Having a drink is one thing

The British military is perfectly happy with that:

The Defence Secretary is to complain to the leaders of Labour and the SNP after three MPs were “drinking heavily” on their way to an official visit to Gibraltar.

Ben Wallace said the MPs showed “a lack of respect for the enduring work of our Armed Forces” and risked “undermining respect for Parliament” after drinking on a plane carrying MPs, defence staff and members of the public.

Charlotte Nichols, a Labour MP, and the SNP MPs David Linden and Drew Hendry were said to have been drinking before and during the British Airways flight from Heathrow to Gibraltar on Tuesday.

It is claimed that when the flight landed, Ms Nichols required a wheelchair to get from the baggage reclaim to a military minibus, while Mr Linden and Mr Hendry were “lairy” and “rude” when their Covid passes did not work at the airport gates.

The British military very much frowns upon drunkenness. In the officer class that is. RN rules at sea for example. Have as much as you like of whatever. Duty free too. Just sign your own chitty. No, go on.

Be drunk at sea and that’s one career gone. I’d imagine the Army’s the same and who cares about the Crabs?

Tsk. Actually getting pissed means you’re other ranks.

20 thoughts on “Having a drink is one thing”

  1. A couple of evenings in to the war phase of Gulf War 1 (Op GRANBY) and the 1st Lt came in to the Wardroom after dinner to remind us that the bar was still open. We had lots of aircrew onboard (both to fly the 2 helicopters and in staff roles) so ended up watching Top Gun and having a couple of drinks each.

  2. Reminded me of the utube vid on the inaugural opening of the Queen’s Head (must be an intentional pun)on board HMS QE2. Lots of comments from us sailors saying their carriers effectively dry.

  3. Lots of comments from us sailors saying their carriers effectively dry.

    Yup. Earlier on in GRANBY, in the planning phase, we used to get a lot of senior USN visitors. They usually had a couple of seats on the Blackhawk filled with spurious officers who were just coming across for a beer. As the junior officer on board, I used to welcome them, pour them a beer, and catch the remainder of the pint as they dropped stupefied, not having had a drink for months (and back then there wasn’t any alcohol, worth mentioning, in Yank beer anyway.) One day, the guy was a recently ex Rhodes Scholar and got most of the way through a 2nd pint. As I chitted for these on my own account, I was ridiculously annoyed!

    SE, what were you on in Granby?

    Action Damage Control Officer on HMS LONDON. Which pretty much identifies this nym, if anybodies’ memory goes back that far. Wasn’t a gazetted appointment, I was what the Yanks refer to as JAFO.

  4. I had an RN pal who claimed to have been the chap who accidentally shelled the cathedral in Port Stanley. He was sober but had the flu. The chap who checked his calculations was innumerate.

  5. Things have changed a bit in the Navy, mind you.

    A friend – ex-Regular in the noughties, now returned as a RNR engineering specialist – said of a recent trip supporting HMS St Albans:-

    “It struck me that the matelot of today is quite different from my era. A particular incident stood out. One afternoon we were down the mess and I enquired as to whether anyone was getting in the fridge?

    They looked at me like I was some sort of animal.

    ”it’s 4 o’clock mate. I don’t think we even have any beer in the fridge. We haven’t had an issue for weeks.”

    This would‘ve been cause for riots in my day. An empty fridge was not acceptable.

    They retorted:

    ”Nah mate, there’d be riots now if we ran out of milk for our protein shakes.”

    On a sort-of-recent (end 2019) trip out on HMS Queen Elizabeth, it did seem that it was the old’n’bold and the seariders (civilians, Army etc.) who were indulging in the wardroom bar; the young and keen, less so.

    Having ‘a good night of it’ was fine – but as our host says, you turned to and were ready and fit for work in the morning. One Army visitor overdid it and it got quite strongly worded (letters of reprimand to his OC, apparently…)

  6. Crabs care for Crabs.

    Back in the mists of history when I was A Crab at Sea, I took a photograph of HMS London just failing the chop off the back end of HMS Eagle in a mistimed turn when the Fishheads were playing Follow My Leader.

  7. SE, when did you serve on HMS London?

    Just GRANBY. I was kicked out early because they needed my bunk for an RN Col to plan the binned-because-suicidal seaborne landing. Which London? I’m talking the T22, not the County (although I did serve on Fife and Glamorgan).

    SE, I was mostly on the Argus.

    I was threatened with being accom on the largest radar reflector in the Middle East if I didn’t finish my task book in time to free up my berth for aforesaid boot neck. I finished my task book and went home for some leave. Only to find I’d been appointed to another 22, in refit, while I was dragging my sorry arse back from war.

  8. lamorgan, eh? That was father’s last seagoing post. Although I imagine it’s a later version of the tub itself, given that he was on it in the 60s (I think. Early 70s maybe, same time as HRH Charlie was on it).

  9. Tim,

    Same Glamorgan – County-class DDG, 1966 to 1986. Took an Exocet hit in 1982 but survived and stayed on mission thanks to a mix of luck, and excellent drills by the crew.

  10. I must have been on her last trip just before she decommissioned, then. Saw her later, tied up in Valparaiso, while I was running an exercise with the Chilean Navy.

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