MoD interference in politics

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by exile1, Apr 28, 2005.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. HMS London was renamed Regina Maria on its transfer to the Romanian Navy today in a ceremony in Pompey.....[not a lot of people know that]......The media was banned by MoD officials because of the proximity of the general election. We definitely now live in a police state and have become a nation of mushrooms [kept in the dark and fed on s*it!]
  2. How sad. Obviously HERR BLAIR et al intend to reduce the RN to several small ineffectual craft.

    This of course will be called efficiency savings,giving us a more agile and flexible navy, more edept to warfare in the 21st century than the 19th.

    Future orders from the admiralty to the fleet will end with the phrase... "Come in number 69,your time is up!"
  3. My father can remember the Spithead review when the fleet stretched from Portsmouth to the IOW , with most of the fleet away around the world.

    Mind you, that was back in the days when Hood was the ship any naval minded schoolboy wanted to serve in.
  4. I thought the HMS HOOD died with 3 survivors? Bit like this election. Lets go to modern times and discuss why there will be no RN or RAF. I'm Army so I'm objective - they are expensive ( capital costs) and have no 'footprint'- soldiers actually sit/stand on the ground. RN/RAF can't do that - not their fault but maybe they have to discuss that. Perhaps the RAF could tell me why the Eurofighter is so good- I thought the 'plane was for the Cold War? I do recall the pleasant times I had digging trenches waiting for the 3rd Gds Shock Army to tip up over the hill. Or have they been fooled like us? No RN, little RAF and 3000 less troops. Perhaps we'll use EUFOR.
  5. Good old HMS London. Type 22 frigate. I recall having to telephone her Captain via some shore to ship link when she was flagship of the British Task Group in GW1. (Nautical lamp-swinging).
  6. I'll grab my sandbag then! :wink:

    No, purely money saving from the Bliar. Shocking
  7. Since the last election.....

    Sea Harrier scrapped, hence loss of capability to operate independently -


    (PTP can probably guess who I am from that, particularly if he is who I think he is is).

    Scrapping of SDR commitment to 32 frigates/destroyers.

    Then last year...

    Cuts to RN front line strength of about 20%, frigates/destroyers, submarines, mine counter measures vessels, all cut. Despite heavy commitment of RN assets to the war agains terror.

    Continuing delays to the future carriers, meaning the predicted gap caused by loss of the Sea Harrier is getting longer and longer.

    Delays and cancellation to other future projects. Despite claiming that they're responsible for the lergest shipbuilding programme since WWII, the only ship ordered since the last election has been one pathetically amed patrol vessels, and that's going to be leased and will replace a class of two.

    Only about eight ships have entered service since this lot came to power - every one was ordered by the Tories. Also several of these are being scapped.

    RN training budget cut.

    RNR training days allocation cut, meaning it will be impossable to qualify/stay qualified in the timescales demanded. Loss of lots of training opportunites - at the time Reservists are still in demand for operations.

    And yes, cuts to the Army and RAF will also have a knock on effect.
  8. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    In response to billsmithson I will add the following.

    Eurofighter wqas designed as a coldwar plane....correct.

    However, Eurofighter is a bit of a misnomer in that the aircraft is actually Eurobomber with an advanced secondary capability to locate, intercept and destroy air targets. All the marketing bumf and sqawking has been about the air to air capability and the press waffle is whether we need an advanced anti-soviet interceptor. This is akin to marketing the pointy thing on the end of the SA80 as a wire cutter when the primary role is stabbing.
  9. I agree with you about the RAF, but the RN provide a key element of force projection which is essential to any expeditionary warfare mission. IMHO the ability to provide aircraft carriers as a platform for bombers and close air support for the Army will become increasingly important. On top of this I don't think we should underestimate the psychological effect of a load of very powerfull warfighting boats turning up on your horizon one morning!
  10. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Yeah - 3 survivors from the sinking, all of whom were on the upper deck. On of them, former signalman (later Lt Cdr) Ted Briggs still lives in Portsmouth area. He wrote a good book about the Hood.

    If you live/work in Portsmouth it is worth going into the Naval Base church - St Ann's. The roll of honour from the Hood is on display there. 1300 guys went down with her. Took about 6 minutes.

    On the issue of MoD 'censorship' ( which I personally think is a can of worms) this is not an individual ban for the sale of HMS London but across the board policy for the period of the election, called 'purdah'.

    It means that no news items can be commissioned, so the normal routine whereby Fleet PRO would have put together a PR release to cover this event and disted to the usual suspects eg Jane's, Portsmouth Evening News, Meridian, BBC South etc was a non-starter. Incidentally, the sale of London to Romania is hardly 'news' - it was announced in 2004.

    This 'purdah' policy - which is absolutely routine anytime there is an election, regardless of who is in power at the time - has been in place since 5 April.

    To quote my mate Kevin, MoD is

    ' under an obligation not to undertake any activity which could call into question ourt political impartiality or could give rise to criticism that public resources are being used for Party political purposes. "

    This means that eager shiny headed MoD PR folk the length and breadth of the organisation with good news stories to try and interest the Press in ( and as we know, the bulk of the Press only take an interest in Defence if there is a bad news..shock..horror..pic of dolly bonking Captain Crumpet page 6 kind of angle) are currently stuffed.

    It also , er...allegedly...,means that Alistair Campbell ( or Sir Tim Bell in a previous age) cannot try and manipulate the Press with Government-sourced info during the pre-election period.

    If anyone thinks there is equivalent Press freedom in this country to that enjoyed by US papers ( where freedom of speech is protected under the First Amendment to their vaunted Constitution) then they have another think coming. Trouble is , most American newspaper readers think Romania is slightly North of Akron, Ohio.

    What makes me wonder is how the Great Helmsman is going to react to the latest news on Eurofighter/Typhoon being de-selected by Singapore as a contender for their Air Force.....

    Le Chevre
  11. Good grief Goatman , that's what foreign aid payments are for.

    See Indonesian Air Force for details, or in an earlier age, the Nigerian Air Force.

    And there were FOUR survivors of Hood I believe ;)
  12. For an example of press mainuplation, cuts to the forces and the importance of the Navy especially the scathing report by the Commons Defence Commitee should read Future Capabilities

    which was released on the same day as the budget so got no coverage but basically puts a lie to all arguments that the 'adjustments' made to the forces by BuffHoon are anything but Treasury driven. :evil:
  13. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Ah NOW you're talking about spinning - a black art which Neue Arbeit has shamelessly used since the day they took power in 1997 and to an extent which I do not believe has ever been seen before by any Government of any stripe.

    Cynical old bar-stewards will be interested to see how these things are handled in the next Administration, should there be a change of government.......I predict a cascade of bad news stories just after May 6th.....
  14. Only three survivors from HOOD, I'm afriad, of whom only Ted Briggs (who became an Officer after the war) is still with us.

    My grandfather left HOOD shortly before the Bismark action - how he (and everyone else) dealt with losing so many people at a time..........I don't know.

    Are we worthy of their sacrifice?
  15. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    such is my respect for Mods on this Board a shadow of doubt crossed my mind.....but I was right, only three guys survived the sinking - Ted Briggs who was on the bridge wing IIRC, an AB on the weather deck and a middy .

    see and other parts of the site.

    Extract from Ted Briggs' fine book ' Flagship Hood';

    Slowly the Hood righted herself. 'Thank heaven for that,' I murmured to myself, only to be terrorized by her sudden, horrifying cant to port. On and on she rolled, until she reached an angle of forty-five degrees. When everyone realized that she would not swing back to the perpendicular, we all began to make our way out in single file towards the starboard door at first. Then some turned towards the port door and attempted to break panes of reinforced glass in the foreport of the platform. But it was all done as if in drill. There was no order to abandon ship; nor was a word uttered. It just was not required. The Hood was finished, and no one needed to be told that.

    I was surprised by my cold yet uncontrolled detachment, as I made my way to the door. 'Tiny' Gregson was in front of me with the squadron navigation officer. As I reached the steel-hinged door, Commander Warrand stood aside for me and let me go out first. I looked back over my left shoulder and saw Holland slumped on his chair in total dejection. Beside him the captain tried to keep to his feet as the Hood's deck turned into a slide. I began picking my way down the ladder from the compass platform to the admiral's bridge. Then the sea swirled around my legs and I was walking on the side of the bridge, instead of the ladder. I threw away my tin hat and gas-mask and managed to slip off my anti-flash gear, but my lifebelt was under my Burberry and I could not get at it to inflate it. There was no one else in sight, although I knew that at least two officers were nearby, as the water engulfed me with a roar.

    Panic had gone. This was it, I realized. But I wasn't going to give in easily. I knew that the deckhead of the compass platform was above me and that I must try to swim away from it. I managed to avoid being knocked out by the steel stanchions, but I was not making any progress. The suction was dragging me down. The pressure on my ears was increasing each second, and panic returned in its worse intensity. I was going to die. I struggled madly to try to heave myself up to the surface. I got nowhere. Although it seemed an eternity, I was under water for barely a minute. My lungs were bursting. I knew that I just had to breathe. I opened my lips and gulped in a mouthful of water. My tongue was forced to the back of my throat. I was not going to reach the surface. I was going to die. I was going to die. As I weakened, my resolve left me. What was the use of struggling? Panic subsided. I had heard it was nice to drown. I stopped trying to swim upwards. The water was a peaceful cradle. I was being rocked off to sleep. There was nothing I could do about it -goodnight, mum. Now I lay me down ...I was ready to meet God. My blissful acceptance of death ended in a sudden surge beneath me, which shot me to the surface like a decanted cork in a champagne bottle. I wasn't going to die. I wasn't going to die. I trod water as I panted in great gulps of air. I was alive. I was alive.

    Although my ears were singing from the pressure under water, I could hear the hissing of a hundred serpents. I turned and fifty yards away I could see the bows of the Hood vertical in the sea. It was the most frightening aspect of my ordeal and a vision which was to recur terrifyingly in nightmares for the next forty years. Both gun barrels of B turret were slumped hard over to port and disappearing fast beneath the waves. My experience of suction seconds before forced me to turn in sheer terror and swim as fast and as far as I could away from the last sight of the ship that had formulated my early years.

    I did not look back. There was a morass of debris around me as I pushed through the sea, which had a four-inch coating of oil on it. Fortunately before we had left Scapa the ship had been equipped with three-foot-square rafts, which replaced the older and larger Carley floats. There were dozens of these around in the sea and I managed to lug myself half on to one. I held on face downwards and then levered myself to look round to where the H ood had been. A small patch of oil blazed where she was cremated. Several yards away I could see the stern of the Prince of Wales as she pressed on with her guns firing. She was being straddled by shells from the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen, and I did not give much of a chance to her survival. As I watched her veer away, I began to wonder about my chances of survival, too. I knew, of course, that a ship in action could not stop to pick up survivors, but this did not prevent a feeling of deep and helpless frustration.

    The oil fire, which was still burning, instilled a spirit of self-preservation in me. I feared that larger patches of fuel, in which my raft was swilling, might be ignited, and with both hands I paddled out of the brown, sickening coating. Although I still had on my Burberry, number three suit, lifebelt, shoes and socks and had been in the water only some three minutes, the cold was beginning to numb my arms, fingers, legs and toes. My frantic efforts to propel the raft away from the fire helped to circulate my blood, but soon I was out of breath. I looked back and saw that the fire was out. On the horizon I could just make out the smoke from the Norfolk and Suffolk. About fifty yards away I suddenly saw life from another raft. A figure on it began to wave at me. Parallel to this was another raft with a man flapping his arms. I tried to find other signs of life. There was none -just us. We all began to paddle towards each other. The two linked up first, and then I puffed towards them. On one raft was Able Seaman Bob Tilburn and on the other was Midshipman Dundas, who had been on the compass platform with me.

    Dundas had managed to sit up on his raft. For some odd reason it infuriated me that he was perched comfortably and perfectly balanced. As I neared the other two, I was crazily determined that I would 'enter their water' sitting up on my raft, too. I hauled myself into a central position, knelt up and then toppled back into the sea. I tried again and the raft capsized. I clambered back and was bucked off for a third time. I was crying with frustration when six-foot Tilburn, who was now alongside, helped me back on and said: 'Come on now; you're all right, son.' I realized I was making a fool of myself and finally gave up. I stayed sprawled out after this as we clutched the ratlings of each other's raft to bind us together.


    If you have relatives who at one time served on the Hood ( as my wife's grandfather did) they are keen to hear from you.


    Le Chevre