career, elevating him at the age of just 41 from Tory chief whip.

Even more importantly, the remarks suggest that Mr Williamson is a cynical opportunist not driven by genuine fears for the defence budget but by a desire to elbow Mrs May aside and install himself in Downing Street.

This is totally wrong — and deeply damaging to Britain.

Here is something for the defence secretary to ponder: all military officers are taught from the moment they join the Armed Forces the virtues of humility, decency and, above all, discretion. It is driven into them that they should disregard personal ambition, and put their country first and themselves last.

Preening Mr Williamson is doing the exact opposite. He is using his high office of state, with all the immense responsibility that entails, to advance his wretched political career.

To make matters worse, this conduct is deeply ingrained. I understand from reliable sources that the self-regarding defence secretary is in the habit of summoning senior serving officers to his office and berating them in front of junior colleagues.

He has also been astonishingly indiscreet about British military movements. For instance, several months ago he made a point about a British frigate sailing through the South China Sea. These foolish and boastful comments put British forces in danger by highlighting their provocative presence in a sensitive area.

Some of Mr Williamson’s statements are simple buffoonery; for example, his juvenile call for Russia to ‘go away and shut up’, in response to the poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury earlier this year.

Then there was the shocking episode in January when he suddenly claimed that Russia could kill countless thousands of Britons in a cyber attack. These remarks appalled security chiefs because they breached confidences.

Williamson is a man who cannot be trusted with a secret but isn’t above knifing a friend in the back.

I have been a political reporter at Westminster for more than a quarter of a century and have seen many defence secretaries come and go. Some have been undoubtedly talented. One fine example was Labour’s George Robertson, a man of calm, unruffled competence.

But I have never come across a defence secretary who combines simultaneously such limited capability with such high self-regard as Gavin Williamson. Geoff Hoon, Tony Blair’s hapless defence secretary during the Iraq War, who was later caught out in a shameful ‘cash for access’ sting, springs to mind. But he now looks a serious figure by comparison with twerpish Williamson.

Defence secretary has always been one of the most senior posts in the Cabinet, for good reason. It is a post that requires sound judgment and a certain moral courage. Mr Williamson has proved that both these qualities are beyond him.

Above all, his latest remarks show he lacks one of the most important qualities of all in the Armed Forces: namely, loyalty to his commanding officer.

That is why I believe the Mrs May must act, and act fast.

To be fair, Mr Williamson is not the only incompetent minister in her Cabinet, but he is the worst example. There are some serious alternatives who would, I am certain, do a good job — people who have experience of military matters rather than selling fireplaces.

One is prisons minister Rory Stewart, who as a young man served as an officer in that superlative Scottish regiment the Black Watch, and was a senior coalition official in two provinces of southern Iraq after the invasion in 2003.

Another is the dynamic international development secretary Penny Mordaunt, a Royal Naval reservist.

Or what about Iain Duncan Smith, another former Army officer who could be recalled to the ranks as an emergency replacement for a dud?

These are all serious people capable of doing a serious job. At a time when tensions with Russia are on the rise, and when Donald Trump seems hell-bent on a madcap confrontation with Iran, the Ministry of Defence is more than ever in need of a strong leader.

That’s why I believe Mrs May needs to act now and punish Gavin Williamson with the sack. His disloyalty, his incompetence and indiscretion means that dispensing with him has become a matter of national security.
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