Thursday, 4 February 2010

How to be a General

Sir Jock Stirrup, the head of the Army (I think), interviewed on Radio 4 the other day, said the following (I was so delighted with it that I rushed into the other room and wrote it down verbatim):

"Of course, one of the key determinants of what we can afford is how much money we have."

So, the answer to how to be a General is as follows:

1. Be able to state a blindingly obvious truism in a deep authoritative voice, so that it sounds profound and makes interviewers nod in agreement.
2. Have a really silly name.


  1. Jock Stirrup - say it quickly and imagine the sniggers.
    I'd love to ask him what the other key determinants are.

  2. With a name like that I have to do a portrait of him...

  3. Kaz, well for a start he's certainly one of the top brass.

  4. The Great Stirrup Controversy is a controversy about the Stirrup Thesis, the theory that feudalism in Europe was largely the result of the introduction of the stirrup to cavalry. Aristocracy with wealth enough to own a horse became the dominant force on the battlefield, and thus were in a position to offer protection to horseless peasants.
    But whether this shift to cavalry was caused by the introduction of the stirrup is a contentious issue. It has been asserted that armoured cavalry were used successfully without stirrups before their introduction, and that the transition to cavalry was not a result of new technologies.

    Whatever, another case of the name going with the job.
    Except he first went into the air force. But of course the ground crew servicing Battle of Britain fighter pilots would use the large supply of redundant jockstraps discarded by 11th Hussar cavalry officers in the Crimean War (at Balaklava) to stop the tailplanes from dropping off the aircraft. So there's clearly a connection.

    As well as KCB he is also GCB, AFC, DSc, FRAeS FCMI RAF.
    Should we add SOTBO to that, or is that too much of a statement of the blindingly obvious?

  5. Oops a daisy.

    I do believe I meant to refer to the ground crew servicing the fighters, not the pilots.

    Roger & out.

  6. I apologise on his behalf for the ravings of my brother Soaring, who was exposed to The Goon Show at a much too early age.

  7. Oh is that was causes it?
    Twas you who did the exposing to Goons, dear bro.
    If it wasn't for you & big sis exposing me to Major Dennis Bloodnok & forcing the Famous Eccles upon me, I would be a normal human bean like everyone else.
    Er, thanks.

  8. And my parents exposed ME to the Goon show at an early age too...Aaaah, the Phantom Raspberry Blower still sticks in my memory...

  9. Going back to the original quote by Jack Stirfry, I was pleased to see that someone has finally understood the meaning of 'economics'.