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If no financial crisis

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If no financial crisis

Old 12th Sep 2020, 06:24
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If no financial crisis

If the credit crunch hadn't happened in 2008, where would we be now?

In terms of military posture, the SDSR may well have gone ahead in 2010, but quite likely under a Brown Government. The outcome (for all the history of the left and the armed forces) would likely be less far reaching in terms of cuts. Looking forward to the present from then, today the Tornado and Harrier would still be in service, the former in smaller number than as of 2010. The F-35 programme would continue apace but centred on Lossiemouth. Leuchars would have continued as normal with three Squadrons of Typhoons, however, the total number in service would likely have been halted at five squadrons plus OCU and OEU. Cottesmore would also likely have survived. Further, the Nimrod MRA4 would have been fully established at Kinloss. Likely, the Leuchars airshow would also have continued and been held today! That's also supposing no Covid 19. Correspondingly, the Army and Navy would also be bigger, the Navy would have taken receipt of two or three more T45 Destroyers, the Army would retain perhaps two additional Armoured Regiments and two or more Infantry Battalions. There would also be perhaps a greater emphasis on a more permanent and substantial NATO presence in Poland and the Baltic states. Likewise other NATO forces would have pursued their more expanded re-equipment programmes prior to the financial crash of 2008.

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Old 12th Sep 2020, 08:04
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Well, for starters Harrier was scheduled to retire in 2019 and would have struggled to get even that far given the condition of the fleet post-HERRICK, which as I understand it was one of the reasons for it being cut in preference to Tornado (which at the time was due to go in 2025). MRA4 was unairworthy with no realistically affordable route to recovery. And I think you are also overestimating the influence of politicians on certain trends in Whitehall: for instance I suspect the so-called 'Heywood efficiencies', named for the Cabinet Secretary, would have gone through in 2015 regardless of which lot were in power. Reducing current "spending", ie wages, maintenance and support costs, has been on the Whitehall agenda ever since a certain G. Brown implemented resource accounting and budgeting. Labour liked to "invest" in big capital projects like the carriers but was almost as averse as the Tories to "spending" on in-service capabilities, because "spending" money is the sort needed for benefits and public sector wages. It's no coincidence that our combat aircraft fleets started dwindling in number soon after that accounting change.

Last edited by Easy Street; 12th Sep 2020 at 08:17.
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Old 12th Sep 2020, 09:16
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Govt spending cannot continue on indefinietely. 2008 crash forced a rethink in spending but even then the reality is the service is living beyond its means. Current Govt is spending like there is no tomorrow BUT reality is bailiffs will be at the door looking for loans to to serviced.... note serviced not repaid.

UK Govt debt is now higher than GDP and this is before the Brexit shock to the economy.

Gordon Brown in building 2 carriers has hamstrung UK military with an expense that will take years to unwind because reality is 100 billion project has starved everything else of funding.

My guess based on current situation is by 2023 both carriers will be tied up in port for 90% of the year.
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Old 12th Sep 2020, 09:19
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Easy Street, I imagine so, I recall the state of the Harriers and Tornados at the time, however, I wondered how long they may have hung on without the cuts of 2010. I'm not saying the Cameron Government did anything particularly radical of course, the point being the impact of the Sub-prime mortgage collapse in the USA and what came about thereafter. There are other points of conjecture, as I said, Brown would have probably got an electoral mandate out of it instead of being consigned to the same position in History as, Callaghan, Douglas-Home and I think Eden? I reckon Cameron would have got in in 2015 and without the Lib Dems, also, as you point out Easy Street, there is always the likelihood that the evisceration of the jets would have continued over a period of time under Brown and then been slowed or halted even under Cameron, so we could be right where we are now anyway, but possibly with the number of Bases still largely unchanged, I'm sure far too much is squeezed onto Lossiemouth in particular. Another couple of what ifs, the SNP may not have got the independence vote in 2014 and should Cameron have become PM in 2015, perhaps there would have been no referendum on the EU. Not lamenting of course, just imagining how far history would have diverged but for the 2008 crash. I understand that if you could disappear say back to Ancient Rome at any point and as much as stepped off onto the soil then back in your time machine or should anyone have seen the machine, things would be radically different by the time to got back to the present.

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Old 12th Sep 2020, 09:37
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy View Post
Easy Street, I imagine so, I recall the state of the Harriers and Tornados at the time, however, I wondered how long they may have hung on without the cuts of 2010. I'm not saying the Cameron Government did anything particularly radical of course, the point being the impact of the Sub-prime mortgage collapse in the USA and what came about thereafter. There are other points of conjecture, as I said, Brown would have probably got an electoral mandate out of it instead of being consigned to the same position in History as, Callaghan, Douglas-Home and I think Eden? I reckon Cameron would have got in in 2015 and without the Lib Dems, also, as you point out Easy Street, there is always the likelihood that the evisceration of the jets would have continued over a period of time under Brown and then been slowed or halted even under Cameron, so we could be right where we are now anyway, but possibly with the number of Bases still largely unchanged, I'm sure far too much is squeezed onto Lossiemouth in particular. Another couple of what ifs, the SNP may not have got the independence vote in 2014 and should Cameron have become PM in 2015, perhaps there would have been no referendum on the EU. Not lamenting of course, just imagining how far history would have diverged but for the 2008 crash. I understand that if you could disappear say back to Ancient Rome at any point and as much as stepped off onto the soil then back in your time machine or should anyone have seen the machine, things would be radically different by the time to got back to the present.

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Not an unreasonable synopsis.

Question is what happens post 2021 crises ?

Brexit / 3 million plus unemployed / US $ collapse / Covid still around
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Old 12th Sep 2020, 11:10
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Originally Posted by racedo View Post
Not an unreasonable synopsis.

Question is what happens post 2021 crises ?

Brexit / 3 million plus unemployed / US $ collapse / Covid still around
Well Wallace is now saying that the Armour won't go that a Base in the middle east will be trebled in size. More about modernizing! All euphemisms for a pointless token number of Tanks, the further disbandment of existing operational units and whatever can be scraped together to offset all this by making a big fuss about spending on all the new Joe 90 stuff! Result, we'll know exactly when a predicted military adversary will launch a military offensive and where. And that will have to do as far as the British contribution will be concerned, other than an embedded unit or two with the Americans looking after us, or even the French or Germans, then again, how are they going to cope from here on.

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Old 12th Sep 2020, 11:47
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy View Post
Easy Street, I imagine so, I recall the state of the Harriers and Tornados at the time, however, I wondered how long they may have hung on without the cuts of 2010. I'm not saying the Cameron Government did anything particularly radical of course, the point being the impact of the Sub-prime mortgage collapse in the USA and what came about thereafter. There are other points of conjecture, as I said, Brown would have probably got an electoral mandate out of it instead of being consigned to the same position in History as, Callaghan, Douglas-Home and I think Eden? I reckon Cameron would have got in in 2015 and without the Lib Dems, also, as you point out Easy Street, there is always the likelihood that the evisceration of the jets would have continued over a period of time under Brown and then been slowed or halted even under Cameron, so we could be right where we are now anyway, but possibly with the number of Bases still largely unchanged, I'm sure far too much is squeezed onto Lossiemouth in particular. Another couple of what ifs, the SNP may not have got the independence vote in 2014 and should Cameron have become PM in 2015, perhaps there would have been no referendum on the EU. Not lamenting of course, just imagining how far history would have diverged but for the 2008 crash. I understand that if you could disappear say back to Ancient Rome at any point and as much as stepped off onto the soil then back in your time machine or should anyone have seen the machine, things would be radically different by the time to got back to the present.

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Just as an observation, Eden won a snap election in 1955. He wanted to avoid any claims that he'd got to power simply by being the obvious successor to Churchill, and thus didn't have a real mandate from the public. An election would've been due in '55 or 1956 anyway, so he went to the country almost as soon as he'd become PM. Got a majority of 60 and, if memory of the figures serves, the Conservatives' vote share remains the largest gained in any post-war election by any government (47/48% IIRC).
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Old 12th Sep 2020, 12:06
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Hi Archemides,

I wasn't entirely sure hence the question mark, but thanks for the clarification.

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Old 12th Sep 2020, 12:15
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the Conservatives' vote share remains the largest gained in any post-war election by any government (47/48% IIRC).
Very special circumstances. Voters still remembered vividly 45 to 51, under Labour, the post-war debt state, exaggerated by the appalling 47 winter. rationing of virtually everything. Churchill came in, Festival of Britain, rationing was phased out. Post war gloom was monochrome, Conservative 50s Britain was Technicolour. Media were very gentle to politicians. An easy sell for the candidates.
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Old 12th Sep 2020, 16:13
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Originally Posted by racedo View Post
Gordon Brown in building 2 carriers has hamstrung UK military with an expense that will take years to unwind because reality is 100 billion project has starved everything else of funding.
Interesting accounting figure. Treble twenty and a couple of singles?

The reality of where the money goes is significantly different. Typhoon alone has taken more from the EP than carrier and first batch F35 combined.
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Old 12th Sep 2020, 19:46
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy View Post
Hi Archemides,

I wasn't entirely sure hence the question mark, but thanks for the clarification.

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I could have phrased that as 'just to answer your question...', couldn't I? Sorry, looks like I was attempting to correct you when that wasn't the cunning plan behind the post...

Originally Posted by Fitter2 View Post
Very special circumstances. Voters still remembered vividly 45 to 51, under Labour, the post-war debt state, exaggerated by the appalling 47 winter. rationing of virtually everything. Churchill came in, Festival of Britain, rationing was phased out. Post war gloom was monochrome, Conservative 50s Britain was Technicolour. Media were very gentle to politicians. An easy sell for the candidates.
Although Attlee still managed to win the 1950 election with a small majority and gained an even greater share of the vote in 1951 than Churchill managed... the problem for Attlee was that the additional votes were largely either for incumbent Labour MPs in safe Labour seats or at the expense of the Liberals in seats which the Conservatives still won anyway.
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Old 12th Sep 2020, 20:59
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin View Post
Interesting accounting figure. Treble twenty and a couple of singles?

The reality of where the money goes is significantly different. Typhoon alone has taken more from the EP than carrier and first batch F35 combined.
Issue is one has been around for a while while another is just starting and will continue to use up defence budget for decades to come. Equipping both including acquiring tankers has used up 20 billion and expect cost of 1 billion a year without 10 year maintenance or anything else, whole life cost is 100 billion that is assumming they even get to that.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 09:52
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It will be interesting to see where we are going with the defence review. One thing for sure, whatever the outcome I expect further significant changes should we get PM Starmer in 2023/24. Sir Keir's voting record on defence issues reveals he voted invariably against the deployment overseas of HM Forces under any circumstances and opposed the use of military force against Daesh/Isis.

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Old 13th Sep 2020, 10:19
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Historically Labour has bought/introduced a lot of big ticket items - Atomic weapons, NATO, Tornado, the carriers.......... I can't see the UK getting involved in a serious fashion in say the S China Sea /taiwan - which look like the most likely big flare points ahead
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 12:42
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Originally Posted by racedo View Post
Issue is one has been around for a while while another is just starting and will continue to use up defence budget for decades to come. Equipping both including acquiring tankers has used up 20 billion and expect cost of 1 billion a year without 10 year maintenance or anything else, whole life cost is 100 billion that is assumming they even get to that.
Ok, not even dart-throwing figures, just completely random made up numbers, chucking in whatever other platforms you can think of. Marvelous.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 13:18
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Historically Labour has bought/introduced a lot of big ticket items - Atomic weapons, NATO, Tornado, the carriers.......... I can't see the UK getting involved in a serious fashion in say the S China Sea /taiwan - which look like the most likely big flare points ahead
Indeed, NATO was very much championed by Attlee and Bevin etc, along with the introduction of the nuclear deterrent. But, Bevan and others were keener to seek ties with Moscow. MRCA was started under Labour after they had ditched TSR2, F-111 and AVGF. That Labour Government also cancelled the two CVA-01 Carriers and reduced the Navy order for 120 Phantoms to about 28. Tornado was announced by Defence Secretary Denis Healy when it was MRCA, when it was Tornado, its development was continued through the Wilson and Callaghan governments, however, a Labour Defence Study Group recommended its complete abandonment and running on the Phantom and Jaguar to an indeterminable point in the future. This advice, indeed, was ignored. Tornado was eventually introduced into service by Margaret Thatcher's government and the full order of 385 aircraft was purchased. Through this era, Labour had introduced and were promising unilateral disarmament and heavy defence cuts and the removal of US nuclear weapons in the UK.

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Old 13th Sep 2020, 15:16
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy View Post
Indeed, NATO was very much championed by Attlee and Bevin etc, along with the introduction of the nuclear deterrent. But, Bevan and others were keener to seek ties with Moscow. MRCA was started under Labour after they had ditched TSR2, F-111 and AVGF. That Labour Government also cancelled the two CVA-01 Carriers and reduced the Navy order for 120 Phantoms to about 28. Tornado was announced by Defence Secretary Denis Healy when it was MRCA, when it was Tornado, its development was continued through the Wilson and Callaghan governments, however, a Labour Defence Study Group recommended its complete abandonment and running on the Phantom and Jaguar to an indeterminable point in the future. This advice, indeed, was ignored. Tornado was eventually introduced into service by Margaret Thatcher's government and the full order of 385 aircraft was purchased. Through this era, Labour had introduced and were promising unilateral disarmament and heavy defence cuts and the removal of US nuclear weapons in the UK.

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Can't let you get away with that neat piece of political propaganda Finningley Boy! Attlee and Bevin did indeed champion NATO but their seeking ties with Moscow was well over and done with by the time NATO was formed and the nature of the Stalin regime had become clear. The Tories would also have ditched TSR-2, it was doomed whichever flavour of party was in power come 1965. Labour did indeed cancel F-111K because of the huge financial problems that the UK was facing by then after devaluation of 1967. The outgoing Tory Chancellor was the TRUE originator of the 'theirs no money left' message. By AVGF I assume you mean AFVG, the Anglo French Variable Geometry project? If you do then it was not cancelled by Labour, the French pulled out to pursue their own Mirage VG leaving Labour to continue the project on as the UKAVG, this was not only only never cancelled but went on to become MRCA, perhaps the most successful British post war aircraft project? This Labour Study Group was nothing but a small extreme left element of the Labour Party who were never anywhere near power or policy, and only ever published a paperback book of their broader ideas, which did indeed call for cancellation of the MRCA, Harrier, major surface units and withdrawal from NATO. They were never in a position to offer 'advice' and were never even acknowledged by the by the PM or Defence Sec or even the Chancellor, let alone taken seriously.
When he was Defence Secretary Healey, and Wilson as PM, didn't ever really want to cancel F-111k or pull out of the Far East, they were forced to by the ever growing financial crisis that the UK was going through at the time. There were severe expenditure cuts right across Government, not just Defence.

Your little political snipe about this 'era' again replaces official Labour Party policy with the rhetoric of the Far left, who were never anywhere near power or policy. Wilson did not contend with the unilateralists, and his opinion of the nuclear deterrent was rapidly changed when he was voted in to power in 1964 and he became a firm supporter of the CASD, to the point of it being Labour who instigated the massive Chevaline project that equipped Polaris with MIRV and decoys and new UK designed and built warheads.

On coming to power for a second time in 1974 the Labour Defence cuts of that period were launched on the back of continuous Tory cuts in the defence budget; 66m in 1971, 82m in 1972, 163m in 1973 and 740m in 1974 in 3 tranches with a further 97m planned for after the election. Even that so called forces favourite Thatcher cut the defence budget in 1980, cancelling amongst other things Active Skyflash, Mark 2 Sea Dart and the third Lighting squadron, and all that before the truly disastrous Nott cuts of 1981, which promised so much damage to the RN that the Argentinians can only have been encouraged by what they saw.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 16:01
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin View Post
Ok, not even dart-throwing figures, just completely random made up numbers, chucking in whatever other platforms you can think of. Marvelous.
Nope

F35B @ $100 million each a piece before spares.................. order 138
Carriers 7 Billion build costs
Tankers 600

This doesn't include the changes made in home port etc so $20 billion is not a dart board number.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 16:06
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
On coming to power for a second time in 1974 the Labour Defence cuts of that period were launched on the back of continuous Tory cuts in the defence budget; 66m in 1971, 82m in 1972, 163m in 1973 and 740m in 1974 in 3 tranches with a further 97m planned for after the election. Even that so called forces favourite Thatcher cut the defence budget in 1980, cancelling amongst other things Active Skyflash, Mark 2 Sea Dart and the third Lighting squadron, and all that before the truly disastrous Nott cuts of 1981, which promised so much damage to the RN that the Argentinians can only have been encouraged by what they saw.
If Argentina has waited 18 months the Royal Navy would not have been in a position to go to war in the South Atlantic as equipment was being sold off.

RR was building up a 500 ship navy while its biggest ally was selling their off.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 16:43
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Originally Posted by racedo View Post
Nope

F35B @ $100 million each a piece before spares.................. order 138
Carriers 7 Billion build costs
Tankers 600

This doesn't include the changes made in home port etc so $20 billion is not a dart board number.
With the rather obvious exception that only 48 jets have been ordered......

More interesting is is the 1Bn pa op cost alluded to. Source?
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