Paras splat Corbyn

What if the photo had been the cook, a soldier’s mother-in law or a cheating girlfriend. Would that have been OK? The only issue seems to be that the photo was of a polititian.
It will get to a point where you cannot even frown at someone without being accused of some kind of hate crime…


She was not shot by a soldier, as I’m sure you know, my point is that any use of a picture of a real person, including the likes of Shamima Begum used in a gun club, dehumanizing that person, only fuels the type of people who are willing to take direct action against those they disagree with. They cocked up putting it on social media, lead by example is all in saying.


I agree, Mark, that soldiers ought to be free to choose their own favourite target for practice, it is a fact that people in high-stress high-risk callings do need outlets for frustration, without censure.

But they should let off steam in a way that stays within certain bounds of discretion, in their own interests, and in the public interest. The public should not be given grounds for questioning the probity and careless judgement of serving soldiers under non-combat pressure.

If I were the relative of any UK citizen whose image was used by a British soldier for target practice, I would have legitimate concerns for their safety if it were advertised on social media.

Protests that it was just lads having a laugh would not not reassure me, nor most other fair- minded people IMO.

Sara Foster’s comments, however, do restore my faith in the professionalism of our service personnel. I trust there are more like her in active command positions.

1 Like

When the government are quoted “putting 3,500 troops on standby, to deal with any disruption”, by various tabloids… you have to ask yourself why, don’t you. Some out there are not able to be content with any part of it, and like organised crime, they could organize various groups to smash areas up. We have seen this before, and will again, usually it is subterfuge by organised crime for greater gain. You will see opportunists smashing windows, or looting… and realize this is a scary society bubbling underneath the surface. This is not the you or I, having a heated debate on the good or bad on Brexit… this society underneath is real.

Back to the Paras,
Yes they were obviously stupid; ( or whoever decided to take the video was), in my day thankfully we did not have smart phones…and i’m sure there are a lot of others areas thankful too.


Yes i totally agree in that videoing it was stupid. What I am afraid of, is those who outside the forces will try and enforce how “they”, want them to be trained and do their jobs. It has been proved as few times that those who have never “done the job”, have exposed personnel to dangers because they make “corporate” decisions, for those that do.

1 Like

Absolutely, we don’t want stupid soldiers toting guns!

Stressful jobs require those in them to find ways to manage that stress. Which people not in those stressful jobs can find completely unacceptable. I’ve spent time with emergency services and the dark and ghoulish humour would in any other circumstance be dreadful - but it’s needed as a release valve. If you’ve not done it then don’t knock it. But it still makes those soldiers totally dumb!

1 Like

Prison sentences of less than six months makes sense.
Many prisoners cannot read or write well and sending them to prison will only turn them into tougher criminals.

“It will get to a point where you cannot even frown at someone without being accused of some kind of hate crime”
The point is their behaviour is supposed to be exemplary, at least publicly. Last time I had some young idiot acting the goat with a rifle he got 20 turns around the drill hall at the double, holding said rifle at arms’ length above his head and shouting “I wanted a big gun and now I’ve got one” however he hadn’t filmed himself and made the general public think it was a regt of twats nor had he shot at the picture of a public figure, so he got off lightly.

1 Like

I don’t doubt at all what your experience tells you, Glenn, and I’m not totally naive. ‘Civilisation’ needs a majority to buy into it with a smidgeon of applied intelligence; and a sizeable minority, who are not entirely to blame, don’t have it or can’t apply it to fairly complex situations, and are easily influenced.

In unstable situations judicious control and restraint measures are required, and a disciplined army intelligently led can make the necessary difference. But intelligent leadership is of the essence, and good discipline. Some service personnel are easily influenced bone-heads.

That doesn’t detract from their humanity, or imply that they don’t have useful skills and good personal attributes and values.

1 Like

I worked in a prison and believe me the ones I met were not stupid, far from it.

I agree, which is why they should not be giving the powers that be any excuse to interfere. During my career, I saw many things that a civilian would baulk at, but there was no social media and what happened on detachment/deployment stayed there. I am always amazed and bemused by what people in all walks of life, choose to share on social media, nothing seems to be off limits anymore, and no thought is given to the repercussions.


Having worked in prisons too, I am inclined to agree. But there are many varieties of intelligence, and a number of those serve to avoid a custodial sentence and it’s enduring consequences. Or perhaps military training, for some, has the effect of paralysing emotional and social intelligence, leading to social and relational delinquency in some susceptibles.

It is not necessarily that they are stupid, just not well educated.

For many reasons, not lack of intelligence.

1 Like

JRM and BJ are both well educated, I can certainly imagine the latter going wild with a paint gun.

I wasn’t blaming anyone Peter.

I’m sorry for implying that you were, Maureen. Your comment was reasonable and showed no sign of bias.

My point was that it’s not intelligent to cop a prison sentence, and soldiers who end up behind bars are possibly there because they have been affected by combat, and their part in it. Their judgement, a crucial aspect of intelligence, may have been degraded by military training and combat itself.

That’s a theory of course, but empirical evidence tends to support it, I think. Enemy action will likely have contributed, but enemy soldiers can’t be blamed for combat, it’s what soldiers do.

There are some people in prison that are innocent.

My own son has been arrested, but not convicted, or imprisoned. He is a former soldier, suffering from mental health problems, even living on the streets. He has lost 2 friends to ‘friendly fire’ and being shot by the enemy, also some to suicide and alcoholism, so some letting steam off shooting at a picture doesn’t seem that bad to me. Now, let’s have every shoot me down!


Rag-heads…that’s a pretty offensive comment.

1 Like

We are all too keen to train soldiers to live disciplined lives, to fight, to kill and then expect everything to fall in place when they finish their service.
No wonder it doesn’t work!

1 Like