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MoD fury as Brown wields axe

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MoD fury as Brown wields axe

Old 17th Feb 2008, 00:14
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MoD fury as Brown wields axe

From the Sunday Times.

A SENIOR defence official has warned that the armed forces are heading for a “train crash” because the government is starving them of funds for vital equipment.
MoD officials have been struggling to prepare pruned-down spending plans in advance of a meeting of defence chiefs and top civil servants this Thursday, which will thrash out the final details of the cuts. A week later the plans will be presented to ministers who have insisted the cuts must be made by stealth, according to MoD sources.

It comes as no surprise, but this sounds particularly worrying:

Both the prime minister and Des Browne, the defence secretary, have made it clear that to avoid political embarrassment no major programme can be seen to be cut, the sources said. Big programmes must be pushed back into future years while other items on the budget suffer harsh cutbacks.
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 01:05
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Well maybe the PM and Des will sleep well in their beds, knowing that the security of the Nation can be undertaken by the management and staff of Northern Rock, who have just had £ 25 Billion thrown at them. To my knowledge its been about two hundred years since the last mutiny, but the government seem to want to push it. The reason major projects must just be delayed is to keep jobs/votes alive now, and when they do lose at the next election it will all be blamed on the party in government at the time of the next fiasco.

I hate to think of how this will hit the morale of the troops in the sand pit. If its true, and i trust the newspaper, then it is shameful. Could be a lengthy thread LFFC.

Chugalug2 and I had a minor (gentlemanly) scuffle on one of the other threads this evening, but one thing he said needs strong consideration. If we all stand back and let it happen (civvie and military), then it will. Sadly it is some time to the next election. Maybe I will take a walk through the park up to speakers corner in the morning

I wonder (if its true!!) what options are open to us?

1. Down tools?
2. Some mass media publicity drive?
3. A peaceful, we are no longer going to work?
4. Commanders order there troops to down tools?
5. CDS requests an audience with HM?
6. Mass public rally in London?
7. A petition?
8. Do nothing and allow the military to decline in line with the country, then when an islamic takeover is ready, it will be a peice of pi**?

I wonder what option will happen???

I doubt the boys out fighting think the part time minister is really sincere in his backing of them at the moment.
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 01:27
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Lucky then that they've just ordered the last 5 people who aren't doing anything into Kosovo (well, 1000) - that'll help.
Personally, were I still in, I'd leave! But would that be just what they were expecting...?
If CDS and the other Chiefs of Staff had any degree of decency they'dl resign en masse. Should make the point quite nicely before everybody else decides to walk out....
When I was in (not too long ago), it often occurred to me that the forces were approaching bankruptcy but everyone used to look at me as if I was mental when I said it. Seems I'm not the only one:
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 02:10
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Who cares if it dissolves into ethnic cleansing?? At the very least, it would stop all the feckers being here and descending into the pimping, drug dealing and arms-smuggling for which they are renowned. I was there in '99 and they really are an evil bunch of people. Independence today?? Hopefully it will give them the civil war impetus that they need to finish the job once and for all.
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 05:39
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Last one out, turn off the light.... Oh wait, light bulbs have been cut from the budget, (don't need them if everbody's out of the country 6 months of the year!)
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 07:35
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Just to remind us all - £159Bn per year spent on social security and £104Bn per year spent on the NHS with the overwhelming proportion of the increases of the past ten years going on pay rises.
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 07:58
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“Both the prime minister and Des Browne, the defence secretary, have made it clear that to avoid political embarrassment no major programme can be seen to be cut, the sources said. Big programmes must be pushed back into future years while other items on the budget suffer harsh cutbacks”.

The 3 pillars of procurement trumpeted by MoD are Time, Cost and Performance. Political meddling has ALWAYS forced programmes to slip (by simply freezing them). Typically, if you freeze a programme 6 months, payments will be spread over an extra year. The same meddling salami slices programmes, cutting quantities (which in turn increases the Unit Production Cost, reduces spares and often forces MoD to pay a premium for quicker turn round time, to compensate for lack of spares). And DEC/OR have ALWAYS been “encouraged” to reduce their Performance requirements. The book tells you Key User Requirements (KURs) are sacrosanct and virtually untradeable. This has been nonsense for many years. Projects routinely enter Service with very few KURs met.

At a more esoteric level, Technology and System Integration Readiness Levels are vitally important. This MANDATED requirement has, again, been diluted. CDP ruled long ago that integration could be waived, yet contracts paid off IN FULL. This very often renders aircraft functionally unsafe. For a good example of a fatal accident where equipment was physically safe, but functionally unsafe due to lack of systems integration, see Tornado / Patriot (which CDP was warned about). The BoI report makes this crystal clear, yet years later CDP’s rulings are still upheld by Min(AF).

There is nothing sinister in the timing of the announcement. The timescales for PR08 were set long ago and everyone expects this each year. However, it looks like some big programmes are going to have to compromise on Time, Cost and Performance. What annoys me however, is this process will hide some embarrassments, and dress them up as “fiscal prudence”. Programmes which have already spent the money, but have not delivered on Time, Cost or Performance, may seek to hide behind any cuts. I think the Army will suffer badly. Everyone knows BOWMAN is a disaster, especially at Company level and below (which is where the VOLUME of equipment is). For example, on 26.7.06 the NAO reported (page 47) that the VHF radio, vital at Section and Platoon levels, is to be replaced “by another programme”. That is, it’s sod all use, a fact confirmed by the User 4 years BEFORE the contract was let, and thousands will be ditched. BUT, what must give in the “other programme” (widely assumed to be FIST - Future Integrated Soldier Technology) to afford such waste? Then look deeper and consider the System. The VHF set comes with a User Data Terminal which, technologically, is somewhere between the Sinclair and Commodore. Unsurprisingly, and as predicted years ago, it cannot run the much vaunted BCIP software (four applications for quite important things like Fire Control and Medical). Who will replace the UDTs and software which is now some years old and still not working? Yet more cuts for the unfortunate replacement programme.

Forgive me for talking about a Green programme – it should have been Purple but the Air side has been largely ignored, which “another programme” must also compensate for. I’m trying to illustrate the sheer waste that occurs in defence acquisition (not just procurement). You can forgive someone trying his best to deliver cutting edge kit, and just falling short. If you don’t try, you never succeed. But the kind of waste I describe is common place, has been identified in infinite detail to just about everyone up to and including Min(AF) and PUS; and the only response I ever heard was “this is of no concern to MoD(PE)”. (The 2* who oversaw Chinook Mk3, which rather proves my point). Oh, and it’s a disciplinary offence to highlight or try to prevent it. For every cutback they are open about, there are probably many more hidden cases such as I describe.
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 10:08
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Doubtless the cuts will not affect assets based or procured in Scotland - that is where the S of S for Defence has his Primary job.
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 10:44
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Chugalug2 and I had a minor (gentlemanly) scuffle on one of the other threads this evening,
Very gentlemanly Tigs, as one would expect, but as I too learned a valuable lesson it was time well spent.

Action this day? I would suggest a two pronged attack. Frontal assault on HMG who, if indifferent to their obligations to the Defence of the Realm and to HM Forces, are very sensitive to being outed for same (witness climb down re Mr Pun VC in which you played some large part I recall ) Flanking attack to turn HM's Loyal Opposition from present expediency based inaction to one of doing their job, ie opposing this bunch of power obsessed crooks! As Tuc reminds us, the biggest foe by far is the MOD. Any campaign to reverse the continual defence cutbacks must go hand in hand with a demand for root and branch reform of the Ministry of Waste. With your indulgence Tigs, I once again publish the site that puts you in direct contact with your MPs and ensures that they follow up on your message to them, or marks them down for not doing so.
Despite our little tiff I still believe in Democracy. It is in truth all that we have, so use it or lose it!
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 10:52
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I know I ain't an expert, but after reading the article in the Times this bit stuck in my head:

The mutinous mood over Gordon Brown’s tight rein on military spending follows criticism of the MoD last week by coroners investigating the deaths of British soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. They accused it of failing to provide troops with adequate equipment.
Isn't that sort of thing now worth taking to court under the assorted acts of parliament? Sounds like manslaughter to me, as the MOD certainly did not do enough to protect it's "employees" ('elf and safety anyone?)

Let's face it, something has to be done to nail that shower of poop in Whitehall
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 11:17
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Looking After Our Forces the Swiss Toni Way

The announcements designed to disguise the cuts are expected to include a series of relatively low-cost contracts for the programme to build the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers like last week’s announcement of a £34m programme to prepare the Rosyth dockyard to build the carriers. But the start date for actually building the carriers will be delayed for two years to save cash, while the Royal Navy will be largely confined to port and will lose all four of its Type-22 frigates plus one of its newer Type-23 frigates.

The RAF will see progress on its new future strategic tanker aircraft programme but faces a number of major cuts, including the loss of two of its Tornado GR4 ground attack squadrons and the closure of a number of bases. The army will finally get new armoured vehicles – repeatedly put off due to the cost of new ships and aircraft - but they will be in lower numbers than expected and army bases will have to close.
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 11:17
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Have you ever walked past the MoD MB after dark? Believe me, they leave the lights on....
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 11:21
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It's just such a shame that although the lights may well be on, there is no-one at home.............
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 12:31
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i have just seen the headline on the paper and my blood is boiling.
it makes me soo mad that the fine institutions that keep this land safe and well are always the first to suffer. this is so wrong.

tigs2 if it's a petiton you need then i'm your man....well girl actually but you catch my drift.

in one way it feels like what's the point but to be honest everything is worth a try. look at the herc safety petiton that i organised, that suceeded. i know i am disillusioning myself, as of course it was the immense amount of work done by nige gilb and all the others and of course you guys out on the shop floor.i do have other things in the pipeline for the future and there is plently of fight left in me. it is only right and just that the inapprpriate spending stops and a proper budget which is controlled by those not in their offices who have no knowledge of the real needs stops...phew! i hope that makes sense.

hellsbrink, i am all but a few weeks awy from the start of the actual inquest into my brother and the crews death on XV179 and with the unremitting findings of coroners of unlawful deaths etc of those who have lost their lives in theatre ring in my ears. please let me assure you and others that as families we do not walk away and leave it, we continue to fight. sadly these things take time and with the MoD being more slippery than a slippery thing in the world of slippery on planet slippery it gets very hard to find a way to actually make them take any responsibility.we will bring them to answer.

wingswinger, the money might be going into nhs but it's not on my payrise. i live from paypacket to paypacket and as i have a few more days till i get paid i am left wondering how the hell i will even be able to afford my daughters school dinners and nappies for the little one. that is not the life that our managers lead, yet like you i am on the shop floor, it is me who has peoples lives in my hands and sometimes my ability to do my job is compromised as i don't even have the supplies to look after them like i should. that all changed when they started to run hospitals like a business and i daresay this is what is happening to the forces.

we must stick together and keep the faith.
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 13:25
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 13:36
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 13:39
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Unless the political apathy in this country suddenly ends then I just can't see anything changing. I know we elect the government and not the Prime Minister but we have a leader that was not democratically elected running our country into the ground.

Wait for a general election and it will be too late, what is needed is political activism by the general public. We have the power in this country and the sooner we realise that and harness it the sooner Browne will be gone. Petitions have there place but marching a million angry citizens past number 10 sends a much louder message.

hold-up I think a surveillance van just pulled up over the road!
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 13:42
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That was simply, Outstanding.
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 14:17
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Quoting from today's Telegraph:

The move to deploy to Kosovo was described by MPs and former military cheifs as "irresponsible", "demented" and accused the MoD of being "bankrupt".

So who sets the defence budget? That'll be the Chancellor. And who has been the Chancellor for the previous decade? That'll be the PM then.

As much as we rant about Swiss, the real rant should be directed to the very top of the political tree. If the PM sends us into war, the PM should cough up. Simple.

(ranting in the pub, posting via I-phone)
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 14:35
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I don't see any news here. We have been getting shafted since 1997, what did you think was going to change?

The public know more about the nature and depth of our shafting, but have other priorities....inflation, fuel, food costs, mortgages, house prices etc. They do care, but are weighed down by the fact that Nu Labour has managed to turn every other aspect of the nation to sh1te already.

I am quietly seeing out the 2 years to my IPP and then going. So are many others. Unless you can see things changing with a Tory government (economy yes, defence no) then either PVR are leave at the earliest point.

Just my take on things.
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