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Lib Dem Shadow Defence Spokesman named MIN AF

LibDem Minister for Armed Forces......

  • About time

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Tears before bed time

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Give him time

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No time for any of em

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  • Total voters
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#1
This is going to be interesting....

SOURCE
14 May 10


Liberal Democrat MP Nick Harvey has been confirmed as the new Minister of State for the Armed Forces.


Nick Harvey MP
[Picture: courtesy of the Liberal Democrats]
Born in 1961 in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire, Mr Harvey was educated at Queen's College, Taunton, and Middlesex University.

He worked in communications and marketing from 1983 to 1992, mainly for City consultants Dewe Rogerson, and entered the House of Commons as Liberal Democrat MP for North Devon in 1992.

He has been the Liberal Democrats' Shadow Defence Secretary since 2006.

Mr Harvey is married to Kate and they have a son and a daughter.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#2
The Defence team is shaping up rather nicely:

Sec of State for Defence: Dr Liam Fox. Tory
Long-time Defence Shadow, and was a Civvy MO, so knows at least a reasonable amount about defence.

Armed Forces Minister: Nick Harvey. LibDem
No experience of Service life whatsoever, previous PR/Comms guru of some sort.

Min IDS (Int'l Def & Sy): Looks like Gerald Howarth, Tory.
Very experienced MP, ex-RAFVR, Pilot, great fan of Maggie :)

US of S (Min Vet): looks like Andrew Robotham MP, Tory.
Ex- Coldstream Gds and them.....

Min DES (The Eqpt one): TBA
There's probably going to be a Lord in this post, but who? Dannatt, ennobled? Guthrie? An ex-MP made-up for the job? Interesting......
 
#3
done here

http://www.arrse.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic/p=3336725.html#3336725

These are some quotes from Nick

This report shows the shambolic state of the UK’s defence equipment programme

It is exasperating to learn how pervasive the culture of denial and deception among MoD officials is when it comes to acknowledging the £21 billion funding gap in defence procurement

Labour’s slow response to a clear shortage of helicopters in Afghanistan has been shameful

The sad fact is that a lack of helicopters and armoured vehicles suitable for Afghanistan has persistently left our troops ill-equipped for their mission. Meanwhile, the Government has continued to fritter away vast amounts of money on Cold War projects like Eurofighter and Trident

This is yet another example of the Government making empty promises to our Armed Forces. The brave men and women who have risked life and limb in service of our country deserve better

Mine detection equipment is clearly a vital capability in Afghanistan. With IEDs now the biggest single threat our troops are facing, any failure to provide them with enough metal detectors is simply unforgivable

Our brave service men and women have suffered enough as a result of this Government’s disastrous record on military procurement.

The Government has presided over a decade of overstretch and spiralling costs without being straight with the public about the consequences

If the Government is not prepared to resource our commanders properly, it should not be putting troops on the front line

The military campaign cannot succeed without a political and civilian surge to win over moderate elements within the Taliban and regain the confidence of ordinary Afghans

It is painfully obvious that when our frontline troops are desperately short of helicopters and airlift, we should not be pushing ahead with the costly, Cold War irrelevances of Trident and Eurofighter

These aircraft are unnecessary Cold War relics. The Government has put Britain in a position where we are being forced to throw money at this massively expensive project while our troops on the front line are crying out for the helicopters and armoured vehicles they desperately need

While there is a need for modernisation of our reserve forces, any cut in numbers could be like a slap in the face considering the massive contribution they have made

This report is a damning indictment of the lack of leadership at the MoD. It is incredible that only 1 in 5 of MoD staff feel the department is well managed

It is a dereliction of the duty of care owed to our service personnel and their families that they should have to face a battle over good standard accommodation on the home front

It beggars belief that the MoD can blow so much on poor project management while our troops are risking their lives because of a lack of armoured vehicles and helicopters

This report shows that the MoD is riddled with incompetence

Unfortunately, the military price tag will not in itself bring success in Afghanistan. We need to see all NATO allies pulling their weight, alongside greater involvement of regional partners, including Iran, to create a stable Afghanistan

The MoD’s Defence Planning Assumptions have been operating in a parallel universe for many years now

When the Government’s terrible record on major IT projects is brought together with the MoD’s catalogue of failure on procurement, it is no surprise that we see this perfect storm of incompetence

On this occasion, the lions in Afghanistan have been failed by the donkeys in Whitehall

While the British nuclear fleet has a good safety record, if there were ever to be a bang it would be a mighty big one

We must be sure that an economic downturn does no
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#6
GWAR ? NAH - slaphead, same as ...um...me.... :cry:


PS.....here's a picture of another Liberal MP* - just for those who think they're all tofu-munching,beardyweirdy,socks-with-sandals,tree-huggers:









*1904 - 1922
In 1904 he crossed the floor of the House to join the Liberals, doing so on the issue of free trade. He was quickly rewarded, being made a junior minister in the new Liberal government in 1906. Two years later he joined the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade. In 1910 he was appointed Home Secretary. He was 35. He implemented some prison reforms but alienated radicals by his willingness to sanction the deployment of troops in Wales during a coal strike. A year later he was made First Lord of the Admiralty. He helped modernize the navy but his reputation declined in the early years of the First World War and he was blamed for the failure of the attack on the Dardanelles. In 1915 the Conservatives insisted on his removal from the Admiralty as one of the conditions for joining a coalition.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#7
Goatman said:
OldSnowy said:
Armed Forces Minister: Nick Harvey. LibDem
No experience of Service life whatsoever, previous PR/Comms guru of some sort.
Er...apart from his visit to HERRICK in 2008...?
Err... I would not say that a visit (or two) to HERRICK was 'experience of Service life', and neither would many others! On those grounds, Tony Blair is an old sweat, having visited more wars than I have (many of which he helped start :) ).
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#8
OldSnowy said:
Err... I would not say that a visit (or two) to HERRICK was 'experience of Service life', and neither would many others! On those grounds, Tony Blair is an old sweat, having visited more wars than I have (many of which he helped start :) ).
Er...neither would I..( having declined the opportu8nity to go and get my picture with Phoney Tony when he pitched up in Eye-rack during my sunshine break)...but I would say that it was a reasonable indication that he had, at least, taken the trouble to get his arrse in gear to find out from those on the ground what the realities were....and therefore knows more about Service life than the average champagne socialist Islington chatterati.....is all. He's a poli...not by their words, but by their deeds shall ye know them.....Watch & shoot....
 
#9
Why the fück am I an option? Is this that fantasy-arrse-government thing again?

That picture has him talking to guys who were on the ground but seeing as they are from B Coy, 5 SCOTS (The Angry and Suffering Highlanders) it is questionable whether he understood any of the answers...
 
#10
Goatman said:
GWAR ? NAH - slaphead, same as ...um...me.... :cry:


PS.....here's a picture of another Liberal MP* - just for those who think they're all tofu-munching,beardyweirdy,socks-with-sandals,tree-huggers:
And if I remember my history WSC's 2i/c in 6 RSF was Sir Archibald Sinclair - later leader of the Liberal party and, as Secretary of State for Air in Churchill's wartime coalition, the last Liberal to hold a cabinet post (until now).

C_C
 
#13
Got to be better than his predecessor, an (allegedly) bullying, vile control freak with foul temper who was the most reviled Defence minister in the previous administration and held in utter contempt by many who had the misfortune to deal with him. Delighted to see that he lost his seat at the last election.
 
#14
we should not be pushing ahead with the costly, Cold War irrelevances of Trident and Eurofighter
How many more times? The UK CAN NOT get out of the Eurofighter contract without spending more money on the cancellation that it would spend on buying the bloody things! And irrelevance? Let's see how well you do calling for CAS when all the Harrier and Tornado airframes are life expired.... :frustrated:
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#15
Maple,

As an ex MoD Contracts officer I'm always intrigued when I hear people say this ...... and it usually turns out that they are either BAe personnel, former senior RAF officers who were closely involved in protecting the golden goose or have some other close interest in EFA.

The Typhoon deal was, as you'll imagine w-a-a-a-a-y above my paygrade - but the principles remain pretty much the same.

Firstly, every MoD ctt I ever saw - and every commercial ctt I was ever asked to review, had a Break Clause.

In MoD's own contracts this was called SC56. On a large value ctt it might be a year's notice in writing - but it was always there.

Secondly, given that Typhoon is a multinational contract, I would be interested to know WHOSE law is applicable ........from dim and distant memory I remember earnest instructors emphasising to me that
' penalties are inadmissable in English law '

Lastly, people over here need to appreciate that what is in British Aerospace's interest - ain't necessarily in the UK national interest. The company is now > 50% owned in the U.S.

If ever there was a deal that needed a fresh pair of eyes, it is this one.....and if MoD's lawyers are shrugging their shoulders and telling HMG that there is nothing to be done - SHOOT THEM and get some new lawyers who are less supine.

To paraphrase Nelson ' there is nothing more chancey than a sea-fight - unless it be a legal judgement'
 
#16
Goatman

My understanding of the Typhoon contract isn't that it is unbreakable, but that it is worded in such a way that it would cost us more to break from, than it would to stay in it. We've been trying to get out of it for years, but each time the answer is "of course we can, but show us the very large sum of money needed to end it". The Germans had the same answer when they tried to get out of it too.

I've heard the contact been described by some seniors as the best procurement contract we ever wrote - it was designed to accommodate 4 nations, one of whom (Germany) wanted to pull out in the 90's. The contract is apparently utterly watertight, and designed in such a way that pull out is far more disadvantageous than not pulling out.

Ultimately Typhoon is well on its way into service, and pulling the plug now, with funds that we don't have seems ridiculous. We'd end up with a b@stard fleet of aircraft, and have little to show for the huge sums of money sunk into it. The moral of the story though is, in future check your partner nations carefully!
 
#17
The Eurofighter contract was negotiated on behalf of the manufacturers by two or three of the best commercial executives of their generation. Supported implicitly by their masters at BAe MAD and their master, Sir Richard Harry Evans, they proceeded to create a contract which while offering the appearance of breakability also contained more clauses than an angry mountain lion!

Given that the MOD as a whole has fewer commercial officers than BAe MAD did at the time, this was rather akin to the shooting of piscatorial beings in a cylindrical fluid container. As an industry, the amount of pressure applied to HMG to keep eurofighter sold was considerable. I have owned up to being part of that pressure in a previous incarnation at the "Eurofighter Information Unit" - which sounds appropriately official. We had squillions to spend on advertising, road-shows, lobbying and briefings. We also had parliamentary passes, thanks to a noble Lord of military distinction. HMG couldn't have not bought Eurofighter at that time - the momentum behind the sale was too great, especially when we were pushing the "propensity to export equals economic growth" line!

Would I say, in hindsight, that I am proud of what we did? Well we didn't exactly sell the MoD a bill of goods and we all felt it served them right after their own failings on MPA...but I do think that the MoD bought the wrong product, for the wrong reasons and while profesionally I did some of my best snake-oil selling then, in retrospect I am not quite so proud of myself!
 
#18
jim30 said:
My understanding of the Typhoon contract isn't that it is unbreakable, but that it is worded in such a way that it would cost us more to break from, than it would to stay in it. We've been trying to get out of it for years, but each time the answer is "of course we can, but show us the very large sum of money needed to end it". The Germans had the same answer when they tried to get out of it too.
My perspective is from the design side - I worked on the Typhoon radar for nearly a decade, starting before the development contract was signed.

Back in the late 1980s, when they were trying to put together the Eurofighter consortium, they were also trying to choose who was going to be the lead contractor for each major part of the aircraft. One of the major problems for the politicians in each country was that after the French went off on their own, the UK was the obvious choice for almost all of it; engines (Rolls-Royce), airframe (BAe), flight controls (GEC), radar (Ferranti), defensive aids (Ferranti or GEC).

Spreading the billions of development cost of all of this, across a purely UK buy of 200-odd aircraft, would have made it ludicrously expensive. Splitting the cost across 600-odd aircraft and four nations made it affordable. Flogging another few hundred aircraft outside NATO would also ease things; because of this, the use of US components was discouraged (IIRC, the Rooivalk and the Gripen had just been knocked out of competitions with accusations of protectionist behaviour by the US; weapons and engines, I think)

The only way that other nations could put forward "their" national champion was to flog a rebadged piece of US kit. In our case, this was the Hughes APG-65 that the Germans were spending a fortune to fit in the front of an upgraded F-4 Phantom. Given that we already made a radar that outperformed it significantly (the Blue Vixen for the Sea Harrier FA.2), we were fairly optimistic that we had a solid bid. Unfortunately, all of the other contracts had been announced, and we were the last chance for Germany to get a slice of the cake. We went through several rounds of "best and final" offers, several design reviews at varying levels, and several threats from the Germans to sack the whole thing and stick with the next piece of US vapourware.

The various procurement executives even passed each radar bid to its competitor, so that we could each point out the others' flaws. This backfired at the resulting Q&A sessions when the Germans had to fly the systems engineers from Hughes across to answer the questions about what they had claimed was an entirely German bid...

The Germans managed to delay the whole project for a couple of years with their insistence on making the aircraft cheaper; much like we tried to save cash by deleting the internal gun, then found it was cheaper to have it (but not use it), then decided to scrape the cash together to buy ammunition. With the Germans, it was the defensive aids system. Shame really, from what I understood it's a rather good piece of kit.

As Cuddles points out, beware salesmen. Oily sods. On the other hand, I'm rather proud of the radar we produced - you can ask Magic_Mushroom whether it stacks up well against its US alternatives.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#19
Cuddles said:
HMG couldn't have not bought Eurofighter at that time - the momentum behind the sale was too great, especially when we were pushing the "propensity to export equals economic growth" line!
Don't get me wrong - I think Typhoon is a good bit of kit (saw one pull out of a potentially very expensive low-level pass at RIAT a few years ago) and from a Defence Sales pov, it would have been impossible to sell outside UK if we had not bought it.....my post was on the point of whether or not we can avoid buying Tranche 3 - given the current financial sh1t-hole in which we find ourselves courtesy of TCB .

I defer to older,greyer,doubtless smarter (and therefore considerably better paid) heads when it comes to Typhoon vs JSF vs 'all-our-current airframes-are-out-of-life-and-held-together-with-blacknasty-and-prayer'.

Had a bit to do with The Company over the years..especially since they swallowed Royal Ordnance ......every time MoD looks to go foreign they have succesfully pulled the 'jobs lost in Northern constituencies ' card.....I remain to be convinced that

' What's good for Milo Minderbinder is good for the Country '

PS
jim30 said:
The contract is apparently utterly watertight
No......Such......Animal.........which is why lawyers drive Lamborghinis :p
 
#20
Goatman said:
Cuddles said:
HMG couldn't have not bought Eurofighter at that time - the momentum behind the sale was too great, especially when we were pushing the "propensity to export equals economic growth" line!
Don't get me wrong - I think Typhoon is a good bit of kit (saw one pull out of a potentially very expensive low-level pass at RIAT a few years ago) and from a Defence Sales pov, it would have been impossible to sell outside UK if we had not bought it.....my post was on the point of whether or not we can avoid buying Tranche 3 - given the current financial sh1t-hole in which we find ourselves courtesy of TCB .

I defer to older,greyer,doubtless smarter (and therefore considerably better paid) heads when it comes to Typhoon vs JSF vs 'all-our-current airframes-are-out-of-life-and-held-together-with-blacknasty-and-prayer'.

Had a bit to do with The Company over the years..especially since they swallowed Royal Ordnance ......every time MoD looks to go foreign they have succesfully pulled the 'jobs lost in Northern constituencies ' card.....I remain to be convinced that

' What's good for Milo Minderbinder is good for the Country '
As a former RO employee - although I went to the dark side and re-badged proper BAe - that particular piece of smoke and mirrors never really worked. Amusingly the chap in charge of rationalising the ROFs had the initials WCF "We Close Factories".

Chorley was a case in point. Radway Green could have been another...still could I suppose?
 

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