Guardian: "Ministry Of Defence Set To Cull Top Jobs, According To Leak"

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by soleil, Dec 18, 2011.

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  1. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    Absolutely superb, with a fair wind that should leave a few holes for me to pop into in a few years.

    I still don't see any provenance behind the assumptions in that article, seemed like the usual "lets chop them because it looks like they have too many...."
  2. Isn't culling usually carried out with a high powered rifle? It's inevitable with cuts being made further down the ladder that the axe would eventually fall on the high ranks.
  3. "looks like we have too many", with the country bankrupt, cuts across wide swathes of services and a much reduced military, please, I'm sure a lot of people will be interested in your arguments to continue with present levels of top MoD mamagement.

    It was a joke 25 years ago that we had a "Flag Officer Gemini's" knocking around somewhere. Too many at the top for too long, this is a cull that has been long overdue.
  4. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Cull the top and cut the effective dissenting voices?

    Just a thought.

    Might be nice to cull a few MP's as well while we're in cost cutting mode.
  5. It seems to me the "effective dissenting voices" tend to be dissenting when they're civilians with the possible exception of Stanhope.

    I foresee many disgruntled writers of letters to the Times bemoaning the rundown of HM Forces when they really mean "I am very important, how dare they make me redundant" type wailing.....or is that just me?
  6. silverfox

    silverfox War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    This stuff has been on the MOD website for some time so nothing new. As the base of the pyramid has been reduced by SDSR it comes as no surprise that the top is being reduced as well.
  7. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    My point is that where we are currently making redundancies its being done {mostly} with some science - numbers of platforms to crew, numbers of people to make crews (squads), training pipelines all that stuff, but when it comes to the Senior posts I'm intrigued to know how they're doing this, so far I've seen nothing except rhetoric and speculation.

    I'm all for slimming and efficiency measures where its sensible and practicable and I have no doubt there is room to delete some Senior posts but the key should be which posts are those posts we can live without and we can operate without the output that those people are delivering. That's the interesting thing - what are we going to cease in order to do this, cynicism aside all these people are being paid a lot of money to do "stuff" so if we don't want to pay them what "stuff" are we giving up?

    These bods are no less/more important than more Junior bods (we all have families and mortgages) but the "stuff" they deliver tends, in many cases, to have a wider impact and influence. I'm really interested to understand what it is MoD or the Government thinks we should give up, after all we've established these posts for a good reason, its been a long time since we had the likes of "Flag Officer Gemini", as you say that was a Navy 25 years ago, this Navy is a very different beast.

    My final worry bead is that if we do make cuts they need to be proportionate and considered across MoD. Look at how we've restructured the Defence and Navy Boards, to see where influence sits. Look at how SDSR was fought and how the Services maneuvered against each other. It's really important that the Navy keeps a number of Senior people who have the intellect, credibility and experience to operate at the Political and Government level, our shell suited, sideways scuttling brethren are masters at this level and at this time with "Land operations" fixed firmly in the public and government consciousness, we need people to keep pressing the Navy agenda.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  8. I can just see it now ....

    " Sir ... you are being culled! Although you are a leader of men ... there are no men left to lead!"
  9. wave_dodger, why do posts and "stuff" need to go?

    What you'll find (probably) is posts and staff amalgamated and/or de-enriched. Most likely the bean counters will head down this route.
  10. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    Largely because unless you remove posts you won't reduce the requirement which drives how many bodies we need, which in turn drives costs as money follows people not posts. So, we get rid of posts in our pyramid and presumably then need to get rid of people either as planned natural wastage, which will be slow, or find the money for redundancy.

    The stuff we have to consider because we've downsized continuously for years and reabsorbed and redistributed work to such a degree I don't think its practical to do it any further. Already where I work our 2* has started to ask what to stop in order to conduct tasks requested by MoD.

    I simply don't think the military has the slack or spare capacity any more.
  11. I think a lot of the public service areas feel the same way ... its not just the military! ... Oh except all the chinless wonders and hangers on HMG ... they make everyone else suffer in order to hang on to their gold plated pensions! Doesn't matter how many times we have to reabsorb and redistribute workloads .. theres always a civil serpent to tell you that you con just work longer hours / years for less dosh .. when they have absolutely f*ck all idea on what the job entails in the first place. Shit 'em!
  12. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    108 years ago Jackie Fisher was made CinC Portsmouth. I believe his salary was £5000 p.a. plus presumably a retinue appropriate to the post. Translate that into 2011 £s and bodies, and I think it may suggest that incentives for officers to stay on and atempt to climb the greasy pole, instead of jumping ship for an easier life and greater rewards, are now much reduced.
  13. In reply to the first; I agree, it's never good when someone loses their job but for the MoD/services they have to get on with the hand they are dealt, same as everyone else.

    In reply to the second; It was different, there were around 40 major ships and 60,000 men. now it's how many, about 15 ships and a lot less men and women. So do we really need several hundred 4 ringers and above to manage it?
  14. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    Its a good question; a lot of things are done very differently now, we have a lot more financial accountability and responsibility. The MoD restructuring is about to make that even more demanding in the TLB/FLCs, in that they are about to become sponsors for capability, Mini-HoCs if you like. You could make a pretty strong case that actually we now need more people and more experienced people in these areas.

    I think we work in a very different way and I'm not always convinced its for the better. For example, we do tend to pass upwards a lot of decision making; I see it daily on a scale that does worry me. We interact a lot more this OGDs and foreign states - quite often the rank is important.

    I'm not saying we don't need to reduce but I think it needs to considered carefully and done for the right reasons, not simply to appease the politicians or to gain public acceptance. Its all too easy to say grief we've just made redundant XXX AB1 and XXX PO(XXX) we have to get rid of XXX OF5 and OF6 but that wouldn't make sense; we made the bigger cuts in recognition of capability cuts enforced by SDSR, we need to look at the entire structure in the same way or we'll end up with branches that aren't fit for the future.

    I have a private worry that we're leaping headlong into cuts without a clear idea of what we need/want/could look like in 2020+, if we get it wrong now it will take a long time to recover and the world just seems to become very more unstable - is this a good time to have a military in disarray?
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  15. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    Absolutely - except I think the easier life outside is a long gone dream. What is very interesting a long time ago when I was on the staff at BRNC 70% of the YOs coming through saw the RN as a job for 3-8 years, vastly different to my batch that saw it as a career for life. I wonder what the perspective is now?

    It does make me a little sad when I see talented young people leave (JR/SR/OF), the 'greasy pole' simply holds little attraction for the bulk, the arcane promotion system frustrates them and they can easily achieve a similar or better lifestyle within a few years of leaving. We're in for a long spell of drudgery and despondancy methinks and cheaply built T45 and T26 aren't going to be sufficiently impressive toys to retain people.
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  16. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    As I've mentioned elsewhere, one of my contemporaries jumped as a Lt and ended up as Deputy Chairman of an enormous confectionery/food company. Isolated examples don't make a story but Pusser lost one there. I could think of one or two 'failures' who did pretty well outside too. I know some who thought they were dished because Father/HOD didn't like them but I could see, knowing them as well as one does after two years in an iron box with a bloke, that there were character defects that could be seen from the outside of which the owners were either blissfully unaware or did not care to address. One who did make it was always bright and bushy tailed and anchor-faced when Father was about but I thought he was a bit of a trimmer. Rear admiral and out. Every individual case is different.

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