Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future"

Windy

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

http://navy-matters.beedall.com/

The RN being 10 to 15 years away from extinction certainly catches my attention. I am concerned for the Navy and its future but feel frustrated and impotent about what to do about. This nagging feeling of disenfranchisement is due to the fact that no politician is interested in the RN, its not on anyones politicical agenda. At the last general election I scoured the parties manifesto's for any mention of defence policy and found nothing solid from anyone. I feel duped by this government that promised in the SDR a bit of short term pain and has delivered well er... long term pain as well.
Where are the 12 T45, the F35B or the 2 CVF?
I do have a point to my ramblings I don't think its the place of the serving navy to do anything about the situation their job being to get on with the job that I pay them for, that's life in a blue suit if you don't like it get the request form and give the 12 months notice. Any suggestion of mutiny brings out the hang man in me. Dripping to the bosses will definetely just induce the blank look and 'I hear what you say' answer. Senior officers do not have the political power they seem to be credited with and will just be told to get back in their box. Any speaking out will provoke early retirements. A promise of a comfy seat in the Lords would make me think twice about opening my big gob.

The US has a 'Navy League' where is the UK equivalent?
The legion or the RNA? I think not, apolitical waste of space are not interested. The trade unions too lefty (perhaps?) Who then?
I would like to offer my support as an ex-matelot to a pressure group that values the RN as I do. Not a group that supports any single political party. I need an organisation that puts the defence of this country and its interests at the top of the agenda, that values the defence industrial base for our security and long term prosperity, recognises that we live on an island surrounded by water and we are connected to the rest of the world by said water and also educates, cajoles, manks and drips on behalf of the professionals. I want to support those who serve and make sure they are looked after, valued and given a big 'cuddle' when they need it.

Here is the US Navy League mission:

The Navy League has set forth the following objectives:
To foster and maintain interest in a strong Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine as integral parts of a sound national defense and vital to the freedom of the United States.
To serve as a means of educating and informing the American people with regard to the role of sea power in the nuclear age and the problems involved in maintaining strong defenses in that age.
To improve the understanding and appreciation of those who wear the uniforms of our armed forces and to better the conditions under which they live and serve.
To provide support and recognition for the Reserve forces in our communities in order that we may continue to have a capable and responsive Reserve.
To educate and train our youth in the customs and traditions of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard and the Merchant Marine through the means of an active and vigorous Naval Sea Cadet Corps.

Where is the Royal Navy League?
 

u8dmtm

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

Where is the Royal Navy League?
A good idea, but given the size of the RN, wouldn't a Forces League be better as it would have a wider support base and be able to campaign across all the services - which given the joint/tri/combined environment which exists today means many of the issues affect people from all the services.

Wouldn't such a league also work best if it had strong support from MPs with a genuine interest - i.e. those elected specifically on such issues.
 

Seadog

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

Re. your second post on this page Levers, I liked the tone of that (and I'm not patronising).

Mrs Thatcher won in 79 and gave the Armed Forces a best ever (maybe) pay rise. The Tories (and everyone else) probably had more ex Service men on the benches then. Now almost every MP is a career civilian.

I'd like to see Colonel Collins stand for Parliament. It isn't just rank or fame that's required. Any charismatic, articulate, dogged, big brained, well informed, honest, loyal and well connected (to the serving military) Retired Officer or Former Rating/Other Rank could do the job.

I've considered standing when I retire (not sure that I fit all the requirements listed above though) but every whore in Amsters would be beating a path to the tabloids if my mugshot ended up in the papers. :wink:

Levers, how about you? Would you consider standing for Parliament when you retire. Anyone else? New thread required?
 
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

Seadog said:
Re. your second post on this page Levers, I liked the tone of that (and I'm not patronising).
Many thanks.

Mrs Thatcher won in 79 and gave the Armed Forces a best ever (maybe) pay rise. The Tories (and everyone else) probably had more ex Service men on the benches then. Now almost every MP is a career civilian.
A point not exactly sitting well in my karma. Career politicians and parliamentarians are aplenty these days. I struggle to think of any of the current crop who have stepped up to the line when required. But that is just it, isn't it? Keep the proles compliant and stuffed full of whizz-bang computer games stuff and the officer class shit scared of their futures, and al you have to do then is worry about the pension-trapped cynics, mortgaged to the cap-tally and too near their time to be of any real threat. Okay ... maybe a little crass and generalised, but no-one steps forward from the ranks these days to represent the forces. There's no one in the lower house to take on the slippery bastards for us. The garrison MPs are (as we have seen) hideously unsighted and poorly briefed, and more interested in the superduper policies like (yawn) Education, Crime, Transport.

I'd like to see Colonel Collins stand for Parliament. It isn't just rank or fame that's required. Any charismatic, articulate, dogged, big brained, well informed, honest, loyal and well connected (to the serving military) Retired Officer or Former Rating/Other Rank could do the job.
I must say I have been impressed with Collins since his matchless speech on the eve of the battle. To think that he didn't prepare that and did it off the cuff and sowed inspiration to all is commendable - but in the lap of the Tories, what kind of creature will he be? I trust none of the political parties - I trust none of the non-political positions. I trust the uniform and the people within and I trust myself. What kind of country is that to live in? I still feel more and more aligned toward serving the people of this nation than the clutch of brainless idiots we are landed with through the electorate's ambivalence.

I've considered standing when I retire (not sure that I fit all the requirements listed above though) but every whore in Amsters would be beating a path to the tabloids if my mugshot ended up in the papers. :wink:
Me too.

Levers, how about you? Would you consider standing for Parliament when you retire. Anyone else? New thread required?
I'd stand, if given the chance. But this is the rub. To either get nominated, you have to be a member of a political party, thereby subscribing to policies I would abhor. As an independent, you would lack the funding to campaign and to fight against some pretty diabolical tactics. And the media would shun you. So it is an ever decreasing circle, seadog, as I am sure you are aware. I would relish stepping into the house and taking on various individuals on their record and their policies. I have suffered enough, as indeed we all have.

Something must be done soon.

Levers
 

Windy

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

u8dmtm said:
Where is the Royal Navy League?
A good idea, but given the size of the RN, wouldn't a Forces League be better as it would have a wider support base and be able to campaign across all the services - which given the joint/tri/combined environment which exists today means many of the issues affect people from all the services.

Wouldn't such a league also work best if it had strong support from MPs with a genuine interest - i.e. those elected specifically on such issues.
Re: A Forces League or a Navy League.
Look at the current set up and who is winning in the p*shing contest:
The RAF have all the toys I think they have enough political support with savvy brass. You might as well bin the FAA as the RAF seem to be able to do everything, I'm suprised they haven't made a bid for the nuclear deterrent.
The army are the most visible and on TV every night of the week (granted usually getting shot at) but they do not need much PR help. V savvy brass.
The navy brass have allowed themselves to be shafted at every turn, these donkeys were definitely duped by SDR 98 and will look particularly cnutish if CVF is cancelled in 2007. Poor old Jack needs a leg up so where is my Royal Navy League? Who is lobbying for the RN? Not the RN brass.
 

dunkers

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

u8dmtm said:
Where is the Royal Navy League?
A good idea, but given the size of the RN, wouldn't a Forces League be better as it would have a wider support base and be able to campaign across all the services - which given the joint/tri/combined environment which exists today means many of the issues affect people from all the services.

Wouldn't such a league also work best if it had strong support from MPs with a genuine interest - i.e. those elected specifically on such issues.
We did have a Navy League. In 1976 its remit had diminished to solely supporting the Sea Cadets and so it was titled "Sea Cadet Association". In 2004 it merged with the Marine Society, forming the Marine Society & Sea Cadets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navy_League
 

Seadog

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

Windy wrote
Who is lobbying for the RN? Not the RN brass.
Two links are provided in this thread to Admiral West's comments (while still in office) on the running down of the Navy. Did you see them? The point has also been made that you don't hear what they say in private (unless you have the ear of some Admirals). The status and influence of Senior Retired Officers may be reduced but it is better than none.

RAF seem to be able to do everything, I'm suprised they haven't made a bid for the nuclear deterrent.
There is IIRC no budget for the deterrent. It comes out of the running costs for the RN. I hardly think the RAF want to add the cost of running the deterrent. They would have been glad to get shot of it.

Poor old Jack needs a leg up so where is my Royal Navy League?
American civilians are and always have been more Forces friendly and Forces savvy than their UK 'counterparts'. The Marine Society (nod to dunkers) for all its good intentions doesn't have the profile nor the 'terms of reference'. A Navy League isn't likely here under present circumstances and that's a shame.

Are you interested in standing for Parliament Windy?
 

Windy

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

Seadog said:
Windy wrote
Who is lobbying for the RN? Not the RN brass.
"Two links are provided in this thread to Admiral West's comments (while still in office) on the running down of the Navy. Did you see them? The point has also been made that you don't hear what they say in private (unless you have the ear of some Admirals). The status and influence of Senior Retired Officers may be reduced but it is better than none."

And the result of all this effective private lobbying is what?
An increasingly obsolete unbalanced fleet half the size it was 16 years ago with little likelihood of improvement over the short, medium or even long term.
Dulce et Decorum est pro patria mori.
 

u8dmtm

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

I'd stand, if given the chance. But this is the rub. To either get nominated, you have to be a member of a political party, thereby subscribing to policies I would abhor. As an independent, you would lack the funding to campaign and to fight against some pretty diabolical tactics. And the media would shun you. So it is an ever decreasing circle, seadog, as I am sure you are aware. I would relish stepping into the house and taking on various individuals on their record and their policies. I have suffered enough, as indeed we all have.

Something must be done soon.
Then what about a party which only fields candidates in garrison towns, which strongly represents Forces issues, the aim of the party would be exactly that. I don't know how many constituencies fall into the category of being made up mainly of forces related voters but with a co-ordinated effort even a couple of MPs asking a few searching questions each week at PMQs and the like could do a lot of good.
 
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

u8dmtm said:
I'd stand, if given the chance. But this is the rub. To either get nominated, you have to be a member of a political party, thereby subscribing to policies I would abhor. As an independent, you would lack the funding to campaign and to fight against some pretty diabolical tactics. And the media would shun you. So it is an ever decreasing circle, seadog, as I am sure you are aware. I would relish stepping into the house and taking on various individuals on their record and their policies. I have suffered enough, as indeed we all have.

Something must be done soon.
Then what about a party which only fields candidates in garrison towns, which strongly represents Forces issues, the aim of the party would be exactly that. I don't know how many constituencies fall into the category of being made up mainly of forces related voters but with a co-ordinated effort even a couple of MPs asking a few searching questions each week at PMQs and the like could do a lot of good.
Problem there is that the said party becomes 'single issue' also and it's influence and contribution across the political policy spectrum becomes limited. When all's said and done, you do also have to oppose the building of the by-pass, the closing of the hospital wing and the merging of the schools. What is needed is influence within - a smattering of ex - AF personnel elected to serve and advising the Cabinet Ministers. Currently, how many of 'our men and women' have th ear of the Cabinet? Do you reckon Brown listens to any of these? Do you reckon their case is being tabled effectively? Give me a seat in the Cabinet Office and I would let Gordon see the whites of my eyes and the level of my commitment toward maintaining a cohesive, robust defence mechanism, if not for international policy influence, then for those rainy days like OP Fresco and the FMD debacle.

Levers
 

u8dmtm

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

When all's said and done, you do also have to oppose the building of the by-pass, the closing of the hospital wing and the merging of the schools
If those issues affect your constituents then you campaign for their interests on such issues, it doesn't mean your main policy commitments for election can't be focused on a given area (i.e. defence /forces related).
 

Seadog

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

Windy wrote

And the result of all this effective private lobbying is what?
An increasingly obsolete unbalanced fleet half the size it was 16 years ago with little likelihood of improvement over the short, medium or even long term.
Give us an idea Windy. Given four stars, what would you do? What do you suggest the Flag, General and Air Officers do? Another General (serving) spoke out today. All over the news. Did you notice? Would you be the right voice of the Forces in Parliament?

Just because nothing appears to be happening doesn't mean they (Senior Officers) aren't trying. If there is a turn around, it won't happen overnight.

Yes the Admirals try to paint a sunny picture for domestic consumption (service included) but its a difficult call to make. Tell it exactly like it is to the PM and SoS, humiliate them in public and retract nothing, morale would soar. Afterward morale would plummet as a spiteful Government held back more money.

I'm as annoyed as anyone else but I am also playing devil's advocate. The current subtle line may work. A row won't.
 

safewalrus

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

Soft dictatorship - only them as have served get to vote! This ban includes serving personnel to protect them from undue influences! Also Only them as is allowed to vote gets to stand!

If you want to vote you first have to serve your country! Seems fair to me!
 
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

Seadog said:
Yes the Admirals try to paint a sunny picture for domestic consumption (service included) but its a difficult call to make. Tell it exactly like it is to the PM and SoS, humiliate them in public and retract nothing, morale would soar. Afterward morale would plummet as a spiteful Government held back more money.
What an absolutely risible situation to be in, though seadog. I agree, if the staffers took on the government in public, morale would soar. The support from (and I hate this phrase) 'rank and file' would be impressive, and it would definately indicate that people on high are actually doing things for the common good, rather than (aparently, as you say) tackling issues in private or worse still (as it seems to many) bellying-up about it all.

To me, if the government saw itself in such a lofty position and refused to be swayed or criticised for it's actions then to me that is a dictatorship, not a democracy. The old adage is 'we are here to protect that, not practice it' was all well and good when the AF was indeed the sword-hand of the government but these days, we appear to be little else than a convenient method to bale out the incompetent, rather than butress the freedoms of the nation. For us to continue to be treat contemptuously and with shrill regard smacks the face of the great and the good for whom that adage was relevent. Nowdays, if we are considered to be Armed Forces plc and the target for 'consultants' and 'study groups' with no discernable benefit, it should come as no great shock to the Cabinet when the workforce kicks back and either leaves, or (and I hope not) downs tools. What a ******* grim day that will be if I am serving and that happens.

Levers
 

Windy

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

Seadog said:
Windy wrote

And the result of all this effective private lobbying is what?
An increasingly obsolete unbalanced fleet half the size it was 16 years ago with little likelihood of improvement over the short, medium or even long term.
Give us an idea Windy. Given four stars, what would you do? What do you suggest the Flag, General and Air Officers do? Another General (serving) spoke out today. All over the news. Did you notice? Would you be the right voice of the Forces in Parliament?

Just because nothing appears to be happening doesn't mean they (Senior Officers) aren't trying. If there is a turn around, it won't happen overnight.

Yes the Admirals try to paint a sunny picture for domestic consumption (service included) but its a difficult call to make. Tell it exactly like it is to the PM and SoS, humiliate them in public and retract nothing, morale would soar. Afterward morale would plummet as a spiteful Government held back more money.

I'm as annoyed as anyone else but I am also playing devil's advocate. The current subtle line may work. A row won't.
It's the politicians that need their collar felt not senior officers, regardless whether they speak in private or public it hasn't worked. What is required is a strong single issue lobby group that will act for the defence interests of this country. As long as defence is not on the main stream political agenda all political parties will continue to ignore the subject. In the unlikely event that Gordon Brown received a few thousand letters from his constituents that he needs to get his shit in one sock re: CVF then the money would soon start flowing.
 

ruby7

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

Seadog said:
levers wrote
Very patronising to regard me as an Armchair Admiral
My post wasn't aimed at you. My comment was directed at everyone, self included.

Escorts and aircover anyone?
Argus - way beyond it's useful life. Now in refit in Falmouth
The refit is part of a Ship Life Extension. It isn't anything like beyond it's useful life.

I may not work in amongst the rarified atmosphere at Leach Building, but out in the fleet, confidence is low, morale flatlining and our stable world of doing what we do for the flag undermined by shady individuals more bothered by cash than by their 'greatest armed forces in the world'. (c) Blair and Hoon productions - 2003.
Fair one.
it,s only 50 years ago that we had more carriers than the fleet haS SURFACE SHIPS NOW , it needs someone with a military background to alot monies & get to grips with these assholes in the MOD .
 

Seadog

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

Ruby 7 wrote
it,s only 50 years ago that we had more carriers than the fleet haS SURFACE SHIPS NOW ,
Fleet Command has 25 Escorts and 5 Carriers/ RN Assault Ships. The RFA (also under Fleet Command) have about 18 ships. Leaving out the RFA and MWVs, Fleet has thirty surface ships. Care to count out and the thirty one plus carriers that the RN had in the mid fifties?


You exaggerate, big time.
 
Re: Admiral West: Armed forces face "tinpot future&quot

Seadog said:
Ruby 7 wrote
it,s only 50 years ago that we had more carriers than the fleet haS SURFACE SHIPS NOW ,
Fleet Command has 25 Escorts and 5 Carriers/ RN Assault Ships. The RFA (also under Fleet Command) have about 18 ships. Leaving out the RFA and MWVs, Fleet has thirty surface ships. Care to count out and the thirty one plus carriers that the RN had in the mid fifties?


You exaggerate, big time.
How many of those you quote are in refit, suffering under the auspices of reduced stores support or have manpower gapping/OPDEFs?

In short, how many high-readiness units do we have?

Obv, not literally by name and numbers ...

Levers
 

Seadog

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

I'm not saying we have sufficient ready ships Levers. This armchair admiral (me) doesn't think we do, nor ships full stop. (I think we should be using the expression 'platforms' , which grips).

My point is that

it,s only 50 years ago that we had more carriers than the fleet haS SURFACE SHIPS NOW
is nonsense but Ruby is being invited to qualify the quote.
 

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