Depressing - Yes, Absolutely! But as someone who has been sitting on the edge of the fringe of the real world and consequently receiving bugger all information about anything - only rumours; at least it helped put me in the picture - even if that picture is a grim one.
To be honest, it's not just Bliar. It's fat Gordon and the mob of civil serpents that are implanted in MoD as RPol & DEP. Not once do they ever turn round and fight the defence corner, never mind the individual services. Beedall's comparison of UK vs US spend when we are fighting two wars (way above the MoDs own planning assumptions) is the real killer. They will try to spin it as equipment overspends hitting the operational units, when in fact there is nowhere near enough budget in the first place.
It's only going to get worse whn the hours the vehicles and airframes are racking up now start hitting home in 5-10 years time......
You could seriously go beyond the government and civil servants, there is a general apathy in the whole electorate: defence? what are we defending ourselves from? we have the police to protect us from terrorists! This is a view widely felt, people actually believe that the armed forces are only for offensive ops! Most of Joe public are more interested in getting a nice comfy NHS bed at the end of their tedious, materialistic and pretentious lives than worrying about the marauding horde killing them in their prime........................I presume it's just evolution?
I hope it's just a lot of wind ups to be honest, I find it impossible to believe that people really are that ill informed, there are many comments inferring accomodation is free, no council tax, reduced electricity and a whole load of other complete crap. But there is more to it than that, as an American (God Bless them) on the site says "shame on you, your lack of respect for your Armed Forces is dispicable" I tend to agree, time to go me thinks, 22 finished ages ago, only stayed cos I still love it............................oh no I don't anymore!!!
Seem's to be right on the money so far, be interesting to see when the next are announcedâ€¦
The RN related options now apparently being considered by the MOD include:
Formal cancellation (long expected) of plans to build the seventh and eighth T45 destroyers (twelve were originally planned). The budget of about Â£1.1 billion is apparently significantly less than BAE Systems has bid
The additional cancellation of the sixth (HMS Duncan) and even fifth (HMS Defender) Type 45 Batch 2 destroyers â€“ possible sale of the bare hulls to BAE Systems for completion for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Reducing the escort force by six units, from 25 to 19. This would apparently be achieved by the removal from service of Type 22 Batch 3 frigates and Type 42 Batch 2 destroyers, and possibly a T23 frigate. Saving about Â£150 million a year
Reduction of the Assault Ship (LPD) HMS Albion to extended readiness (i.e. reserve)
Closure or significant down grading of a naval base â€“ probably HMNB Portsmouth
A cut of 2000 in RN manpower (from 32,000 to 30,000, excluding Royal Marines). Direct pay and allowances saving of about Â£60 million a year plus indirect savings
Conversion of some of the RNâ€™s 41 Merlin HMA.1 ASW helicopters to a troop carrying 'Commando' role. This would allow the rejection or reduction of some of the costly alternative tactical transport helicopter procurements currently being considered as a high priority
Cancellation of the Shaman Communications ESM system. Saving of up to Â£140 million
Transfer of command of the Royal Marines Corps to the Army. Financial savings from standardisation, economies of scale and eliminated duplication