"those who seek to hijack the good name of Britain’s military"

This morning’s BBC news is making much play with a letter in the Times denouncing those who appropriate icons of British military history for political purposes. It was one of the lead items on R4 news.

Two former heads of the Army are among those to put their names to a letter accusing “those who seek to hijack the good name of Britain’s military”.

It does not name the BNP but has been issued as part of a new campaign.

They write: “We call on all those who seek to hijack the good name of Britain’s military for their own advantage to cease and desist.

“The values of these extremists – many of whom are essentially racist – are fundamentally at odds with the values of the modern British military, such as tolerance and fairness.”

Well, I’m sure you can’t expect the (former) Army top brass to keep copies of everyone’s election leaflets – but surely the BBC’s army of newshounds and political correspondents must have noticed that the 2009 Euro elections featured an awful lot of what you could loosely call ‘nationalist’ iconography which didn’t come from the party not named by the generals. Try this, spotted by Iain Dale.

OK, why haven’t the BBC spotted this leaflet, handed out in the West Midlands Euro constituency in 2009 – by an ‘essentially racist’ party ? I noted it at the time as the Battle of the Spitfires.

Surely, as the generals have not named any political party, but purely those “who seek to hijack the good name of Britain’s military for their own advantage” , the BBC piece should include the Labour Party in its list of suspects ? Where’s that balance I keep hearing about ?

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22 Responses to "those who seek to hijack the good name of Britain’s military"

  1. Opinionated More Than Educated says:

    You missed out the bit where the generals say:

    these extremists — many of whom are essentially racist — are fundamentally at odds with the values of the modern British military

    I know there are distressed gentlefolk around these parts who use terms like racist and extremist to describe the mainstream parties, but it would be unreasonable – not to say downright scary – to expect figures like Mike Jackson to take that loopy view.

    Do you not think?

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  2. George R says:

    Of course, there is a context to this, which the dhimmi BBC  is disinclined to pursue, e.g.:

           “Muslims insult returning troops”

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23660563-muslims-insult-returning-troops.do

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    • Opinionated More Than Educated says:

      George

      Are you saying that a 7-month-old demo by an equally racist faction of Muslim extremists somehow negates the Generals’ letter? Or justifies the BNP purloining the high regard Brits have for their Armed Forces?

      And in what sense is that piece of old news context for anything, other than to demonstrate that there are hate-filled obsessives in every community?

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      • cassandra king says:

        OMTE,

        Our military history and pride in that history belongs to ALL of us regardless of our political beliefs.
        The BNP is a legal political party and many of its members either have served or have relatives who did serve in war and peace.
        The wonderful legacy of our armed forces is not the property of the newlabour regime or the Tory opposition and BTW it wasnt the BNP that sent our troops to an illegal war and occupation of Iraq and the dirty quagmire of Afghanistan propping up a bent regime and it was not the BNP that scrimped and saved on military kit and weapons leaving our troops unprotected against IEDs leading to many deaths and injuries.
        The BNP didnt jump for joy and cheer when when our troops were killed in Afghanistan and the BNP have not raised funds and sent voulenteers and equipment to fight and kill our troops, that OMTE was the work of our hostile islamist colonists.
        The grubby smears against the BNP will backfire hugely against the peddlers of this gross smear.
        Lets get something straight here, whatever their faults the BNP are loyal and proud British people and when the membership list opens to all races then that list will expand hugely.

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        • Opinionated More Than Educated says:

          Plenty of food for thought there, Cassandra, especially the idea that many members of racial minorities will join up and swell their numbers.

          But back to basics: The BNP remains fundamentally racist. In what sense are the Generals wrong to distance themselves from a party whose values are so at odds with our democracy?

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          • cassandra king says:

            OMTE,

            I see your point, it fully depends on what constitutes racism, what is racism and how do you define it?
            One persons view of racism is quite different to anothers view, which defintion is correct? It could be that racism taken in all its interpretations is far more widespread than just one group of people with one political view.
            Black racists, brown racists, African racists, Indian racists, Arabic racists, Chinese racists, religious racists, secular racists?

            Nearly every group is racist and can be deemed as racist by others, there is hardly a place in the world that doesnt experience one or more interpretation and definition of the term racist/racism.
            A south Sudanese may be racist against a North Sudanese and so on right round the world yet only one narrow view of racism is directed against one small portion of the population of the UK, why is that do you think?
            Of all the many different kinds of racism only the BNP is subject to the most fierce and ongoing critisism and allegations of racism, its odd that for example the nationalist racism in Scotland against the English is never spoken of, the race hatred of nationalist Welsh against the English is not thought worthy of mention, the racist hatred of whites in Zimbabwe by black Africans is largely ignored.

            Racism is fact highly subjective, its true meaning lost in an unthinking blizzard of political spite, BTW untill all forms of racism is openly talked about in a free atmosphere the BNPs support base will grow.
            My assertion that non native patriots will be joining the BNP is only a hunch, I could well be wrong but maybe time will tell on that score.
            What is racism and what is acceptable racism and what is not acceptable racism, who has a rright to be racist and who doesnt? These questions are valid and untill some effort is made to address them I feel we will stay in a rut of our own making.

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            • Opinionated More Than Educated says:

              An excellent summary of all kinds of prejudice. Is it possible, though, that the reason the BNP is mentioned by the Generals (and many others) is that unique among all the examples you gave us, they are trying to persuade the British public to vote for them?

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      • Martin says:

        Except those hate filled Muslims are not only protected by the Police (unlike the BNP) but WE are told that they have a right to spout their Islamic crap in the name of free speech, unlike the BNP.

        And is’nt the REAL issue here one of the Liebour party trying to gag the BNP who represent a threat to them in several northern seats at the next general election?

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        • Bob says:

          I seem to remember after their EU victory the BNP were given rather a lot of police protection from UAF egg-throwers baying for blood, Martin

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  3. Ian says:

    Regardless of what the troll says I think this is major mistake for the generals, of whom I have the greatest respect, to make this statement. The ‘tolerance and fairness’, while in themselves admirable qualities are also seen as part of the politically correct agenda where they are in reality anything but tolerant and fair. (See Jan Moir).

    This looks like political tinkering from persons who usually remain above the fray in whatever regard and it must be asked who has been driving the need to make such a statement.

    Once the military start making political statements ala Ian Blair this can only be a worrying development.

    Clumbsy at best.

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  4. George R says:

     Let’s get this clear: the  main military and political threat to Britain

    are the Islamic jihadists, their supporters, and their apologists.

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    • Opinionated More Than Educated says:

      Islamic terrorism is undoubtedly a major threat.

      How, though, does that excuse a political party with undemocratic and racist policies, wrapping itself in the symbolism of the British Forces, who are representatives of a democratic state?

      And what is wrong about the Generals making their position clear? And, for that matter, the media (BBC included) reporting that opinion?

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  5. Grant says:

    Didn’t the Labour party hijack the red rose as a symbol some years ago ?  That was pretty disgraceful.

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  6. Bob says:

    To my knowledge, the military have not come out and condemned any other party for using their iconography – that is the story here, and all the quotes you use are from the letter in the Times, not the BBC’s words

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  7. james caine says:

    Lord McNab?

    Sir Simon Weston?

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  8. Duncan Stott says:

    …and I’m sure you’d want the same charge applied to the Conservative party after their 1987 General Election campaign…

    http://www.liberal-vision.org/2009/10/20/not-even-the-military-can-lay-a-glove-on-the-bnp/

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  9. John Horne Tooke says:

    Yes – why not – but 1987 was a million miles away from today. Being a patriot then was allowed. Unlike the Liberals and Labour, who are hellbent on erasing British history or re-writing it.

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