Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by bolo beret, Feb 11, 2011.
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2 more die in AFGH
Gives us decent civil servants a bad name and yes some of us are decent not like old PUS
She needs shooting - dead simple
There are thousands of good, even excellent, CS and there are moronic, over-promoted, non-entities like this woman.
There are dopey and dangerous military personnel.
There are stupid politicians: Vince 'Hindsight' Cable and his latest attempt to run the entire nation: social engineering and lowering the standards at the top universities.
Mini rant over!
I've spent my entire career working alongside the British Army and have always marvelled at its 'can do' attitude. Recently though I am growing increasingly worried at how easy it seems to be to get some army types to get so outraged over a non story.
Ultimately the PUS was giving evidence to the select committe and used the phrase public sector pay freeze . If you go to the link (below) you'll see she simply said the armed forces are being dealt with as part of the whole public sector. Its at roughly 1hr 02 minutes in at the first point where she refers to public sector pay, and then at 1hr and 06 minutes in she referred to the pay in the wider public sector, and not specifically the armed forces as a whole.
Frankly some people here appear to be way more sensitive that I have come to expect from the armed forces. Its a throw away phrase in a long meeting - and the individual in question decided to take her to task because he knew it would get attention and reactions like you're seeing here. I suggest people rather than get outraged people take the time to watch the evidence and make their own minds up.
If you want to watch the evidence of the session (then its here- Player) -
Its not a great performance by PUS who is clearly nervous, and James Arbuthnot is being a pompous arrse who seized on a comment about public sector pay and tried to get a soundbite. Ursula is highly unusual in that she hasn't got a long background in MOD - she came to the MOD from some random department about 5 years ago, and doesnt have a deep defence background - I think this is clear in her evidence - she doesnt seem to have the comfortable familiarity with defence that a career MOD CS would have. Its not brilliant, but by the sound of things there weren't many alternatives out there to chose from. Oh for a decent PUS right now to steer us through these rocky waters...
That paragraph says it all for me ..... Round peg in a square hole and yet is supposed to fight for the rights of the military whom she knows very little about... would be good perhaps if she paid a few visits to helmandland etc, out in the FOBs and actually learned first hand what your average military "public sector worker" has to put up with, without the extended rates and allowances deemed absolutely necessary for their civilain counterparts.
Shes been to Helmand on multiple occasions. Also, as PUS she's not there to fight purely for the army - she's the head of the MOD CS and the civilian side of the department. Its CDS and CGS that are there for fighting the military side of life. Its akin to people complaining that 1SL doesnt know much about CS pay and allowances - he doesnt need to as he's not in charge of the CS.
"without the extended rates and allowances deemed absolutely necessary for their civilain counterparts"
You mean the rates and allowances that put deployed CS pay on a par with their military equivalents full time salary? I did tours in Iraq & Afghan as a civvy and mil SO2 - on both occasions my pay worked out at roughly the same level. Its a tired cliche that somehow the CS are earning massive amounts more - they're merely on parity.
It couldn't possibly be that someone, no names - no pack-drill, is a little bit 'fuzzy wuzzy' and 'panty-wanty' around their edges about this harridan from the outer reaches of Hell?
Is she related to the bovine Aldred woman? Is she also a member of the failed and fatuous Labour Party? Probably.
If Arbuthnot was giving her a 'hard time' - good!
There are some really good women in high places - no need to list them, we all know who there are and were. Similarly, there many strident, menopausal harpies; and, sadly many of these latter types are not 'discovered' until it is too late.
Her official biography is here:
Ministry of Defence | About Defence | People | Senior Officials | Permanent Under Secretary
"Ursula took up the appointment of Permanent Under Secretary at the Ministry of Defence in October 2010.
Prior to joining the MOD, Ursula was Deputy Permanent Secretary and Director General Corporate Performance at the Ministry of Justice from April to September 2008, having previously led the review to create the structure for the new Ministry of Justice. Her remit covered leadership of all of the corporate functions in MoJ, including finance, HR, IT, strategy and planning, communications and research and analysis. Ursula was chosen to lead the review when she was Chief Executive of the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, a role she took on in 2006. OCJR is the cross-departmental team that supports the three criminal justice departments and all criminal justice agencies in working together to provide an improved service to the public.
Prior to OCJR, Ursula was the DG, Living Land and Seas at Defra from 2004-2006. Her responsibilities included board-level leadership of strategy for rural disadvantage, protection of wildlife and the countryside and marine and fisheries business. She led the implementation of a review of rural delivery, merging and creating two new Non Departmental Public Bodies and restructuring delivery of grants and advice to rural business. She also led a programme to reform the delivery of policy in Defra.
Ursula had spent most of her career in what is now the Department for Work and Pensions, latterly leading the strategy on welfare to work and benefit fraud. In that role she was responsible for policies designed to reduce disadvantage and promote opportunity for millions of people of working age and their children, and for delivering PSA targets on reducing unemployment and increasing employment, particularly for vulnerable groups and for sick and disabled people; reducing child poverty within a generation and reducing fraud and error in benefit payments. Ursula also led on the development of universal banking; and strategic support to strategies on health and safety at work.
Ursula joined the DHSS in 1975 after two years with the Inner London Education Authority. After a variety of health-related jobs, she moved on to social security, covering policy on all the main social security benefits and then into operations as a Director of the Department's Information Technology Services Agency, responsible for a range of IT projects and contracts. From there she became Director of Change Management at the Benefits Agency, leading the Agency's Change Programme and heading a directorate of over 1,000 staff. In 1997 she returned to policy, with responsibility for benefits for long term sick and disabled people. Ursula became a DG in 1999 when she assumed strategic leadership for the Department's major change programme.
Ursula was born in 1952 and is married. She has a degree in English and American Literature from the University of Kent at Canterbury."
So, to recap, she's been in post at MoD less than 6 months.
Previous to that, she seems to have specialised in preventing benefit fraud, (always a popular subject here) some soft and fluffy environmental stuff, and a stint in criminal justice.
I can't say that I've ever met the lady, even though her career path has coincided with mine at various times, but I'd guess that she is a standard issue careerist policy wonk Civil Servant. Basically, fairly neutral, but for Christ's sake keep them away from introducing new IT systems or annual appraisal procedures.
Staff at that level of seniority don't normally have much Left wing sympathy left in them. (Dealing with PCS shop stewards knocks that out of them). I'd provisionally put this down as selective misquoting to get quick headlines or a rise from those 'willing to be outraged'.
I second the Nobel Lord's motion.
Shut up you over-reactive, over-emotional, ****ing arse wipe. Why shouldn't squaddies cough up as well? It's not like they're all deployed now is it?
Fixed that last sentence for you!
Pretty spot on post I think - both her and her 'quote' are pretty harmless, although to be honest I would rather that senior CS were a little less 'harmless', and a little more experienced, seasoned and informed in their own departments. It seems to have become an axiom of modern management that senior managers require only 'cross-cutting' skills that could be read across from Marks & Spencers, to Treasury, to MoD. On the other hand, that sort of attitude seems to have spread to senior uniformed leadership too - contrast this with some of 'technocrat' senior officers in the US Army, many of whom are more than capable of ripping a new a-hole in many a BAE sales pitch by themselves.
Fkukin well put RTF.
Ministry of Defence 'car crash' fears left few takers for top job, say sources | Politics | The Guardian
Senior Whitehall figures spurned the chance to lead the Ministry of Defence amid fears they would be left with a "car crash" after the announcement of next week's strategic defence and security review, according to government sources.
As ministers continue to wrangle over the review, senior figures at the MoD have let it be known they were disappointed with the calibre of candidates who applied to succeed Sir Bill Jeffrey next month as permanent secretary.
Ursula Brennan, Jeffrey's deputy, was appointed to the post after other senior Whitehall figures declined to apply. There had been speculation that Jeremy Heywood, permanent secretary at No 10, might be interested.
Government sources told the Guardian that ministers are concerned that the reluctance of more experienced Whitehall hands to apply for the post reflects a lack of confidence in the MoD as the defence secretary, Liam Fox, battles to avoid crippling cuts. David Cameron will attempt to hammer out a deal on the defence review , a week before its planned publication, when he chairs a meeting of the National Security Council.
The MoD was asked to do more work last week after the council failed to agree on whether to build two new aircraft carriers. Sources say it is difficult to make major decisions on other areas in the defence budget, such as the number of fighter aircraft, until agreement has been reached on the carriers.
One government source said: "Ministers were disappointed by the calibre of people who applied to become permanent secretary at the MoD. It became pretty clear that senior figures in Whitehall had no interest in dealing with the car crash they will have to inherit at the MoD. Ursula Brennan is no doubt an excellent official. But she is not quite the sort of top-notch official ministers had been hoping to attract."
The Treasury is demanding cuts at two levels. George Osborne, the chancellor, is demanding that Fox finds cuts of £38bn over the next 10 years to deal with an overspend in the procurement budget inherited from Labour. Osborne is also demanding cuts of at least 10% between 2011 and 2014, though there have been signs in recent weeks that the Treasury may agree to slightly lower cuts.
Fox is said to be encouraged that he has won agreement from the national security council for a significant boost in funding for cyber-security. He made it clear at the Tory conference that this would be a priority as he revealed that Russia presented a major cyber-threat."We must understand that the conflicts of the future will go beyond the conventional arena and threaten our social well-being, our domestic infrastructure and our economic capabilities," Fox told a fringe meeting in Birmingham.
"Russia's invasion of Georgia, with heavy armour, air strikes and ground troops-all very conventional- was augmented by a surgical cyber attack on the Georgian government and a sophisticated information operations campaign aimed at the Georgian people and the international community."
Fox will attend a meeting of the national security council, to be chaired by Cameron, after the regular meeting of the cabinet.
The MoD and Treasury have to reach agreement by Friday to allow the defence review to be published next Tuesday on the eve of the spending review.
Ministers have decided that they will agree everything together rather than making a decision about the carriers and then looking at fighter aircraft.
Separate names with a comma.