General Sir Richard Dannatt: an old warhorse not cut out for politics

‘I hope this isn’t a political gimmick’ – Chris Grayling, Shadow Home Secretary
‘We feel very queasy about his decision… to serve under Tory colours’ – Daily Mail

Coming so soon after his comments on The Wire, Chris Grayling, who did much to spoil yesterday’s announcement that General Sir Richard Dannatt is a Tory, is quickly establishing himself as the most gaffe prone member of the shadow cabinet.

But it says something when, writing under the headline ‘Mistaken manoeuvre’, the Daily Mail admits to reaching for the sick bucket.

The former head of the army may have been an effective soldier in his day, but the old warhorse is not cut out for politics. His attacks on the government had been looking increasingly party political for some time and there were claims that Labour was looking to smear Dannatt in return.

Now that General Sir Richard Dannatt has come out as a Tory stooge, there is no need to smear him.

As even the Daily Mail agrees, the army should be above party politics. If General Sir Richard Dannatt wanted to play with the big boys, he should have come clean as soon as he had made his decision. Instead, duplicitous and cowardly, General Sir Richard Dannatt has been negotiating a plumb job in a future Conservative administration while presenting himself as an honest old soldier standing up for his troops.

11 thoughts on “General Sir Richard Dannatt: an old warhorse not cut out for politics

  1. Show us your gallantry medals then Mr Newton. You do have some do you not? I can’t think that you would call Gen Dannatt a coward otherwise.

  2. How about an alternative version: Highly respectable, professional and honourable man in charge of the armed forces is so fed up with the criminal failure on the part of Labour to support the forces they sent to war, he decides (after his retirement) to take a job with the Tories to assist them ‘do the right thing’ when they are in power next. It is after all highly unlikely he’d want a job with Brown’s mendacious lot now is it?

    Toreis plan to enoble General Sir Richard Dannatt, whilst Labour enoble Mandelson, Foulkes and Lady Scotland – all mired in the filth of their own creation.

  3. Very predictable Dave. But you forget that Dannatt has been working under cover for the Tories for quite a while.

    There is nothing respectable, professional or honourable about him, I see only duplicity and cowardice.

    Dannatt’s stunt has diverted debate away from what needs to be done to succeed in Afghanistan. He has decided his new political career comes first.

  4. He has only ever spoken out when it has come to what has been needed when it came to operations in Afghanistan, I would also like you to actually prove what he was saying in 2007,2008 and 2009 was party political. Maybe if labour had actually listened and acted upon what he said in private it wouldn’t have had to come out publicly maybe slashing the helicopter budget wasn’t a very good idea nor under-resourcing front line operations in Helmand. You see “nothing respectable, professional or honourable about him, I see only duplicity and cowardice.” this is the man who was the head of the army and has faced more challenges in a day than you will ever face in your daily life. All I see when you type is a sad little man who casts mud from behind his desk at people who you even on a bad day is 10x the man you are. You will probably spin it any way you can but if you ask anyone in the army what they think of Richard Dannatt he is incredibly respected and nobody would ever describe what he has been saying for the last 3 years as being a Tory stooge. Me personally think he shouldn’t be joining the Tories but should be Head of the Armed Forces instead of Sir Jock Stirrup but then again Brown wouldn’t like anyone who actually tells them the Truth.

  5. Pointing out that the Government has failed to provide adequate resources to soldiers fighting a war isn’t “working for the Tories”.

    Pointing out that there aren’t enough helicopters isn’t “duplicitous”. That tag belongs with the Ministers who unsurprisingly choose to focus on the improvements to equipment, rather than the fact that it was insufficient before, and remains insufficient now.

    Your claim that the General has shown cowardice appears to come from a position of ignorance. You don’t understand the Forces, and you appear to think that any criticism of the Government must be politically motivated, because after all it couldn’t possibly be valid….

    When the PM states that there are sufficient helicopters in theatre, I have to wonder – is he incompetent, or is he dishonest? Because those are the only two explanations.

  6. Fair play to you Newton. Your job, as a Labour fan, and author on websites like ‘Labourlist’ is to slag off those that embarrass the government by highlighting their failures. Sir Richard Dannatt asked for 2,000 extra troops, and he didn’t get them, he pointed it out, and Gordon Brown lied to the public about it. That’s emarrassing. One doesn’t need to be working for the Tories to make Labour politicians look stupid and duplicitous. Less than 4 years after he got into office, the public of this nation has seen right through him, and the labour party. Slag of Sir Richard Dannatt all you like, but it’s too late to obfuscate the truth – it’s out.

  7. Dave,
    It would be nice to be paid to write on LabourList and elsewhere; the ads on here only cover the odd pint I’m afraid.
    I’m just an ordinary party member, who can leave any time he likes and has no right to speak for Labour.
    If I thought you were on the right side of the debate, I’d join you there.
    Dannatt, on the other hand, is a career politician.

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