Ask the Conservative Defence Spokesman

#1
The Conservative Party have asked for your questions for Dr Liam Fox, the party's Defence Spokesman. We'll be taking these proposals via our Yoosk page and Dr Fox will answer the most popular questions - as asked and voted for by you.

Regardless of which party you currently favour this is an excellent opportunity to take the debate that is a regular part of ARRSE onwards and upwards. Do please debate the questions and issues you would like to see addressed in this thread, but you must actually ask the questions via:

the ARRSE Yoosk Page (if you are a registered ARRSE user you will be automatically logged in)


I'll now hand over to the Conservatives:

The election is really hotting up now, with the most likely election date just a few weeks away.

Gordon Brown and the Labour Party have been in power for 13 years. So the choice facing servicemen and women is do you think another 5 years would be good for the Forces?

Dr Liam Fox - the Conservative Party's spokesman on Defence - doesn't think so. And he wants to hear what you think a Conservative Government should do in an exclusive Q&A with ARRSE users. You can ask him any question, and he will answer the top ones from each of
the following five themes:


* Afghanistan
* Defence budget (inc. Strategic Review)
* Veterans
* Welfare (inc. mental health)
* Families

DR LIAM FOX

Dr Liam Fox was born and raised in East Kilbride, Scotland. He worked as a GP - including five years as a Civilian Army Medical Officer in Beaconsfield - before becoming MP for Woodspring in North Somerset in 1992. He has been on the front bench throughout the Conservative Party's time in Opposition, including as Shadow Health Secretary from 1999-2003, Party Chairman from 2003 to 2005, and Shadow Defence Secretary since 2005.

CONSERVATIVE PRIORITIES

Should the Conservatives win the election, Dr Fox's first priority will be Afghanistan. Having a National Security Council which will act as a war cabinet will ensure that the war in Afghanistan gets the attention it needs from the highest levels of government. Furthermore, he will oversee the first Strategic Defence and Security Review for 13 years, which will be foreign policy led. A Conservative government will legislate to make these happen in each Parliament, so that there can never again be such a mismatch between commitments and resources. Alongside this, there will need to be wholesale restructuring of the MoD, with a radical overhaul of procurement. Getting the Armed Forces what they need, when they need it, at the best value for the taxpayer, must be the department's
focus and it is failing at the moment.

Dr Fox's welfare priority will be the creation of a through-life mental health service. The Military Covenant has been stretched to breaking point under Labour, so conditions for service families are crucial: a Conservative government will ensure, for example, that service families who move will retain their places on NHS waiting lists. Children of
service personnel killed on operations since 1990 will receive a scholarship and living stipend for further education. R&R will begin on arrival back in the UK, not on leaving bases abroad. And we will double the operational allowance paid to personnel serving in Afghanistan to recognise their hard work.
 
#3
Furthermore, he will oversee the first Strategic Defence and Security Review for 13 years, which will be foreign policy led. A Conservative government will legislate to make these happen in each Parliament, so that there can never again be such a mismatch between commitments and resources. Alongside this, there will need to be wholesale restructuring of the MoD, with a radical overhaul of procurement. Getting the Armed Forces what they need, when they need it, at the best value for the taxpayer, must be the department's
focus and it is failing at the moment.
Twaddle. This is going to happen whoever gets into power.

I would like to ask Dr Fox what the focus is in terms of the 'radical overhaul' of defence procurement. Will it be in line with Bernard Gray's recommendations, will it be focused on reducing the number of Civil Servants in DE&S or something else?

Secondly, would a Conservative led defence review be driven by military capability, capacity or cost?
 
#5
:oops:

Note to self - read the thread.

I'm posting them now...
 

Auld-Yin

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#6
I have asked a question, probably quite badly about how, if there is to be an SDR, can he at the same time restructure MoD and Procurement? It would appear that SDR would then have to fit into this restructuring rather than MoD and Procurement being set up to meet the requirements of the SDR. As I say I am not very good at asking questions so if anyone wishes to word it in a different, and no doubt better way, please do.
 
#7
Thanks for this Good CO. It is good to see that things are being sorted for us to have a say. We can argue later about whether this will have any impact.

Seems simple to me - if he thinks another five years would be disastrous for us, what would we have done differently in the previous five from the current Minister of Defence........
 
#8
I'd like to ask Dr Liam Fox his opinion of the NIMBYS who campaigned against the house for the families of injured soldiers at Selly Oak, and how he thinks he differs from them in his campaign against the building of a road for Bristol City Football Clubs new stadium in his constituency, that Bristol City Council has already been 'minded to approve' and has been approved by the Government Office for the South West .....

but it won't fit in the text box on the yoosk page:)
 
#9
I think you need to read the scope of the request for questions. I don't see football listed.
 
#10
It is a comparison with a service issue, a tenuous link true, but about as tenuous a link as the Conservative claim to be a party for the forces after the swathes of cuts in the 90s
 
#11
Job jobbed!

Here is my twopence worth

"In the event of a future foreign policy-led SDR identifying that our commitments outstrip our manpower and material capabilities will you increase the OVERALL Defence Budget to meet the perceived requirement for such manpower and material rather than playing the Service Chiefs against one another or "revisiting" the Review until it provides the correct answer?"

And my spall chocker would not change material to materiel :twisted:
 
#12
eodmatt said:
I think you need to read the scope of the request for questions. I don't see football listed.
Which is a crying shame, because clearly the only thing that fucking matters at the moment is the state of Mr Beckhams tendons. Maybe the tories can justify their poor showing in the popularity polls on this and TBD can ask some awkward questions during PMQ's.

"What does the government propose to do about the massive underinvestment in defence and in particular David Beckhams sore foot? We would like to remind the PM that we know he is an overpaid and over-rated fuckwit of a midfielder but he forms an important link between the forwards and the defence and the government should not underestimate the sheer quantity of fuckwits in the UK whose sole purpose in life is to gaze at 22 other fuckwits hoofing a pigs bladder between four sticks for 90 minutes.
 
#13
rickshaw-major said:
Job jobbed!

Here is my twopence worth

"In the event of a future foreign policy-led SDR identifying that our commitments outstrip our manpower and material capabilities will you increase the OVERALL Defence Budget to meet the perceived requirement for such manpower and material rather than playing the Service Chiefs against one another or "revisiting" the Review until it provides the correct answer?"

And my spall chocker would not change material to materiel :twisted:
Good Q!!!!

My spill chacker is ficked as woll!
 
#15
#17
CrazyLegs! said:
It is a comparison with a service issue, a tenuous link true, but about as tenuous a link as the Conservative claim to be a party for the forces after the swathes of cuts in the 90s
OK but I really don't think you have a leg to stand on. (Heh heh heh).
 
#18
Hmm. Tried to ask a second question:

"Do you think that the members of the armed forces should trust someone as their minister who has attempted to steal £22,000 from the taxpayer, and then continued unrepentant to appeal against the decision once caught?"

And for some reason - it wont let me ask it. Maybe because I have already asked one. Could somebody else have a go for me? Thanks
 
#20
deleted
 

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