Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How To Tell The Difference......

.........between the genuine and the fake.  The diamond and the paste.

Here's a little test for you.  Both of these fellows are MPs, one in NZ and one in Australia.

Both have served in their respective countries' armed forces.

Both have achieved the rank of army captain..

One claims to have belonged to the SAS.   One served with the SAS, with distinction.

One engages in childish and vulgar behaviour in the house.  One delivers excellent speeches.

One is seen by a number of experienced commentators as a future prime minister.  One is destined for the parliamentary scrap heap.

I give you The Honorable Captain Andrew Hastie (retired) Member for Canning in the Australian House of Representatives

Image result for andrew hastie sas

and the Dishonorable Captain Ron Mark, (retired) list member of the NZ House of Reprehensibles.

Image result for ron mark mp



The Veteran said...

I think to be fair we need to record that Ron Mark retired from the NZ Army as a Captain. He first joined the Army as a Regular Force Cadet and graduated from there into the Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RNZEME) as a vehicle mechanic. After six years in the ranks he was selected for officer training. On leaving the NZDF he served with the Sultan of Oman's land forces when he commanded a Workshop with the honorary rank of Major. I have no doubt that RM was a competent junior officer but whether he would have progressed too far had he stayed in the NZ Army is a moot point.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Thank you Vet. Error corrected.

Noel said...

I captivated by your often repeated claim that Marks claimed he served with SAS.

Closest I could find was
"In 1982, as a mechanical engineering officer, he successfully completed the NZSAS selection course and was one of five New Zealand Army officers sent to assist in setting up a new multi-national peace keeping operation the Sinai desert. Ron completed two back to back tours and was repatriated in 1983, but was refused permission by his corps to be posted to NZSAS to complete his training - a decision which resulted in Ron leaving the NZ Army in 1985 as a Captain and taking up an offer of service with the Sultan of Oman's Land Forces and the Sultan's Special Force in the Dhofar. He retired as a Major in 1990."

None of which can amount to a claim he served with SAS.

Did he actually go further than above?

The Veteran said...

Noel ... Mark has been happy to leave the impression that he served with the SAS. Completing a selection course does not constitute service. I can recall too Mark back in 2002 introducing Bill Gudgeon, newly elected NZF List MP, as having served in Vietnam and with the SAS. He did neither ... his service was limited to Borneo as a member of the Gurr Battalion although again, to be fair, he did apply to do the SAS selection course but pulled out.

What is it with politicians of all stripes and colours who seek to embellish their service?

Noel said...

"Happy to leave the impression" translation he never said he served in SAS?

Observing Adolf said...

Adolf said "One claims to have belonged to the SAS."
Not "Happy to leave the impression".

Coaster said...

It was reported by ONE News, and as far as I know, Ron Mark has never corrected it -

Coaster said...

And Mr Mark did not correct Radio Live either when he was introduced with his SAS record.

So, he may not have claimed to have served in the SAS, but has not bothered to make any attempt to correct the record.

He seems to be happy with the reflected glory.

Noel said...

Coaster you are fudging.
The only sites where the claim is made that "he claims he served in SAS" are Kiwiblog and contributors to No Minister.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...


Don't fall off that pin.

Noel said...

I'm not claiming anything.
You did. I assume you cannot substantiate you claim the "HE SAID HE SERVED IN SAS"?

Gerald said...

Forget it Noel the only one dancing on a pin is Adolf with a little help from Coaster.

Coaster said...


As far as I know, Kiwiblog and No Minister do not control what TVNZ and Radio Live broadcast.

Did you listen to the Radio Live link and/or read the ONE News link?

In both cases, each organisation said that Mark was a former SAS member, and Radio Live used it to introduce him.

Mark has not taken the chance to correct the record in the last couple of years as far as I can tell.

Perhaps you can point me to a link where he has corrected either news organisation.

Noel said...

Keep dancing.

The Veteran said...

And no-one has attempted to address my point. Why is it that people continue to exaggerate their service with 90% of those claiming a special forces pedigree.

I would have thought that ALL service was honorable and there is no need to exaggerate that to make the point.

Noel said...

If you are serios perhaps this helps.

Anonymous said...

Even the the SAS personnel are not above embellishing their service. The balcony at Princess gate (Iran Embassy siege) was masterpiece of Victorian engineering, it managed to hold over 200 accredited SAS members..mind you they were all wearing balaclavas.

If you take into consideration that fire fights in Vietnam were infrequent it never fails to astonish me that so many people remember each one. They were there, but not there if you get my drift.

If Marks never actually made the claim as I have been led to believe he had, then he deserves the benefit of the doubt. After all if I was introduced as millionaire with a ten inch appendage and the ability to lick my eyebrows I would not be in to much of a hurry to deny it.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... you're on the money with your comment about Princess Gate. If everyone who claimed to have been part of the operation were there the balcony would have collapsed under their collective weight.

AS for Mark and I too am not convinced he ever actually claimed SAS service ... that's not the point. He has been more than happy to leave that impression. Take for example the Google piece quoted by Noel and presumably signed off by Mark ... 'but was refused permission by his corps to be posted to NZSAS to complete his training'. With respect, you are not posted to the SAS to complete your training. You are posted there to start your training and when finished you are badged and accepted into the unit.

There are any number of soldiers who pass a SAS selection course and who end up not being badged for a whole variety of reasons. Nothing bad about that but they can't claim to be SAS trained.

Gerald said...

"AS for Mark and I too am not convinced he ever actually claimed SAS service"

The Veteran said...

Gerald ... your point?

Noel said...

No that is the point. Adolf clearly accused Marks of claiming he had served in SAS.
Adolf has been unable to provide evidence to that fact.

The Veteran said...

Noel, impression dear boy, impression ... and to the great unwashed it's the impression that counts

Noel said...

Bovine excrement. "One claims to have belonged to the SAS. "

Anonymous said...

That Adolph....what a card.