Blair objects to Forces Chiefs complaints about underfunding

It is reported in today's Guardian (13 January 2007) that TB has apparently warned Service Chiefs that if they keep complaining about the state of investment, etc in the British Armed Services it will undermine the public's support for Britain undertaking operations abroad and in the international theatre.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs/story/0,,1989463,00.html

Presumably he wants them to conceil from the public the worrying state of our defences and the reality that government reductions in expenditure continue to reduce, rather than increase, let alone maintain, our ability to operate in the international sphere?

If there's one thing they should NOT DO, it is APPEASE TB and shut up. They need to continue to speak out and indeed to speak out more often and more forcefully. The electorate should be left in no doubt that those serving in the front line do not share the PM's rose tinted view of the state of our defences and in particular the ability of the RN to operate out-of-area in time of an emergency with ever declining resources and low personnel morale.

Debate.
 

Darkershadeofblu

Lantern Swinger
Re: Blair objects to Forces Chiefs complaints about underfun

Agree totally that Bliars spin machine should come under heavy fire from our lords and masters. He looked exceedingly worried with deep frown lines on his forehead yesterday - perhaps realization of his legacy is finally setting-in with our hoped-to-be (not) elderstatesman as he approaches retirement? History will indeed tell its own story.
 
Re: Blair objects to Forces Chiefs complaints about underfun

The big problem is the unreliability of the news papers. I can see why TB might say that whilst they are right to point out difficiencies, they must resist the temptation of lowering morale by putting things in extreme terms.

At present we have an excellent (if small) armed forces and we have shortages across the board. My experiences are they have meant everyone was told to tighten their belts rather than the deep cuts the papers threaten. There is a risk however that the argument will be made that we just can't afford a war fighting military and so should retreat into having a home guard and a UN peace keeping force, like Ireland.

I fear that there are many Guardian readers who would welcome that prospect; I for one do not!
 
Re: Blair objects to Forces Chiefs complaints about underfun

phil1972 said:
The big problem is the unreliability of the news papers. I can see why TB might say that whilst they are right to point out difficiencies, they must resist the temptation of lowering morale by putting things in extreme terms.

At present we have an excellent (if small) armed forces and we have shortages across the board. My experiences are they have meant everyone was told to tighten their belts rather than the deep cuts the papers threaten. There is a risk however that the argument will be made that we just can't afford a war fighting military and so should retreat into having a home guard and a UN peace keeping force, like Ireland.

I fear that there are many Guardian readers who would welcome that prospect; I for one do not!

I suspect that many fellow Guardian readers would not actually want such an extreme outcome, though there are certainly some who would like such a scenario to arise. :roll:
 
Re: Blair objects to Forces Chiefs complaints about underfun

People have died because of a lack of equipment.
I wouldn't call that a call to tighten our belts at all.
I would call that a fundamental lack of funding and preparation by our government. Not as a whole of course, just defence.
Public support for our operations are already at an all time low. The general public generally have great faith and confidence in our armed forces as a whole but have no faith or confidence in the people (ministers) sending us to do jobs without the correct equipment or support required. And don't start me on pay!!! :)
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
Re: Blair objects to Forces Chiefs complaints about underfun

phil1972 said:
The big problem is the unreliability of the news papers. I can see why TB might say that whilst they are right to point out difficiencies, they must resist the temptation of lowering morale by putting things in extreme terms.

At present we have an excellent (if small) armed forces and we have shortages across the board. My experiences are they have meant everyone was told to tighten their belts rather than the deep cuts the papers threaten. There is a risk however that the argument will be made that we just can't afford a war fighting military and so should retreat into having a home guard and a UN peace keeping force, like Ireland.

I fear that there are many Guardian readers who would welcome that prospect; I for one do not!

I think you have hit the nail on the head there, reading the article quickly I got the impression that this was something TB had said after his speech yesterday, on re-reading it I realised that this is nothing more than the authors' (I use that term loosely when referring to a Guardian Journalist!) take on the same speech that I have now watched twice without any hint of this assumption!
 
A

angrydoc

Guest
We've been tightening our belts for years now - all that's left holding us together is morale. Promotion prospects going down the pan are more likely to hit morale than Senior Officers commenting there is no cash.
 
I personally don't think its morale holding us together any more. The RN has been run on goodwill for quite a while (come in early or when on leave and go home late with no thanks) and this is finally running out. Senior rates will think twice before putting themselves out these days (quite rightly so imo) because it all adds up to nothing anymore. Goodwill gets taken for granted far too much.
 

trufflehunter

Midshipman
The service chiefs should be shouting louder, if anything. I believe that the public realise the need for Blair's "hard power", it's up to the defence staff to make them realise that we need some more cash to keep it up. Maybe if they can get the public on the side of the forces then finally the government will be forced into accepting its duty of care.
 
One gets the impression that like many who have enjoyed Tony's long period in power that he is now so insulated from reality that all he sees is his own propoganda and spin. I suspect he doesn't realise that the senior officers have been trying to tell him how bad it was through the proper channels for years but all their comments have been spun by the time even Tony sees them. So now they go public, and for Dear Tne that is 'off message' and thus improper, after all he got where he is today by making the party get 'on message' 100% of the time.
 

slim

War Hero
Does anyone else think that perhaps the American system which limits Presidents to two terms in office would perhaps work well here for Prime Ministers. Blair like Thatcher was a OK for the first term of office, by the end of his second term he was misleading the public, and now I just cannot trust him. It was similar with Maggie. The position seems to got to their heads and they start believing their own spin.
 
I think that having a general election fixed to every 3 years would be a good idea, coupled with the American two terms wassname.
 

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