A Few Conservatives Showing their Colours?


Lantern Swinger
A group of Conservative MPs and a few others (calling themselves First Defence) have recently published a paper called The Desperate State of the Royal Navy. The summary of the paper's position is below.

Is there much hope a conservative government would right what this lot sees as wrong ?


Eight years after emerging apparently victorious from the 1998 Strategic Defence Review,the Royal Navy is bloodied, battered and on the ropes.

An initial sacrifice of three frigates and two submarines has turned into the
devastating loss of 14 major frontline vessels – with a prospect of even more being run down or mothballed.

There is a serious prospect of 19 destroyers and frigates having to do the work of 30.

These reckless reductions have been based on the strategic falsehood – the ‘Hoon Excuse’ – that numbers no longer matter in an era of more capable ships.

The reluctant acquiescence of the Admirals has been bought by the promise – as yet unfulfilled – that two Future Aircraft Carriers will be ordered. In the meantime, their target in-service dates of 2012 and 2015 have been abandoned in all but name.

Having admitted that the Armed Forces are involved in more complex and more numerous operations than were anticipated in the Strategic Defence Review, the Government have betrayed the Royal Navy by inflicting massive damage to the front line instead of augmenting it.

The next step in this betrayal is a threat to close one of the United Kingdom’s only three Naval Bases.

The Type 45 destroyer-building programme has been slashed from 12 to eight; only six of these have been ordered; and none is to be fitted with the Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles requested by the Naval Staff.

The final size of the future submarine fleet is uncertain, but seems likely to consist of only eight, or for a period just seven, boats – apart from those carrying the nuclear

This whole sorry saga has provoked a level of concern at the top of the Service unprecedented since the East of Suez controversy in the 1960s, and has led to a degree of public criticism by the former First Sea Lord which it would be perilous to ignore.


War Hero
Its not wheather a different Government would look to change things but would they have the backbone to stand against all those PC, tree-hugging good for nothing groups that have got this country into the mess it is????

I doubt it unfortunately.
I can only hope that the present state of the armed forces can be reversed and to that point I have to grudingly admit that the conservitives do appear to have the forces close to their heart, the recent EDM on post service housing had more conservitive signatures than any other party. That alone speaks volumes. What we need however is the support of the public. When Joe Public can put his copy of the comic book 'newspapers' (I leave to you to decide what papers qualify for this title) down for long enough to look past the latest gossip about celebs and footballers and see the true state of the world. Then I hope the will see the wisdom in the old phrase "Si vis pacem, para bellum".

With hope tainted with sceptisim



War Hero
Would be good to get an announcement on the CVF (main gate has now been postponed again! Was due in February, then end of March, now to after the local elections and Blair's demise) and on the ordering of the next 2 Astutes.
I suspect now that it seems very unlikely the CVF order will be placed in time to bribe the scots electorate the political urgency for the order wil dissapear, and may resurface some time just before the next general election.
I recently read an interesting article along the lines that the CVF project may have to be scrapped due to the withdrawal of the French part. This article (read in a well respected Naval Architecture Magazine) put forward the opinion that the French may well pull out due to the MODs lack of commitment to Maingate when the French want to get on with producing a carrier, basically if the MOD do not commit soon then the French will go it alone and take their input to the CVF project with them.
The Conservatives seem to be lone voices on this topic. I too, though, see little hope that they will have the will and spirit to fund what's needed. Social Services, Health and Education seem to be the only things the Voters really care about. It really needs someone with true powers of leadership to explain it to the Public "like it is". They've all been brainwashed into George W's idiotic concept of a "war" on terror and the tribal skirmishes that it's dragged us in to. You must have heard the bar intelligentsia spouting off about "what good's a battleship in the desert"? The entire current popular view of UK defence is land-centric and nobody will care about the Navy and (Sorry, but it is a factor) offensive Air Force capability until Putin and Charlie Choge show their colours. That, of course, will be too late.

andy reeves9

the fitting of harpoon is a future design upgrade plan. i'd drag bristol into dry dock, rebuild her from the inside out to a type 45 spec. and give us another desperetly needed destroyer, cheaper than a new build t 45

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