Sky

& Bullets

Musings on the worlds of aviation, military and international affairs.

 

With reviews of books that cover these topics

Contact

For portfolio management, ShareScope is invaluable, for two months' free trial sign up here

Brize 2010 Reds 3

By psmiddy, Oct 19 2020 01:20PM

Last week, on October 14th, the Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, with his Qatari counterpart, HE Dr. Khalid, signed a declaration of intent for the Qataris to base a Hawk squadron in the UK. Dr. Khalid, a former fast jet pilot himself, also had a flight that day in one of the Typhoons of 12 Squadron – which was stood up as a joint UK-Qatari squadron in July 2018. Chief of the Air Staff, ACM Sir Mike Wigston (congratulations on the overdue K in the recent Queen’s Birthday honours list) retweeted the news with enthusiasm.


The reasons for such co-operation are not difficult to discern - it brings in valuable foreign currency into the Ministry of Defence’s budget, and it helps project the UK’s influence in the Gulf.


Yet only a fortnight earlier, ACM Wigston had tweeted his support for the UK Armed Forces ‘ stance regardingf National Inclusion Week “An inclusive culture is performance enhancing for the RAF

as well as the right thing to do.” The RAF has rightly been at the forefront of becoming gender neutral in its HR policies, and promoting LGBT (possibly with a few more capitals) interests – it makes sense to have our armed forces composed of those best for the job, regardless of sexuality. See here.


Strange then that the RAF hierarchy is keen to cement the bond with Qatar which (like several other Gulf states) has very poor human rights record, when viewed through the prism of Western democracies. Same-sex relations are punishable with imprisonment. See for example here.


Am I alone in viewing the Service’s morality as being inconsistent?


By psmiddy, Oct 5 2020 12:45PM

Always sad to see an author put up his pen, in this case too early. The memorial service for Wing Commander David Herriot is being held at RAF College Cranwell today after his death a few weeks back. Author of The Tornado Years, and Adventures of a Cold War Fast-Jet Navigator, (both reviewed on these pages), respected aviator and a gentleman.

By psmiddy, Oct 2 2020 09:31AM

War & Peacekeeping by former journo Martin Bell. Gripping (and depressing in equal measure) for the most part. Review here.

By psmiddy, Sep 25 2020 02:55PM

Published last week by Oneworld, Patrick Marnham's latest book builds on his biography of Jean Moulin, and is an excellent investigation into the fractious relationship of the various intelligence agencies in WW2, together with a powerful evocation of French provincial life in the Thirties (and the war). Review here.

By psmiddy, Sep 17 2020 11:04AM

Always sad to learn of the untimely death of an aviator. This week David Herriot died after a short tussle with a virulent cancer. His writing did full justice to a life very well lived in his service career. See my review of his first work here. A kindly chap, who loved the comraderie of the RAF, he will be enjoying meeting up with old mates upstairs. Per Ardua.....

Blog

ShareScope