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An interesting statistic… January 30, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Electing former soldiers is common elsewhere. Fifty-two Westminster MPs are veterans. Besides one or two former reservists, the Dáil has no veterans, “aside from maybe some of the Shinners”, jokes one of Berry’s team.

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1. John Goodwillie - January 30, 2020

Yes, it’s uncommon. Offhand I can only think of Vivion De Valera (Major) and Jimmy Tully (Sergeant). Apart of course from the pre-1924 people.

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2. tafkaGW - January 30, 2020

Surely it’s more a peculiarity of Britain within Europe, and its continuing semi-ex-imperial militarism, rather than the uniqueness of Ireland?

I struggle to think of any ex-military (as a profession rather than as a result of compulsory military service) in the current German Bundestag, except one or two in the AfD of course.

I guess France may be similar – I don’t know. Perhaps also some of the ex-Soviet satellite states?

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3. Liberius - January 30, 2020

Such experience is not just to argue for better conditions for former colleagues, it is also about shaping future defence policy, says Deirdre Carberry, who until last month was an infantry captain with 15 years’ service…

…This is maybe because Irish people “get a bit antsy” when they hear the subject of defence in a political context, Berry says. “It’s a bit of a taboo subject. It’s associated with wars, it’s associated with colonial domination.”…

I can tell you what makes me antsy is that first paragraph, the last thing we need in politics is voices advocating increases in military spending (which is the inevitable outcome of this). We already spend far too much on our bloated military, this state does not need 9,500 trained killers no matter how much apologists might cite that figure. We don’t need tanks, machine guns, armoured personnel carriers, fighter jets or whatever toys these sociopaths want to spend money on.

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oliverbohs - January 30, 2020

Ha ha! My lingering distaste for the noughties has plenty to do with skin-crawling security experts and military scumc***s falling over each other to appear on current affairs TV to talk up the great gains in the war on terror. I was one of those suckers who thought the benefits outweighed the negatives regarding a second Iraq war…
Going further back to when I was growing up, Gerry Ryan, who I didn’t particularly like but who I did tune in to, reg had PR features for Irish army guys serving overseas for UN Peacekeeping forces that seemed to emphasise the wonderful job they were at without going into specifics. Thus that impression has lingered somehow, whatever the truth may be. The fact that they demur from prominent parliamentary action is def not a bad thing, apart from that chap in Kildare who is campaigning for better army pay & conditions and not, say, for a return to Empire values or some such silliness

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Liberius - January 30, 2020

The fact that the quotes come from that Kildare candidate and his team are why I strongly suspect that the pay & conditions argument is being used as a smokescreen to obscure a more general plea for greater amounts of public money to be siphoned into military expenditure; indeed note how the very mention of pay & conditions is framed in terms of an inability to keep up with this nominal personnel number of 9,500 without any attempt to interrogate whether we do actually need that many. Additionally the article notes he’s raised €25,000, I’d love to know where that money is really coming from, it almost certainly isn’t from people interested in the pay & conditions of other types of workers, probably the exact opposite.

On the peacekeeping propaganda, the number of stories of peacekeepers around the world engaging in the sexual exploitation of local populations would give one doubts, I’d think it highly improbable that Irish soldiers are any different to their international counterparts.

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oliverbohs - January 30, 2020

Yeh when he starts pontificating about what he’d do as a Cabinet minister, in return for propping up a minority govt, it is time the bullshit stopped. Hard to take seriously that kind of thing. And his thoughts on the generals who helped form the initial members of Trump’s inner circle betray a certain mindset it would be fair to say.
All the speculation about who really calls the shots in SF is not to be dismissed IIBH, I am no lover of tales of militaristic derring do however official the army in question is. I’m not much of a lover but I’m even less of a fighter. We’re I from somewhere else in the world my view cd differ. But I ain’t so I trust none of ’em.

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