Do we need a UKNDA and/or a BAFF?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Frustrated, Jun 4, 2006.

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  1. For some time work has been underway to create a NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION - a new independent apolitical TRI-SERVICE organisation - to present to the Public, the Press and Politicians the case for appropriate, adequate properly resourced Armed Forces so that the UK, its people and their vital interests at home and worldwide are defended effectively.

    We seek and would very much welcome your views, criticisms and suggestions.

    A comprehensive paper on the subject of an NDA can be obtained by e-mailing me at:

    [email protected]

    Bad CO has also been kind enough to provide a 'sticky' two or three comments below this message where anyone can instantly download a copy of the DRAFT NDA paper.

    An NDA is NOT in competition with the proposed BAFF and has a different aim (or purpose).

    I look forward to hearing from you:
    John Muxworthy Interim CE of the NDA
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2011
  2. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    Why would we want multiple organisations all claiming to provide the same/similar benefits? The BAFF, in their 10-point manifesto, look to the same sort of ends. This will end up the same way that the Families Feds went, all trying to get money, putting out conflicting messages and backstabbing each other whilst the original aim gets lost in the fog of self-promotion.

    When people start wanting to become Chief Executive of independent bodies, I think we should get a little nervous. Up front, what is in this for you? An honest declaration of interests should be the first thing we ask for in situations like this.

    And are you a former Naval Officer?
     
  3. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    http://www.rusi.org/publications/journal/ref:P444CB2962D67F/

    I think I now know who you are. Both of you..... you are a retired Commander (legal) and your wife is/was a Captain in the old S&S branch.

    Declare your interests, and we may be more open to your documents. Simply offering up some documentation via RUSI which appears in competition to the BAFF really is not enough.
     
  4. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    Old Salt - if you read the paper you would know precisely who I am (and you are almost - but not quite, correct in your suppositions/assertions) because I have not only signed the paper, but provided a comprehensive summary of my background. And as to what is in it for me - as you so elegently put it - the answer is nothing but hard graft, probably few, if any, thanks, but the satisfaction, I believe, of achieving something necessary and worthwhile.
     
  5. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    I've been emailed a copy of this document by Frustrated so people can download it and read it before commenting on this thread.

    Also made a sticky so people don't miss it.
     
  6. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    Read it. So the intention would be to set it up as a charity, with senior retired officers (salaried not only on retired pay but also as paid executives of the company), to act primarily as a governmental lobbying body. This body would be outside of, and therefore unaware, of higher level discussions that take place on a tri-service sensitive basis, and could therefore compromise machinations that take place behind closed doors (ie sacrifice something to gain something else).

    Not sure how the Police would view coming onboard, considering they already have a well-formed Association. I think the theory is good, but I am not sure that this is much more than a lobbying organisation - also consider that many of the RN publications are "fed" information (Navy News is based inside HMS NELSON), so if they chose to strike out on a route which may lead them into conflict with their landlords and masters, it could be seen as not being in their best interests.

    I think that this organisation would be better served as an adjunct to the BAFF - it never hurts having well connected personnel in the right places, but I think many would be nervous of perceiving this as a "jobs for old boys" organisation, and would be perhaps concerned to their true independence.

    Interesting your were FOSITO - was that during the period of Tim England, John Castle, Peter Wason as FWEO?
     
  7. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    Pompey Sailor - I'm glad you read the paper, but either you have misread or misinterpreted it, or I haven't made it clear - in which case you are due an apology. I don't know where you have acquired the idea that the NDA is intended to be some form of 'home' for retired senior officers because the management diagrams and the associated notes in the paper nowhere specify the need for 'senior officers', retired or otherwise. It is, of course, important that, for an NDA to be able to express itself authoritatively, the Chairman must be a well known and militarily respected person - and, if you infer from that he (or even she) should be a retired officer, you could be correct. Such a Chairman could equally, however, be a senior respected journalist, a well known defence correspondent for example, or even a Captain of Industry. As for the NDA being, as you put it, an adjunct of a BAFF, that is unlikely. although, logically, such an idea could conceivably work the other way around.
    With regard to "Pay" - if you re-read para 8 in section dealing with the NDA organisation you will see that the Policy Board would (when funds are available) only receive expenses - and the (proposed) five people on the Executive would only be salaried as and when funding was available and, eventually, on a scale equivalent to such people employed by other/equivalent military charities. In the meantime (which could be a long time) everyone working in and for the NDA are doing so for nothing - except for job satisfaction.
    In any event your thoughts and opinions are important to help us ensure that the NDA is a rounded, balanced and experienced body able to 'add value' to the arguments for appropriate, adequate and (the crucial point) properly resourced armed forces.
    If you think that the Armed Forces are already high enough in the Nation's list of priorities and that sufficient money is invested in them - then there isn't a problem and there's no need for an NDA. If, however - as we contend - that is most definitely not the case - then there is a crying need for an NDA... and the reason we are circulating this NDA paper is to seek positive suggestions - and yours, and everyone else's, would be welcomed.
     
  8. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    I think my confusion may have come from the section which says that to find an interim president you would write to retired senior officers of the three services, and then I may have drawn a preconceived line from that to the conclusion that once we end up with the retired Flag ranks in post you wouldn't get them out with dynamite and a cattle prod! I do know how the old boys network works, I have seen it and I have frequent exposure to what I believe is pretty much illegal recruiting practices, so I have no doubts that the unfortunate conclusion would be to end up with someone very senior and very retired (and also on retired pay) at the executive level. Then again, if you want the contacts, then you are going to need these sort of people - it would be pointless putting AB Staines in that position when his best contact may well be the bint in the NAAFI! Devil and deep blue sea, I suppose.

    The pay for military charities is actually pretty good, especially when it's run up against valid and viable expenses, no-one does this sort of thing for the good of their health, I just like to see people being transparent about it. For example, as CE of this organisation, the person concerned (who ever it may end up being) would have access to media, access to potentially very powerful people, a possible buy-in for a gong from the Queen, and some very useful contacts. I also have no doubt (and I have seen) people get involved in this purely as an ego-massage.

    I would like to see a serious lobbying body established, and I don't much care if they carry out their business at the Rag,the In and Out, or behind the NAAFI in Nelson as long as they get business done. However, I am wary of current moves with the BAFF and the NDA, and the fact that they may detract from each other.

    Good luck with both, but I would rather see a linkage between the two than two disparate organisations which may detract from each other - the link in the public mind (and in many Service minds) may be forged no matter how often people are told that they are two different organisations.
     
  9. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    Pompey Sailor - Thank you for your sensible and constructive comments. I agree with a lot of what you say and, if you really do support the idea of a pro-active (i.e. getting out there and DOING something to improve matters) lobbying organisation - then may I invite you to get in touch with me direct (e-mail [email protected]) ideally having completed the form at the back of the NDA paper which, as it says there, involves you in no sort of responsibility, but helps us keep you informed of progress..... and that, of course, applies to any other reader of this column as well.
    And I apologise for that exceptionally long sentence!
     
  10. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    To be fair, and some would say why should I, the basic aim of the NDA is very different to that intended by the BAFF. The mistake in the NDA paper in my opinion is the suggestion that it could also assume the role intended by the BAFF. Now I see the lobbying for sensible and effectice defence forces as one role and the lobbying for and supporting the people as a completely different role. Their paths may cross from time to time and they may be complimentary and perhaps in opposition, that should not be a problem, rather it is just the way life works.

    If the NDA is to succeed it should in my opinion concentrate on one single purpose, if it tries to be all things to all men it will fail, and that will do no one any good at all.

    Yes it is almost certain the NDA will become a very nice financial sanctuary for a few favoured senior officers, but if it is to succeed I fear this is neccessary, if such people are not there it will not carry the weight it will need to do.

    BAFF has a very different role as I see it to ensure that the men and officers who carry through the nations defence strategy get good and proper treatment at all times and their families are properly supported.

    It would appear that the NDA should keep well clear of the BAFF territory and vice versa.

    Peter
     
  11. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    MAXI_77 Some of what you write appears logical and some of it I agree with - but your third paragraph is unsubstantiated and apparently prejudiced - for no apparent reason or justification that I can discern. If, however, what you say were to be true - then no organisation so structured could succeed. In an effort to draw something useful from your contribution - do please explain why have you written what you have written? And also, while trying very hard not to get into an argument - what do you say to the assertion that the Services have a command structure and organisation dedicated to care of the man and service dependents. If 'the system' fails from time to time (as of course any system will) - then repair the system and use it effectively. (and please don't haggle about my terminology - I use the word 'man' in a collective way to include all genders). Don't try and duplicate (and thus possibly conflict with or even weaken) a generally effective and efficient system - where it's broke, fix it; there are ways, mechanisms already available and in place to do so.
     
  12. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    I think my third paragraph was completely logical, there was an ealier comment about the possibility of those running the NDA being paid, my comment was suggesting they would have to be, and that was in fact reasonable, you will need the best and the best need paid, and deserve it if they turnin the goods, I do hope you are not intending relying on well meaning amateurs. To lobby at the levels you intend you will need the very best and they deserve to be paid.

    As to whether the service is dedicated to the men, I have done my stint as a DO, and have had freinds in the army with the same experience, perhaps through that I do see the value in and outside organisation, which can say and do what the serving person cannot. The recruit believes his country will do right by him, but we have not yet built the land fit for heros promised in 1918, it may be better but I do not believe it is there yet.

    I see clear roles for both the NDA and the BAFF, and also believe that either will dilute their main objectives if they try to cover the others task.

    Peter
     
  13. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    I think my third paragraph was completely logical, there was an ealier comment about the possibility of those running the NDA being paid, my comment was suggesting they would have to be, and that was in fact reasonable, you will need the best and the best need paid, and deserve it if they turnin the goods, I do hope you are not intending relying on well meaning amateurs. To lobby at the levels you intend you will need the very best and they deserve to be paid.

    As to whether the service is dedicated to the men, I have done my stint as a DO, and have had freinds in the army with the same experience, perhaps through that I do see the value in and outside organisation, which can say and do what the serving person cannot. The recruit believes his country will do right by him, but we have not yet built the land fit for heros promised in 1918, it may be better but I do not believe it is there yet.

    I see clear roles for both the NDA and the BAFF, and also believe that either will dilute their main objectives if they try to cover the others task.

    Peter

    Oops a bit of a stutter there.

    Peter
     
  14. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    From theNDA paper:

    This looks to be a RN site to me mate even if it is sponsored by the same people who run ARRSE. At least they got up off their ARRSEs and did something about it. Besides what is a comment like this doing in your paper. For a start up organisation you are concentrating on some pretty silly detail already.

    By the way through out the paper you keep saying 'we' but under the action points you are the only one allocated tasks. Is there anyone else actually involved in this other than yourself?
     
  15. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    I would also suggest that handing Rum Ration over to the Navy News team might impact on the 'independant' reputation the site has at present.

    Whilst the main objective of the NDA is good, the optional extras have a suspicion of attempts to bring those who might otherwise not be seen as 'undercontrol' by the centre into a more controlable environment.

    Peter
     
  16. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    Jasper - Fair point, and I'll action it. Second point - yes.
     
  17. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    As far as I know, the majority of MODs on here have served within the RN or still are.
     
  18. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    "Frustrated" - I read your NR article with interest (and chuckled at "the usual suspects" who were signatories) and have followed, and contributed to, similar themes in the NR Wardroom Bar (sorry to the rest of RR for this sentence). BUT.... I would dispute the fact that :

    What I gained from that well-written and incredibly accurate article (and perhaps, subject to NR copyright rules, you could publish this here) was a situation something akin to that of a group of retired White Star line merchant officers slagging off icebergs about 2 hours after the Titanic sunk! What is the point of lucidly argued prose stating the obvious to the converted? Why not write an article in Prospect, or a book (cf Lewis Page), or even a group letter to The Times?

    I have a number of points, and please excuse me if I sound negative, as I am certain your aims are nothing but altruistic (notwithstanding the salary of the luck retired-SO1 Chief Exec!).

    Yes, HM Forces need an independent and effective champion, and the claim of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body to fulfill that role would be laughable were they not serious. The idea of a BAFF is a good one, and by providing both effective leadership, and an efficient lobbying and PR organisation, (and listening to those who actually serve!) has real potential to counter the continual underfunding and ignorance of politicians wrt the Forces.

    After all, The Police Federation is not referred to as a "Trade Union", and those of us under 40 do not worry about the "F" word as being of negative connotations (as an aside - the "NDA"? The abbreviation sounds all wrong - reminding me of either those gun-toting loony American (NRA), the Naval Discipline Act (NDA) or some sort of STD).

    And rather than founding a separate organisation, why not change an existing one to suit your aims? The British Forces Foundation (http://www.bff.org.uk/) are a worthy, if slightly back-of-a-fag-packet, organisation with a host of important patrons, a catchy name and constant funding. Yes they are currently aimed purely towards flying celebs and teeny-boppers out to Iraq for entertainment purposes, but as you say in your preamble, organisations such as the Navy League have changed their aim over time, so why not the BFF? Alternatively, you could even revive the Navy League - hardly an impossible task.

    Or, why not use your obvious organisational skills and senior level knowledge to widen the pool of talent for the leadership of the nascent BAFF? As said before in other posts, you seem to share similar aims and I see no contradiction between the "representing the squaddie" role and "lobbying the government" role - it works for the Police.

    Finally, can I say how disappointed I am by certain lines in your document - including calling the Royal Navy just "the Navy" in the opening paragraph, but giving the Army and Air Force their respective British and Royal prefixes. I also do not like the dismissive way that you describe Rum Ration. It matters not a jot that it is set up by the owners of ARRSE (isn't that an exact example of the jointery on which you are keen) or that it is fairly new - the site is a great success and after only a few months we have 1100ish members, decent debate and a growing reputation. Suggesting its inclusion under the umbrella of the propoganda rag (cf Navy Lies) shows a breathtaking lack of the knowledge of Jack's opinion.

    I would be interested to hear of your reaction to these points...
     
  19. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    Geoffrey - rather briefly at this stage as I'm pushed for time and wanted to respond to your very practical posting.
    First I like your idea of posting 'Below the Bottom Line' but (without ill wishing it) am apprehensive about the NR rules and regs. I shall try though because I agree that preaching to the converted doesn't achieve (!) anything.
    All I can say regarding BAFF at this stage is that BAFF is not the NDA, and the NDA is not BAFF.
    I agree with your preference for the full 'Royal Navy' and wherever I've been sloppy about it I'll correct it.
    With regard to 'Rum Ration' you are absolutely right - and I have already removed the unworthy comments from the latest version of the draft paper and told Bad CO (the 'owner') that I have done so... which is a good illustration of what a DRAFT paper is for - which some people don't seem to have appreciated (not you).
    Lastly - thank you for this useful and positive contribution. Keep watching this space - and, if you feel so minded, do please complete the format on the back page of the NDA paper and e-mail it off to me.
     
  20. Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

    Can you imagine anything worse than an "official" website like this run by Navy News? You would have about three threads left, none of them allowed to cross the party line. When they are based in HMS NELSON, they are hardly going to be the impartial voice of the downtrodden, are they?

    Then again, NN is full of crap letters from old buggers who joined at Ganges, all claiming that "I was the first to go here/do this/do that" or "I was the last..."

    A very worthy glossy advertising rag which balances gender and colour tones in a most professional manner.....
     

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