Friday, 25 November 2011

Alex Salmond At His Best

How many more times will Willie Rennie (the leader of the Libdems in Scotland), announce he visited Afghanistan?  It was in July for goodness sake and he spent the usual hour or two, awarded by the military on these unnecessary visits, on the ground.

Yesterday at First Minister's Questions, he showed his ignorance regarding military matters.  To imply only the Army would participate in a Scottish Defence Force insults those serving in the RAF and Navy.

His question was poorly composed. Of course soldiers - and all military personnel - are loyal to HM the Queen, but the glue which holds regiments, brigades, squadrons and other segments of the military world together is trust.

To suggest that any Scottish soldier would be breaking the trust of his colleagues if he decided to join a Scottish Defence Force is absurd.

No need to say Alex Salmond handled Willie Rennie's naive, ill-advised and silly question with the contempt it deserved. Another pathetic performance from Mr Rennie.

Video courtesy of Moridura.


JRB said...

Dear Santa

All I want for Christmas is a meaningful opposition.

Whilst I love my SNP it would be nice if they had an intelligent and capable opposition to play with. One who could string two sentences together and participate in mature adult debate.

So if I promise to be good can you try and find an opposition for my SNP – from somewhere.


Michele said...

Don't think you understand the oath of allegiance we take - there is no 'But' - our oath is to the Crown not to some tin pot politician, of any party or national persuasion.

Unknown said...

I disagree, Subrosa.

It's not a question of breaking trust of colleagues by choosing to serve in a Scottish Defence Force.

It's all about the bonds that grow between service personnel who serve together over years, and who save each others' lives on a daily basis. Soldiers from all parts of the UK work together and it will be a dilemma for soldiers in the British Army if Scotland becomes independent - do they stay in the British Army with their friends and colleagues, or have to establish new bonds as part of a Scottish Defence Force? And their families, in army communities down south will have close bonds with other families while their loved ones are overseas. It is a very human consequence of independence that I think Willie was right to highlight.

And you are wrong to dismiss his experience - he was on the Defence Select Committee for 4 years and he has had a lot of experience of talking to soldiers - and campaigning on their behalf, too, for better equipment, better leave arrangements and, critically, bette r health care.

Don't dismiss what he says so lightly.

subrosa said...

Good one JRB and desperately needed. Checks and balances are essential for governments.

subrosa said...

Didn't I say that Michele in my reference to HM the Queen? It's what I meant anyway, so apologies if I didn't express myself clearly.

If an oath had to be made to politicians, tin pot or not, I would think consciption would have to be reinstated.

subrosa said...

Just because an MP has been on a Westminster committee doesn't make them any form of expert Caron. Look at those who sit on the Finance Committee and the mess we're in. So no, I won't be taking lessons from Willie Rennie about the Army. I've experience of talking to soldiers, but that doesn't make me an expert and I would like to think all MPs support better conditions for military personnel because some still live in what I would class as sub-standard accommodation.

As for his question I stand by my assessment that it was just silly. Our military are regularly working with military from other countries and sometimes for a year or two. Mr Rennie underestimates the intelligence of a soldier. A soldier's colleagues can change overnight depending upon the situation. Is Mr Rennie suggesting soldiers have the same colleagues throughout their careers? If so that's plain nonsense.

I know of a few dozen Scots who would be delighted to join a Scottish Defence Force and also a couple who would prefer to stay where they are. As Alex Salmond said it will be about personal choice.

Mr Rennie knows little about a military life style and that's why I consider his question ill-conceived.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

The armed forces of the UK are being used by Westminster as mercenaries.

Where lies the integrity of oaths and allegiances in that?

Anonymous said...

Bravo Subrosa.

I've just watched Alex kick Rennie's stupid butt all over the parliament.

I am sick to the back teeth of politicians using the military as some sort of political prop.

We had all the patriotism garbage from the idiot Cameron last week, at a time when (and we only found out about it courtesy of a leak) they were making soldiers redundant; that they were sacking injured soldiers and that they were removing or cutting funding from some military charities.

But still they trot in their numbers to Afghanistan, even such unimportant politicians as Willie Rennie, and waste the time of soldiers who have better things to do, just so that they can get a photo opportunity and a bit of publicity...and in the case of Rennie milk it for 6 months and more.

Sickening, second rate politics of the worst kind.

But as you say, the FM made him look very small.

Munguin said...

That’s Willie holding Alex to account is it? Not! That is how to look like a complete burke and an object lesson to the tuppeny-h’penny failed Fife MP in how to get torn up for toilet paper by a real statesman.

And what is Rennie doing asking that pointless first question like he and his pathetic crew are still any kind of real force in Scottish politics. Tricia ought to point out to him that by the time we get to the third backbench question we don’t want to know what the cabinet is going to be discussing and he is wasting parliamentary time that would better be served by another backbencher asking a real question.

RMcGeddon said...

We should cut Willie a bit of slack. He's an unelected suit who is unqualified for his role as leader. He found himself as the new leader because the rest of the limp Dems were even worse than he was. I'd go after his advisors who are obviously useless and aren't advising him properly.
Our servicemen will have the choice of finishing their career with the UK Armed Forces or crossing over to the Scottish Forces if there is a suitable role for them. Submariners will probably elect to stay in their present role ( for obvious reasons ). We have servicemen who are seconded to other countries all around the world. And other countries have their servicemen seconded to our Armed Forces.

pa_broon74 said...

I just think its distasteful to use the military in any sort of political point scoring, especially if what you're attempting to do is create division in its ranks where none exists which lets face it, we know WR was doing with this daft question on previous history alone.

And before the allegiance to 'British' armed forces versus allegiance to Scottish armed forces card is played. Scottish soldiers that I know join Scottish batallions because they derive great pride from being in a historic Scottish Batallion not necessarily the British Army.

Always remember, Scotland is paying for these batallions too, there is no reason to suppose they'd all go South, what was a British fighting group would just become a Scottish one. There is going to be a mix in both directions, (English in Scots Batts and vice versa.)

This new Scottish Defence force won't be new in terms of its people, it'll be a mix as well.

J. R. Tomlin said...

Embarrassingly bad on WR's part. Really I have to agree with JRB. I didn't think the opposition could get worse and then it did. Admittedly, Salmond is a tough man to take on, but this lot really are not up to the job.

subrosa said...

They are Crinkly and many are leaving instead of following a military career. The country will be worse off for that.

subrosa said...

I've often mentioned how the army feel at the disruption caused when politicians visit Tris, but of course that doesn't stop them visiting so as they can get their photo shoot at the 'front line'.

The ones who know better don't interfere and get on with their work.

It was a really stupid question which did nothing for his party.

subrosa said...

You're right on both counts Munguin.

subrosa said...

I did say it was an ill-advised question RM. :)

You're right of course but it's difficult to explain that to those who don't want to listen.

subrosa said...

It is distasteful pa_broon and you're right - he was trying to create a problem where none exists.

However, the military won't take any notice of such trouble makers. They're built of stronger stuff.

Yes, I suspect they will be a mix. There are military who have been born to Scottish families in all sorts of countries, but that doesn't make them any less Scots.

subrosa said...

It's not good for any government not to have a strong opposition Jeanne as I'm sure you know. However, the quality, aside from Patrick Harvey and Margo, is dreadful at present.

Part of the reason is the party system. Many people are just sick of it and therefore refuse to enter politics. I know several who would make excellent politicians but they say it would be nigh impossible to stand as an independent because of the divisive party system.

Nikostratos said...


If Alex Salmond read out the phone book you(lot) would say he was more poetic than Robbie Burns.

J. R. Tomlin said...

"t's not good for any government not to have a strong opposition..."

Absolutely, Rosie. An excellent case in point is the anti-Sectarian Bill. I don't know if that bill needs amendment or not, but if it does the opposition refusing to put forward amendments quite definitely does not solve whatever the problems may be.

It makes them look like whinging idiots. Unfortunately, I suspect that is exactly what a great many of them are and then that tars the better ones (there actually are a few, such as Malcolm Chisholm) with the same brush.

Key bored warrior. said...

This veteran of NI and the Falklands says Wee Wille Rennie, is a tiresome dreary wee runt. he reminds me of a Jack Russel I once met whilst walking up a driveway in Newton Mearns, it was a wee yappy thing that kept running in and nipping my heels. An upstairs window in the villa opened and a cultured voice shouted, "kick his balls" which I thought was very considerate, so I did. The poor we yapper must have flown 20ft before he ran howling in to the villa. Then the front door flew open and this rather irate lady shouted,
" you idiot I meant his tennis balls." Then I spotted the two tennis balls tied together in the driveway. I never did get that sale.

I always think of that day when I see Wee tiresome Wille speaking.

Soldiers form a very strong bond when under duress. It is a bond that is ever lasting and very rarely spoken of. That is the bond for your comrades, and the desire to see everyone getting home safe.

All this teflon speak BS about Queen and Country is just background hiss. The Scottish regiments I knew and worked with were full of Jocks who love their country and would not think twice about signing up to a SDF. As Alex Salmond said, many of them and their families have already voted for the SNP. It is not the SNP that are texting them on the front line to tell them they are redundant.

The likes of Rennie using such emotions for political gain has the mark of the desperate, and the contemptible all over it. He is utterly pathetic. When the Jocks hear that there is a visit on from some politician, they just wish they would stay the f*** out of it as they soak up resources and choppers that are desperately needed for the front line which these pathetic little men would never see, and if they did would have to be casevacted out.

When the murderer Blair visited Iraq and was exposed to the realities of the situation he had to sit for an hour when he got of the chopper, as he was deeply shocked and traumatised.

Willie Rennie has shown he is no more than a cheap shot no mark, and he needs to keep his snide wee nose out of what he has no understanding of.

subrosa said...

The sectarian bill is a good example Jeanne. Public opinion about it seems to be 50/50 and a good opposition would be the catalyst to further information and debate.

subrosa said...

Oh KBW, now you've cemented an image in my mind whenever I see or hear Mr Rennie in the future. :)

subrosa said...

Niko, how can I compare? Unless Labour resurrects Robbie of course...

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