Pity

Dan Jarvis has ruled out himself out of the Labour leadership contest, insisting that he wants to put his children before his immediate political career. The ex-paratrooper, who gave up his military career to become an MP in 2011, was seen by many in the party as an ideal candidate to give the party a fresh start.

While I disagree with him on most things political (we’ve had some limited internet interaction) he has at least had a job, some experience of the real world. Really rather what Labour needs, someone who has that life experience outside that SpAd to MP bubble. There’s very much more to life than the concerns of the SJWs and the party would do much better led by someone who actually understood that.

Of course, if they were led by someone like that then they would do better which isn’t to my benefit or taste. But it would be better for the country…..not that they do better, but that they not be led by hte gurning moron tendency.

59 thoughts on “Pity”

  1. Apparently his wife died in 2010 and he thinks his children deserve more than having g a dad who is only interested in his own ambitions. Sounds like a good guy me.

  2. As to the background, yes, first wife died, remarried, second family. All seems terribly sound to me. As I say, I don’t agree with him politically but he does seem sound from my interactions with him.

  3. As they say, anyone who wants power can’t be trusted with it. The corollary is unfortunate in this case, but I can totally understand ‘kids before country’…

  4. bloke (not) in spain

    ” he has at least had a job, some experience of the real world.”

    What a strange conclusion. Just looked at his career path. Degree in politics & Army. He’s a public sector worker. A tax parasite. How’s that experience of the real world?
    What real world is the military an expression of?.

  5. Jarvis seems like a good egg, and if his personal circumstances were different the Labourites should have been down on their knees begging him to run.

    I do wonder how much Milibands incredible softness contributed to his defeat? The electorate don’t like a wet.

  6. Apparently one of Ed Miliband’s children was heard to say “Daddy’s always on the phone or going out”.

    Anyway, maybe Mr Jarvis reckons that it might be better to get a bit more political experience and TV exposure, and throw his hat in the ring later on.

    Tip for the Tories: say of Andy Burnham, the man who was in charge of all those hospital deaths, “He’s killed more people than Dan Jarvis”.

  7. I’d say being a career paratroop officer, one who went to war more than a couple of times, is experience.

  8. Or “The gallant gentleman killed Her Majesty’s enemies, whereas the Leader of the Opposition killed Her Majesty’s subjects”.

  9. “a career paratroop officer, one who went to war more than a couple of times, is experience”: aye, a good deal better than nothing. But it is experience of a command-and-control world, so not an ideal model for civvy street. Major Attlee, after all, had military experience.

  10. Come to think of it, wouldn’t a bloke who killed the Queen’s enemies pose rather a problem for a large part of Labour’s voting base? Though perhaps a less large part if the Tories bring some semblance of honesty to the postal voting laws.

  11. bloke (not) in spain

    Tim. I’m by far a pacifist. And believe in the need for a strong military. But the British Army is the last organisation I’d pick to do it. Like the other two services, its major preoccupation is its self preservation. War fighting’s a sideline. Hardly any of its personnel do any.

  12. Oh the Labour leadership contest is going to bring hours of innocent fun.

    So might the Conservative one if Cameron has to resign over something or other. Any rumours that he has trouble with his zip, for instance? Maybe that wouldn’t be a resigning matter if Boris were the alternative.

  13. Unfortunately, while spending all of your adult life in politics and the Labour Party or unions makes you utterly unfit for running the country, it does make you very good at backstabbing, wheedling, lying and, above all, winning. Against that lot he’d be like one of the ‘fuzzywuzzies’ armed with an assegai against a maxim gun.

  14. Maybe after ten year’s stumbling in the wilderness under various PPE graduates, Labour will be ready for Dan Jarvis when Dan Jarvis is ready for them. (I know nothing of the man’s ideas but his time in the army must have taught him that you need more than wishful thinking to deliver anything.)

  15. I’m thinking of those guys on prosthetic legs I saw trying to march past me last Remembrance Sunday.

    “Tax parasites”? Fighting wars “a sidline”?

    Actually, I’ll just leave it there.

  16. I’m not sure we want a “sound” labour leader. Much better for them to keep listening to Polly, Penny and Owen.

  17. But if you wanted to be PM rather than just labour leader, you’d surely give it a miss this time around?

  18. bloke (not) in spain

    It’s because of people like that I have such a low opinion of the British Army. They send soldiers into harms way in totally inadequate vehicles. With inadequate helicopters. Because costs. Yet they have an entire ruinously expensive branch of the Army serves no useful function whatsover. Simply provides the excuse for cavalry regiments for the upper classes to command.
    There is no military role for the main battle tank. Where it might be marginally useful, the Army lack the logistic capability to get it there in any reasonable time. How many of the world’s troublespots are conveniently near a major port in friendly hands? And its survivability on the modern battlefield is zero. See what happened to Iraqi armour.
    This has been true for 30 years. But they must have tanks. Because.
    Action at the sharp end, for the majority of British Army officers, is that unfortunate interlude they’re obliged to go through before they find a safe desk.

  19. ZaNu needs to be destroyed. Or at least its wagon fixed to the degree it is unelectable. Then the spotlight can fall on the lesser but still vile evil that is BluLabour. With both cheeks of the arse kicked we might just have a decent country again.

  20. > It’s because of people like that I have such a low opinion of the British Army. They send soldiers into harms way in totally inadequate vehicles.

    It’s because of tax parasites like that I have such a low opinion of the British Army. They send tax parasites into harms way in totally inadequate vehicles.

    FTFY.

  21. If he’s served in the forces then he’s probably been know to give the time of day, and probably even some actual respect, to some ordinary folk trying to make their way through life via their own efforts… as oppose to leveraging their parents cosy contacts to get them into a cushy rent-seeking gig.

    Both of the big parties could do with a bit of that experience at the top table.

  22. bloke (not) in spain

    SQ2
    Interesting to read someone use exactly the same tactic as: “NHS – Envy of the World!” subscript – the NHS contains caring people = the NHS is exclusively caring people. Therefore immune from criticism. Sacrosanct.
    This is how w̶e̶ you end up with the NHS as we know it, isn’t it?

    Would you say being ex-NHS middle management was a beyond criticism qualification for MP & party leader?

  23. BNIS:

    A couple of years ago on November 11 (Veterans’ Day here in the US), I said I’d remember the day in honor of my dad who had 18 months stolen out of his life courtesy of the peacetime draft and spent them at White Sands Missile Range, NM, keeping the Ernst Stavro Blofelds of the world from getting a hold of American missiles.

    The military fellators went nuts. (We have the same dichotomy here in the States, where a lot of people think the government sector is bad, until it gets to the military, which is sacrosanct.)

  24. BNIS,

    > Interesting to read someone use exactly the same tactic as: “NHS – Envy of the World!” subscript – the NHS contains caring people = the NHS is exclusively caring people. Therefore immune from criticism. Sacrosanct.

    I honestly have no idea what you think you’re talking about. I know fuck all about Dan Jarvis and am perfectly willing to consider that he might be an arsehole of the highest order. But here’s what you actually said:

    > Just looked at his career path. Degree in politics & Army. He’s a public sector worker. A tax parasite. How’s that experience of the real world?
    > What real world is the military an expression of?.

    Thing that happened: You claimed that he is a tax parasite with no experience of the real world because he’s ex-military, and I noticed.

    Thing that didn’t happen: You claimed that he is a tax parasite with no experience of the real world for some other reason and I responded that he was above criticism because he’s ex-military.

    You see the difference?

  25. I have now gone and found out a little bit about Jarvis. I see he was in the Paras. I’m sure you’ll explain why your criticisms of tank warfare apply to him any minute now.

  26. Well I WAS talking about Jarvis. I was saying that he seems like a decent bloke. I noted that he personally saw active service. He wasn’t as a simple fact a tax parasite.

    And I ‘m fairly sure that here are very diligent middle – managers in the NHS, people who equally are not tax parasites. They will not have seen service like Jarvis, knowing each next step.could be on an IED. However, they are not tax parasites.

  27. Bloke in Germany

    Someone should get him or the press over here right now.

    “Jarvis – the Libertarian’s kind of Socialist”. Maybe he will be the next PM after all!

  28. bloke (not) in spain

    TedS is correct. The military fellators go nuts.
    I have no particular knowledge of Dan Jarvis, apart from the little I’ve read on Wiki. He may be a good & honourable man.

    It’s the notion that being in the military is counted as a plus, irrespective of personal qualities.
    Tim “he has at least had a job, some experience of the real world.”
    On what supposition is that made? University studying politics. Served in the Paras. Exactly where does this intersect with the “real world” the rest of us operate in? The Army, any army is possibly the most profound expression of socialism in action you can find. By definition, a totally command economy. No free markets working at all. No choice.

  29. So Much for Subtlety

    bloke (not) in spain – “They send soldiers into harms way in totally inadequate vehicles. With inadequate helicopters. Because costs.”

    Costs that are not under the control of the Army. If Blair et al refuse to fund them adequately what can they do?

    “Yet they have an entire ruinously expensive branch of the Army serves no useful function whatsover.”

    So tanks are apparently totally inadequate. So the Army either doesn’t have enough armour or it has too much, but it can’t get it just right.

    “There is no military role for the main battle tank.”

    Every military disagrees with you but actually the British Army is phasing most of their MBTs out. They have moved on. I think this is a mistake.

    “Where it might be marginally useful, the Army lack the logistic capability to get it there in any reasonable time.”

    Which was hardly the Army’s first choice was it?

    “See what happened to Iraqi armour.”

    And what happened to 1. the British Armour in the same conflict or 2. the Iraqis in softer vehicles, or 3. the British in less armoured vehicles? You condemn the British Army for sending them without armour but also condemn them for sending them with too much armour. Which is it?

    “This has been true for 30 years. But they must have tanks.”

    The British Army used to have six armoured regiments. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards have lost their tanks and been given Jackals. The Royal Dragoon Guards have lost theirs and been given Scimitars.

    The only that have retained tanks are The Queen’s Royal Hussars (which is based in Germany still), The King’s Royal Hussars. And the two regiments of the RTR.

    Doesn’t look like a bunch of upper class twits keeping tanks to me.

    By the way, the new reforms to the Army are specifically to encourage officers to leave their regiments and serve behind a desk. They didn’t used to.

  30. > Served in the Paras. Exactly where does this intersect with the “real world” the rest of us operate in?

    This may be the most asinine thing I’ve read all week. And I’ve been bickering with SMFS.

  31. bloke (not) in spain

    ” I’m sure you’ll explain why your criticisms of tank warfare apply to him any minute now”

    Because the primary purpose of the military, for a long time now, has been to provide lucrative contracts for UK defense industry. And the primary military role of each of the services is in combat with their main enemies. The other two services.

    Hence tank warfare capability is a reason for BAe to produce tanks. No other purpose.

    I would anyone coming from this backgound with deep suspicion.

  32. So Much for Subtlety

    bloke (not) in spain – “No free markets working at all. No choice.”

    But a lot of responsibility. If the paras get things wrong, squaddies die. Unlike the social services. There just babies die. That is a lesson worth learning.

  33. So Much for Subtlety

    bloke (not) in spain – “Hence tank warfare capability is a reason for BAe to produce tanks. No other purpose.”

    I don’t disagree that procurement is criminal, but that does not make tanks useless. However Britain is no longer in the business of making tanks:

    A British military document from 2001 indicated that the British Army would not procure a replacement for the Challenger 2 because of a lack of foreseeable conventional threats in the future

  34. bloke (not) in spain – heh.

    I was a tax parasite in the Army. (Not a warrior like Dan Jarvis though.) It’s true that most folks in the services don’t actually fight in wars. Unless Saturday night scuffles outside a provincial nightclub counts. This isn’t a modern thing. Armies have always needed more cooks, squires, priests, healers, armourers, and farriers than they do knights and bowmen.

    Here’s the thing though: Army people tend to be a helluva lot more realistic about life, the universe, and the British state than career politicians (or, say, NHS middle managers) are. To be sure, they’re mainly sarcastic alcoholics. But what’s wrong with that?

    Being in the Army is a bit like being a copper or a binman. Yes, you’re ultimately employed by the public sector. But it’s largely a shitty job and you tend to gain experience of hard graft and the nature (and limitations) of your fellow man. That doesn’t seem to hold true for Oxbridge PPE types or career civil servants.

  35. bloke (not) in spain

    Then why, SMfS, does the Army still have Challenger tanks? And the armoured regiments to man them?* And spend the phenomenal amount of money needed to keep them in service?

    *Who, amazingly, were the least hit in the defense cuts around the time it was decided there wasn’t a future role for the tank.

  36. So Much for Subtlety

    bloke (not) in spain – “Then why, SMfS, does the Army still have Challenger tanks? And the armoured regiments to man them?* And spend the phenomenal amount of money needed to keep them in service?”

    They paid for them already. Tanks last a long time. It does not make sense to throw away a perfectly good piece of kit when it cost so much and can run for decades. Like the Royal Navy tends to keep its ships for a long time.

    They won’t replace them.

  37. bloke (not) in spain – if we got rid of our MBT’s, no doubt we’d soon regret it. Nobody knows what the future holds.

    The Challenger 2 is a formidable weapon. We have them, so might as well hang on to them – the hulls will still be useful for decades to come. The Frogs, Krauts, Russkies and Yanks aren’t getting rid of their tanks. No doubt drones will make them obsolete in future, but not just yet.

  38. bloke (not) in spain

    So we think a guy from a world where the sunk cost fallacy isn’t even a rumour has lived in the “real world”.
    Fascinating.

    Isn’t someone forgetting the job description we’re interviewing this chap for? it isn’t man management at the workface. It’s Prime Minister in waiting. In charge of UKplc God preserve us he should ever get the chance. This is the Labour party we’re talking about
    Oh…hang on.
    Sorry. Forget all of the above. Fine chap. Got my backing. I’m sure he’ll do very well as PM in waiting. Long may he wait.

  39. bloke (not) in spain

    Steve. No-one’s getting rid of their tanks. The Russians have just built a new one. Armies have armoured divisions. They’d look silly without tanks.
    Meanwhile.
    The survivability of an Iraqi tank on the battlefield was? It had nothing to do with the type of tank. The anti-tank ordnance they used didn’t care what sort of tank it was.

  40. bloke (not) in spain – Not sure it’s a sunk cost issue. Just practicality.

    We can’t afford to completely retool the Army for every current conflict. Its existence is an insurance policy against a broad spectrum of potential threats. We don’t think MBT’s will be of major use in foreseeable conflicts, which is why it won’t be replaced barring some major change in our defence posture. But we don’t know for sure. A lot of them are in long term storage, by the way.

    There’s always a chance Putin’s shiny new T-14’s will swarm through the Fulda Gap. Unlikely, but you never know.

    If we were planning a new model army in 2015 it probably wouldn’t include MBT’s. But we don’t have that luxury.

    If I was to choose some outstanding examples of defence procurement negligence, the Challenger 2 wouldn’t make it into my top 10. The F-35 and related shenanigans around our aircraft carriers, the Bowman radio system, FRES, the Nimrod sabotage, the L85A1, Eurofighter, the Astute class… those are outstanding examples of waste, delays, and inadequate end results. At least the Challenger 2 works, and cost a fraction of what some of those other projects did.

    I’ve got no idea what Dan Jarvis thinks about tanks. But he’d probably be a better Labour leader than the alternatives. Just as well he isn’t running.

  41. So Much for Subtlety

    bloke (not) in spain – “No-one’s getting rid of their tanks. The Russians have just built a new one. Armies have armoured divisions. They’d look silly without tanks.”

    Yeah they are. I doubt anyone will replace the present generation of tanks except perhaps the Russians. They have just designed a new one. Let’s see if they go on to produce it. Past experience suggests they won’t. At the moment they are making ten tanks a year. In the meantime they used to have nine armoured divisions in East Germany alone. Over 50 in total. Now they have something like three in the whole of Russia.

    (The fact that they have three armoured divisions means they have something like 2,500 tanks in service. Britain built a total of 400 or so Challenger 2s. That is not even close to an economically viable production run.)

  42. bloke (not) in spain – The survivability of an Iraqi tank on the battlefield was? It had nothing to do with the type of tank.

    They had no air cover. Yes, armour is just another target if the skies above you are controlled by superior hostile forces.

    Same goes for any land-based vehicle or soldier. Artillery, IFV’s and Land Rovers don’t stand up well to missiles or 30mm autocannon either.

  43. Noting the idiots that the professional classes have turned out as our ‘leaders’ in the past decade maybe we should give an army man a chance?

  44. bloke (not) in spain

    “This reminds me of a discussion of the role of the Harrier carriers in 1981.”
    And the conclusion was? Get some proper carriers?
    Being able to fly an AWAC would have neutralised the Argentine Airforce.

  45. I don’t really know anything about tanks but I would like to say to BNIS – fuck off please.

    A man who puts his life on the line at the whim of the elected government cannot be dismissed like a council sustainable diversity officer.

  46. Action at the sharp end, for the majority of British Army officers, is that unfortunate interlude they’re obliged to go through before they find a safe desk.

    Speaking as somebody whose apparently “safe desk” has been shelled on numerous occasions, can I say that this is almost completely, totally and utterly bollocks.

    Most Army officers greatly prefer regimental duty – whether that is pointy metal stuff on foot or on the much benighted steeds of armoured battle (airborne and tracked), blowing shit up, logistics or even cyber-drivel like what I does. Then comes training people – the punchier the training, the better (i.e. SF, then Brecon, then basic training then whatever). Staff jobs come last. By a long way.

    Which is probably why the Army is so shit at them compared to Crab Air.

    I’ll readily admit that Army staff training doesn’t give you much of a view of large scale economics. But being (in Dan’s case) the platoon then company commander of a bunch of Paras will certainly give you a painfully exquisite insight in to how f**ked up small scale economics can get.

  47. Noting the idiots that the professional classes have turned out as our ‘leaders’ in the past decade maybe we should give an army man a chance?

    Electing ex-military like John McCain and John Kerry has worked out so well this side of the pond.

  48. OK I’m skipping more than 50% of the posts
    @ b(n)is You seem to be completely unaware that it is expected that British officers take more risks than their troops
    Two of my great-uncles arrived in the same hospital in 1917 which made it easier for their mother to visit them, but also meant that the elder missed out on the medal that he should have received which was reallocated to another officer in his regiment because it was better for morale to give a medal to someone still fighting than an even braver officet in hospital. He then joined the RFC, the only group which had a higher death rate than infantry lieutenants (life expectancy 3 weeks). The younger brother got a medal plus two “Mentioned in Despatches”.
    The army officer “takes it on the chin” in complete contrast to the typical Labour poloitico. As a paid-up member of the Conservative and Unionist Party, I can respect Dan Jarvis without agreeing with p[olitical views

    .

  49. bloke (not) in spain

    I’m finding this enormously amusing. Push the buttons & off they go.
    Now you see why maybe an ex-army officer isn’t the best choice for a political leader? Because you start seeing him as an army officer not a political leader. And, instead of treating him as a devious self serving cnut, which is the earned right of any politician, you get stars in your eyes.

    Remember Paddy (Never saw a war he didn’t like) Pantsdown? Same thing.

  50. @ b(n)is
    Maybe you are too yong to remember that the guys (yes – guys, sorry Harriet) who created the best economic growth since 1914 (from 1951 to 1864) were all army officers.

    Dear Tim, if I die prematurely of a heart-attack caused by idiots whom you choose not to moderate, please plan a defence against any lawsuit launched by the French company that took over the company that insured me.

  51. I’m finding this enormously amusing … Now you see why maybe an ex-army officer isn’t the best choice for a political leader?

    In other news, my barber is now my MP …

    At least he’s got years of running a small business behind him. Hardly qualifies him for BniS’s macro-economic genius status, and he is a filthy Nat, but …

  52. Whether or not Dan Jarvis’ background makes him good ministerial material will remain beside the point here. “Tax parasite” for whom fighting was “a sideline” was where we started this morning. It is as cretinous an idea now as it has been all day.

  53. @SE:

    Hopefully he’ll make himself useful and give that scruffy twat with the ponytail a decent haircut.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *