How Political Correctness Is Putting Our Nationat Risk; as Soldiers Win the Right to Sue Their Officers

Daily Mail (London), February 28, 2000 | Go to article overview

How Political Correctness Is Putting Our Nationat Risk; as Soldiers Win the Right to Sue Their Officers


IT IS ALMOST impossible to believe that this Government which constantly claims to hold the Armed Forces in high regard - has really decided to allow soldiers to sue their commanding officers for compensation if they are given orders which prove (with the comforting certainty of hindsight) to have been 'wrong'.

I can think of no decision which would do more to undermine the necessary self-confidence of junior officers and to damage morale and discipline in the Armed Forces.

How can you train men under your command for war if you are constantly looking over your shoulder to make certain that you are not about to be ambushed by a gaggle of lawyers?

How can you make snap decisions under rapidly changing circumstances when the threat of legal action is ever-present?

I know that the constant looming prospect of litigation would have made me an overcautious and less effective officer.

I am equally confident that senior officers will have warned ministers in no uncertain terms of the potentially disastrous consequences of their proposed action.

To put it bluntly, I suspect they will have argued like this: If you politicians casually subvert discipline and military morale in peacetime, training will become less realistic.

How political correctness is putting our nation at risk As a result, you will undermine our servicemen's renowned fighting spirit and create a fatal 'safety first' attitude in war. Ultimately, this could endanger the security of the realm and make it more likely that men may die as a result of dithering decisions.

So why has the Government once again ignored expert advice and taken the farcical decision to allow the fashionable compensation culture which has so disfigured civil society to enter the Armed Forces? Why are ministers so ignorant of, or dismissive of, Service opinion?

It is, I believe, a matter of generations. National Service was abolished more than 40 years ago. Previous Labour Cabinets included men such as Jim Callaghan, Denis Healey, Tony Crosland and Tony Benn, all of whom had distinguished war records.

Prime Minister Clement Attlee had held the rank of major in World War One and he never lost the sympathy he acquired for men facing the horrors of war.

Affronts In contrast, no member of this administration has, as far as I am aware, had any significant military experience. Some would say that this seismic shift explains the latest in a series of ill-considered affronts to

military dignity and morale.

For example, the present inquiry into the shootings in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday was offensive, retrospective and unnecessary - and was instigated despite a 15-volume inquiry carried out by the then Lord Chief Justice.

It was initially to have been held under conditions which would have endangered the lives of soldiers who had been on duty on that fateful day.

was, in truth, a public relations gimmick designed to appease Republicanism.

So was the more recent plan for a so-called National Day Reconciliation - in which British troops were to join the IRA in a symbolic gesture 'marking the end of conflict' which would inevitably have been seen as a way of equating terrorists with soldiers of the Queen. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

How Political Correctness Is Putting Our Nationat Risk; as Soldiers Win the Right to Sue Their Officers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.