Tory post ‘a misjudgement’ by Gen Sir Richard Dannatt

From the BBC:

Ex-Army chief Gen Sir Richard Dannatt has been accused of a “terrifying misjudgement” in agreeing while still in service to be a Tory adviser.

Former Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown told BBC Question Time the appointment had broken the convention that the military should be independent of politics…

Lord Ashdown said the UK had to face up to the fact that it would be engaged in Afghanistan for “decades”, while stressing that this did not mean troops would be based there indefinitely.

“It takes a lot of time to build peace after war,” he said.

Full story here, and video here:

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

12 Comments

  • Paddy was spot on last night.

  • I think Ashdown made a fool of himself here.
    Any body that has been in the forces knows you get 4 weeks leave before you leave to sort out just what you are going to do once you have left the forces.
    I spent my 4 weeks looking for work, having interviews etc, and as Sir Richard Dannatt is trying to tell him he had spoken to Cameron in that 4 week period. He goes on to say he accepted the job, but did not start it till after that 4 week period, because as Ashdown said he was still getting paid the Queens shilling.
    Sir Richard Dannatt did nothing wrong here, and Paddy who should know better should say sorry to him.

  • Former Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown told BBC Question Time the appointment had broken the convention that the military should be independent of politics…

    Looking up on Google Paddy while still in the services had also spoken to somebody about a job.

    While in the Special Boat Section.
    One day I got a rather mysterious call from someone who asked me to lunch at an out-of-the-way but rather good Chinese restaurant. He said he was a member of the Foreign Office, and that they were looking for people like me who had had what he described as “wide experience in some difficult circumstances” and could speak Chinese. Would I be interested in joining?
    I knew perfectly what was going on. This was not the Foreign Office proper; if this led anywhere it would end with my being asked to go abroad, not to lie for my country (as the Elizabethan Sir Henry Wotton defined the diplomat’s role) but to spy for it. I went along with the game, expressing wide-eyed surprise, and, dissimulating enthusiastically, said that I had always wanted to “work for the Foreign Office”. This strange lunch set in motion a train of events that would change my life completely.

  • Surely the difference is that Paddy was looking for future employment. Sir Richard was taking up a party political role. Pretty obvious distinction.

    I thought it was a good point by Paddy, but I was surprised by how vehement he was in his attack. Some history between the two?

  • Paddy was NOT looking for employment, and as he states “One day I got a rather mysterious call from someone”
    So he was not on 4 weeks leave to find work like “Sir Richard Dannatt” was.
    Like you I could not make out why he reacted like he did?

    I think you should read this,
    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/book_extracts/article6077218.ece

    You can skip the bits below !!!!!
    Private maths lessons were arranged for me with the wife of a local businessman, I naturally fell hopelessly in love with her, despite what must have been at least a 15-year difference in our ages.
    After about 10 minutes of this torture, she instructed me to get a book from the bookshelf. Now there was no disguising my embarrassment and nothing to hide it with. And this time she did not pretend not to notice, but to my horror asked me whether I was embarrassed by it. I stammered that I was and, in a flame of blushes, apologised. She replied that it was nothing to be embarrassed about, unbuttoned her blouse and, gently taking my hand, placed it on her naked breast.

    You will have to read the rest !!!

  • It’s all got a bit R18 in here 🙂

    Though thanks to that link I now know what steps to take when wading through leech infested waters which I imagine will be invaluable.

    On topic, there is a world of difference between being recruited from the special forces to be a spy cultural attache to being recruited as a senior advisor to the leader of the opposition.

  • David

    Being recruited by the intelligence services and continuing to serve the Queen but in a different role is a lot different from being recruited to advise the Conservatives and to make the Government look bad (as if they need help in that department).

    I thought Paddy’s point was a very fair one- that in doing what he did Sir Richard Dannatt put another serve strain on the relationship between the Government and the forces- i.e. the government felt they could trust senior military figures less. This makes communication harder and could ultimately make the job of troops on the ground more difficult- I don’t care how much you disagree with the Government you don’t run that risk.

    Furthermore, he was still serving when it came out, meaning that he was still in his role (on leave or not) when his name was used in a party political way by the Conservatives opening up the forces to being just another piece of politics rather than above partisan squabbles.

  • Jiggles
    Furthermore, he was still serving when it came out, meaning that he was still in his role (on leave or not) when his name was used in a party political way by the Conservatives opening up the forces to being just another piece of politics rather than above partisan squabbles.

    He was still in the Services, BUT he was no longer holding the job/position that he had been holding, and was on leave. He said he accepted the job on offer, and would take it up when he would leave the services in a few weeks time.
    It was not clear just when it was released to when he was taking up the job, and who released it.
    If it came from Conservatives I expect they saw no harm saying that he would be joining them as an advisor, because as he said he was no longer holding any position in the Army.

    Remember the question on Question Time was “was it right for the Labour Party to smear Sir Richard Dannatt ”
    The Labour Party have a history of doing this to their own, let alone some body like Sir Richard Dannatt, and it led into this question of “was it right to say he was joining the Conservatives while still in the forces”
    It turned out that he did not release this information, so all Sir Richard Dannatt, had done was have a job interview (in the 4 weeks leave period), and accepted it, and to start when he left the services.
    If you see any blame here for this news being released before he left the services, then it was down to the Conservatives , and nothing to do with Sir Richard Dannatt.

    In answer to your statement above,
    meaning that he was still in his role (on leave or not) when his name was used

    He states he was not in his role once he started his leave.

  • Sorry to keep posting on this, but I have read the dates of when Dannatt handed over his position in the Forces, and when it was announced that Sir Richard Dannatt would be joining the Conservative Party.

    This is from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dannatt
    It shows Dannatt handed over his appointment as Chief of the General Staff at midday on 28 August 2009, which was the last Friday in August.
    The story of him joining the Tory party was first broken on 7th October , the day before David Cameron announced it on the 8th of October .
    So he was not the Chief of the General Staff in September, and it was not announced until he had left services at the end of September.
    Game set and match Paddy, you were wrong.

    He assumed the appointment of Chief of the General Staff in August 2006, replacing General Sir Mike Jackson. Dannatt handed over his appointment as Chief of the General Staff at midday on 28 August 2009 to General Sir David Richards.[2][3]
    Role as Conservative Defence adviser
    On the 7 October 2009, the story broke that General Sir Richard is expected to take an advisory role in the Shadow Defence team for the Conservatives in the House of Lords. Sir Richard, when interviewed, said that he would consider a post as a junior Defence Minister in a future Conservative government.[21] David Cameron, the Conservative Leader also stated that he’d spoken with Sir Richard and that the public would “have to wait and see” whether General Sir Richard would be a Minister in his future government; [22] although it was announced that Sir Richard will be joining the Conservative opposition as a peer in the Lords’; which David Cameron announced in his Leader’s Address on the last day of the Conservative Party Conference Thursday 8th October 2009. [23]

  • Sorry Mark that you want to get personal, but the point is Sir Richard did nothing wrong, because he did point out he never helped the Tory party until he had left the services about two weeks ago. You are correct in pointing out that he left in Nov.
    I am not sure what you mean that “I am a bit of a fraud, vieux chap”?, and I do not see it as a blur it by quoating Paddy, as it was Paddy that made the statement.
    I also wish to point out that I did not post on here to impress any friends.
    We do agree on one thing that it was as both he, and you said that the announcement by the Tory party tends to blur things. I expect in their defence that they though that Sir Richard had left the services at the end of September.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Michael BG
    Joe Bourke, Pavlina Tcherneva sets out her vision of what a job guarantee scheme would be like, but I also talk of a job guarantee and a training guarantee. ...
  • Joe Bourke
    When we are talking about Keynesian economics it is important to remember the era that Keynes was writing in . This is why the analysis is sometimes referred to...
  • Joe Bourke
    Peter Martin, Dr Hunt's experience and credentials as an Internationally recognized monetary economist speaks for itself. He has a long record over many yea...
  • Andrew Southgate
    Fiona:Don't worry- if there was a 10% swing to Labour in the next electon- as there was last night in Old Bexley and Sidcup -then Keir Starmer would be in Numbe...
  • nigel hunter
    What will he promise this time....