Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs

Have a read of Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs. Its all about waste & blundering in the armed forces.
Its fcuking amazing where our defence budget goes. Not on the poor Soldier, Sailor & Airman thats for sure.

Jobs for the boys!!!!


Book Reviewer
I know, astonishing, isn't it how, given that apparently every General is an idiot and all Civil Servants venal, lazy and corrupt, that our armed forces ever manage to do anything?

Let's see the book - but I can say now without knowing the facts (in exactly the same way as the person writing it, no doubt) that it will turn out to be ill-informed, populist, bolloxx.
I've read it & i think that some of the points are well argued, esp. in the areas of small arms & helicopters & heavy airlift.

I also agree that the ideal should be to get the best kit for the folks in harm's way, regardless of its country of origin. I see no point in buying crap from BAe when better alternatives are available. If BAe made decent kit, the issue wouldn't arise.

I agree with OldSnowy that the book is bound to have a populist slant, 'cos the author wants to sell lots of copies, but whereas we are outraged at waste in other govt depts. nobody seems to care about the MOD.

This is a shame for 3 reasons:
Those on the ground (on our behalf) deserve the best
We're assured that we paid for the best so we deserve it too
If there was a change in priorities of expenditure to suit current geopolitical realities, we could have a lot more, better kit FOR THE SAME MONEY
Populist bollox it may well be, but the author is aiming unashamedly at the popular market (I'm almost through reading it myself).

His basic pitch is that the the MoD, wider government etc. can get away with criminal waste because the public generally don't know a great deal about defence issues. If you balls up hospitals, schools, the police etc. there's hell to pay because the public has a basic understanding of these areas. For example, you just couldn't get away with paying £10m for an ambulance. Contrast that with defence; who knows or cares how much we pay for a single Eurofighter let alone whether we need it in the first place or could buy cheaper off the shelf (such as buying proven American aircraft).

He has some interesting ideas, and some that would be deeply unpopular to certain readers on this site. However, he could well say that Britain should buy a fleet of jet powered elephants armed with maxim guns; it doesnt really matter. What does is that we should encourage a greater interest in defence matters because that will lead to greater public scrutiny and that can only be a good thing. In that way we are less likely to throw away billions of pounds on crap kit we dont need.

Good luck to him. You can argue whether or not the above will happen (I doubt it unless you can somehow tie in defence issues with voting off a celebrity via a phone vote) but its a nice idea. Its also quite a good read too.
i read the book and was thinking seriously about what he said about tanks.
The challenger 2 MBT's i am shure are great tanks, but with the way things are going, should we not be considering developing a very effective armoured infantry carrier that has combat capabilities of its own and can also deliver troops into combat zones effectively.
He also discussed how what is needed now is not all out 'killing' like the americans seem to specialise in with their B-52s, but 'selective killing'. Surely this is more the correct approach as now the enemy are concealing themselves amongst civilians. This is where i feel that more attention should be going towards the 'men with guns' and not having large numbers of tanks.
please excuse posting 2!

[MODS Comment: S'right, I deleted it - like to keep a tidy forum you know, YOU, do your tunic up lad....]

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