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Tory thinking on the hoof - sell arms, but scrap our own....

#1
While our Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, David Cameron and William Hague, are jetting around the Middle East with a rather distasteful bunch of british arms dealers in tow (to try and secure a new batch of deals to some up and coming new arab regimes, so they too can beat the shit out of their people) British citizens have been left stranded in desolate parts of Libya as a civil war unfolds, while every other EU nation have long since started lifting their citizens out.

What we need is a carrier parked off-shore with a few Harriers on board, together with a troop ship with some S&R and troop carrying choppers. We might as well throw-in one of those brand spanking new Nimrods we've just spent millions on with all the latest updated kit, to coordinate the show and make sure things run smoothly.

Just a moment, I forgot, we've just scrapped them all and don't have that capability anymore.

Black Buck One - Out
 
#4
While our Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, David Cameron and William Hague, are jetting around the Middle East with a rather distasteful bunch of british arms dealers in tow (to try and secure a new batch of deals to some up and coming new arab regimes, so they too can beat the shit out of their people) British citizens have been left stranded in desolate parts of Libya as a civil war unfolds, while every other EU nation have long since started lifting their citizens out.

What we need is a carrier parked off-shore with a few Harriers on board, together with a troop ship with some S&R and troop carrying choppers. We might as well throw-in one of those brand spanking new Nimrods we've just spent millions on with all the latest updated kit, to coordinate the show and make sure things run smoothly.

Just a moment, I forgot, we've just scrapped them all and don't have that capability anymore.

Black Buck One - Out
So you are saying they are trying to flog stuff that will benefit the UK economy and people who chose to work in a risky country are now remembering they are British and kicking up a fuss?
Whats the problem?
 
#5
In all fairness, I don't think it was a 'risky country' a few weeks ago. Not to mention many of them will be working for Britain national oil interests and all the rest of it.
 
#6
Christ, why is it that every man and his dog thinks that somehow a magical aircraft carrier can appear out of nowhere and save the day? If this is the case, where is any US CVN, Charles De Gaulle, Principe De Austarias or Guissepe Garibaldi? Oh wait, they're not there BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT NEEDED.

Lets go over this in simple terms - this is a NEO, it is taking time to co-ordinate becuase most NEOS take time due to the very complex set of issues they cover. Every NEO in history has taken time, its just not been done under the glare of a 24/7 media which is looking for trouble.

Sending an aircraft carrier would acheive the square root of feck all. We'd feel very good about ourselves, and then wonder what it is we'd like the ground attack harriers to do exactly. I've yet to see a single convincing argument for putting harrier into this environment beyond the need to feel good about ones self. What does a limited range ground attack fighter bring to the party exactly? We're not at war with Libya, we're not bombing anyone and nor are our citizens under fire either. So why the hell do people think the one thing we need is a bomber?

The evacuations are slowly going on - they take time because we're dealing with a very large country with an incrdedibly dispersed set of people spread over vast distances, where the basic infrastructure is beginning to collapse. We can't just say 'beam them up scotty' and hope things happen. It takes time to get things moving, and while people are here whinging that we've not been busy nuking the crap out of the Libyans, we have been busy getting the right assets into place and coming up with a proper plan to ensure that this is done right.

Mission success in this case is getting everyone that wants to leave out of the country unharmed. So far we have acheived that. I know some people want to turn it into the latest 'the end of the world is nigh' but I see no reason for that.
 
#7
It's called irony, in case you hadn't noticed.

But yes, I'm all for getting rid of the military, sacking pilots and senior warrant officers, disbanding regiments, scrapping aircraft carriers and the one thing which gave us the ability to operate anywhere in the world. But at the same time I'm all for lining the pockets of all those old Tory school chums in the arms business, for the sake of a few hundred jobs.

"Here you go, Air Chief Marshall, your brand new Nimrod all ready to fly, Sir, the finest in the world."

"Scrap it, the government says we don't need it anymore, break it up and scrap it".

"But this thing cost millions, Sir, and has all the latest technology........."

"I said, scrap it, we've no pilots to fly it anyway, they've all been sacked and the base is closing".

Now as to question whether we as a nation should be responsible for our citizens caught up in such places like Libya, that is a totally different subject and argument, but the wording on the inner front page of your passport would be a good place to start.

Black Buck One - Out
 
#8
In all fairness, I don't think it was a 'risky country' a few weeks ago. Not to mention many of them will be working for Britain national oil interests and all the rest of it.
In fairness it's ran by a bloke who sponsered several terrorist groups including the IRA, and who MAY have been involved in the Lockerbie, it is not a democracy and dissent is rapidly stamped out (Until now). I'd call that a risky place to be. As has been mention on other threads its not British national oil interests, its a company that based in the UK with shareholders from all over the world. I don't think many people there are doing it for good old blighty but more likely for their bank balance, not that theres a problem with that, but I don't see why the military (or taxpayers in general) should bother their arses to help them out.
 
#9
Littlejohn's column touches on these issues today. Only thing to add, that Hague might be off form because he is still "in love"...

Dunkirk? No, it's more like Carry On Follow That Camel
By RICHARD LITTLEJOHN

Like the Treasury, the Foreign Office is supposed to contain the brightest and best of Britain’s civil servants. But just as the Treasury failed to anticipate the banking crisis, so Carlton-Browne of the FO seems to have been caught on the hop by the collapse of regimes across the Middle East.
This is, of course, a department of state which is said to pride itself on an intimate knowledge of Arab affairs. Yet the uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain and Libya appear to have come as a complete surprise to our diplomatic elite.
William Hague must have thought he was inheriting the keys of a Rolls-Royce machine when he became Foreign Secretary. Instead, he discovered that under the sleek coachwork it contained the engine of a Reliant Robin, carelessly topped up with red diesel.

Shambolic response: British evacuees from Libya unload their luggage in Malta
Britain’s shambolic response to the plight of UK citizens caught up in the revolution in Libya is not Hague’s fault, but it is his responsibility.


Hague had the misfortune to be in Brussels when the balloon went up in Libya, but he only served to inflame the sense that he was out of touch when he claimed, erroneously, that Colonel Gaddafi was on his way to Venezuela.
Ten minutes later, Gaddafi turned up on television in Tripoli, waving a brolly and vowing to fight to the last bullet.
Where was Hague getting his information? Presumably from the deeply unimpressive Cathy Ashton, the EU’s grand fromage for foreign affairs.
Surely the Foreign Office’s supposedly sophisticated intelligence network could have prevented this unfortunate faux pas.
Hague wasn’t helped, either, when the two commercial airlines, BA and bmi, immediately suspended flights to Tripoli at the first whiff of cordite. But surely there was a Plan B.
Deep in the dusty bowels of the Foreign Office there must be a folder devoted to the possibility of violence in the volatile Middle East and a contingency for evacuating British nationals poste haste.


FO officials were reduced to hitching a ride on a plane chartered by BP to ferry its own employees to safety. I’m sure if anyone had picked up the phone to Richard Branson, he’d have rustled up a couple of 747s and headed straight for Tripoli, complete with signature flying helmet and a posse of Fleet Street’s finest in Upper Class.



We couldn’t send an aircraft carrier because the Ark Royal has been pensioned off. And the only Royal Navy ship in the area was steaming back to Blighty to be scrapped because of the defence cuts. Even when diverted towards the Libyan coast, it was initially told not to dock because it might be too dangerous.
This fiasco has echoes of the capitulation in the Shatt al-Arab waterway a couple of years ago, and the refusal to rescue the middle-aged couple captured by Somali pirates, on the grounds that someone might get hurt.


This column has little sympathy with British citizens who voluntarily take lucrative jobs in despotic trouble-spots run by megalomaniac gangsters and then scream for mummy when the shooting starts. Or their whingeing relatives back home. If they take the shilling, they should accept the risk.
But one of the basic duties of any government is to ride to the rescue of citizens in distress, regardless of the circumstances.
And if the Bulgarians, Dutch and French could get their people out in double-quick time, why not Britain?
We were told yesterday that a detachment from the Special Boat Service was on standby to rescue UK citizens stranded in Libya.
But if we were planning a covert mission, why would we tell anyone in advance? And if the SBS do steam in, they could find themselves confronted by troops trained by our own SAS, as part of one of Tony Blair’s grubby deals with Gaddafi, and armed with British-made weapons.
You couldn’t make it up.
Much as I admire the bravery, skills and endeavour of our special forces, there is every chance that any rescue effort might end up bogged down in the desert — like Jimmy Carter’s ill-fated excursion into Iran three decades ago.


Our reputation is already at rock bottom, following our inglorious military retreat from Iraq. I doubt this week’s events have done much for our prestige in the region, especially at a time when Call Me Dave is swanning round the Middle East with a team of arms salesmen in tow.
Meanwhile, Nick Clegg says in an interview that he had forgotten he was supposed to be running the country in Dave’s absence abroad and was planning to spend half-term with his children.
The Prime Minister assures us that he is in charge and is in constant contact by BlackBerry. So that’s all right then. He also says that all his key ministers are on parade in London — but that’s only because Hague was forced to cancel a trip to Washington to have his photo taken with Hillary Clinton.
Liam Fox is probably pushing toy soldiers and model ships around a sandpit in the basement of the Ministry of Defence. But as our cash-strapped forces are already overstretched, don’t expect another Dunkirk on the northern shores of Libya any time soon. I’m not sure the Navy even runs to a rowing boat these days.
Sadly, the incompetence and unpreparedness of the Foreign Office appears to be replicated across practically every government department. The Home Office isn’t the only ship of state which is unfit for purpose.
Admittedly, the Tory-led Coalition inherited this mess from the Blair, Brown and Mandelson junta (particularly in relation to Libya) but seems to have no idea how to sort it out.
I fear more humiliations to follow. Makes you proud to be British.
 
#10
Now as to question whether we as a nation should be responsible for our citizens caught up in such places like Libya, that is a totally different subject and argument, but the wording on the inner front page of your passport would be a good place to start.

Black Buck One - Out
So what the state of defence is, is nothing to do with whats happening in Libya, glad to have cleared that up. You are also talking out of your arse if you think arms sales only equate to a few hundred jobs.

It doesnt say anywhere in your passport either the military or taxpayers should help people who chose to live abroad and only remember their nationality when it suits them.
 
#11
The wording on the inner front page of a P.R. of China passport says something very similar to that of a UK passport. Since China doesn't project its power much at the moment I don't think that that is really a good place to start.

Oh and 'over' is more appropriate since you haven't finished.
 
#12
I'm not suggesting we send a carrier, harriers or even a troop ship.

The whole point is that if we did ever need to mount such an operation, we couldn't, or would find it extremely difficult without seriously compromising other theatre we are operating in.

Black Buck One - Out
 
#13
In fairness it's ran by a bloke who sponsered several terrorist groups including the IRA, and who MAY have been involved in the Lockerbie, it is not a democracy and dissent is rapidly stamped out (Until now). I'd call that a risky place to be. As has been mention on other threads its not British national oil interests, its a company that based in the UK with shareholders from all over the world. I don't think many people there are doing it for good old blighty but more likely for their bank balance, not that theres a problem with that, but I don't see why the military (or taxpayers in general) should bother their arses to help them out.
Just like all those benefits to the taxpayer from the vastly more expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...

At least by withdrawing people from Libya the Armed Forces will actually be fulfilling their primary purpose- the protection of British citizens.
 
#14
Just like all those benefits to the taxpayer from the vastly more expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...

At least by withdrawing people from Libya the Armed Forces will actually be fulfilling their primary purpose- the protection of British citizens.
Got a problem with Iraq and Afghanistan? Bleat to your MP about it.
I've never been told its our primary purpose to protect people who chose to live in risky countries then demand the military put their lives at risk to help them, could you point out where it does say that?
 
#15
If the primary purpose of the Armed Forces isn't to protect the people of Britain, what the **** is it there for?

Gallivanting across the earth enforcing US foreign policy?
 
#16
Got a problem with Iraq and Afghanistan? Bleat to your MP about it.
I've never been told its our primary purpose to protect people who chose to live in risky countries then demand the military put their lives at risk to help them, could you point out where it does say that?
It doesn't, but using your logic Maggie should never have sent a task force down to the Falklands.

Black Buck One - Out
 
#17
I'm not suggesting we send a carrier, harriers or even a troop ship.

The whole point is that if we did ever need to mount such an operation, we couldn't, or would find it extremely difficult without seriously compromising other theatre we are operating in.

Black Buck One - Out
Why would we ever need to.... surely our European Allies will come to our aid. Isn't that the plan these days? What? Why would they send their troops to be killed on our behalf? Sarkosy would tell us to what? How rude!

Edited to add. BBOne is quite right. Supposing the situation had been far more violent and troops/ aircraft (hence a carrier) had been required?
One thing that you need to remember about an insurance policy is that it is a total waste of money until you need to make a claim.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#18
While our Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, David Cameron and William Hague, are jetting around the Middle East with a rather distasteful bunch of british arms dealers in tow
Oh deary dear. One does so hate to stumble upon evidence of harsh potty training, one really does.

Right, these gigs do not happen overnight. They are planned months in advance and it is possible that this one was arranged by Pa Broons shower, I do not know.

But I do know that your "distasteful bunch of british arms dealers" (and in my experience they are well dressed and polite) bring back thousands of jobs to people here, some of whom are ex-Mil. To enable them to pay their mortgage and educate their kids and that.

Other arms dealers are avilable. Oh yes. I can make no comment on the defence cuts. Not my line of country. But at a time of mayhem in the middle east and north Africa, I am comforted to see our people out there, doing what they can. Even if it is the horrible Call-Me-Dave fronting the job.
 
#19
Seems to me that the posters above are as confused and divided as the twerps running the Coalition (Prop: V. Cable - Marxism a speciality).

If any one Cabinet minister had done so much as three years serving in the ranks, or undertaken a Short Service Commission, then he, or she, would surely have banged a sackful of turnip heads together and we would not be faced with:

a. An embarrassment over the evacuation of British subjects from Libya.
b. The most short-sighted and frankly most STUPID decisions in the area of 'Defence' in our national history.

I smell, rightly or wrongly, the hands of Vince 'Hindsight' Cable (this astonishingly obtuse individual appears to be 'in charge' of this rapidly failing government); serried ranks of Treasury 'twonks' (all left-leaning of course); and a 'small boy' so out of his depth that the N.S.P.C.C. should be called - I refer to Osborne - masquerading as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

I am somewhat puzzled that whilst Army and Royal Navy officers have 'signed' this letter, there are no RAF signatories. Are the RAF 'top brass' having a break from political matters following the retirement of the gallant but hopelessly useless Mr. Stirrup?

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
 
#20
If the primary purpose of the Armed Forces isn't to protect the people of Britain, what the **** is it there for?

Gallivanting across the earth enforcing US foreign policy?
You said it, not me, so please show me where it says we have to risk going into foriegn countries to bail people who chose to be there?
 

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