'War on Woke' from the very top

Grant Shapps, the defence secretary has made a very bold statement in the national press that will have some people jumping for joy and others gluing themselves to roads, calling for his sacking.
In a part of the release, he states;

“Time and resources are being squandered to promote a political agenda which is pitting individuals against each other, when what we need is a common set of values which delivers the military we need to defend us and our allies. This extremist culture has infiltrated public life over years and it is time for a proper shake-up, designed to refocus the military on its core mission - being a lethal fighting force”.

It seems he has backed up what the CAS said recently about the job being simply about “flying and fighting”.

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No more teaching people not to be racist and treat each other poorly then. It’ll remain a super fun place to work and be abused.

United ideology, that’ll be conservative with a big C then.


The irony…


It’s just red meat for GB News pundits to applaud.

They wanted to reduce some of the more onerous vetting requirements for international applicants. Remember the army has historically recruited huge numbers of people from former and current commonwealth countries, a higher proportion than the RAF/Navy have.

Thus it’s the Army that implement this, given that they are also the service with seemingly the biggest recruitment issue. All very sensible, except it also had the catastrophic side effect of INCREASING DUVERS1TY!!1!

Therefore can only be #Woke from #LeftyLibs and must be stopped.

Imagine working in the civil service and having this constant stream of manure from No.10 to wade through…


Well said @Rexan. Seems you’ve actually read what this is about, and not just taken it at a headline and a snippet.

This isn’t about ‘wokeness’ or too much mandatory training on race/sex etc as some people are making it out to be. This is Grant Shapp’s disagreeing with the ‘loosening’ of certain SC requirements.

Frankly, the Army, and wider MoD is struggling like mad to recruit, and one of the biggest barriers is people not meeting certain SC criteria. The army want to change this, but Grant see’s this as “woke nonsense”, but it is nothing even close to that.

Fundamentally, the recruitment crisis has been caused by 14 years to Tory cuts. Make the military somewhere that people actually want to be, then you might not need to lower SC requirements in the first place. Increase the pay. Make the accommodation better etc etc.


If they were serious about why “Woke” is a bad idea they would have given a specific definition rather than leaving it vague & undefined.

Best definition I’ve heard is:-

“Woke - promoting a cause, social movement or ideology with the intent to further a persons individual status or agenda regardless of the advancement of the cause or social movement itself”.

So “woke” itself is a form of tokenism but just because something is about equality or socially motivated does not make it woke.

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Problem is the word is just an insult now, irrelevant if it’s actual meaning. Remember Braverman’s ‘Tofu eating Wokerati’? :joy:

Did it even exist in anything like the current form before Trump? Same for ‘fake news’ and ‘mainstream media’?

Appreciate this is dangerously close to politics but unfortunately that’s all the military based news article is, reporting on something that has been made into a political issue.


Yeah, this thread won’t last long :rofl:

Did anyone order grilled gammon?

It’s almost as if a certain party is trying to enflame their supporters to encourage them into voting at an upcoming general election that will be a complete and total surprise to absolutely everyone, or something…


That’s, not what it means.

I’ve heard a pretty similar good definition which seems to tie back into the root of the words meaning to be aware (or awake) of social movements, issues and ideaologies especially those concering characteristics such as race, gender or sexualilty based discrimination.

According to Wikipeadia (who likely use the same source I remembered my definition from) “Woke is an adjective derived from African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) meaning “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination”. Beginning in the 2010s, it came to encompass a broader awareness of social inequalities such as racial injustice, sexism, and denial of LGBT rights.”

So Baldrick, I would say that Chief Tech’s discription of ‘Woke’ is a pretty accurate one for how it is most commonly used by people using it correctly, and not using it as a catch all term for those who go against thier ideals as right wing media, such as Fox News in the US, does.

Some big names behind this open letter to the SoS, making some very valid, and worrying, points!

Dear Secretary of State,

As retired senior officers of the Crown with experience of senior command, we feel compelled to write to you with a sense of sadness, incredulity and anger having viewed astonishing evidence of the depth and pervasiveness of the racist and intolerant “Diversity, Equality and Inclusivity” ideology being pushed within HM Armed Forces.

We see these facts, as so they are, as the perpetration of monumental self-harming and, as such, a real and present threat to national security that will give aid and comfort to the King’s enemies. The sheer scale of what is reported is scarcely believable, and it cannot be ameliorated by small adjustments. It requires root and branch removal and we call upon you to order this, in pursuit of your primary duties to provide for the sure defence of our islands and citizens.

Nothing could be better calculated to destroy the esprit de corps of our armed forces than this poisonous farrago of nonsense or to deter from serving the Crown precisely the type of people most motivated and apt to our high calling. Ours is a tolerant country and this obsessive racialising of everything is both disgusting and reprehensible.

As you spelled out in your Lancaster House speech, correctly in our view, we live in ‘pre-war’ times; and Britain faces an ominous and darkening international scene, with Armed Forces that are underequipped, undermanned and underfunded, as we were back in the 1930’s.

Among the lunacy of pushing woke ideas around the use of ‘gender neutral’ pronouns, or allowing male soldiers to wear make-up or flowing locks on parades to accentuate their feminine side, we pick out the wickedness of a policy to dilute security vetting in order to boost representation of ethnic minorities. With Islamism and other extremism rampant, this is nothing short of dangerous madness.

The cry for ‘diversity’ has been utterly misunderstood. Within a military culture, what is to be sought above everything else is the delivery of ‘Fighting Power’ in order to defeat the King’s enemies, together with the greatest uniformity of excellence and diversity of opinion. Nothing else matters. The Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill are an object lesson of the unforced unity in all their diversity of Imperial and Commonwealth Armies in defence of freedom.

To remove Christianity from Acts of Remembrance is also a particular insult to our ancestors who fought and died to lead the world in ending slavery and twice in the last century to save our islands from conquest by extreme regimes. No-one should need to be reminded that this is a welcoming, inclusive and basically Christian country. Our civic culture on 11th November is sacred, Christian, tolerant and inclusive on our terms.

The Russians, Iranians and Chinese will be observing our descent into self-hatred and obsessing over diversity and inclusion with glee. These intolerable policies are forcing the British Armed Forces into moral disarmament and it cannot stand.

We call on you as Secretary of State for Defence immediately to cleanse our military culture of these poisonous ideas and to order a complete reset back to our core values of patriotism and unity that for generations made our armed forces the envy of the world. To preserve and deepen military culture, discipline and efficiency, the Ministry of Defence should be exempted from the Public Sector Equality Duty as specified in the Equality Act 2010.

We are not civil servants but fighting forces.


Major General Julian Thompson CB OBE

Lieutenant General Sir Henry Beverly KCB OBE

Brigadier David Chaundler OBE

Major General Tim Cross CBE

Lieutenant General Sir James Dutton KCB CBE

Major General Malcolm Hunt OBE

Colonel Richard Kemp CBE

Rear Admiral Roger Lane-Nott CB

Lieutenant General Sir Hew Pike KCB DSO MBE

Lieutenant General Jonathon Riley DSO MC

Colonel Ewen Southby-Tailyour OBE

Major General Nick Vaux CB DSO


Yet no RAF ones, interestingly Army & Navy only…

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That letter sounds like it’s been written by several 60 year old plus white men who have suddenly realised they might be obsolete.


His “definition” is nothing like the one you just used. Yours is closer to the meaning. Chief Tech’s was saying it’s a vehicle for self advancement by other people. Which is a corruption of the original idea.


Major General Julian Thompson CB OBE - Age 89
Lieutenant General Sir Henry Beverly KCB OBE - Age 88
Major General Tim Cross CBE - Age 72
Lieutenant General Sir James Dutton KCB CBE - Age 69
Major General Malcolm Hunt OBE - Age 85
Colonel Richard Kemp CBE - Age 64
Rear Admiral Roger Lane-Nott CB - Age 78
Lieutenant General Sir Hew Pike KCB DSO MBE - Age 80
Lieutenant General Jonathon Riley DSO MC - Age 69
Colonel Ewen Southby-Tailyour OBE - Age 82
Major General Nick Vaux CB DSO - Age 88

Yes, these are some very distinguished ex members of our armed forces. All have done some great things. But fundamentally they are white men who served in an era that was completely different from today. I mean, gay people were still banned from joining the army until 2000. Racism and homophobia were rife. They come from a completely different time.

Just because a bunch of people are saying ‘back in my day’, doesn’t mean they are right.


Exactly, but like this organisation really :roll_eyes::crazy_face:

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We cut now live to video footage of the people who have signed the letter…

The comments about Christianity too can absolutely do one. The festival of remembrance should be irreligious, enabling the remembrance of EVERYONE who fought rather than just those of a particular faith. The World Wars were not religious ones.


An era that didn’t have a massive recruitment problem?

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As I read that letter, I wondered how antiquated and out-of-date the authors were. You’ve helped answer that question with their ages, thank you. A group of men who oversaw and shaped a racist and homophobic organisation, now trying to justify why it still needs to be racist and homophobic.

If the armed forces doesn’t represent the people of the UK, then they’ll never be able to recruit effectively. The demographics of the UK have changed immensely since the authors joined up, but the military hasn’t adjusted to include the whole UK population. Their viewpoints seem to complete ignore the realities of the country we’re now living in.