Now to save all of our Armed Forces (Regular & Reserve)

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by BuggerAll, Oct 30, 2009.

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  1. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I have no doubt that all are aware of the events of the last 3 weeks with regard to the TA.

    There was a successful campaign mounted to reverse the appalling and shameful decision made to cut TA Training.

    Those cuts in the TA training are but the tip of the iceberg in terms of cuts in Defence spending which have resulted in cuts in training across the board that are just as shameful as the attacks on the TA.

    I think the reasons that the 'save the TA campaign' was successful was that:

    1. The decision to attack the TA was wrong. No need to rehearse those arguments further here.

    2. The TA had a number of champions in Parliament and in the country at large.

    3. The attack on the TA was easy to quantify/identify and understand. It did not require any specialist knowledge to see that closing the TA for 6 months was wrong.

    To mount a similar campaign to get a more realistic defence budget, the first 2 elements above exist. Underfunding defence in a time of war is wrong. It is criminally wrong. Those champions who defended the TA would also champion the Armed Forces overall. Which just leaves the third.

    Labour are very good at lies, deception and spin. In fact that's all they are good at. Jobsworth has said that we must become operationally focused and he has used this to justify cutting training. He has said that his main effort is the HERRICK. If you don't look too hard this sounds plausible. Who is going to argue about that. Jobsworth also made a big play of asking the TA supporters what they think he should cut if he does not cut the TA?

    "... you can't will the end if you don't will the means." Persuasive stuff, who would argue with that. (If you will excuse the crudity I'd brand it on Brown's arrse so that Jobsworth gets to read it every time he sticks his tongue there).

    So lets unpick those arguments a bit:

    We are at WAR - the nations Main Effort should be that war. Not photo opportunities with BamBam, not getting Tony Blair into a sinecure... Yes life goes on but all these things must become secondary.

    What part of the budget would you cut if you don't like the cuts that are being are made: The example of choice is £54 million for an cinema in Sheffield and £50 for an extension to the Tate, the massive subsidies we give to the EU, we can all come up with examples of Labour inspired waste and gross misuse of taxpayers money to bribe voters.

    There is a momentum at the moment. My MP sent me a 'didn't I do well' e-mail yesterday with regard to his performance on Wednesday evening. I agreed he did but have said it is not enough - all of us need to get onto our MP's and make this point.
  2. msr

    msr LE

    "According to the paper current MoD aquisition projects are £35bn over budget and five years behind schedule."

    There is no shortage of money, just of good management.

  3. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Which would make some of the cuts in training laughable if it was not so important.

    Doesn't really alter my original post.
  4. It would help if 2 year postings for both CS and Military onto projects were changed to more realistic lengths. In the Civi world you don't keep changing the staff every 2 years. If you do, you end up with a major cock up costing lots of money. You also don't keep moving the goal posts. Every time that happens, it costs lots more money. When the Client say "Can we add/change/do....." the correct response is "Not a problem, that will cost £Phone number to have a look at it...."
  5. Assign a CS or Military bloke to the procurement team for the life of that procurement....

    ie. Capt Snodgrass you will be posted to procurements and bring in the new Army boot, in the event of it being a debacle YOU will shoulder the responsibility.

    It should be reletively easy to bring something in to the Forces within two years....

    Bigger stuff can be farmed out to those who are a little mobile.
  6. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer


    Procurement is an interesting issue and whilst MoD waste is not completely irrelevant to this thread rehearsing these arguments here is not that helpful either.
  7. msr

    msr LE

    But managing the horrendous waste of funds there makes your thread irrelevant ;)

  8. A nice idea on paper but our experience shows that it doesn't work. There are many documented cases of corruption over the years and that is why the MOD rotates its staff out of posts where they could be open to corruption or the accusation thereof. It is also why we have Hospitality Books (which should be reviewed by the CoC at regular intervals).

    The other problem is that people get too close to their opposite numbers in industry, which leads to questionable decisions by MOD staff.

    Whilst it is acceptable for MPs to be corrupt, if not compulsory, it is not acceptable that any member of the MOD is corrupt or placed in a position of temptation.

  9. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    It would also have made the 'save the TA campaign' irrelevant. We are were we are.

    Part of the answer to 'what would you cut instead of the cuts you object to' is undoubtedly 'get a grip of the waste in procurement', but that's not an excuse to stand by and watch as vital military activity is cut.

  10. hmmm, Corruption or incompetence?

    Think I might give this book a quick perusal...

    On The Psychology of Military Incompetence

    2 Aphorisms spring to mind:
    "he who doesn't learn from history is condemned to repeat it"
    "Ze britizchers write ze best doctrine pamplets in ze vorld, zank gott, ze dunt read zem" (with apoogies to Von runsstedt or rommel - an never remember which)

    So the most important thing to draw from this is that fraud is worse than dead/injured soldiers in the governments eyes, unless of course one is in parliament......
  11. wouldn't a better title of been
    "UK PLC is broke, but we must have certain key capacities ;-
    How would you structure Defence to reflect this"

    Starting from this point, structure / re-structureUK defence based on current ops and the realism that any future ops will be similar or Littoral lead.
    Nothing is sacred, start from the ground up or top down.

    awaiting grown-up incoming..
  12. Bugger All said

    There is a momentum at the moment. My MP sent me a 'didn't I do well' e-mail yesterday with regard to his performance on Wednesday evening. I agreed he did but have said it is not enough - all of us need to get onto our MP's and make this point.

    Last night I went to my MP's (Labour) surgery, where I thanked the MPs of both sides who stood up for the TA and reversed the cuts.

    I had booked the appointment 2 weeks ago and so circumstances had changed somewhat over this week.

    However I took the opportunity of pointing out that the action taken did not reverse all the cuts which affect both the REGULARS and the TA ie:-

    Earlier £23m cut to TA budget.

    White Fleet £0.5m

    Capital works to service accommodation £14m etc etc

    Although he was in the building on Wednesday he was not one of the members in the chamber and so did not realize, I think, that the “whole package” had not been overturned.

    He seemed genuinely interested in the way that both the TA and REGULARS are being effected and said he would contact the minister to push for funding for these items, as they are such a very small percentage of the Defence budget and effect “people” not just projects.

    As an MP who voted against the war even he understood that we are at war and at such a time the defence budget should be used, or increased, to win the battle we are in.

    Before the upcoming season of remembrance it may be a could time to contact your MP or even better go and see him/her as I did and make them aware of the things you know and give them a bit more background information.

    That way when they are stood at their local memorials in the silence, their thoughts may turn to the people fighting a war in our time and what their responsibility is towards them.
  13. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    It would be, but that is not what I was getting at. Yorkie73 seems to get the point.
  14. totally see what you and Yorkie say
    but how do we plan going forward

    hate this expression
    "blue-sky thinking people"
    niothing is sacred, what would we really do to fix this, not just to keep it limping along, but to make it work properly. Money isn't the complete answer, and (sadly) neither is a change in political masters.