Telegraph: "Col Tim Collins Blames SDSR Cuts On 'Jealous' Civil Servants In MoD"

Just as the NHS is increasingly in the grip of administrators with no medical background, and the police with their synthetic middle and upper management, so will HM Armed Forces be administered by civilian staff lacking a deep understanding of our serving personnel, their tasks and their needs

Fixed that for him.


War Hero
"Please define "more accurate". "

Collins is talking shite, that for the most part the CS do a good job and that the failings in the system owe as much to military incompetence as they do civvy.


Book Reviewer
His biggest mistake is ommitting that its HMT and Senior MoD CS that drive change and policy. The military are to all intent and purpose transitory, the SCS cadre make the decisions. Whilst I can't and won't say that the CS are the problem, I think the attitude of HMT and some senior CS is behind a lot of the problems.

You have to look at how we both work, CS take a very very long view whereas we will take by necessity a far shorter view - driven by tenure in many ways. That is often a huge cause of discord (rightly or wrongly). You also have to understand how difficult it is for MoD to drive arguments with HMT and Senior CS - they simply quite often, don't get it, and hence staffing notes, Information Notes, Review Notes circles in endless staffing loops.

Its a culture problem we need to address if we want to create the right environment for positive change.


Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
I have respect for Tim Collins but he's taking a cheap shot at an easy target. I can think of many civil servants who conform to the stereotype who deserve mag to grid. There are many more who keep the wheels rolling with the deep spec skills we never get because we're off every 2 years. They will walk first and we'll be left with the dross.

To all retired senior officers who feel moved to comment like this: have a Great British pint of wind your neck in. You're not helping. The Crown is still paying you a wodge so in fact you're being disloyal. The civvies just see another Colonel Blimp with his monocle falling out. The media and the Treasury love it because MOD bickering always makes for good press and it takes up our time and our energy.
I have worked in a mixed uniformed/CS environment on several occasions. My worst boss was a Civil Servant but so was my best boss. The only thing they had in common was that they both had the best interests of the RN at heart. Unfortunately, only one of them had the necessary leadership, skills and competence to act effectively.
I tend not to pay too much attention to these type of chaps, they are all the same, ACPO+ACPO(s), Flag officers, Firemasters etc. They all seem to wait until they're out of their respective service and then let a broadside go about how shit it is. But god forbid they do it in service, hell no, who'd promote/knight them then.


Lantern Swinger
"Please define "more accurate". "

Collins is talking shite, that for the most part the CS do a good job and that the failings in the system owe as much to military incompetence as they do civvy.
Thankyou. I actually agree with what you said and believe he is just an ex-pongo trying to make a living out of sky, etc. Like Dannett, West, that crab Nichols (nice bloke for a crab - had a beer with him and his missus) a bit of exposure is good for the bank balance.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Hmm, interesting article, but I'd tend to agree with subsunk. It seems to me like a populist cheap shot.
As mentioned by NG, I too have worked with some excellent CS's from Abbeywood (along with some not so good, but isn't that just like the mob?)
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