Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future"

chockhead819

War Hero
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

sadly the only way we will get proper funding for the armed forces back to a reasonable level is too have a military coup.
Why not at least bring in a couple of Snr & Jr Rates to discuss the way forward from the shop floor rather than listening to officers who will be giving the answers the politicians want to hear.


Yes mr blair with the torpoint & gosport ferries we have more than enough ships to transport the duty watch down to the falklands to retake the island!
 

safewalrus

War Hero
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

I note with some synacism the marvellous comment 'take up from trade'! Brilliant so we're going to take over lots of lovely Merchant ships who's owners are just dying to help - well if they are UK flagged they got no choice - if from anywhere else (which Most are these days, after the Falklands a lot of vessels were 'reflagged' to ensure they wouldn't get used a gain for such unprofitable activities) it's going to COST you! Also were do we get the crews from, very few British Merchant Seamen left and even few of them will actually volunteer to help or are they going to be conscripted? all those votes!! Remember the way they were treated after the Falklands, or After (and during) the Second World War - and remember the contempt with which you hold them today! As a matter of interest during the Falkland war a certain very large company (who later sold three of their vessels to the RN as patrol vessels) only had three Officers volunteer to go South (2 Masters and one Mate) NO Ratings!

Still think 'taking up from trade' is viable?
 
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

dunkers said:
Levers, this isn't a sarcastic comment; why don't you make your suggestions to someone that can actually make a difference?

What you are saying makes a LOT of sense and it's people like YOU that need to be influencing the top brass. You know what you are talking about so why can't your views make a difference?
Dunkers, without in any way wishing to appear combatitive, the path toward having a private audience with the great and the good is strewn with political dog turds. I have always been known as a 'trouble causer' and 'lower-deck-lawyer', which is insulting in the extreme. It is exactly the strategy required to forge compliant, non-thinking operatives that drives people to ostracise those amongst us who would like a little more reasoned structure toward policy change and a shade more accountability instead of foisting the ill-concieved results on an already pissed-off and put-upon workforce. It is far from mutinous to strive toward being involved in the process of delivery, and certainly not such a bad thing when these days the AF find themselves increasingly under the microscope from outside agencies.

I laugh out scornfully at the weighted, loaded questions framed in useless devices such as the Continuous Attitude Surveys - items as such destined for any right-thinking persons circular file. When awkward questions are asked (and I have asked one or two in places ranging from the 'Good News - it's Pay 2000!' team to 2SLs presentation duet, all we get are spin, spin and more spin. That's not disqualifying the answers given as merely unsatisfactory; the quantity, level and scope of the answers leave people far from 'answered'.

The Navy News has never raised it's game above being CINCNAVHOME/2SLs ad break, despite it's red and light blue counterparts holding various departments to account over shit standards. Where is our share of accountability steeped? Well, that's quite a good question. After one such awkward outburst at the 2SL team a few years ago I was invited to an audience with the man himself, only to hear him talk at great length about how smashing life is out there and slung in with single-issue pillocks not willing to corner him on relevant factors. Hardly a free debate. Besides, it is only too easy for staffers to press the 'I hear what you're saying' button and do nothing just as much as it it give the 'bigger picture' diatribe.

The bigger picture is not how much it costs for Astute, how much we save with PAYD, what the savings are by shutting sections of Royal Dockyard ... the big picture, it's colour, detail and resolution depends entirely on our will to do the job and the capbility to do the job. Squander taxpayers cash on pointless, expanding projects, submerge us in a never ending cycle of initiatives and change, tamper with the esprit de corps and commit us to tasks that we cannot do and the expected returns will be disappointing, both for the country and for the Forces. The outflow of skilled people and the influx of short-term disillusioneds is one symptom of the malaise, as is the governments obvious heresy in burning up cash to pay for Iraq/Afghanistan and stripping the country of it's defence assets. Try getting this concern tabled at the top level, with no fear of retribution or comeback. Try galvanising our company directors into kicking back once in a while for the benefit of the country and it's men and women who do their drty work. Try listening to a squeak of reason in the cachophony of bullshit and spin.

Levers
 

Jimmy_Green

War Hero
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

I remember sitting in Drake theatre many moons ago in a briefing about the introduction of the new OM branch and how it was going to be all singing all dancing, you can't bend it, the best thing ever blah blah blah. Someone from my ship queeried it, asking why we were going to implement something that other navies had tried and subsequently binned. We were told 'it will work'. Here we are, some 13 odd years later getting rid of it, going back to 'source' branch.

Unfortunately Dunkers' suggestion of telling the top-brass won't make the slightest bit of difference. There won't be a rating or junior officer out there that will be able to walk up to an Admiral and say "Oi shippers, I want a word with you about all these defence cuts, scrapping of ships etc" As for very senior officers; they do as they are told by the politicians and only speak out when they are retired. It doesn't affect them then, safe with their big fat pensions and meanwhile the lads at the sharp end with their lack of kit are suffering for the sake of bliar's ego.

We all know what a shit state the armed forces is in but the people that can make a difference, the people at the top that hold the purse strings don't give a fcuk. There're no votes in it when they can throw good money after bad at the failing health service and the schools that are churning out more and more kids with high grades to get them into university to do worthless degrees, but who still can't read or write.

We are unfortunately stuck with a government that IMHO has an inbuilt hatred for the armed forces. The only way to change it is to vote this bunch of (to use SPB's favourite made up word) twunts out of office. Mind you, I don't think a new lot will make the slightest bit of difference now. I can see a time when we will have gone so far down the road of defence cuts that our armed forces will become impotent and if anything was to happen to this country, were we to become threatened, we'd be fcuked.

Sits back, counts to ten and takes long deep breathes before head explodes. :evil:
 
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

Jimmy_Green said:
I remember sitting in Drake theatre many moons ago in a briefing about the introduction of the new OM branch and how it was going to be all singing all dancing, you can't bend it, the best thing ever blah blah blah. Someone from my ship queeried it, asking why we were going to implement something that other navies had tried and subsequently binned. We were told 'it will work'. Here we are, some 13 odd years later getting rid of it, going back to 'source' branch.
I do get rather fed up of the 'this has come from up high - it will be made to work' mantra that permeates throughout these days. Even the most daftarsed policies which have been broken for years (I give you Engineering Branch Development and then it's bigger stronger brother - Marine Engineering Branch Development as a counter to the Operator Mechanic catastrophe) which fly in the face of judgement, logic and plain-old common sense. They are tinkering further now with the PCP initiative, driving further toward having a single, common engineer stream (ring any bells?) and sub categories from that common maintainer/diagnostician tranche. It matters not a fig that pinkie work is not controlly work, nor gunbuster stuff is not steering gear. It will be made to work.

All of this sounds pretty reactionary, and no doubt the head-shed's perception of old duffers like me is pretty risible. But to me it is difficult to envisage where they want the navy to be and what they are trying to achieve. If it is to piss us off and waste away the people who have seen almost four decades of military service then good luck I say. It seems strange that many leavers have in the past been offered re-employment and the pull-through of leaders. movers and shakers fails dismally when activated.

The navy has not had a stable-state for over one solitary year since Tom King instigated Options for Change. It has been in a state of perpetual flux, careening across the road drunkenly and never steering on a steady, confident course. We are also expected to endure this 'change is the new steady-state' policy and continue giving 100% to a government intent on removing the underpinning pillars of our lives as servants of the country. This isn't watery rhetoric. It is a solidifying fact. Unless we can trust our leaders to go into bat for us and even risk their good name by taking on the parliamentarians, the analysts, the lobbyists and the plain-old blood letters, pages like this will be stuffed with malcontents and we will get nowhere, fast. It will then take a massive military humiliation to press the reset button for us to become important, valued and relevant again. How must that feel for those with campaign medals on their chests?

Levers
 
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

Read about the ME Branch when there was an enquiry regarding joining
as a 'Stoker' very loosely described .

No more Tiffs --we all join the same now and do the work and training as we go through the rating levels. Leading hands are tradesmen PO's are diagnosticians and CPO's are section heads or so its proposed!!

Dream on------------ :roll: :roll: :roll:
 
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

Greenie said:
Read about the ME Branch when there was an enquiry regarding joining
as a 'Stoker' very loosely described .

No more Tiffs --we all join the same now and do the work and training as we go through the rating levels. Leading hands are tradesmen PO's are diagnosticians and CPO's are section heads or so its proposed!!

Dream on------------ :roll: :roll: :roll:
Oh yeah ... I'm fully aware of the proposals and the implementation schedule. I was part of the mechanism for a while, quietly shaking my head at the weekly bunfights and watching the whole thing 'firm up' into the rather ungainly myopic web it represents now. You'd need Boolean algebra to get from ET to CPO in some cases.

But the record is not good where the navy tries tinkering with the formula. It will, obviously leave many mechanics isolated and faced with a choice of stagnating or doing a course that some of them don't have the academic capabilities to complete. This is not a slight on them at all, moreover a rather shabby indication of how valued these people feel, after being told their worth is 'low pay band' stuff and now they are no longer effectively relevant.

And then there's the passed over Leading Hands ....

Levers
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

dunkers asked
Levers, this isn't a sarcastic comment; why don't you make your suggestions to someone that can actually make a difference?

What you are saying makes a LOT of sense and it's people like YOU that need to be influencing the top brass. You know what you are talking about so why can't your views make a difference?
It is hoped that those we wish to influence/inform will read these pages and that is one reason why the moderators like the tone kept serious and civil. A former Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Programmes) and now member of the House of Lords has 'visited' RR and is a poster on ARRSE where there are a couple of serving Generals posting. Perhaps there are Flag Officers already here and haven't made themselves known to the COs or mods. I don't expect you'll find them in Lil's.

A senior staff officer has the ear of his or her Admiral, the message can get up the chain of command. If the staff officer reads RR and gets the word to the Admiral, that's a result of sorts. RR is also read by the press. An eloquent, well mannered, well informed, penetrating post may find its way to the pages of the broadsheets. Happens on ARRSE, make it happen here.
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

But the record is not good where the navy tries tinkering with the formula. It will, obviously leave many mechanics isolated and faced with a choice of stagnating or doing a course that some of them don't have the academic capabilities to complete. This is not a slight on them at all, moreover a rather shabby indication of how valued these people feel, after being told their worth is 'low pay band' stuff and now they are no longer effectively relevant
With Engineering Council registration being made available at Leading Hand level (for those who can meet the academic standard) where it was previously at CPO I can't see many killicks being satisfied with their rating given their professional status. Those who can't make it, as 'Levers' has said, don't have an alternative 'mechanic' route to SR. SR Mechanics have served the Fleet well with a lesser requirement for academic competencies for years. I don't think this has been well thought out.
 

slim

War Hero
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

Seadog said:
But the record is not good where the navy tries tinkering with the formula. It will, obviously leave many mechanics isolated and faced with a choice of stagnating or doing a course that some of them don't have the academic capabilities to complete. This is not a slight on them at all, moreover a rather shabby indication of how valued these people feel, after being told their worth is 'low pay band' stuff and now they are no longer effectively relevant
With Engineering Council registration being made available at Leading Hand level (for those who can meet the academic standard) where it was previously at CPO I can't see many killicks being satisfied with their rating given their professional status. Those who can't make it, as 'Levers' has said, don't have an alternative 'mechanic' route to SR. SR Mechanics have served the Fleet well with a lesser requirement for academic competencies for years. I don't think this has been well thought out.
This seems to be a ploy to reduce salaries while keeping skills at the same levels. A small ships flight used to consist of seven maintainers made up of four senior ratings, one leading hand and two able rates. Under the new system it is possible that this could be One CPO as the SMR three leading hand technicians and three able rates.
As an ex POAEM(R) who served on a small ships flight I am relieved that it didn't happen in my time.
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

Bringing hammockhead's defence of Sir Alan to the fore,

(there may be some duplication as the linked article mentions hammockhead's source)

1SL in Daily Telegraph

Other than calling into question the parentage of the SoS and other politicos, I can't see how he could be more publicly outspoken, while in office. I get the impression that some people would rather the public criticism was shouty, 'in your face' jabbing fingers in the chest of ministers, sword out the scabbard stuff.
 
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

Seadog said:
dunkers asked
Levers, this isn't a sarcastic comment; why don't you make your suggestions to someone that can actually make a difference?

What you are saying makes a LOT of sense and it's people like YOU that need to be influencing the top brass. You know what you are talking about so why can't your views make a difference?
It is hoped that those we wish to influence/inform will read these pages and that is one reason why the moderators like the tone kept serious and civil. A former Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Programmes) and now member of the House of Lords has 'visited' RR and is a poster on ARRSE where there are a couple of serving Generals posting. Perhaps there are Flag Officers already here and haven't made themselves known to the COs or mods. I don't expect you'll find them in Lil's.

A senior staff officer has the ear of his or her Admiral, the message can get up the chain of command. If the staff officer reads RR and gets the word to the Admiral, that's a result of sorts. RR is also read by the press. An eloquent, well mannered, well informed, penetrating post may find its way to the pages of the broadsheets. Happens on ARRSE, make it happen here.
It would be too easy to be 'civil' as you state and get nowhere fast. Being eloquent and well-mannered seems to garner no favour either. The die is cast. The problem arises however from the allowance of commercial practice with the retention of military restrictions. In a nutshell, foist civilain restrictions upon us, force us down the corporate path and treat our beloved fighting arm like it is a sub-branch of Tescos and then have the gall to expect us to blindly comply with a lifestyle geared around the whims of a cabal of lawyers and financiers more than the capability of defence. How do you politely enquire 'what the **** is going on?' How do you wonder, eloquently, how long it is until the next round of detached, good ideas? What level of 'well-informed' comprehension do you ned to be at to deduce that the navy (for one) have irreversibly changed beyond recognition and is fast heading toward a crisis of confidence and a morale meltdown?

If there are senior staffers tuned into this page, how confident are you that their channels are open over and above the glut of evidence to support the downturn ... and that they have any plans to openly go into bat for us ... and the country ... and not be subservient to a capricious collective of self-serving imbeciles that the sleeping electorate has voted in by apathy? I'd use the word 'cowards', but I don't believe this nation has ever bred such creatures. We, apparently, are made of sterner stuff.

Levers
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

What do you suggest Levers, a coup? Flag, General and Air Officers browbeating politicians won't work and insulting the top end of the COC won't either. The resignation of the CDS and Professional Heads of Service giving reaons in writing may precipitate a crisis in Government but it won't do the serving soldier any good. Perhaps the 4*s need to give notice the same as the rest of us. Takes the sting out if there is time to appoint replacements. As for calling key players 'cnuts' on a website, that isn't going to get your concerns and opinions noticed.


I'd like to turn things around too though I am aware that the bottom line is, we exist to carry out the orders of HMG with whatever they provide us with. We can all resign (subject to notice) or mutiny. I can't see it at the moment but the conditions could arise.

This governement hate criticism and hate bad press and the military dislike this governement. However when Blair swans into Iraq to meet the troops, everyone is nice to him but we are certainly not 'star struck' and wouldn't push to the front to press prime ministerial flesh. Compare the expressions on the faces of those greeting Blair in Iraq and Afghanistan with those meeting Prince Philip, Princess Anne or ........ (so not in the same breath) even Gordon Ramsay. We're merely being polite when we meet Blair etc. We are not happy to see him.

Give Blair bad press, go sick if he turns up to visit your ship/unit. From the photocalls so far, the country probably think we like him. Some even think he is our Commander in Chief . :roll: And FFS don't vote for his party. (N.B. I'm not saying you have or will Levers. The request is directed at everyone, self included).

Another General has spoken of the neglect of the Army by politicians. No link yet but he's i/c in Basra and the interview is being repeated hourly on BBC News 24 today (so far). May be worthy of its own thread.
 
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

Seadog said:
What do you suggest Levers, a coup?
Absolutely not, Seadog. I don't advocate power being in the hands of the military i any way, shape or form, and I certainly don't subscribe to mutiny. I do feel, however, that more progress can be made through the 4* level showing solidarity with their employees and voicing concerns, publicly, now. I have a feeling that the malaise that is currently palsying every level would be emoilated if we could halt this 'everything is ace' bullshit and started talking bluntly about where our problems are and who is responsible. Currently, the lower levels are banjaxed by the mystery of govenment and the head-shed, hence the apparent ambivalence and wholesale resignation to fate. After almost 30 years, I refuse to be a victim to that fate, especially when it comes at the whim of some unseen desk-johnny in Whitehall. There is no future in subscribing to the age-pld, 'we're here, because we're here' mantra and then watching those whose concerns are not connected with our lifestyle and the defence of this nation strip everything away. We've kicked people's arses around this planet for over 400 years now, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for bad. Blindly accepting our demise when in a position to do something about it is the senior officer's crime. Allowing them to do that through servility and ambivalence is ours.

I'd like to turn things around too though I am aware that the bottom line is, we exist to carry out the orders of HMG with whatever they provide us with. We can all resign (subject to notice) or mutiny. I can't see it at the moment but the conditions could arise.
We could all resign - or those in a position of influence could actively speak out about what the government ... those whose orders we follow and carry out their extended foreign policy for ... are doing to us. The press love that kind of thing, but the reason it hasn't taken off is because people like Dannatt withdraw their proclamations as soon as interest is shown. Why's that then? Are the government beyond criticism? What the **** are the Tories doing? The Liberals? Should we vote for any of them?

This governement hate criticism and hate bad press and the military dislike this governement. However when Blair swans into Iraq to meet the troops, everyone is nice to him but we are certainly not 'star struck' and wouldn't push to the front to press prime ministerial flesh. Compare the expressions on the faces of those greeting Blair in Iraq and Afghanistan with those meeting Prince Philip, Princess Anne or ........ (so not in the same breath) even Gordon Ramsay. We're merely being polite when we meet Blair etc. We are not happy to see him.
I certainly wouldn't gop out of my way to meet him. The whole governmental process is ranged against us, so why should I give him my time? My concern is defence of this nation and it's people, not executing misguided orders brought about by barefaced lies and corruption.

Give Blair bad press, go sick if he turns up to visit your ship/unit. From the photocalls so far, the country probably think we like him. Some even think he is our Commander in Chief . :roll: And FFS don't vote for his party. (N.B. I'm not saying you have or will Levers. The request is directed at everyone, self included).
Well, for a start, The Navy News could do it's bit by stopping being so sycophantic and printing 'great news!' stories across every one of it's fast thinning pages. It would be good if CO's gave a choice for their personnel to meet the likes of Blair et al. That way maybe we could gauge popularity and give him a message that he is certainly not a popular person. But who is? Do we trust any politician these days?

Levers
 
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

Seadog said:
Bringing hammockhead's defence of Sir Alan to the fore,

(there may be some duplication as the linked article mentions hammockhead's source)

1SL in Daily Telegraph

Other than calling into question the parentage of the SoS and other politicos, I can't see how he could be more publicly outspoken, while in office. I get the impression that some people would rather the public criticism was shouty, 'in your face' jabbing fingers in the chest of ministers, sword out the scabbard stuff.
And why not? Have we not been the continued victim of government mismanagement for well over twenty years now? Since when has the government, of any colour, given us a break? Okay, I'll give you 'when it wins you the 1983 election'. Someone has to question the morality and motives of people who don't serve in uniform and do it for the flag ... like those who do. So far, all we see are comments by neutered seniors. Fat lot of good that does.

Levers
 

u8dmtm

Midshipman
Political Representation

Isn't the logical answer to improve the representation of the armed forces interests in politics? If a few more retired Admirals/Generals etc. 'ran for office', especially in garrison towns and the like on a matra of decent funding, tasking and conditions then surely this would raise the profile of defence in a more lasting way.

Isn't the reason that the armed forces were looked after in the past because many politicians had served in them, whereas today almost none of them have?
 

slim

War Hero
Re: Political Representation

u8dmtm said:
Isn't the logical answer to improve the representation of the armed forces interests in politics? If a few more retired Admirals/Generals etc. 'ran for office', especially in garrison towns and the like on a matra of decent funding, tasking and conditions then surely this would raise the profile of defence in a more lasting way.

Isn't the reason that the armed forces were looked after in the past because many politicians had served in them, whereas today almost none of them have?
I reckon a few more politicians of Paddy Ashdowns calibre would certainly help fight the armed forces corner. Would have to ensure that they belonged to the right party though for best results.
 

stumpy

War Hero
Re: Political Representation

u8dmtm said:
Isn't the logical answer to improve the representation of the armed forces interests in politics? If a few more retired Admirals/Generals etc. 'ran for office', especially in garrison towns and the like on a matra of decent funding, tasking and conditions then surely this would raise the profile of defence in a more lasting way.

Isn't the reason that the armed forces were looked after in the past because many politicians had served in them, whereas today almost none of them have?
Very good idea.
 

stumpy

War Hero
Re: Political Representation

slim said:
u8dmtm said:
Isn't the logical answer to improve the representation of the armed forces interests in politics? If a few more retired Admirals/Generals etc. 'ran for office', especially in garrison towns and the like on a matra of decent funding, tasking and conditions then surely this would raise the profile of defence in a more lasting way.

Isn't the reason that the armed forces were looked after in the past because many politicians had served in them, whereas today almost none of them have?
I reckon a few more politicians of Paddy Ashdowns calibre would certainly help fight the armed forces corner. Would have to ensure that they belonged to the right party though for best results.
I will always remember Paddy Ashdown on TV in Parliament severly dressing down Major over the abandonemnt by UN/NATO of Srebineca (I could never spell Bosnian names properly!). Major was being a typical politician, slimy and without honour, whereas Paddy gave probably one of the finest parliamentary performances ever... straightforward, direct and honest. I fear we will never see the like for a long time.
 

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