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Old 26th Jan 2008, 11:15
  #7 (permalink)  
Squirrel 41
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 932
Post Rant Mode: ON

Well, with all of these delays, we may (who knows) get a better deal by buying full-up KC-30Bs with RR Trent (!!) off the US production line (if the USAF can overcome Boeing's political arm-twisting...).

Meanwhile, back in the real world; Yes, this PFI is a total - and totally predictable - shambles and it comes back to the fact that the Equipment Programme (or whatever it's called this week) is bust. And has been bust since the SDR in 1997, when it was clear that the "bow-wave" of projects would be in 2005-2012, and would require loads more cash, but it was in everyone's* interest, to worry about that later and claim credit for it now (1997).

*Everyone = Ministers, Senior Military (now doubtless all enjoying their pensions) and Senior Civil Servants (ditto).

Unfortunately, later is now. And (as a non-Tory, it has to be said), what continues to grip my $hit is that Ministers keep spouting on that the forces wil get whatever they need, and then (spineless?) senior military and civil service types keep parroting that "front-line commanders have everything they need blah blah". Well, as far as I can see they certainly don't!!

What we really need is a recognition that we need to recapitalise the forces through investment in equipment and training, in the same way that we needed to do for the NHS and education.

IMHO, we also need a national debate on what we want the military to do, and once we know that, get cross-party consensus to fund it appropriately over a 10-15 year time horizon.

Rant Mode: OFF

S41

PS, despite the fact that I think the Govt has been appalling over the Northern Rock fiasco - either nationalise it or let the damn thing go bust! - it's not correct to say we've given them 55bn. Depending on the security provided, we should get this money back with interest (eventually).
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