Friday 1 September 2017

A smidge too far - The 2017 election story

 Theresa's Gamble.
The attempt to seize a corridor from the Tory Midlands to the North and open the way for the occupation of Labour's industrial heartlands.


Nick Drew said...


a stonking historical precedent, except nobody gets a VC this time around

hope the Dutch don't starve before the eventual victory

Wildgoose said...

My elderly parents were going to vote Conservative. However, when they were told that the English were going to lose Winter Fuel Allowance but the Scots were going to keep theirs, they were absolutely furious. It went down like a bucket of cold sick with them, their friends and their relatives.

Of course, Scottish pensioners loved the idea that they got to keep the Winter Fuel Allowance whilst the English lost theirs.

So perhaps it isn't surprising that the Tories did well in Scotland but badly in England. I don't know why more mention isn't made of this issue - it was the defining issue for my parents and many others I know.

But then, the media always loves to ignore and gloss over the constant anti-English bias we suffer under the British State.

CityUnslicker said...

Awesome, history repeats as a farce!

Electro-Kevin said...

Sent into battle with guns trained on own feet.

Excellent video, BQ.

barnacle bill said...

I am still of the opinion that it was all a "cunning plan" by our political elites to ensure the Tories did not get a massive majority.

Just enough of a majority to ensure their plant May could limp along in power but not enough to give our Brexit negotiators the upper hand in their dealings with Bruxelles.

Anoneumouse said...

'Abridged too far'

andrew said...

No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.

It does, however, usually help if it does not involve abandoning your own.

Demetrius said...

I knew the chap who commanded 4th Parachute Brigade quite well. During the Suez Crisis his top secret advice was to keep the Para's in Aldershot.

andrew said...

In other news it looks like Davis's plan of inactivity, smugness, inanity, and inaction might be starting to work.

The clock is ticking and in 2019 - or 2020, someone will need to find 9bn eur pa.

- instaead of writhing a cheque the git just keeps on going on about frictionless movement of goods and services.

back to the point of this thread - clever plans tend to fail.

Is brexit is just a big game of chicken really?

Suff said...

Top Marks as always BQ

Anonymous said...

The choice of Montgomery is quite apt. The promulgation of myth over fact and reality.

It is a story of a time when image making and public relations took precedence over strategy at the cost of thousands of lives. It is the story of the distortion of history and the promulgation of questionable glory.

Read about the myth of Montgomery here.

Bill Quango MP said...


Arnhem was completely evacuated after the failed operation. It wasn't captured until a few days before the end of the war.
The Dutch were just sent 'away.' Germans were very worried about partisans.
German SS commander Bittrich was given five years imprisonment after the war. Ab unusually low sentence for an ss general. Even this was commuted when it turned out he had never given orders for executions of french resistance. And had instituted proceedings against the men who did.
He seems to be 'a good Nazi.' And his conduct at Arnhem was professional, skilled and chivalrous.
But he had served as commander of an SS behind the lines cavalry unit in Russia. These were surely anti-partisan units. Whose conduct were terrible.
No charges were brought against him by the Russians.

Arhnem was a battle where rush, weather, wishful thinking, hubris, poor planning and a belief that the enemy was finished led to disaster.

May launched the election at a time of her own choosing. She SHOULD have had a manifesto ready to go. MPs in place. Activists primed. Been talking up the coming struggle and setting out a vision for a post-brexit, better Britain.

Instead she raised business taxes before the event. Doubled the rates. Threatened to raise business taxes. means test winter fuel. She had the women's pensions issue as a running sore with the eldest of tory voters.
And that was before the actual campaign disaster that followed.

Bill Quango MP said...

EK : In one clip is a fox hunting horn. I could not find an image, but its definitely in the bridge too far film. Colonel John Frost, who managed to get to Arnhem bridge and held on with his tiny force in a truly heroic action, rallied his men at the landing grounds with a fox hunting horn. That would have been a good clip!

Barnacle Bill: A lovely theory but cannot be true. No one knows how anything will turn out. No one can risk a close defeat. Its victory or defeat only.
May's plodding actions and her failure to have prepared, plus some unfortunate events and Corbyn's luck are what happened.

For instance, the debates. She expected, as did everyone, corbyn would not debate is she didn't. It was only as he was rising in the polls his team said 'why not?'
That was on the day before.
May, a hopeless debater, now had no time to prepare for debate.It was a surprise.
As much to the media as to anyone else.

The debate was a definate no-win for May. It was a horrible progressive left alliance. She was right to stay away. But absolubtely wrong not to have a solid, good answer to questions why she was staying away.
"I'm too busy campaigning' is not just an obvious lie. Its a rubbish, obvious lie.

Anonemouse - Abridged is correct. Where where the big ideas?

Bill Quango MP said...

Andrew - No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.It does, however, usually help if it does not involve abandoning your own.

Demetrius - Chap I know was in the independent para brigade. He was invalided out In 1944. Led his unit in the Anvil operations where he was wounded. He was a favourite of TV shows doing history or reunion programs. As until very recently despite being 85-88 years old, he was lucid, clear and strong voiced and physically fit.
Sadly he has deteriorated a lot in the last year.

suff- Ta

Bill Quango MP said...

anon - i think this book goes much too far.
I hold no candle for Montgomery. And the descriptions of his mindset. His methods. His terrible pompousness is all correct. He was like a British dE Gaulle.

But to suggest Churchill {who was a s exasperated with Monty as anyone else} and Montgomery colluded to give a victory and create a myth is going to far.
The four WW2 generals who most used what we would now call PR and spin were Patton, Montgomery, MacArthur and Rommel.

To suggest 2nd Alamein need not have been fought because of Torch, assumes the allies knew torch would be an overwhelming success. That the convoys would not be menaced bu U-bats or that vichy would not declare for the Axis. They did not.

Monty was a set piece battler. As was almost the entire British army. It was an artillery based combined arms army. As was the Americans.
Monty's planning was meticulous. His battles careful. He was not cavalier.

EXCEPT at Arnhem. mostly because he suspected the focus of the war would shift south to Patton and he would be left holding the north with limited opportunities.
Nothing in his or his staff's memoirs suggest the drive though Holland was purely vanity. It was a good idea. A decent, if risky operation.
Eisenhower approved it. As senior commander he could have refused it.
he did not because he too thought there was a possibility of success.

What really doomed the whole thing, much as happened to May, was that the Germans got their act together.

Earlier failures to close them down led to a successful regrouping of their forces. The survivors of Normandy's German 15th Army poured out of the Scheldt area and that was the force that fell on the flanks of the road.The two panzer divisions were far too strong for paratroopers.

Arnhem is one of those battles where pretty much on day 1, the battle is lost. Too many things go wrong too quickly. Too many assumptions are proved false.

The casualties are horrendous. For the whole of Normandy, June to August, 83,000 casualties. Disproportionately in the infantry units.
Market-garden gives 15-17,500 casualties. Many from the elite paratrooper formations.

Nick Drew said...

What I meant was, Arnhem having failed, the Dutch had a very bad winter of it in the following months. Maybe 5 years is long enough for the Tories to turn it around. (Maybe...) But what will be the needless *casualties* in the meantime?

Nick Drew said...

What I meant was, Arnhem having failed, the Dutch had a very bad winter of it in the following months. Maybe 5 years is long enough for the Tories to turn it around. (Maybe...) But what will be the needless *casualties* in the meantime?

Electro-Kevin said...

this is where I get my news and entertainment henceforth.