A post over on House of Dumb got me thinking about our politicians and their military experience.
Once upon a time, before we had "professional" politicians, the government would consist of people with a wide range of experience - and this included significant military experience. I'm not sure when this changed - I suspect that the Thatcher government was probably the last time we had politicians who had come from the old school.
During the Falklands war, the Foreign Secretary was Lord Carrington - a former Grenadier Guards major who had been awarded the Military Cross. The Defence Secretary was John Nott who, I believe, had served as an officer in Malaya.
Look at what we have today. Our Foreign Secretary is a professional union agitator, Margaret Beckett, and the defence secretary is Des Browne, a lawyer.
I decided to look at the rest of the cabinet to see what military experience there is in that illustrious crowd.
Tony Blair - none. Failed musician, failed lawyer, professional politician.
Gordon Brown - none. Professional politician.
John Prescott - none. Another professional union agitator.
John Reid - none. Professional union agitator.
Lord Falconer - don't be silly. Lawyer - apparently.
Jack Straw - none. Lawyer.
Baroness Amos - none. Professional quango member.
Ruth Kelly - none, although she did have a grandaddy in the IRA, apparently.
Tessa Jowell - none. Social worker.
Alan Johnson - none. Professional union agitator.
David Miliband - none. Professional politician.
Patricia Hewitt - none. Professional politician.
Hilary Benn - none. Professional politician.
Peter Hain - none. Professional politician.
Alistair Darling - none. Lawyer.
Douglas Alexander - none (unless you count the Boys Brigade). Professional politician.
John Hutton - none. Lawyer.
Hilary Armstrong - none. Professional union agitator.
Hazel Blears - none. Solicitor.
Stephen Timms - none. Telecoms.
Jacqui Smith - none. Teacher.
So not a single cabinet minister with any military experience. The shadow cabinet isn't much better - although David Davis does win a brownie point for being a member of the Territorials for a short time. The lack of experience in our politicians is truly frightening - not just military experience. They virtually all come from the same closed little circle which consists mainly of lawyers, union workers and professional politicians.
No wonder they are so out of touch with the real world.