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Bliar replies to Save the Navy petition


War Hero
Just got this by email

The Government has no plans to reduce the size of the Royal Navy, to withdraw warships from operational service earlier than scheduled, or to place warships in 'mothballs'.

Far from making cuts, the Government is investing heavily in the construction of new warships for the Royal Navy. We are introducing the new and highly capable Type 45 Destroyers, the first two of which have already been launched. We are building the advanced and powerful Astute class nuclear attack submarines, of which three are now on order. Above all, we are buying two new aircraft carriers which will be the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy and which will provide the UK with the most powerful carrier force outside the USA. The Navy has also recently taken delivery of new amphibious assault and support ships which are vastly more capable than the ships they replaced.

It is wrong to imply that the costs of operations in Iraq and elsewhere are being met at the expense of the Navy. The additional costs of these operations do not fall to the defence budget, but are met from the Treasury reserve.

Only one Royal Navy ship, HMS Invincible, is being held in a state of readiness from which it would require up to eighteen months to return to operational service. She is being held in this state of readiness prior to her final withdrawal from service, as scheduled, in 2010, by which time she will be over 30 years old. The Navy has no plans to place any other ships in such a state of readiness.


"Above all, we are buying two new aircraft carriers which will be the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy and which will provide the UK with the most powerful carrier force outside the USA."

So a clear an unambiguous commitment to the new carriers from Number 10. Do you believe it?


Carriers won't happen. I just can't see it.

More chance of the mighty Brighton & Hove Albion FC getting a new stadium, promotion & winning the cup!
we'd better look after those two 45's that've already been launched, I gotta feeling they'll be the only ones and they were only launched because it was too late to stop them!


War Hero
Perhaps the lying [email protected] might care to comment on why III Basin is full of Leafs, with a Fort to come??

Or why the number of T45s is falling from the endorsed figure?

Or why the Air defence capability of the SHAR will not come close to being replaced until towards teh end of the next decade?
Cleverly worded. So, no worries about the two CVF and the 8-12 Type 45s mandated by the Strategic Defence Review (SDR) then? And apart from INV, all our ships are fully-fitted, fully manned and ready to go, are they? Plus, the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) will have no further impact on the size and shape of the Fleet? Well, I'm glad that's all cleared up.

(In the words of the prophet, I should cocoa!)


Lantern Swinger
Overall hull numbers will still be reduced in the name of superior technology. Better to have a presence in all the Oceans with a mediocre fleet than be a puddle pirate with only three or four top notch ships.
Not_a_boffin - Re your query about the fate of the RFA Leafs, this link contains this quote from the latest Nautilus UK (formerly NUMAST) Telegraph:

The Union has held discussions with RFA management on the impact of lay-up and disposal plans.
The tankers Oakleaf and Brambleleaf are going to zero manning with a sale planned for September, while Sir Bedivere is expected to go for sale by the end of the next financial year and Fort Victoria is being placed into a two year period of extended readiness from this month.
The overall effect will be a reduction of around 200 seafarers — including 75 officers — which the RFA plans to achieve through natural wastage.
However, Nautilus UK has expressed concern at a reduction in the cadet intake this year. ‘Only 10 cadets are being taken on, compared with around 30 in recent times,' said Mr Keenan.
‘We believe this is completely irresponsible, because the RFA needs to be planning ahead and reflecting the fact that the vast majority of its senior officers are due to retire in the next decade,' he added.


Lantern Swinger
"The Government has no plans to reduce the size of the Royal Navy, to withdraw warships from operational service earlier than scheduled, or to place warships in 'mothballs'."

Really - tell that to the people drawing up the STP's!


War Hero
Interestingly, if a commercial company told porkies of this magnitude in their advertisements, they would be liable for criminal prosecution.

When the unelected successor takes over from Bliar in this sceptered, democratic Isle of ours, it will be easy to come up with another line to contradict what the outgoing PM replied to in this petition & not be held even remotely liable.

Responsibility & accountability appears to be something which politicos (and sometimes Royalty) manage to dodge so aptly.
TF110 said:
"The Government has no plans to reduce the size of the Royal Navy, to withdraw warships from operational service earlier than scheduled, or to place warships in 'mothballs'."

Really - tell that to the people drawing up the STP's!

Carefully and cleverly drafted by civil servants. You need to focus upon the potential meaning of all the words used and never take a civil service drafted reply at face value - like the media often seem to! I've seen both sides of this as a former civil servant and in my current job. In the former our aim was answer a question in such a manner that it disclosed the minimal information or could be flexibly interpreted as circumstances arose. In my current job we do the exact opposite! Great fun! :lol:

Note the distinction between Government and government also! They would be technically telling the truth if they did the opposite of what they appear to be promising here, were the decision taken administratively by civil servants (part of the governmental apparatus).
My response to the e-mail was.

Can this statement be taken as a personal guarantee from the Prime Minister
that there will be no further reductions in thecapability and strength of
the Royal Navy.

Wonder if there will be a resonse.

Perhaps I shouldn't hold my breath
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