OxyMoronic Military Morality

I found this story back in 2017. Still makes me chuckle:

Bugger.

And there was I thinking that the military was a bastion of middle class, middle England values, whose members would no more indulge in the seven deadly sins than Marks and Spencer would sell strap-ons* and hugely girthed dildos next to the children’s toys. The Army, Navy and Air Force were renowned for taking on wayward individuals whose career paths would otherwise have included a little light pilfering of the church collection box, assault as a matter of beer fuelled ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’ ritual or becoming a Health and Safety Executive statistic in the shipyards and factories. The Armed Forces would then turn them into highly trained and disciplined targets for every dispossessed colonial with a bullet, bomb and bitterness. Officers, of course, being drawn from the ‘respectable’ middle classes, already know the score and how to keep their little peccadillos from being dragged out of the shadows, blinking into the harsh light of justice. Officers are the moral backbone of the military, whose first principle is of course ‘don’t get caught’.

Our fabled military is a supposed home to a solid conservatism, one which would no more recognise impropriety in the ranks than Whitehall remembers Imperialism.

And yet…turns out someone, and eight of his shipmates on a nuclear submarine, likes a toot of Colombia’s finest marching powder, while two of his superior officers breached the ‘no touch rule’ designed to prevent intimate relations on board. There was panic in the rest of the fleet as the then Defence Secretary, Micheal ‘Fiddler’ Fallon, wanted all submarine crews to be drugs tested. Is he mad? That’s like lifting manhole covers in London hoping to see sweet scented, pink ribbon wrapped, bouquets of roses instead of a fleet of fetid, faecal flecked fatbergs clogging the arteries of the city.

Who does he think joins up and why they do so? The Royal Navy in particular was built on Rum, Sodomy and the Lash. Hearts of Oak joined up to serve King/Queen and Country, to go to other countries and shag their women, bomb the natives and shout loudly for more beer. They went to sea to avoid having to do the shitty zero hours, low paid, dead end bullshit jobs back home. Alcohol is the lifeblood that makes it tick over. Pusser’s Rum was the oil lubricating the penile pistons in whorehouses from Devonport to Sembawang. Adultery is, and always was, an option especially now that Wrens also are part of the ship’s crew.

The Navy is not the Church of England at sea.

So, there is of course a stonking great big elephant in the room here. It is drunk and wearing a big red sash called hypocrisy while waving its engorged phallus at anything remotely looking like a lady elephant while not caring where the phallus ends up or who is perturbed by its presence.

Fallon himself, it later turned out, was no one to throw stones at other people’s drug and alcohol fuelled whorehouses, and was in no position to lecture anyone about financial and other improprieties.

According to The Daily Telegraph Fallon claimed for mortgage repayments on his Westminster flat in their entirety. The rule was however, that MPs were only allowed to claim for interest charges. Between 2002 and 2004, Fallon regularly claimed £1,255 per month in capital repayments and interest, rather than the £700–£800 for the interest component alone. After his ‘error’ was noticed by staff at the Commons Fees Office in September 2004, he asked: “Why has no one brought this to my attention before?” 

This is the question many a jack tar asks when stood at the Captain’s table after being caught balls deep in the Ambassador’s wife after a rum sodden run ashore in Gibraltar, after it was pointed out that dipping one’s thumb into someone else’s Plummy Jam Jar is just not cricket.

It got worse for Fallon.

In late October 2017 it was reported that he had had repeatedly and inappropriately touched journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer‘s knee during a dinner in 2002. Hartley-Brewer recalled that after Fallon kept putting his hand on her knee, she “calmly and politely explained to him, that if he did it again, I would punch him in the face”. Fallon resigned two days later believing his “previous conduct” towards women had “fallen below” what is acceptable. At least it was just a knee being touched rather than retrieving the ping pong ball from a ‘performer’ in some of the darker smokier and less morally reputable bars in Bangkok.

It was subsequently reported Fallon had been forced to resign in part due to an allegation of inappropriate and lewd comments towards fellow Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom. Inappropriate and Lewd – a Tory MP, who’d have thought it? He was also accused of making comments of a sexual nature about other MPs on the committee and members of the public. I can only surmise that he must have been on the lash in Union Street in Guzz or the Reeperbahn in Hamburg to have picked up such habits.

So, if you ever find yourself in a huge metal tube, cut off from the outside world for very long periods of time with the coming apocalyse in nuclear form as company, and you don’t sniff a little, swig a little or shag a little to avoid facing up to the insanity of your situation…I fear for your soul. You may tell moralising conservative types to merrily f*ck off.

*don’t ask your mum.

Published by Lance Goodman

Freelance writer, bon vivant and all-round good oeuf.

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