MOD now much the same as Hitler's War Ministry towards the end of WW2

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by PapaGolf, Jan 22, 2011.

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  1. For fear of replicating a dozen threads all over the ARRSE network, i would like to pose a few questions for my own interest if anything.
    With the massive amount of cuts and cost saving throughout the military, everything from things such as the brand new Nimrods which have never been flown, being broken up for scrap, to the chop in allowances. All the austerity measures which have come down from the MOD. Now we are all assuming the MOD is full of Civil Servants and retired Officers, and all they are interested in is saving their own 'worthless skins', with more perk packages and bonuses while the frontline Military suffers. Liken this, if you will, to Hitlers War machine towards the end of WW2. Most of the General's and politico's in charge of the military from the safety of Berlin, continually lied to Hitler about the reality of the Military's situation in order to save their own skin. Are we in a similiar, (obviously less kinetic operations), situation?
    Is our MOD of today the same? Full of staff with no actual full time role just feathering their own nests. All the cost cutting measures are being implemented by the MOD, are they using the old boys network? 'Cut what you like, just protect the MOD' Are they serving a legitimate purpose or does someone from the frontline cabinet need to go in and overhaul what is effectively a partially working museum piece?
  2. Akin to the labour party and some local governments? "it's all Maggie's fault, don't you know"
  3. Seems a reasonable analysis off where things are at, although I am not convinced about the safetly of Berlin in the closing year of WWII.
  4. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    Nothing changes it was just the same in the old War Dept, in WW1, the village of Westminster has always been populated by cnuts
  5. I am sure, the very senior military officers and CS mandarins are intent on protecting their jobs and pensions and this will be at the expense of the front line and lower grade civil servants. Dont bracket all CS together, many of the 25,000 posts to go will be in Main Bld / -some not all, are decent people doing a good job who now fear for the future.

    What we need is a clear out at the top. Unfortunately the mandarins take the decision and "Turkeys do not vote for Christmas".
  6. I think this has to be a record; evidence of Godwin's law in the seventh word of the title
  7. I put in a 9 hours of overtime this week. Mil staff cleared off at midday Friday, most CS staff finished at 4 as per normal, 3 of us 'worthless CS' worked on till 6.30. Just another 'normal' week.

    Overtime payment? Nope. Perks? Who they? Bonuses? Nope. Payrise this or next year? Nope. Further job losses expected in an already lean manned outfit amongst the E and D grades that make everything tick? Yep.
  8. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    Some suggestions to get things right:

    1) Proper Strategic Defence Review

    The starting point for this would be (a) what are our foreign policy objectives, (b) how much cash is in the kitty and (c) what capability can we afford?

    2) Rationalisation of facilities/capabilities

    The three services run as separate entities with (for example) separate staff colleges, medical facilities, etc. Surely there are big savings to be made from amalgamating all of these, both in terms of facilities and command structure.

    3) Rationalisation of the 'tail'

    Following on from (2), although the 'teeth' of every service differ, the 'tails' bear a lot of similarity to each other. Lorries and ration packs do much the same thing irrespective of service. Radical though this might be, I would form a fourth service - "The Royal Logistic Service" and leave it as a common source of supply for the three fighting services. Rationalisation of the support function would surely lead to efficiency savings.

    4) Proper Project Management

    Instead of being assigned to a project for 2 - 3 years, both military and civil servants at senior levels in managing the project would be with it for the life time of the project, with promotion and bonuses dependent of successful delivery. If you don't meet the project milestones, you don't get promotion.....

    In summary then: three 'teeth' services supported by a common infrastructure and logistic service, designed to meet clear strategic objectives and run by senior officers/civil servants whose promotion depends on deliving projects on time and to budget.



  9. I'm not an MOD CS, but I agree with much of what you say above. What people don't seem to realise is that over the years, many military posts have been replaced by CS. In just about every unit/station/establishment you will find CS where there used to be uniforms; accounts, registry, admin, training, IT etc etc. They were taken on in order to save money, and now, ironically, they are to be decimated to save money. Without them, it would be extremely hard to function. Sure, cut some fat in procurement (ha!), media & comms (double ha!) and other bollocky non-jobs, but at grass roots level there isn't much to cull.
  10. Apologies for that mis placed the quotations. I was paraphrasing, it was a quote. I don't see all CS as worthless. Some good points raised though. Further to the review of different areas, such as procurement and comms. Should it be mandatory for a department or a team to see through, from start to finish, any sort of new system or implementation. How many posts have been created by Officers who then change said post to CS just so they can guarantee themselves a job when they retire?
  11. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Wordsmith: "1) Proper Strategic Defence Review ... "

    The starting point for this SHOULD be (a) what are our foreign policy objectives, (b) how much cash is in the kitty and (c) what capability can we afford?

    (a) objectives should include threats, i.e. what may be coming at us as well as what would we like to be able to do, and also commitments to allies and Europe. List should then be prioritised.

    Step (b) is what is needed to defend against these threats and to pursue other aims? And how much would this outfit cost, i.e. the irreducible cost of % probability of achievement, noting that some assets are versatile and may, while essential for high priority objectives, also offer % confidence against some lower ones.

    (c) is what's the deficit against what the Treasury is already handing out? followed by a clear understanding of what we CANNOT do on present money. Then stuff that back to Cabinet and get it minuted as an agreed decision on what the holidays are in our defence posture.

    In a perfect world there are no efficiency savings as managers are paid to run their shops efficiently, not hoard fat.
  12. Definately needs looking at. On more than a few occasions I've seen a project start to go off the rails and the head honchos just breath in, circle the wagons, send out positive signals while counting down the days until they move on and it becomes someone elses shit sandwich.
  13. 1) unfortunately does not imply (b) and (c) Any realistic Strategic Defence Review implies that if a threat is identified then the funding to counter that threat is made available. Otherwise why are we no longer flying a MR plane to protect against such an identified threat and deal with a legal international obligation ?

    2) & 3) Oddly enough it's not that simple....otherwise the Canadians would be telling us how to do it...

    4) I have absolutely no quarrel there. The 2 year posting cycle has****ed over more projects than BL made cars.
  14. BrunoNoMedals

    BrunoNoMedals LE Reviewer

    You honestly think you can force someone to stay in the same job for five, ten, twenty-five years to see through some of these major equipment programmes? In the case of civilians, that's a big fat no. All of us have employment rights (including the right to advance our careers), and some of us even have the ambition to move up in the world. Military posts would probably be easier to force about, but then why would you train someone as an officer and pay them the wage if you're just going to leave them in the same Abbey Wood post for half their service?

    It's not necessarily the regular changes at the top that **** up defence procurement, but the culture that says the only way to the top is to make those sweeping changes every three years.
  15. Well it would certainly give people an incentive to ensure the project gets delivered on time instead of things turning up a decade or more late. I've witnessed a high end CS staffer deliberately time out a difficult decision as he knew he was moving on in 18 months time. And what sanction exists to people who drag the balls out of a project knowing they are only in it for 18/24mths and all they want is a good write up for the duration of their time in post and bugger the contract?

    And please, spare me the career development crap! Most of us spend our 'careers' watching the latest new wizzkid breeze in the door and breeze right on out in a few years while we plod on picking up the fallout years after year, while he carries on up the career ladder with the help of his latest BZ for a job well done. And therein lies a big problem, for a lot of people, the posting is just a step on their careers, a box ticked and onwards. Very few people in that situation want to drop a turd on the grown ups desk and tell them the wheels are coming off.

    Project leaders: 'Yes Minister, there is a minor problem but we have it well in hand and the project is still on track. Meanwhile round the water cooler with the people at the coalface: Can we fix it? NFC!

    What's your plan, carry on with the same old stuff?