Jan 31

Army puts diversity above effectiveness

General Sir Nicholas Carter is head of the British Army

General Sir Nicholas Carter is head of the British Army

The MOD have enlisted a supposed Russian threat in their bid for more money. But are the armed forces now more keen on ‘diversity’ than effectiveness? What are they for in today’s world?  And could they make cuts in their inflated levels of top brass?

Nick Carter: Russia Threat

First out of blocks was General Sir Nicholas Carter. The Chief of the General Staff was warning at the end of January that British forces must ‘keep up’ to counter an alleged Russia threat. General Carter said Moscow is building an increasingly aggressive and expeditionary force. It already boasts capabilities that outmatch UK forces, he said. Furthermore, last year Russia undertook simulated attacks across Northern Europe.

According to the Independent, the month before, the head of the Armed Forces spoke.  Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach claimed Russia poses a threat to Britain’s internet access and trade.

Russia’s “modernised” navy would be cutting underwater transcontinental cables. The UK had to bolster its naval forces to counter the threat, he went on.

Gavin Williamson: They’ll kill thousands

Nick Carter had barely stepped from his podium when Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP chimed in. The Daily Telegraph interviewed the Defence Secretary as its main front-page story on Friday last week. Russia was spying on Britain’s critical national infrastructure, claimed the Secretary of State.

Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, HM Secretary of State for Defence (R)

Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, HM Secretary of State for Defence (R)

‘The plan for the Russians won’t be for landing craft to appear in the South Bay in Scarborough, and off Brighton Beach,’ he said.

‘What they [Russia] are looking at doing is they are going to be thinking “How can we just cause so much pain to Britain?” Damage its economy, rip its infrastructure apart, actually cause thousands and thousands and thousands of deaths, but actually have an element of creating total chaos within the country.’

Gavin Williamson asserted that Moscow had been researching the UK’s critical infrastructure and how it connected to Continental power supplies with a view to creating ‘panic’ and ‘chaos.’

‘Scaremongering’

But energy experts said Mr Williamson’s claims were scaremongering. As the Guardian put it, the lights were ‘unlikely to go out even if the electricity interconnectors, which supply about 5% of UK power, were somehow cut off.’

“It does sound a bit like scaremongering really. If you take out one interconnector it’s clear the UK can survive. We saw that last year with the one to France,” said Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the ECIU thinktank, referring to a major power cable to France running at half capacity after it was damaged by a storm.

John Feddersen, the chief executive of Aurora Energy Research, agreed. “Electricity is not a major problem, we’ve got a decent amount of capacity. No house lights are going to go out,” he said.

The Daily Express ventured Mr Williamson’s outburst was timed to deflect attention from an embarrassing story about him.

Non-existent Russian Threat

With virtually the whole of the Ministry of Defence talking up some kind of a threat from Russia, it is good to remind ourselves there is no actual threat to British interests from Russia at all. Of course the Russians will conduct scary exercises on their borders. NATO has enough forces spread across eastern Europe to convince the Russians they are under an imminent threat.

Britain currently has 800 infantry and 150 armoured personnel wasting their time and our money in the Baltics. The Americans sent 87 tanks to Poland this time last year. We reported on NATO’s sabre-rattling at the time. It all creates jobs in the armaments manufacturers, for sure. But NATO and EU expansionism worries the Russians, who feel they have to stress their capability to respond.

Psalm 120:7 I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.

In reality, Russia can hardly govern its own vast territory. BAE Systems might not like it, but the Cold War is over. The Russians are neither our ‘enemies’ nor ‘our adversaries’. They are our allies in the real fight against militant Islam. The military and associated politicians need to grow up and smarten up.

Equality & Diversity

General Sir James Everard is Patron of the Army LGBT Forum

General Sir James Everard is Patron of the Army LGBT Forum

However, if the armed forces really are serious about their operational ability, why do they divert their energies into something as non-productive as equality and diversity?

The British Army has a full general (one of only three) in charge of equality and diversity. General Sir James Rupert Everard, KCB, CBE (born 23 September 1962) serves as NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. But General Everard is also, as Wikipedia puts it, a ‘strong advocate of diversity’. General Everard has served as Patron of the Army LGBT Forum since 2010 when he was a Lt-General. He himself is not that way inclined, being married with three children.

Furthermore, Christian Voice has learned the General has a whole department at Home Command headquarters at Andover working on the subject. The unit must be commanded by a Major-General or Lt-General reporting directly to Gen Everard. It could even be Lt Gen Patrick Sanders, who is ‘LGBT Champion for the Army’. (See ‘Stonewall’ below.)  Equality and Diversity is now the main focus of the British Army.

Diversity Statistics

But what good is all the emphasis on women, BME personnel and gays doing?

According to the UK Armed Forces Biannual Diversity Statistics of 1st October 2017, ‘18.8 per cent of service personnel declared a sexual orientation. There were 23.3 per cent of Officers and 17.8 per cent of Other Ranks declaring a sexual orientation.’

Now then, how many owned up to being homosexual? It might be more fashionable in today’s armed forces to be homosexual, but in any event, the Biannual Diversity Statistics failed actually to give a heterosexual / bisexual / homosexual / transsexual / queer / intersex etc breakdown. So for all the money spent on diversity no-one knows. And who cares whether female representation in UK regular forces is stable at 10.3%?

The Bible, of course, shows God expects men to do the fighting, but it also stresses the virtue of peace.

Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Black and Asian recruits

Soldiers from 5th Battalion The Rifles, Headquarters take part in a Military March and Shoot.

Soldiers from 5th Battalion The Rifles, Headquarters take part in a Military March and Shoot.

Turning to black and minority-ethnic personnel, here are figures from the same report. ‘BAME personnel accounted for 10.5 per cent of intake into the UK Regular Forces in the 12 months to 30 September 2017.’ But, according to the statistics for England and Wales alone, black people and Asians made up 10.8% of the population at the last count. Other ‘non-whites’ were 3.2%.

Talking about religion, Christians made up 71.9% of the total armed forces. ‘No religion’ was 25.5%. According to UK statistics, Hindus are outnumbered four-to-one by Muslims in the UK population. Despite that, Hindus provide 0.8% of the armed forces, double the Muslim 0.4%.

Given the reluctance of Muslims to join the armed forces, the Army, Navy and Air Force are not doing that bad. It could indeed be argued that recruitment should be colour-blind, and there is no need for a diversity unit at all.

Stonewall Equality Index

With General Everard in charge of appeasing the LGBT lobby, it comes as no surprise that the Army has made the ‘Stonewall 100 list’.  It even boasts about it on its website.

‘The British Army is delighted to be counted once again, as one of the top 100 employers in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2018. This listing is prestigious (sic) as it is judged against more than 430 organisations and companies. It is also testament to the increasingly inclusive environment within the Army’, it simpers.

“We are delighted to be included in Stonewall’s listing of Top 100 employers,” says Lt Gen Patrick Sanders, Commander Field Army and LGBT Champion for the Army. “It recognises our commitment to diversity and the importance we place on allowing soldiers to be themselves.

Darren Towers, Executive Director, Stonewall said: ‘The British Army and all those who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list have done a fantastic job. Taking part in our Index shows real commitment to understanding and advancing LGBT equality. This year, for the first time, the Index looked at what employers were doing for trans equality in the workplace. This work is crucial.’

The previous 'Be the Best' adverts emphasised ruggedness and learning a skill

The previous ‘Be the Best’ adverts emphasised ruggedness and learning a skill

British Army Bedtime stories

On top of this, the Army gained ridicule in January for its latest recruiting campaign. Its previous ‘Be the Best’ adverts, (Here’s one on YouTube), emphasised ruggedness and action. It showed the benefits of joining the army. That was all the qualifications in jobs you could train for. There was only a gentle nod towards black recruits.

But the latest (shown here) is more emotional (’emo’) showing men under strain. Their mates are giving them coffee. Moreover, around half the section are black, making the video more aspirational than true. It has a ‘This is Belonging’ strap-line. One fully expects the Sergeant to read you a bedtime story if you are afraid of the dark.

An image from the new British Army recruitment adverts. Fewer than half a percent of army personnel are actually Muslim.

An image from the new British Army recruitment adverts. Fewer than half a percent of army personnel are actually Muslim.

Even the Philistines in the Bible could do better than that:

1Sam 4:9  Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.

Another ad features a cartoon baby and mummy, a Muslim bowing down on his prayer mat, and apparently, someone asking whether they can be ‘gay’ in the army. According to this video, which shows some of the ads, on Channel 5 news, the British Army spent £1.6 million on the campaign.

Threats now more sinister

Major General Tim Cross thought it could reach out to ‘various aspects of the community’. But should marketing probe an unrepresented market, or play to the product’s market strengths?  Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan is in the latter camp. He said the ad campaign was “neglecting the main group of people who are interested in joining” and will not solve the “recruiting crisis” facing the armed forces.

But if there is a recruiting crisis, the UK’s trend to full employment will not help. And threats are now more sinister, more home-grown, or arising from Islamist terror groups. The threat from expansionist nations (the EU excepted) is vanishing. Even North Korea is more concerned with Kim Jong-Un’s survival than with over-running its southern neighbour.

Is there a case for a British Army of the present strength at all? According to this excellent resource, it has no fewer than fourteen Lieutenant-Generals commanding just three or four corps, 112,00 personnel, in all. These split into Field Army and Home Command. There need to be soldiers doing paperwork, working on logistics, training schedules, procurement and so on.  But fourteen Lieutenant-Generals?

How many Brigadiers?

The British Army Structure

The British Army Structure

A Division Contains 3 Brigades and numbers 10,000. The Army would have perhaps twelve Divisions spread out over the Field Army and Home Command. So why do we need thirty-nine Major-Generals to command them?

A Brigade Contains 3-5 Battalions and has 5,000 personnel. In terms of numbers, the British Army has perhaps twenty-four brigades. Now, guess who commands a brigade? Yes, it’s a Brigadier. Each of those twelve Major-Generals would have two Brigadiers under him. Each Brigadier would command a brigade. We understand that Brigadier is a rank, not a job description, but, seriously, why do we need one hundred and thirty-six of them?

Conclusion

We could go on. From scare-stories, to wasteful diversity programmes, to mis-directed advertising, the British Army has a quite different challenge from the simplistic financial one its leaders put forward. And apart from the ridiculous diversity unit, and the top brass overstaffing, we have not even touched upon the myriad ways in which the army wastes tax-payers’ money – in procurement for example. Maybe the lack of sufficient recruitment reflects society’s confusion about what the British Army is there for at all.

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  1. It is noticeable that schools are now (compared to in the past) actively promoting the army as a positive thing in life and as a good career choice. Lots of cadet units etc….hmmm, I wonder why!

    1. In the past, when I was at school, there was an almost compulsory cadet force, and as well as one teacher devoted to careers guidance in general (as well as his teaching), there was one other devoted to careers in the armed forces only.

      But when my son was at school, still in the past but less so, there was none of this. Different school, though.

      I wouldn’t like to say what was happening now in general compared to various other dates without doing some research into it.

  2. I served for 24 years in the Royal Army Medical Corps. A large part of a serviceman’s ethos is defending the country’s ethos, culture and values as well as its identity and borders.

    It is devastating to find, 25 years after leaving the Army, that true British values are disregarded whilst fake British values have been invented to usher in unrighteous ideologies.

    The Christian faith has traditionally been a part of Army life, identified by the Royal Army Chaplaincy Corps, Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association (SASRA), church parades and the like. Today’s focus on the LGBT agenda is a disgrace to our forefathers and to the Lord Jesus Christ.

  3. The Independent was sold to Alexander Lebedev (ex-KGB) in 2010. I would be doubtful the stuff it publishes on Russia’s defence capabilities is independent.

    Anyway, back to the thing about political correctness. Well I used to read the papers, but two things in particular really bothered me. One was when they withdrew all those benefits from the disabled and unemployed, and the other was when they cooked up that bent concept of homosexual marriage. No matter which paper you read, they would all sing the same tune. You started to get dumb blonds from leftwing tabloids contributing to papers like the Telegraph, and communists writing for the Times. We no longer had “quality papers” at that point. What we had were a bunch of journalists, all leftwing, all pro-political correctness, all sinners and total hypocrites. It became a disgrace, and what was more was I found, and am still finding, that people take their word as gospel, and like preachers they syndicate this News.

    I started to ask myself why do people do this. Surely the press are important in the scheme of things. I started to analyse the language they used and the way they used grammar. I looked at it from a psychological perspective and realised they were brainwashing people as a kind of subtext to the stories they told.

    So after realising this I stopped reading them. That was stage one. Stage two was to source better information. I was not going to parrot the media. You can supply links and references to information without going through their servers. As a rule I never publish a link to any of their papers and encourage the real independence of those who have experience in some field or another and link to them directly. I’ve been doing this for a while now and it works. You find other people follow your example and we get far more interesting views. Remember, each time you publish a link to the Daily Mail or similar, that is like free advertising for them, and it just makes them all the more powerful. Google rates websites by how many links are directed to it amongst other ways. We have to cut them out, and a good time to start is now if you have not already started to do this. Give them power and they will stuff you. It’s like dealing with the devil.

    I think in the press you have quoted in recent time on here it is clear they are all in the same club. The new program is “transsexual”, and no matter which paper you read, they will hype it. Even journalists who pretend to be against it will hype it. They will do so by making it sound commonplace. The program is to normalise it. The more familiar it is in the public’s mind the more acceptable it becomes, even if it is utter nonsense. They always set up a Punch and Judy show for these new concepts they invent. It makes the public think the issue has been properly debated. The sly trick is to define the boundaries of that debate – to reframe it.

    1. yes, Andrew, in a similar vein, Noam Chomsky said, “the smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum”.

      A classic example is BBC’s “Question Time”: no real conservative or right-wing panellists are invited.

  4. Russia has invaded the Ukraine, let’s not forget. And acting in Syria to their secure warm water ports and air bases. The Russians have always had an expansionist outlook to further protect the motherland, as seen in 1945-1990. In my opinion they would retake the Baltic states if they could, had NATO not been there.
    An Army is 100,000 strong. Hence our Army is no longer worthy of the name. The Royal Navy have very few fighting ships and boats; the RAF have few operational strike aircraft. To maintain peace, we must prepare for War and be at least equal to potential threats. That includes threats from crazed dictators as in N Korea. We are failing woefully in doing so.

    1. Epistle, the EU and Soros agitated to overthrow the legitimately-elected president of Ukraine. THen when all hell broke loose, the Russians felt they had to defend ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. And in Syria they have defended the Syrian Christians and prevented a takeover by Islamist fanatics. Crimea was always Russian, before you mention that, and things have changed since 1989.
      We are not going to invade North Korea, or anywhere else I hope, after the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles. Nor is anyone about to invade us. Nor is any nation state going to let loose a nuclear weapon. Islamic terrorists might, but that is my point. The threats have changed.

      1. I agree. Crimea was really part of Russia, and so (but less clear-cut) was part of eastern Ukraine in general. What was really needed was a series of local plebiscites, like those which fixed the border between (difficult to imagine now) Denmark and Germany after the First World War, and allocated other contentious areas at the same time. It’s a shame that the United Nations did not rush in to organise this, like the League of Nations did.

        Oh gosh, I agree with Stephen on most of the rest of this too ! Even in the darkest days of the Cold War, I was unworried, my argument being “Why would Russia want to invade us ? What point would there be in Russia making this island uninhabitable, whether they were going to invade it or not ?” And I was right. Even Hitler, you know, wasn’t primarily interested in invading Britain, as people tend to think. His original idea was to expand eastwards, and he soon dropped any ambitions in our direction and concentrated on that. We aren’t really all that desirable, especially if we keep ourselves a bit prickly.

  5. Stephen, Hitler used the same argument regarding protecting ethnic germans to justify his initial invasions. We should, I believe, recognise the integrity of Sovereign states to avoid wars breaking out globally. Russia annexed the Crimea in 2014 illegally, according to UN resolutions. There are many ethnic Russians in the Baltic states: should that be the pretext for Putin to invade them? I hope not. A career in the Ministry of Defence informs me that Russia remains the UK’s principal military threat, as demonstrated by increasing incursions into our airspace and home waters; but I appreciate that you have a different view. Few anticipated war with the Agentinians in 1982: we need to be prepared for and hence to deter the unexpected. Currently, we are most seriously unprepared.

    1. What is different about Russia and Ukraine is that there is a continuous natural spectrum of spoken language and “ethnicity” as you go from west to east (or east to west), Admittedly there are Russian settlers and administrators too, as there are in the Baltic states. But the people of the Baltic states are not Slavs, and now that they are independent, the Russians are as easily spotted as Poles in England or Algerians in France. Perhaps welcome to some extent, but easily distinguished from the aboriginal people, unless they make a real effort to blend in (perhaps intermarrying).

      This was the same with the Germans that Hitler wanted to “protect”. Except for those in Austria, they could easily be distinguished from the majorities they were living amongst, Poles, Czechs etc. Most of them probably had perfectly legitimate reasons to be there, and did not really need protection, although on the other hand the treatment they received from local Slavs and the governments was not always as good as one might like to think. But that’s another story.

      I am just trying to make the point that drawing a line between Russia and Ukraine is not quite the same as either protecting Russians in the Baltic States, or protecting potentially Nazi Germans in Slavic countries.

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