The MoD Cant Even Run Itself - MoD response

#1
This week the telegraph run an article that gave the MoD a proper stinger.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/...un-itself-let-alone-a-war-in-Afghanistan.html

It was covered on ARRSE and was jam packed full of schoolboy errrors

The MoD today has hit back with a letter to the Telegraph from Quentin Davies where it disputes these errors.

Defence in the Media: 27 November 2009

Equipment Minister responds to Daily Telegraph article

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Quentin Davies has written to The Daily Telegraph regarding an article written by Con Coughlin headlined The MOD can barely run itself, let alone a war in Afghanistan. In that article the writer has made several inaccurate comments about defence procurement such as the new aircraft carriers costing £8bn each (they are costing £1bn each) which Mr Davies has dispelled. Click here to read Mr Davies' letter which has been published in the newspaper today.
Anyone spotted the error in the MoD's rebuttal of errors

here is the start of the letter



In his article about defence procurement (Comment, November 13), Con Coughlin gets some facts wrong: Tornado is actually extremely capable in bad weather; the planned aircraft carriers cost £5 billion for both, not £8 billion each


So the Telegraph says the carriers are £8billion each, Quentin Davies pens a letter in which he says they are £5billion for both.

The MoD then reports on the letter in which it contradicts Quentin's letter and says they are £1billion each

:D
 
#2
Now im no expert on aircraft carriers, but even im pretty sure you dont get much carrier for a billion pounds, particually with the state of the pound on the currency exchange.
 
#3
Or it could just be that DGMC has managed to get a typo!
 
#4
jim30 said:
Or it could just be that DGMC has managed to get a typo!
Presumably a typo from some 'bright' MoD communications guru on his Blackberry.

On my laptop, to mistype 1 and 2.5 (as in billion each) or alternatively 2 and 5 (as in billion total for the pair) is tricky.
 
#5
that is a appallingly bad article by the telegraph tho, some of their coloumists should be slapped round the head and made to at least do a basic google check up.
 
#6
Toxicseagull said:
that is a appallingly bad article by the telegraph tho, some of their coloumists should be slapped round the head and made to at least do a basic google check up.
And a google search produces what exactly? Hundreds of pages written by agenda driven bloggers and amateur military pundits spouting more rubbish than the PM himself. Just look at ARRSE for proof of that!

So, just how does a non-military minded journalist decipher the odd nuggets of genuine information from the rest of the drivel?
 
#7
WC, he could always look at Hansard or the MoD's websites or even manufacturers and trade journals if he wanted to avoid the opinion stuff, it was an appalingly innacurate article.

Jim, typo or not, it is a tad embarrasing is it not

Correcting someones elses mistakes with another of your own, its called peer review and quality assurance procedures before being published.

Ask anyone who runs a corporate web site

More schoolboy PR from the MoD
 
#8
meridian said:
WC, he could always look at Hansard or the MoD's websites or even manufacturers and trade journals if he wanted to avoid the opinion stuff, it was an appalingly innacurate article.
Indeed it was. But there again, the vast majority of defence related journalism is exceedingly poor these days. This is a product of 'defence' not being that popular in the public mind; and, it being used primarily as a tool to attack government rather than in its own right.

meridian said:
More schoolboy PR from the MoD
Probably written by a 5th former on work experience.
 
#9
well you would be hard pressed to find a source where the carriers are 8billion apiece. same with the typhoon's capabilities, they are plastered over the top 10 hits from google from official manufacturer sites to Wiki.

every journalist should do at least a basic research behind the article he's writing.

then the question becomes, why is a person who plainly has no idea on what he is writing about, continue to write on that topic and then publish in a national newspaper and who is the editor?

i just find the editorials, and that particular one is symbolic of the problem, generally making a ok (if already highly publicised or rerun point) but getting the "padding" so utterly wrong that it makes the argument they are trying to make almost laughable especially as one of the comments said, his one line "solve all" at the end. theres no actual debate or solution or even discussion there. the fact he gets paid for it is a crime.
 
#10
Toxicseagull said:
well you would be hard pressed to find a source where the carriers are 8billion apiece. same with the typhoon's capabilities, they are plastered over the top 10 hits from google from official manufacturer sites to Wiki.

every journalist should do at least a basic research behind the article he's writing.
"Well you would be hard pressed to find a source where the carriers are 1billion apiece."

But the MoD blogger still came up with that number!

You can hope for a journalist to get it right, but surely you expect the MoD spokesperson to be accurate.
 
#11
lol well I wasn't saying the MOD guy was any better but no I would expect both to be accurate, people still use newspapers as a accurate and acceptable resource for information and trust that information, no matter whether there is wisdom in that :)
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Its a terrible day when I find myself supporting a govt minister but the Telegraph article was appallingly researched and Davies' repsonse was far more accurate and well staffed by whoever actually wrote it. The Telegraph has been putting a whole slew of defence articles in recently and most are inaccurate or misleading. If they want to be seen as the paper that talks defence of the realm they need to do a bit more research.

And if the editor's reading this, pm me. I can act as fact checker for you for a small fee. Slightly larger for a 24 hour service
 
#13
whitecity said:
Toxicseagull said:
well you would be hard pressed to find a source where the carriers are 8billion apiece. same with the typhoon's capabilities, they are plastered over the top 10 hits from google from official manufacturer sites to Wiki.

every journalist should do at least a basic research behind the article he's writing.
"Well you would be hard pressed to find a source where the carriers are 1billion apiece."

But the MoD blogger still came up with that number!

You can hope for a journalist to get it right, but surely you expect the MoD spokesperson to be accurate.
The MoD spokesman has made a classic error: confused cost with price: 1 billion GBP is what each carrier will cost to make. 3-5 billion (each) is how much the MoD will pay for them...
 
#14
Dread said:
whitecity said:
Toxicseagull said:
well you would be hard pressed to find a source where the carriers are 8billion apiece. same with the typhoon's capabilities, they are plastered over the top 10 hits from google from official manufacturer sites to Wiki.

every journalist should do at least a basic research behind the article he's writing.
"Well you would be hard pressed to find a source where the carriers are 1billion apiece."

But the MoD blogger still came up with that number!

You can hope for a journalist to get it right, but surely you expect the MoD spokesperson to be accurate.
The MoD spokesman has made a classic error: confused cost with price: 1 billion GBP is what each carrier will cost to make. 3-5 billion (each) is how much the MoD will pay for them...
... or dropped a political clanger by leaking the 'truth' of the matter. :) :)
 

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