Labour's plans for the Forces

Unfortunately, the order of the paragraphs likely signals the order of importance given to each issue by the Nosferatu lookalike.

'Ministers are failing to meet their pledge to make the British Armed Forces “diverse and fully representative of UK society”. Despite a recent rise in recruitment, less than 9% of armed forces and only 10 of 303 senior Ministry of Defence officials are BAME personnel, while new MoD figures yesterday show ministers are missing their target to recruit 15% women each year.

'More important still, in 2015 ministers pledged that the strength of the British Army would not fall below 82,000 – but numbers are down to 73,750. And they promised “to increase the Royal Nay and Royal Air Force by a total of 700 personnel” – but have instead cut the number by 1,970. Since 2010, the Conservatives have overseen the strength of British Forces drop by a quarter, with 40,000 fewer full-time troops now than ten years ago.

'Ministers are paying too little concern to what matters most to military chiefs and to Britain’s capacity to maintain our world-class fighting force. As former chief of the defence staff general Sir Nicholas Houghton said: “We have to ensure that there is a balanced investment in our people as well as our equipment. I would argue most strongly that it is our people that give the UK’s Armed Forces our qualitative edge.” In the 2015 defence review, ministers devoted just one and a half pages in the 89-page report to personnel.'
 
Considering this is the Labour party that allowed a former chancellor to cut defence spending whilst a former PM repeatedly threw the underfunded Armed Forces into danger just to boost his own narcissistic vanity..........
 
Wouldn't worry about it seems like we have to reflect the % of population in every job - so 13% in everything, 13% nurses 13% Armed Forces etc, if they dont want it, we must force them to confirm to the statistics !!!

Of course since COVID-19 favors a certain genetic pool, that statistic may diminish downward thus achieving the Labour Party's goal figures.

I wish people would stop glossing over figures and just let those that want to do a job do it rather than look at the sex, race etc. There is a reason some prefer to what they want and not what people expect them to do.
 
I'd imagine the Labour Party being rather keen on a military presence at the annual Al Quds day parade
 
Unfortunately, the order of the paragraphs likely signals the order of importance given to each issue by the Nosferatu lookalike.

'Ministers are failing to meet their pledge to make the British Armed Forces “diverse and fully representative of UK society”. Despite a recent rise in recruitment, less than 9% of armed forces and only 10 of 303 senior Ministry of Defence officials are BAME personnel, while new MoD figures yesterday show ministers are missing their target to recruit 15% women each year.

'More important still, in 2015 ministers pledged that the strength of the British Army would not fall below 82,000 – but numbers are down to 73,750. And they promised “to increase the Royal Nay and Royal Air Force by a total of 700 personnel” – but have instead cut the number by 1,970. Since 2010, the Conservatives have overseen the strength of British Forces drop by a quarter, with 40,000 fewer full-time troops now than ten years ago.

'Ministers are paying too little concern to what matters most to military chiefs and to Britain’s capacity to maintain our world-class fighting force. As former chief of the defence staff general Sir Nicholas Houghton said: “We have to ensure that there is a balanced investment in our people as well as our equipment. I would argue most strongly that it is our people that give the UK’s Armed Forces our qualitative edge.” In the 2015 defence review, ministers devoted just one and a half pages in the 89-page report to personnel.'
Yeah I suspect the poor fxxxker has to cut 'n paste that bollox in, like his Tory opposite numbers have to burble on about private sector efficiency.

The point is the total manpower, oops, personnel figures. Pretty stark.


On tbe BAME thing, l had a bad tempered Twitter conversation with some clowns whining about the Trooping the Colour being so white. I pointed out that the Welsh Guards recruit in Wales which is 94% white so the smattering of black faces was fair enough. The regional recruiting system obviously affects representation of BAME in the Army, as London and Brum make up the preponderance af non-white UK people but not the preponderance of recruitment.

Different for the fish-heads and crabs, but interestingly overall the Army is within a percent or two in line with overall UK ethnic numbers.
And the last possible leader wouldn't have been security cleared to visit a cadet hut let alone a top secret nuclear establishment.
I rather doubt that. Vetting isn't based on misinterpretation and distortion read in the Express. It's based on susceptibility to blackmail or adherence to ideologies inimical to British security.

McDonnell would struggle, I think Jimmy Corbett (was that his name?) would have been ok.
 
Have the Conservatives ever been 'friends' of the Armed Forces?

I'm only in my mid-30s so my limited first hand experience is Blair's questionable conflicts that allowed me a more enjoyable time in green than doing crappy exercises across the UK, though wasn't the 'Options for Change' I read about years ago a Tory initiative? I vaguely recall a more seasoned poster on another thread listing all the Tory cuts going back decades that highlighted their 'love' of the Armed Forces.
 
Traditionally the Tories have been rather more keen than Labour to cut the Armed Forces.

I am always mildly amused by people whinging about Blair, but then also whinging that they don't get to do tours like HERRICK and TELIC any more.
 
Have the Conservatives ever been 'friends' of the Armed Forces?

I'm only in my mid-30s so my limited first hand experience is Blair's questionable conflicts that allowed me a more enjoyable time in green than doing crappy exercises across the UK, though wasn't the 'Options for Change' I read about years ago a Tory initiative? I vaguely recall a more seasoned poster on another thread listing all the Tory cuts going back decades that highlighted their 'love' of the Armed Forces.

I served Regs 87 -97, Reserves 97-04, I think post Falklands the Tories did a reasonable job on pay, other than that it was managed decline whilst pretending to look after the Forces.
 

Danatanian

Old-Salt
I served Regs 87 -97, Reserves 97-04, I think post Falklands the Tories did a reasonable job on pay, other than that it was managed decline whilst pretending to look after the Forces.
I remember getting a good pay hike after the Gulf War. Then Options for Change hit and promotion in my trade was closed for three years just as I was hitting the window for it. This was why I left after 12 years with a half pension rather than 22 with a full one.

The Tories gave with one hand and took with the other in my case.
 

4(T)

LE
Different for the fish-heads and crabs, but interestingly overall the Army is within a percent or two in line with overall UK ethnic numbers.

Is that actually because of the Gurkhas, or are they discounted for the purposes of identity politics & quotas?

Mind you, looking at Aldershot demographics, perhaps the inclusion of the Gurkhas does in fact correlate to the overall UK BAME ratios...
 

philc

LE
Minor fly in the ointment of Labour ambition, they need to win an election, which whilst playing student politics is not going to happen.

SKS Now having a wibble on his BLM moment being case in point.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
The regional recruiting system obviously affects representation of BAME in the Army, as London and Brum make up the preponderance af non-white UK people but not the preponderance of recruitment.
To the best of my knowledge, nobody of BAME origin ever served in 15/19H, simply because nobody of BAME origin lived in the recruiting area.

There were apocryphal stories of attachments turning round and going home because the regiment was so white Geordie. About 1979-80 we got a BAME REME (VM iirc) corporal joining us. Curtains twitched. Until it was discovered he was a REME Corps footballer and would be a boon to winning/retaining the Cavalry and 3 Armd Div Cups.

Mate (we were two of the last three to join the Omagh tour, we were then in Command Troop together) had turned his ankle and couldn't play in a cup tie, so we stood and heckled supported from the sideline.

"H'away man BJ, pass it, man!"
"BJ his initials then?"
"Nah, he's a blackjack. "

That lance corporal went on to hold senior rank, including being Sandhurst Light Dragoons Mafia about 15-20 years ago.
 

Bob65

Old-Salt
Traditionally the Tories have been rather more keen than Labour to cut the Armed Forces.

I am always mildly amused by people whinging about Blair, but then also whinging that they don't get to do tours like HERRICK and TELIC any more.
It's an unfortunate side-effect of the way politics works. Another example would be Labour's introduction of tuition fees made a lot of their supporters angry, but none so angry that they would actually vote Tory, so for Labour that was free money in the budget. Similar no Tory voter would switch to Labour to protest defence cuts, so that's also free money.

Boris could conceivably shore up some of the votes that switched to him the last GE by placing some nice big orders for warships, and with higher unemployment after C19 he'll be able to finally get the forces up to their theoretical strength and employ some more people that way.
 

Slime

LE

Not sure if CA is the right place.

Is the long-term Conservative bluff that they're the party of strong defence about to unravel like their bluff about law 'n order?
Should we take it that whoever wrote that hasn’t been told that the current Labour leader deliberately made a public gesture of support for a Marxist political organisation that calls for revolution and disbandment of the current system of government?
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I think that there's some justification in the line that most Tory cuts are due to coming into government after Labour and having to balance the books.
 
It's a difficult one.

You can almost guarantee that Labours AF policy will be to headline lots of things that evil Tories have done wrong, garnished with straplines like "reverse underfunding". It's precisely the terminology approach they adopted with the NHS to the extent that a significant portion of the population believes that the NHS has been cut, which is not the case.

In fairness to them, SDR98 remains one of the best defence capability reviews ever conducted, but when push came to shove, Labour preferred not to fund the force structure it recommended and then compounded that by insisting on fighting two wars way above the Defence Planning Assumption scales and durations for nearly a decade and didn't fund that either. Which is where a number of todays issues stem from.

The Tories have (or at least had) the misfortune to believe in trying to balance the books when they get in, but given the size of untouchable NHS/Welfare/Education budgets as a proportion of Govt spending, the go-to budget for that balancing tends to be defence. It's been relatively easy to do that post-Cold War, but as things hot up again that will be harder.

Given that the NHS heroes are nailed on for a wage hike, that's less freedom of manoeuvre than before, so this ISDR/CSR will be painful.

However, I fear if Labour do get in, there'll be some token equipment bungs, but a huge imposition of alphabetti-spaghetti "rights and equality" monitoring - all under the guise of looking after our people.

Royal will be quids in, Gucci crye combats and new LBDs.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
@Not a Boffin - aye, the 1998 SDR was arguably the last one worthy of the name. It came up with a balanced solution and George Robertson did a fair job.

If only Blair had held Brown's feet to the fire in terms of funding it - and that's before the former's foreign adventures are taken into account.

Labour might not like it but there's quite some justification in the assertion that many of the forces' current ills still rest with Labour, even a couple of terms of government later.
 

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