£1bn defence shortfall.

#1
Covered in the paper today;

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/10/28/ntroops128.xml

"The shortfall will leave servicemen without Apache gunships, Land Rovers and Chinook transport helicopters, according to experts

Future weapons projects, including the new generation of Astute nuclear submarines and even the Eurofighter, are also at risk.

The Navy has already been forced to "mothball" all Type 42 destroyers and several Type 22 frigates to save money.

Now, defence experts will warn in a report to MPs that up to half of the Navy's warships will have to be withdrawn from service due to the poor defence budget."


So the budget is increased but the cost of operations is to come from this money. Looks like the government has thought this through again.
 
#2
Apparently their are up to six Apache Helicopters that will never fly again (according to a Mucka) how true this is i can't confirm. the reason is " they have had to many parts stripped from them for spare parts for Afghanistan. The Helicopters cost as much as 36 - 38million each! The blokes need the moneyand fast by al accounts of the forces.
 
#3
I am a little surprised though not totally so.

Perhaps Broon expects to get his arse kicked in the next election and is leaving this mess for the next lot in (coupled with a housing crash and perhaps a world economic correction).
 
#4
Only a billion? That must be the back hander the Government paid EDS last year for JPA and DII :twisted:
 
#5
eveyoz said:
I am a little surprised though not totally so.

Perhaps Broon expects to get his arse kicked in the next election and is leaving this mess for the next lot in (coupled with a housing crash and perhaps a world economic correction).
Spot on I fear, and there I'm sure lies the true answer why he didn’t go to the country..... While I would never want it to go to ratship, but if it's going to happen I hope Brown is firmly in the hot seat when it does so the blame rightly falls where it's due and he hasn’t a snowballs chance in hell of wriggling out of it.

Brown and Blair have, IMHO along with past and to some instances present cabinet members ruined this country with their poor governance and fiscal control so much so that a one way trip through traitors gate and short spell in the tower before moving on to a very brief introduction to the use of an axe would not be inappropriate.

Of course, in our present - cuddly, 'PC' aww bless, they didn’t mean it society - that would never happen.....

Shame, there was a lot to be said for the medieval way of sorting really crap politicians other than the polls.
 
#6
snapper said:
eveyoz said:
I am a little surprised though not totally so.

Perhaps Broon expects to get his arse kicked in the next election and is leaving this mess for the next lot in (coupled with a housing crash and perhaps a world economic correction).
Spot on I fear, and there I'm sure lies the true answer why he didn’t go to the country..... While I would never want it to go to ratship, but if it's going to happen I hope Brown is firmly in the hot seat when it does so the blame rightly falls where it's due and he hasn’t a snowballs chance in hell of wriggling out of it.

Brown and Blair have, IMHO along with past and to some instances present cabinet members ruined this country with their poor governance and fiscal control so much so that a one way trip through traitors gate and short spell in the tower before moving on to a very brief introduction to the use of an axe would not be inappropriate.

Of course, in our present - cuddly, 'PC' aww bless, they didn’t mean it society - that would never happen.....

Shame, there was a lot to be said for the medieval way of sorting really crap politicians other than the polls.
Seconded - just as long as I get the job with the black hood and the big fcuk off axe! :twisted:

Although I suspect I'd have to get up fcuking early to be at the front of the Q...
 
#7
I'd be happy to just blunt the axe a bit.
 
#8
perhaps it it time to put the MOD accounts in the hands of a private accountants instead of civil servants!!!!

Is that being unfair to the low down civil servants??? someone other than just Brown needs to be held accountable for this.

If I was that crap at managing my money I would be fired

Regards


Duncan
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Brown has controlled the money for the last 10 years
What makes anyone think now he is PM he will go on a spending spree?
Darling may be the chancellor but you can bet you b0llacks it's all going through Broon
Everyone has seen taxes increase whilst the NHS ,Police,Forces etc have been stripped back to the bare bones
Exept of course his 600 odd mates in parliment who can award themselves a nice pay,pension and expence package
The 86 Million quid they spent on stamps,envelopes and milage claims would buy a few Landrovers or a couple of Apaches
I'm not suprised at the comment about the Apaches it's happend for years in the RAF I remember my brother telling me before Kosovo they were stripping Chinook hanger queens for spares
 
#10
its seems to me that this is short term repairs, this cannot last, to "mothball" all Type 42 destroyers and several Type 22 frigates to save money cannot go on for the long term, same with the RAF, it needs spares and service time,

so straight forward solution really, either pull out of Helic and telic or pump the required amount of money into the armed forces needed..........

Regards

Duncan
 
#11
A shortfall in the budget for defence ? Under the premiership of 'Bottler' Brown ? Can this really be classified as NEWS ?! If so, then I announce that Queen Anne is dead!
 

dockers

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#12
Dunc0936

Can't let your comment about someone being responsible go without comment. It, generally, is not the fault of the civil servant (many of whom are qualified accountants)on the ground. Many civil servants know what needs to be done. Their advice is often ignored by those higher up the chain, both mil and cs, due to dogma or political direction. Its the fault of not enough money in the first place and being subject to a system that does not reward good governance nor planning for more than 1 year.

If there is blame in the CS then it should be directed at the Senior Civil Servants.
 
#13
dockers said:
Dunc0936

Can't let your comment about someone being responsible go without comment. It, generally, is not the fault of the civil servant (many of whom are qualified accountants)on the ground. Many civil servants know what needs to be done. Their advice is often ignored by those higher up the chain, both mil and cs, due to dogma or political direction. Its the fault of not enough money in the first place and being subject to a system that does not reward good governance nor planning for more than 1 year.
I agree with you there, I would find it very hard to believe that mere civil servants were to blame, they do not make policy, and work very hard at their job.... I was just wanted to try and find out whole is to blame!!!!

Im still learning on this forum, and have only really started to take an interest in politics in the last few months, so some times do go off on a rant and need to be slapped down..... It just just really frustrate me when it things like this happens and politicians do not seem to have a back bone these days and in lots of cases are only interested in their own agenda

Regards

Duncan
 
#14
"The Navy has already been forced to "mothball" all Type 42 destroyers and several Type 22 frigates to save money."

This is total utter b*llocks. The Navy has not mothballed all its Type 42 destroyers, there are 8 left and plenty are currently deployed, such as HMS Southampton in the Falklands. The 4 T22's remaining are also (currently) still active. The only RN ship in mothballs officially is HMS Invincible, held at 6 months notice for sea.
 

dockers

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#15
Duncan

The devil is always in the detail. Defence doesn't have a high profile for a CS career. One of its basic problems is that in the upper levels of the Civil Service, there are few that have served and few that have spent any reasonable amount of time working with front line or training establishments. Therefore the knowledge of the impact of that their decisions have is negligable(sp). There is too much focus on process and not enough on people.

Its barking!

Edited to add: Tango Six articulates this attitude well in the Nimrod thread.
 
#16
jim30 said:
"The Navy has already been forced to "mothball" all Type 42 destroyers and several Type 22 frigates to save money."

This is total utter b*llocks. The Navy has not mothballed all its Type 42 destroyers, there are 8 left and plenty are currently deployed, such as HMS Southampton in the Falklands. The 4 T22's remaining are also (currently) still active. The only RN ship in mothballs officially is HMS Invincible, held at 6 months notice for sea.
I mean this in a nice way mate, you seem to know more than the navies own website, Could one of the reasons people leave the navy is to long at sea??? do you know how the crew swap is working???
 
#17
dockers said:
Dunc0936

Can't let your comment about someone being responsible go without comment. It, generally, is not the fault of the civil servant (many of whom are qualified accountants)on the ground. Many civil servants know what needs to be done. Their advice is often ignored by those higher up the chain, both mil and cs, due to dogma or political direction. Its the fault of not enough money in the first place and being subject to a system that does not reward good governance nor planning for more than 1 year.

If there is blame in the CS then it should be directed at the Senior Civil Servants.
Couldn't agree more - you can only bang your head against that brick wall so many times :x
 
#18
And in Parliament we will get the familiar phrases of Government ministers spouting how the budget cuts are merely repositioning of funds, that they understand concerns, that no lives are put at risk and the people should recognise that budgets have increased in real terms; and of course should any unit of the Forces on operations require more/better kit, accomodation, medical facilities etc etc they can have it whenever they wish.

These same people will two weeks today be telling the press how they respect the Armed Forces, and give thanks for their sacrifices on Remembrance Sunday.

Why am I not convinced on both counts Messrs Brown & Browne (our part-time Defence Sec)? :x :evil:
 
#19
"One of its basic problems is that in the upper levels of the Civil Service, there are few that have served "

A slighlty disingenous argument - its like saying that in the upper levels of the Army, there are few who have served as Civil Servants. You only have time to do one or the other if you want to go all the way.

"I mean this in a nice way mate, you seem to know more than the navies own website, Could one of the reasons people leave the navy is to long at sea??? do you know how the crew swap is working??? "

Not claiming to know more, but have strong links to the RN. AFAIK Crew Swap is proving an interesting experiment, but ask on rum ration for a better steer.
 
#20
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/william_rees_mogg/article2759365.ece

Our men are dying to save Whitehall’s pennies

Our columnist on the folly of trying to fight wars on the cheapWilliam Rees-Mogg


I never worked with a more honourable man than Duke Hussey. He was gravely injured at Anzio, yet he overcame his injuries to become chief executive of Times Newspapers and Chairman of the BBC. Apart from our newspaper connection, we both served for 20 years on the development committee of Wells Cathedral School.

Our committee used to meet every November on the Saturday before Remembrance Sunday, to suit Duke’s convenience. He always attended his local Remembrance Sunday service. At the beginning, in the late 1970s, Duke used to speak of the veterans from the First World War who were still fit enough to attend. Then their numbers started to dwindle. There were no longer old soldiers who remembered the Somme, but there were still plenty who could remember the D-Day landings.

Then their numbers also started to dwindle. As the great American soldier, General Douglas MacArthur, quoted to Congress in his retirement speech: “Old soldiers never die, they only fade away.” This year Duke Hussey himself will not be at the Remembrance parade.

Yet I think that the perceived significance of Remembrance Day of the British Legion and the poppy collection is in a phase of recovery. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the apparent end of the Cold War most people in Britain formed the comfortable conclusion that the only wars would be minor ones with few British casualties. The first Gulf war and the Nato campaign in Kosovo did not disturb our complacency.

It has been disturbed by the terrorist attacks on New York, Madrid and London, and by the casualties our troops have suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan. Neither the British Government nor the public was prepared for this level of casualties, or for the responsibilities of war itself. One could say much the same of the Pentagon. In 2001, the year of 9/11, America’s basic strategic doctrine seemed almost to amount to the statement: “We will bomb you; you can’t bomb us.” American forces have long since discovered that this is an oversimplification of “shock and awe”.

Historically, the Labour Party has a serious record in defence, particularly under Clement Attlee, the First World War army officer who became the first Prime Minister of the Cold War era; he took the decision to equip Britain with nuclear weapons.

However, the Blair Government after 1997 must be the least military administration ever to take Britain to war. It is said that there is no member of the present Government who has served in the Armed Forces. Even now, with Britain committed to fighting difficult campaigns on two fronts, social expenditure has been given a far higher priority than defence. The Defence Secretary himself, Des Browne, is only a part-time minister.

One can tell when a department of state feels ashamed of its own conduct. It puts out the news when it hopes nobody will be attending. This week is the tail end of the existing session of Parliament. Last Friday and Saturday, the Ministry of Defence was putting out the bad news, in the hope that no one was listening.

On Friday the ministry announced that the £5 billion allocated for upgrading the accommodation of unmarried members of the Armed Forces would not be sufficient to deal with the issue. One third of their accommodation will still be of the poorest quality in six years’ time. The Services have very great difficulty in retaining skilled personnel. That can be no surprise if a third of their unmarried accommodation continues to be of the poorest quality, into the indefinite future.

On Saturday the ministry announced that it would follow American practice in screening for mild traumatic brain injury, which arises from direct injury but also from explosions. The condition is widespread and can be serious. The Americans say that some 20 per cent of soldiers can be affected. Liam Fox, the Shadow Secretary for Defence, has the advantage of being well briefed on US defence systems and of being a doctor. He has pressed for a British response for the past ten months and is still not satisfied that British practices will be brought up to US standards.

Yesterday The Independent on Sunday published new documents about the problems of the obsolete Nimrod aircraft. In 2004 BAE Systems recommended that the Ministry of Defence should fit fire detection/suppression systems in normal operations. The MoD rejected this advice largely on grounds of cost. This might have saved the lives of the 14 people who died in a Nimrod crash in Afghanistan last year. In this case also, US equipment is far superior to British but is not available to British forces on grounds of cost.

Wherever one looks at the shortages of equipment, cost has been the limiting factor. British forces have had to fight their battles under Treasury rules. In Afghanistan, only 20 helicopters were available this summer, about half the requirement. Again one can make a comparison with US practice, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. US soldiers have helicopters, ours do not. Yet helicopters are essential.

There is wide disagreement on the justification for British participation in the Middle East war. That, however, is not the issue. The Government is criticised for sending troops to war while failing to support them with funds. Patrick Mercer, the Conservative MP who was an Army officer, has stated: “In peacetime, the defence settlement would actually look generous. Now it’s starting to become clear that it is horrendously inadequate at a time when Britain is fighting a war on two fronts.” That is a fair statement born out of the facts.

There is no such thing as a comfortable war. Soldiers and civilians get killed, or suffer crippling injuries. There is no such thing as a cheap war. Soldiers must be given support, both in battle and when they return from battle.

Their families also need support. On Poppy Day, we all need to reflect that our soldiers are putting their lives at risk for us; we should at least put our taxes on the line for them.
 

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