Do we need a UKNDA and/or a BAFF?

Frustrated

Midshipman
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
 
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PompeySailor

Lantern Swinger
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?
 

PompeySailor

Lantern Swinger
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.
 

Frustrated

Midshipman
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.
 

Bad CO

Admin
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.
 

PompeySailor

Lantern Swinger
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?
 

Frustrated

Midshipman
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.
 

PompeySailor

Lantern Swinger
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.
 

Frustrated

Midshipman
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!
 
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
 

Frustrated

Midshipman
Re: DO WE NEED A NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION AND/OR A &quot

Maxi_77 said:
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
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.
 
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
 

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