While the Forces suffer.....

It's always going to happen...

Bear in mind that some of what has been done, does really have to be done. You can't have other nations coming in to the building and seeing chip board doors.

A building like this is always going to cost.

It is just a kick in the guts when you compare the cost of the building for shiny arrses to the equipment it could have bought.

Edit to add...

Hold on, wasn't £1,000,000 spent on chairs only three years ago at this building?
I feel so much better now safe in the thought that our MOD civil servants are having comfy bum chairs. This is so typical of needless spending and lack of forethought with budgets within the MOD.
If in a commercial organisation a senior manager carried out this disasterous budget selection and allocation they would be tapping the boards in fron of the man! Yet civil servants are acting with impunity. They rest on their laurels whilst others suffer!!! It is a disgrace.
Labour must not get in at the next election, do you want Brown making even more defence cuts to an army that could not be beaten, yet is however whipped into submission by it's own government?

Rant over, getting off soapbox.....medication time :twisted:



fastmedic said:
I feel so much better now safe in the thought that our MOD civil servants are having comfy bum chairs

Lets not forget that some of those fat bums sat on the chairs are some of the most senior and not so senior hofficers of the AF. Mind you when they retire they will all say how they sent memo's off deploring the purchase :evil:
The Sunday times, today.

I can't believe that this article has escaped ARRSE's many weekend contributors. It's a joyous and inspiring story about a much-needed refit for the working accommodation of our MoD staff, which includes:

* Luxury office chairs worth more than £1,000 for each of the 3,100 civil servants

* The purchase of more than 3,500 oak doors for a total cost of £3m, or up to £1,200 each

* The restoration of a “terrazzo” marble and stone floor in the renovated “pillared hall”

* A restaurant, a coffee bar, three large plasma screens on each of the 10 floors, a gym and “quiet rooms” where staff can take a break.

Even the most hardened old warrior out there mustn't begrudge the MoD these basic necessities, surely?
Actually Hansvonhealing put it in his Afghanistan thread earlier

Honestly whats the fuss? - the Mod IS the Army etc. thus this is much needed investment in the Defence of this Country.

Really there is no pleasing some people.
And the last paragraph of The Times article is...

The MoD said there was no overspend and the deal had been praised in an audit by the NAO in 2002. “The modernisation has been a huge success, allowing us to dispose of five other central London buildings and save £18m a year — money that is being reinvested in the front line and other essential areas, including new accommodation for service personnel and their families.”

So, they've spent £2.35 billion (over 30 years) in order to 'save' 18 x 30 = £540 million.


I can only assume that Main Building has been decked out to such a high standard because it on the agenda shortly to be sub-let to some high-profile, free-spending global monster. Haliburton maybe? I mean, they'd never spend that sort of dosh on themselves, would they?
Just as public sympathy might have swung in the forces favour!

I guess youve got to spend all your budget in order not to get it cut next year. And with the financial year coming to an end, and nothing we can actually buy or spend it on this is the quickest way to pour it down the drain.

:D hurrah!


Worth pointing out that Main Building is not just staffed by civil servants. In fact many CSs there are very lowly paid admin staff supporting a vast array of middle ranking and senior officers who are manifestly “unfit for purpose”.

Having said that, the company who have the chair contract for Abbey Wood (where many of these MB staff should be relocated to, if their jobs can actually be justified in the first place) will manufacture a made to measure orthopaedic chair for much less than a grand; and supply an excellent general purpose one for a small fraction of that. Whoever okay’d this should be strung up.


The real scandal here is that they always claimed it only cost £746m but in fact it will cost £2.35bn. The actual refubishment only cost around £350m, chairs and all, the rest of the £746m was for maintaining the building over 30 years and around £100m effectively to protect Modus against things going wrong, which using the £746m didnt sound that bad and could be portrayed as being cheaper than do it it publicly. Now they have admitted the real cost will be £2.35bn. If Gordon had been prepared to stump up the £350m in the first place there wouldnt be this ridiculously huge expense. This is the nonsense of PFIs. A child could tell you they will almost always end up being more expensive but this lot are in love with them because they dont have to pay for stuff up front.


War Hero
What an excellent idea. The next logical step is to spend 150 billion on the same quality of accomodation and fittings on fewer, bigger, plusher army barracks. I'm sure that is in the pipeline!

Imagine no longer sleeping in your dank, dirty, mouldy sh1thole without running water, but rather in your remote control bed with 56" plasma screen at the end of it, with piped music in your en-suite shower facility in the multi-regiment barracks housing 150,000 troops.

It might cost 150 billion now, but the long terms savings would be oooh at least 5 quid!

Good-ho to them I say, keep up the good work, but hurry up with the same features for the barracks!

(edited due to shite gramma).
This is the thing, so much money is wasted on things like plasma screens and chairs. No wonder the whole MoD is in such a mess.
I have to say that I loved the story, because long ago I read Parkinson on the building of the Pentagon (after WW2, which had been directed on the US side from a collection of tin shacks very successfully), and because I once visited the headquarters of the African Development Bank in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, and saw an immediate parallel.

The Bank was a magnificent palace of Italian marble, polished teak and vast offices incorporating vast empty desks, with tiny little people behind them, all experts in 'Solitaire'. (They refused my company's request for an extension on our loan, which would have brought them annual interest payments of hundreds of '000s of $ and a final repayment of the capital ($12m) in favour of liquidation of our assets to realise about $250,000. They apparently did this to demonstrate a high level of fiscal discipline to a visiting World Bank nob. But I digress).

The MoD is reinforcing Parkinson's views nicely.


Book Reviewer
Seduce my aging footware.....is this REALLy about the recant into Main Building ?

And the Sunday Times is owned by ? Could it possibly be Rupert Murdoch , the one man whose media empire was so crucial to putting this shower of w4nkers into Parliament ?

And the Labour government is under fire for TEN Years of neglect on accommodation for our people - so they suddenly roll out a story about 'shiny arrsed civil servants' plush office accommodation ?

Ask the Sunday Times to focus on the fact that the Deputy Prime Minister's son is involved in a development company with its eye on the Haslar hospital site.

See how many column inches you get.

What a crock!

Don Cabra


War Hero
Nice point Goatman.

Yeah, should have mentioned that these low-life scumbags that the cretinous masses voted in were all stooges of that great anti-royal australian tw@t.

That is another of the hidden agendas of the labour party, the want to gt rid of the royal family and have the backing of super-rich republicans, not to mention irish ones too.

The party is 'out-to-get' anyone in the middle classes, anyone who lives outside of the urban sprawl, anyone with a modicum of decency, anyone who professes loyalty to the crown, anything the crown owns or anything with a crown symbol on it (like the 'Royal' Mail).

They think that the UK would be a better place without the Royal family (like some other republics around the world). Not to mention the fact that they migt be scared of somone who has the power to fcuk them off for being cnuts and ask another party to form a government.

Our Queen is the last control on their excesses and corruption.
It is a lovely building though. Wish I could work out of it, instead of my little office building, with lukewarm heating, 15 year old carpets, and toilets that reek. Oh, and not a cappucino machine in sight.
Spanner said:
It is a lovely building though.

It'd make a fine hotel, too, a bit like the old GLC offices. So maybe Prescott Junior could be interested... I'm sure the MoDpersons wouldn't mind being outsourced to Bangalore.
Ref the 18 other buildings sold.

Would one of these be Chelsea Barracks? Sold for a pittance to a developer, who pretty much made their money back on selling ONE penthouse!!!

Why didn't the MoD lease or let the properties instead of selling them off? Is that allowed?

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