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politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » How Labour need to stop worrying and learn to love the bomb

SystemSystem Posts: 5,841
edited April 9 in General

imagepoliticalbetting.com » Blog Archive » How Labour need to stop worrying and learn to love the bomb

Picture credit: The MOD twitter feed

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  • alex.alex. Posts: 2,806
    edited April 9
    First?

    And back to sleep.
  • RobDRobD Posts: 31,866
    Thanks Dura Ace, a good read.
  • TheJezziahTheJezziah Posts: 661
    Enjoyable read, always find your posts funny so an article is a good read. Interesting is well.

    Can't speak for the Conservatives in regards to the first section but my guess would be stupidity for Labour. It isn't an area they probably thought about campaigning on so for that reason (I imagine) it isn't one that saw much focus.

    Maybe (being generous) they were trying to sketch out what the armed forces role would be although very basically, whilst not really getting heavily into the practical details of how to do it. Whilst I couldn't see Labour taking radical action that saw lots of job losses I would like to think we would be in a stronger position to offer alternative investment to areas and retraining if needed to those involved to take some action in areas where we are wasting money on job creation.

    I do think we need to figure out exactly what we want our armed forces to do and best equip it for that, if we cannot afford our aims we either need to increase the funding our make our aims more realistic. Which you point towards with your East of Skegness policy.

    I liked your end paragraph, treatment of veterans would fit in with an anti austerity narrative.
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 7,754
    For years there was a homeless chap by the bus-shelter. I'd drop a pound or two in his hat most days. He lost a leg, and eventually the other, so gained a wheelchair. We never spoke, but waiting for the bus one day I was surprised to overhear him talking to a couple of his mates -- about their military pensions.

    The People this year reckoned there are 13,000 ex-soldiers living on the street, despite the government having enshrined the armed forces covenant in law, as it has also axed another 30,000 personnel.
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/least-13000-hero-soldiers-left-11847000
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 21,629
    "Some junior wonk with Ronnie Corbett glasses and a W.G. Grace beard has been charged with writing the defence policy. He is still shaking from last night’s cocktails and he thinks he might have tweeted something about Jews while he was drunk. He has fifteen minutes to draft a defence policy or Seumas will know why. The result is a puerile blend of platitudes about the UN and peacekeeping combined with some hastily assembled facts from Wikipedia with which to bludgeon the Conservatives."

    LOL
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 23,592
    Very interesting read, Dura Ace. Quite a bit I disagree with, but thank you for taking the time to put it together.

    I do commend your focus on the people, and your ideas of both a single administrative centre and a better post-service support programme are very interesting ones.
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 1,925
    Good thread. Interesting observation about Tories and defence cuts - I remember having arguments with fellow students in high school about what the Tories were doing to the army, or we can look at the defence review that left us borrowing boats from the people we'd sold them to in order to defend the Falklands - a long track record of budget obsessed slashing.

    So the door could be open for Labour to exploit it - after all it's not just Daily Mail types who are patriotic. Unfortunately when the Leader is cheered on by people who are increasingly batshit crazy who think a big hug of world leaders will bring about world peace, the chances of Labour having a credible view on defence never mind a policy is very low.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 9,683
    Better to get rid of Trident and spend some of the saving on restoring our conventional forces.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 17,423
    Good article and well written. I don’t agree with every point but the need for a comprehensive SDSR is overwhelming, as is a review of how we deal with veterans.

    It’s always been said that the RAF brass hats, when asked for areas to cut spending, put one or two insignificant items then the Red Arrows, knowing damn well that the minister won’t draw the line below there.
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 3,840
    Great read - stylishly written.
    Ending do more with less is a nice theme more broadly across the public sector.

    I disagree a bit on Trident - seems to be a demonstration of the sunk costs fallacy + of course Corbyn doesn't care about the cost, he is implacably opposed to nuclear weapons.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 1,818
    edited April 9

    For years there was a homeless chap by the bus-shelter. I'd drop a pound or two in his hat most days. He lost a leg, and eventually the other, so gained a wheelchair. We never spoke, but waiting for the bus one day I was surprised to overhear him talking to a couple of his mates -- about their military pensions.

    The People this year reckoned there are 13,000 ex-soldiers living on the street, despite the government having enshrined the armed forces covenant in law, as it has also axed another 30,000 personnel.
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/least-13000-hero-soldiers-left-11847000

    Yes, post discharge care medically, socially and occupationally is poor indeed. Officers seem better able to move into other roles than Other Ranks, who often seem to drift. As well as degrees of PTSD* there are issues of institutionalisation and alienation from their original communities, often worsened by back to back tours and also frequent moves about the country. The rather boozy forces culture doesn't help either.

    When we look back at the Forces satisfaction survey, we see some pretty awful stats:

    https://www.forces.net/news/58-troops-are-not-satisfied-forces-life

    I do think that the lead times for heavy equipment, often of decades, does tend to lumber each service with white elephants, and equipment that is either not suited for the task or such a financial burden that it beggars the human element in the service.

    *PTSD gets cast around over all sorts of things, but is very real indeed in ex forces personnel. This is particularly so for those who served in the front line. @Dura_Ace occasionally gets a bit intemperate on here, and I think deserves to be cut a bit of slack as a result.

    An interesting topic for a header, and good to hear a new voice. A virtual pint from me to @Dura_Ace :)

  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 9,469
    'The final strand of the defence policy should be the treatment of veterans. This doesn’t mean poppies or charities or similar facile nostrums. It should consist of a thorough and structured program to prepare, emotionally and professionally, every servicewoman and man for life after the forces.'

    This is a very good point and something we are dreadful at as a nation. My cousin found it such a struggle to adjust to civilian life he actually reenlisted. Do you have any practical ideas as to how it could be implemented, however?

    For example, would there be mileage in putting them in some kind of boarding college arrangement for a year prior to being demobbed, complete with training courses, medical support, careers advice and gradual relaxation of the rules so they don't go from total control to tota freedom in one fell swoop?
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 3,840
    Foxy said:

    For years there was a homeless chap by the bus-shelter. I'd drop a pound or two in his hat most days. He lost a leg, and eventually the other, so gained a wheelchair. We never spoke, but waiting for the bus one day I was surprised to overhear him talking to a couple of his mates -- about their military pensions.

    The People this year reckoned there are 13,000 ex-soldiers living on the street, despite the government having enshrined the armed forces covenant in law, as it has also axed another 30,000 personnel.
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/least-13000-hero-soldiers-left-11847000

    Yes, post discharge care medically, socially and occupationally is poor indeed. Officers seem better able to move into other roles than Other Ranks, who often seem to drift. As well as degrees of PTSD* there are issues of institutionalisation and alienation from their original communities, often worsened by back to back tours and also frequent moves about the country.

    When we look back at the Forces satisfaction survey, we see some pretty awful stats:

    https://www.forces.net/news/58-troops-are-not-satisfied-forces-life

    I do think that the lead times for heavy equipment, often of decades, does tend to lumber each service with white elephants, and equipment that is either not suited for the task or such a financial burden that it beggars the human element in the service.

    *PTSD gets cast around over all sorts of things, but is very real indeed in ex forces personnel. This is particularly so for those in the front line. @Dura_Ace occasionally gets a bit intemperate on here, and I think deserves to be cut a bit of slack as a result.

    An interesting topic for a header, and good to hear a new voice. A virtual pint from me to @Dura_Ace :)

    The peak in morale in 2009 is an interesting stat.
    I suppose it's a result of the cuts etc. but surprised to find such a clear trendline with Labour government!
  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 19,213
    I hope you enjoyed writing this as much as I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for a great article.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 1,818
    ydoethur said:

    'The final strand of the defence policy should be the treatment of veterans. This doesn’t mean poppies or charities or similar facile nostrums. It should consist of a thorough and structured program to prepare, emotionally and professionally, every servicewoman and man for life after the forces.'

    This is a very good point and something we are dreadful at as a nation. My cousin found it such a struggle to adjust to civilian life he actually reenlisted. Do you have any practical ideas as to how it could be implemented, however?

    For example, would there be mileage in putting them in some kind of boarding college arrangement for a year prior to being demobbed, complete with training courses, medical support, careers advice and gradual relaxation of the rules so they don't go from total control to tota freedom in one fell swoop?

    I don't think it entirely a new phenomenon. Indeed one of the more interesting pieces of popular culture dealing with this was "Whatever Happened To the Likely Lads?"

    Terry had lost contact with his best mate Bob, during his five years in the Army, and the main theme of the show is the culture clash of the two mates as a result. Terry finds his best mate, and old town changed, and indeed aspirational, while he drifts from temporary job to pub. It is quite a serious theme for such a show, and it is easy to imagine that without a fairly tolerant Bob, Terry would have wound up on the streets.
  • I’m not convinced by the credit heaped on our Government for building the international response against Putins regime, bigged up too much for political face saving in my opinion, simply put, if the Skripals poisoning had been in Germany or France would we have needed a strong diplomatic effort upon us to have joined others with diplomatic expulsions? No. Well Hopefully no depending on who’s in Downing Street. I claim the reality is it allowed Putins regime to to expel an identical number of western diplomats targeting us to degrade our ability to keep an eye on what they are really up to, western intelligence in a worse position after this “diplomatic triumph”. That might have been his game all along. The British Government claimed on R4 Today programme our expulsions were punitive because they degraded Putins underhand operations in this country, if true surely such expulsions work both ways?

    But my main point is this. Before Putins World Cup he has, in a fit of pique shot passenger airliners out the sky, staged showy assignations in our country, carried out a dirty cyber war against western democracy, and dropped barrel bombs and chemical weapons upon Syrian families and children sheltering in the basement of their own homes. It doesn’t even matter now if this continues after, or even during our attendance at Putins World Cup party, already our World Cup attending appeasement will be a stain remaining on Britain forever, regardless how diplomatic numbers later decrease or increase and ambassadors move back and forth.

    If you want a bad regime to commit even worse crimes, then carry on appeasing it. Whilst we are still in that World Cup party, don’t you dare say there is nothing more that can be done.
  • RoyalBlueRoyalBlue Posts: 1,948
    Some interesting points amidst the verbiage and attempts at humour.

    A United Kingdom Defence Force? They’ve just reversed this in Canada, but I accept lots of the administrative roles in the three services could be consolidated.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 1,818

    I’m not convinced by the credit heaped on our Government for building the international response against Putins regime, bigged up too much for political face saving in my opinion, simply put, if the Skripals poisoning had been in Germany or France would we have needed a strong diplomatic effort upon us to have joined others with diplomatic expulsions? No. Well Hopefully no depending on who’s in Downing Street. I claim the reality is it allowed Putins regime to to expel an identical number of western diplomats targeting us to degrade our ability to keep an eye on what they are really up to, western intelligence in a worse position after this “diplomatic triumph”. That might have been his game all along. The British Government claimed on R4 Today programme our expulsions were punitive because they degraded Putins underhand operations in this country, if true surely such expulsions work both ways?

    But my main point is this. Before Putins World Cup he has, in a fit of pique shot passenger airliners out the sky, staged showy assignations in our country, carried out a dirty cyber war against western democracy, and dropped barrel bombs and chemical weapons upon Syrian families and children sheltering in the basement of their own homes. It doesn’t even matter now if this continues after, or even during our attendance at Putins World Cup party, already our World Cup attending appeasement will be a stain remaining on Britain forever, regardless how diplomatic numbers later decrease or increase and ambassadors move back and forth.

    If you want a bad regime to commit even worse crimes, then carry on appeasing it. Whilst we are still in that World Cup party, don’t you dare say there is nothing more that can be done.

    Nah, The World Cup is going to have Putin on best behaviour for a bit and is just the sort of cultural event to increase Russians experience of the world, as well as our understanding of Russia.

    We have no argument with the Russian people, just with their gangster kleptocracy. Russia is the Congo with rockets.

    Anyway, I have my tickets and leave booked. :)
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 9,469
    Foxy said:

    I don't think it entirely a new phenomenon. Indeed one of the more interesting pieces of popular culture dealing with this was "Whatever Happened To the Likely Lads?"

    It's a very old phenomenon. While the example you mention is interesting you could have mentioned post-WWI, or indeed the post-Napoleonic period (which was a grotesque shambles).
    RoyalBlue said:

    A United Kingdom Defence Force? They’ve just reversed this in Canada, but I accept lots of the administrative roles in the three services could be consolidated.

    It is interesting to note the most successful actions of WWI were under Monash, who controlled all aspects of his battlefield - tanks, aircraft, artillery and infantry (the navy wasn't very relevant). Yet this was just after the RFC had been hived off to form a new separate service.

    Also I believe something like a fifth of all soldiers in the British services are currently technically in the Navy.

    A unified command structure, with common procurement and common goals, might just be a help to our Armed forces.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 41,952
    Good morning, everyone.

    Interesting article, Mr. Ace, but as long as Corbyn is Leader of the Opposition Labour will only be interested in reducing the armed forces as rapidly as possible [although every major party has cut it back in recent decades...]

    F1: well, the bet didn't come off, but when a gearbox stops working on lap 2 that's not exactly foreseeable. The race itself was really rather good, with lots of overtaking early on and an intriguing strategy picture at the end. Will set about the post-race analysis now.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 9,469

    If you want a bad regime to commit even worse crimes, then carry on appeasing it. Whilst we are still in that World Cup party, don’t you dare say there is nothing more that can be done.

    Withdrawing from the WC would be very much a symbolic gesture.

    After all we haven't turned up to any tournament for 52 years anyway!
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 19,483
    Good piece.

    My father left the army after 22 years in the late 70s. Although he had started in the ranks he left as a Captain. I was just leaving school but I remember being impressed by how much effort was being given in supporting him with his next career. He went on training courses for interviews, did assessments to identify strengths and had lots of explanations about how civilians lived outside the cocoon that was the army. The result of all this was a placement as a college lecturer which went very well for him.

    Has this fallen apart as the armed forces have shrunk? Or was it always better for the officers than the other ranks?

    There are a series of problems that ex armed forces personnel face. They have been typically away from their home areas for many years. They have changed and so have the places they have come from. Fitting in again and rebuilding networks of friends is hard. Military life was, at least for my father, all absorbing. Civilian friends and contacts tended to wither with neglect. Housing was generally provided, certainly for those with families. It was very poor quality but there was an all in it together aspect that made it tolerable. Organising your own house, mortgage, insurance, contracts, even plates was not something people were trained in. In some ways you didn't need to grow up in the armed forces and I have always suspected that the ridiculous number who find themselves homeless is connected with that.

    The cliché is that we don't look after our PTSD damaged soldiers well enough and of course we don't. But the problems are much deeper and need more thought than that. The Romans used to build new cities for their veterans, partly as a way of consolidating their empire but also, I think, recognising that after the Legion normal life was going to be tricky. Places like Devizes used to play that role in part. The numbers are smaller now but perhaps we should offer something similar.
  • MortimerMortimer Posts: 9,478

    I’m not convinced by the credit heaped on our Government for building the international response against Putins regime, bigged up too much for political face saving in my opinion, simply put, if the Skripals poisoning had been in Germany or France would we have needed a strong diplomatic effort upon us to have joined others with diplomatic expulsions? No. Well Hopefully no depending on who’s in Downing Street. I claim the reality is it allowed Putins regime to to expel an identical number of western diplomats targeting us to degrade our ability to keep an eye on what they are really up to, western intelligence in a worse position after this “diplomatic triumph”. That might have been his game all along. The British Government claimed on R4 Today programme our expulsions were punitive because they degraded Putins underhand operations in this country, if true surely such expulsions work both ways?

    But my main point is this. Before Putins World Cup he has, in a fit of pique shot passenger airliners out the sky, staged showy assignations in our country, carried out a dirty cyber war against western democracy, and dropped barrel bombs and chemical weapons upon Syrian families and children sheltering in the basement of their own homes. It doesn’t even matter now if this continues after, or even during our attendance at Putins World Cup party, already our World Cup attending appeasement will be a stain remaining on Britain forever, regardless how diplomatic numbers later decrease or increase and ambassadors move back and forth.

    If you want a bad regime to commit even worse crimes, then carry on appeasing it. Whilst we are still in that World Cup party, don’t you dare say there is nothing more that can be done.

    Have all your posts been about withdrawing from the World Cup? Do you have bet on it or something ;)
  • Hertsmere_PubgoerHertsmere_Pubgoer Posts: 3,293
    ydoethur said:

    If you want a bad regime to commit even worse crimes, then carry on appeasing it. Whilst we are still in that World Cup party, don’t you dare say there is nothing more that can be done.

    Withdrawing from the WC would be very much a symbolic gesture.

    After all we haven't turned up to any tournament for 52 years anyway!
    Withdrawal at the end of the group phase will be our method.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 1,420
    First, thanks for the words of appreciation. I am glad the article was enjoyed. Unfortunately, this exhausts my field of specialist knowledge unless the site would benefit from an article on the Porsche M64/21 motor and its innards.
    ydoethur said:

    Do you have any practical ideas as to how it could be implemented, however?

    It's my experience and observation that those who go straight from combat to demobbed fare the worst. To consider why this might be you have to examine the motivations of the fighting man or woman. Very few people are going to risk life or limb repeatedly because they love the United Kingdom or the Queen or the Prime Minister of the day. That's not why we do it, we do it for our comrades and the sense of shared endeavour. This a point that I feel civilians often do not appreciate. So service personnel go from an environment where they put their life in the hands of others; the ultimate act of trust to a civilian environment where they have no idea in whom they can put their trust. The certainties of the military environment have been yanked away from them.

    So the number one thing that would improve veteran welfare would be to have them serve at least a year in a rear echelon unit before release. Unfortunately in recent times the tempo of operations has stretched the forces to the point where there very few rear echelon units in reserve where such 'decompression' could occur.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 10,788

    I hope you enjoyed writing this as much as I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for a great article.

    Likewise.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 1,818
    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    I don't think it entirely a new phenomenon. Indeed one of the more interesting pieces of popular culture dealing with this was "Whatever Happened To the Likely Lads?"

    It's a very old phenomenon. While the example you mention is interesting you could have mentioned post-WWI, or indeed the post-Napoleonic period (which was a grotesque shambles).
    RoyalBlue said:

    A United Kingdom Defence Force? They’ve just reversed this in Canada, but I accept lots of the administrative roles in the three services could be consolidated.

    It is interesting to note the most successful actions of WWI were under Monash, who controlled all aspects of his battlefield - tanks, aircraft, artillery and infantry (the navy wasn't very relevant). Yet this was just after the RFC had been hived off to form a new separate service.

    Also I believe something like a fifth of all soldiers in the British services are currently technically in the Navy.

    A unified command structure, with common procurement and common goals, might just be a help to our Armed forces.
    I am always surprised how well most WW1 and WW2 vets reintegrated back to civvy life, after the most appalling experiences. I think the transition was easier, because of its universiality. Virtually all of the men of that generation had served, so had at least some common elements of experience. My own school teachers, at least the senior ones, had all been on active service in WW2.

    The modern forces are smaller, and shrinking, and while there are individual families and communities with strong forces traditions, in general we are a demilitrised culture. Vets now are often respected, but there is not the same universal experience. While no one blames the troops, the wars have been messy and unpopular, with at best indecisive and ambivalent outcomes.

    My own fifty something cousin has just retired from the Army, including tours of Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Nepal. He now does consultancy work for the MoD concerning the technical side of procurement. He has greatly enjoyed his career, but is bemused at knowing where he is going to be living in six months time. After 30 years that is quite a novelty!
  • RoyalBlueRoyalBlue Posts: 1,948
    edited April 9
    All the services are struggling terribly with recruitment at present. I’m not sure it’s as simple as hiking pay, but all the kit in the world is no good if we don’t have the people to man it.

    I hope somebody in the MoD reads Dura Ace’s suggestions about retaining the more experienced servicemen.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 10,226
    edited April 9
    It's always good to read something by someone who knows what he's talking about - thanks very much. A lot of that rings true, and I can vouch for many examples of the post-demob difficulties among constituents and a charity that relations of mine run. The reasons that Dura Ace set out ring true, as does his sardonic descriptikon of the parties' defence policies. FWIW, my cousin as deputy CinC said that it was very individual (and cross-party) which Defence ministerial teams were good or bad - some were genuinely interested regardless of whether their parties were, others much less so.

    People try to simplify complex issues, both for popular appeal and for thier own peace of mind. Defence debate tends to come down to nukes vs no nukes, when we really need to focus on strategy. I've certainly changed my mind from global interventionism to agreeing with Dura that 26 years of continuous combat has produced almost no detectable benefits for Britain or anyone else. Withdrawing to the point of saying we don't care what happens anywhere outside our waters also doesn't seem quite right, though.

    Labour tends to default to supporting the UN when needed, which tends not to work as the UN is only able to get involved when all the Security Council members want it. Europhile though I am, I'm wary of committing to an EU force that could get drawn into messy conflicts where both sides are pretty awful. Possibly we should maintain a smallish interventionary force which could be committed on a rare case by case basis.
  • alex.alex. Posts: 2,806
    How much responsibility should Forces top brass take for the state of the armed forces? It's very easy to always blame the Government, but perhaps if the experts took the requests for savings ideas a bit more seriously then perhaps things would be a little less chaotic. Maybe the perception about things like the "couple of items and then the Red Arrows" are overdone and unfair, but the perception that they are always fighting turf wars can't be completely fictional.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 19,483
    On the substance of the East of Skegness policy I am not so sure. I agree that the do more with less approach has become increasingly delusional but I think that is the politicians fault. If they want to play soldiers on the international stage they need to will the resources to do it. If we accept that is not our priority, as many European countries have, then we have to stop pretending to be a player in international deployments.

    The issues I see are that Skegness is not under any obvious threat. If we are basically looking at a national defence force you have to wonder what the point is. Who, exactly, is threatening to invade us? Such a force seems to me to be a solution in search of a problem.

    Alternatively, there are still many areas of the world where a well equipped, small but well trained force can make a difference whether in taking out "bad guys", peacekeeping or even post disaster relief. I think that would be a good option for us. It would mean reconfiguring our forces around such a vision. We wouldn't need more than a very small number of main battlefield tanks or fast jets. We would need a lot more helicopters, ground attack aircraft, paratroopers, drones, logistical support etc etc than we have right now and we would need a political class capable of appreciating what such a force can and cannot do. The last point is obviously the trickiest.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 27,715

    I hope you enjoyed writing this as much as I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for a great article.

    +1
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 64,315
    edited April 9
    Always liked Ted Heath.

    Took us into the EC and took Middlesbrough out of Yorkshire, now he’s the best PM for Defence since WWII

    Many thanks for this Dura Ace, was a real pleasure to publish this.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 19,483
    alex. said:

    How much responsibility should Forces top brass take for the state of the armed forces? It's very easy to always blame the Government, but perhaps if the experts took the requests for savings ideas a bit more seriously then perhaps things would be a little less chaotic. Maybe the perception about things like the "couple of items and then the Red Arrows" are overdone and unfair, but the perception that they are always fighting turf wars can't be completely fictional.

    The top brass of almost all of our armed forces is redundant and superfluous. We have admirals with no ships to command, Generals with no divisions to deploy and whatever the Air Force equivalent is. They and their staff consume excessive resources that should be deployed to the front line. It is a consequence of shrinkage on an ad hoc basis over the years without a clear vision of what we want. The forces they are trained to organise and deploy are not coming back. They need to go.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 41,952
    Mr. L, aye, that does sound indefensibly dumb. Reminds me of an early Eastern emperor who reduced the size of a legion to 1,000 men so the roll call would sound more impressive.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 1,818
    RoyalBlue said:

    All the services are struggling terribly with recruitment at present. I’m not sure it’s as simple as hiking pay, but all the kit in the world is no good if we don’t have the people to man it.

    Paradoxically, recruitment and perhaps even more importantly retention, have worsened even as the risk of death in combat goes down. I think the recent death of a British serviceman in Syria was the first active service fatality for some years.

    Ultimately war is diplomacy by other means, and we need to decide our future foreign policy before we can figure out what sorts of armed forces that we need. All services are bedeviled by the problem that equipment timelines are about 5 times longer than a parliamentary term, so we have equipment designed for the challenges of the nineties. These white elephants then drive an armed force direction that very poorly matches contemporary challenges. Trident is a case in point, but so are our Carriers, but not just these.
  • JWisemannJWisemann Posts: 1,031
    Pretty angry right now that the corrupt and discredited transatlantic security establishment seems determined to push us to the brink of nuclear war to protect our jihadi army in Syria. They need to accept they lost and we should have never supported genocidal salafist jihadis in the first place, and move on.
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 64,315
    My inexpert eyes thinks given how often we use 16 AAB we should be looking to create a full Airborne Air Assault Division. Something to rival the 101st for brilliance.

    Oh and create full Marine Expeditionary Divison.

    I think the era of large tank/armoured engagements is over.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 1,818

    Always liked Ted Heath.

    Took us into the EC and took Middlesbrough out of Yorkshire, now he’s the best PM for Defence since WWII

    Many thanks for this Dura Ace, was a real pleasure to publish this.

    Would you be interested in Dr Foxy's perspective on UK health policy?
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 64,315
    Foxy said:

    Always liked Ted Heath.

    Took us into the EC and took Middlesbrough out of Yorkshire, now he’s the best PM for Defence since WWII

    Many thanks for this Dura Ace, was a real pleasure to publish this.

    Would you be interested in Dr Foxy's perspective on UK health policy?
    Absolutely.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 29,695
    An engaging read.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 29,695
    edited April 9
    Foxy said:

    Always liked Ted Heath.

    Took us into the EC and took Middlesbrough out of Yorkshire, now he’s the best PM for Defence since WWII

    Many thanks for this Dura Ace, was a real pleasure to publish this.

    Would you be interested in Dr Foxy's perspective on UK health policy?
    Mandatory health screenings for Corbyn Mania? I hear it’s catching at an alarming rate. :)
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 1,818

    Foxy said:

    Always liked Ted Heath.

    Took us into the EC and took Middlesbrough out of Yorkshire, now he’s the best PM for Defence since WWII

    Many thanks for this Dura Ace, was a real pleasure to publish this.

    Would you be interested in Dr Foxy's perspective on UK health policy?
    Absolutely.
    I have a bit of time off this week, so will see what I can do.
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 11,314
    Thanks for an entertaining & informative piece.

    'lackwittedly'

    I also applaud your restraint & delicacy.
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 64,315
    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Always liked Ted Heath.

    Took us into the EC and took Middlesbrough out of Yorkshire, now he’s the best PM for Defence since WWII

    Many thanks for this Dura Ace, was a real pleasure to publish this.

    Would you be interested in Dr Foxy's perspective on UK health policy?
    Absolutely.
    I have a bit of time off this week, so will see what I can do.
    Looking forward to it.

    If anyone wants to submit a piece for publication please vanilla message me at any time.

    PB is always looking for guest submissions.

    Any pieces that praise AV and/or denounce lovers of pineapple on pizza as degenerates have a higher chance of publication.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 10,788
    I managed to avoid National Service, by being a student when it ended. However, many of my friends served, and virtually all re-integrated into civilian life seamlessly, albeit generally with a considerable degree of relief. Again, probably because it was a nearly universal experience.

    Many of the people I knew served in combat areas as well, usually colonial wars; they didn’t all, as one friend did, guard airfields in wintry Norfolk armed with baseball bats.
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 5,815
    So is today the day that the Home Secretary and her predecessor resign from the government and accept responsibility for their actions and the resultant increase in violent crime and murder?

    The above is my submission to the 'Questions to which the answer is "No"' file.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 1,818
    kle4 said:

    Foxy said:

    Always liked Ted Heath.

    Took us into the EC and took Middlesbrough out of Yorkshire, now he’s the best PM for Defence since WWII

    Many thanks for this Dura Ace, was a real pleasure to publish this.

    Would you be interested in Dr Foxy's perspective on UK health policy?
    Mandatory health screenings for Corbyn Mania? I hear it’s catching at an alarming rate. :)
    I was thinking more along the lines of John Reid's infamous reaction to being made minister of Health...
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 41,952
    F1: just running through the stats, and it's interesting that, only two teams have an all points record so far: Mercedes and McLaren. Alonso is 4th in the Drivers' title race.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 39,697
    While polling does suggest most voters do support a nuclear deterrent, that does not necessarily extend to Trident
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 9,469

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Always liked Ted Heath.

    Took us into the EC and took Middlesbrough out of Yorkshire, now he’s the best PM for Defence since WWII

    Many thanks for this Dura Ace, was a real pleasure to publish this.

    Would you be interested in Dr Foxy's perspective on UK health policy?
    Absolutely.
    I have a bit of time off this week, so will see what I can do.
    Looking forward to it.

    If anyone wants to submit a piece for publication please vanilla message me at any time.

    PB is always looking for guest submissions.

    Any pieces that praise AV and/or denounce lovers of pineapple on pizza as degenerates have a higher chance of publication.
    What about pieces on Education which compare government policies to The Last Jedi?
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 5,206
    edited April 9
    Foxy said:

    RoyalBlue said:

    All the services are struggling terribly with recruitment at present. I’m not sure it’s as simple as hiking pay, but all the kit in the world is no good if we don’t have the people to man it.

    Paradoxically, recruitment and perhaps even more importantly retention, have worsened even as the risk of death in combat goes down. I think the recent death of a British serviceman in Syria was the first active service fatality for some years.

    Ultimately war is diplomacy by other means, and we need to decide our future foreign policy before we can figure out what sorts of armed forces that we need. All services are bedeviled by the problem that equipment timelines are about 5 times longer than a parliamentary term, so we have equipment designed for the challenges of the nineties. These white elephants then drive an armed force direction that very poorly matches contemporary challenges. Trident is a case in point, but so are our Carriers, but not just these.
    One thing which might help would be to separate out responsibility for procurement from the MOD (as, I believe, the Swedish do).
    Buying kit is by quite some distance the largest part of defence spending -
    https://www.contracts.mod.uk/blog/breakdown-planned-defence-expenditure-2018/
    - so improving the process would pay significant dividends.

    At present, formation of defence policy and the weapons procurement process are intertwined in a muddled and politically fraught tangle. It is, quite rightly, the job of politicians to decide what it is our services should do; that they should be deciding what kind of carriers we ought to be buying, and in which constituency the should be built really isn't.

    Removing procurement for the direct control of the MOD would have the additional, and probably greater benefit of forcing it to concentrate on actual defence policy.

    (Looking at the regional breakdown of defence spending, an independent procurement agency might usefully be situated well away from Whitehall - in Yorkshire.)
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 64,315

    So is today the day that the Home Secretary and her predecessor resign from the government and accept responsibility for their actions and the resultant increase in violent crime and murder?

    The above is my submission to the 'Questions to which the answer is "No"' file.

    There was a similar spike in murders a decade or so ago.

    We had a lot more rozzers then.

    Correlation doesn’t imply causation.
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 5,815

    So is today the day that the Home Secretary and her predecessor resign from the government and accept responsibility for their actions and the resultant increase in violent crime and murder?

    The above is my submission to the 'Questions to which the answer is "No"' file.

    There was a similar spike in murders a decade or so ago.

    We had a lot more rozzers then.

    Correlation doesn’t imply causation.
    But the Home Office are the ones saying it does thiis time:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43694062
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 39,697
    JWisemann said:

    Pretty angry right now that the corrupt and discredited transatlantic security establishment seems determined to push us to the brink of nuclear war to protect our jihadi army in Syria. They need to accept they lost and we should have never supported genocidal salafist jihadis in the first place, and move on.

    The attach on the Syrian military this morning most likely came from Israel not the West and after more than 60 were killed in an Assad chemical weapons attack
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 64,315

    So is today the day that the Home Secretary and her predecessor resign from the government and accept responsibility for their actions and the resultant increase in violent crime and murder?

    The above is my submission to the 'Questions to which the answer is "No"' file.

    There was a similar spike in murders a decade or so ago.

    We had a lot more rozzers then.

    Correlation doesn’t imply causation.
    But the Home Office are the ones saying it does thiis time:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43694062
    Did you read this bit?

    The analysis does go on to say that forces with the biggest falls in officer numbers are not seeing the biggest rises in serious violence.
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 64,315
    edited April 9
    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Always liked Ted Heath.

    Took us into the EC and took Middlesbrough out of Yorkshire, now he’s the best PM for Defence since WWII

    Many thanks for this Dura Ace, was a real pleasure to publish this.

    Would you be interested in Dr Foxy's perspective on UK health policy?
    Absolutely.
    I have a bit of time off this week, so will see what I can do.
    Looking forward to it.

    If anyone wants to submit a piece for publication please vanilla message me at any time.

    PB is always looking for guest submissions.

    Any pieces that praise AV and/or denounce lovers of pineapple on pizza as degenerates have a higher chance of publication.
    What about pieces on Education which compare government policies to The Last Jedi?
    I regularly publish pieces I disagree with.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 27,715
    Interesting, and no doubt controversial in the academic establishment, view of a student at Edinburgh University on what a 'military' ethos could bring to education:

    As a university student and a private soldier in the Army Reserve, I have experience of both the educational system and the military, and undoubtedly encounter far more conformity in the former.

    At its core, the military ethos is about shared values and standards: selfless commitment, discipline, respect for others, courage, loyalty, and integrity. These are not just vital for crafting fine soldiers; they also create better people. Soldiers are held to a higher standard by the general public; society knows that this set of specific values has been instilled in our military men and women, from the first day of training.


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/04/04/must-call-army-fix-failing-conformist-education-system/
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 39,697

    So is today the day that the Home Secretary and her predecessor resign from the government and accept responsibility for their actions and the resultant increase in violent crime and murder?

    The above is my submission to the 'Questions to which the answer is "No"' file.

    There was a similar spike in murders a decade or so ago.

    We had a lot more rozzers then.

    Correlation doesn’t imply causation.
    But the Home Office are the ones saying it does thiis time:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43694062
    Did you read this bit?

    The analysis does go on to say that forces with the biggest falls in officer numbers are not seeing the biggest rises in serious violence.
    Indeed and councils can put up council tax to pay for more officers as Essex is doing this year
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 39,697

    So is today the day that the Home Secretary and her predecessor resign from the government and accept responsibility for their actions and the resultant increase in violent crime and murder?

    The above is my submission to the 'Questions to which the answer is "No"' file.

    Will Khan be resigning too then after London saw a higher murder rate than New York last month for the first time on his watch as Mayor?
  • RoyalBlueRoyalBlue Posts: 1,948
    For defence procurement, I think we’d get better results if we signed a 25 year agreement with the USA. We would commit to buying 8 or 9% of whatever they order (subject to certain exclusions like strategic bombers), in exchange for British industry getting a commensurate amount of contracts. We would end up with a lot more kit, bought at lower unit prices, and fully interoperable with our most important ally by far.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 5,206
    Nice writeup, Mr.D.
    I'm not sure I agree, however, that the Mercedes wasn't fast enough. Bottas was within a few hundredths of a second of getting DRS a lap earlier; had he done so, he would almost certainly have passed Vettel before the end of the race.
    (Mercedes might also possibly have made a poor strategy call keeping Hamilton out a couple of laps too long before his tyre change in the hope of holding Vettel up - the time he lost was significantly more than the margin Vettel had over him at the end.)
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 41,952
    F1: suffered bad luck in both races so far. In unrelated news, the China pre-qualifying article will be up on Friday the thirteenth. ....
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 41,952
    Mr. B, debatable. The Mercedes suffers more in turbulence, and Vettel was driving impeccably. It's a shame that we didn't get to see how Raikkonen or Ricciardo's races would've panned out.
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 7,754

    Good morning, everyone.

    Interesting article, Mr. Ace, but as long as Corbyn is Leader of the Opposition Labour will only be interested in reducing the armed forces as rapidly as possible [although every major party has cut it back in recent decades...]

    F1: well, the bet didn't come off, but when a gearbox stops working on lap 2 that's not exactly foreseeable. The race itself was really rather good, with lots of overtaking early on and an intriguing strategy picture at the end. Will set about the post-race analysis now.

    When you say every major party has cut defence spending in recent decades, you seem to be thinking only of major parties wearing blue rosettes. Defence spending rose under Labour, and was cut by the Tories (under Thatcher as well as Cameron). Dura Ace is right in his opening paragraph that this is an area in which Conservatives are vulnerable.
  • bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 9,632
    HYUFD said:

    So is today the day that the Home Secretary and her predecessor resign from the government and accept responsibility for their actions and the resultant increase in violent crime and murder?

    The above is my submission to the 'Questions to which the answer is "No"' file.

    Will Khan be resigning too then after London saw a higher murder rate than New York last month for the first time on his watch as Mayor?
    Its down to Police Cuts.

    Have you not read the Home Office report.

    Either Rudd has and she lied her ass off

    Or she hasnt in which case she should have

    I think the former is most likely
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 9,469

    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Always liked Ted Heath.

    Took us into the EC and took Middlesbrough out of Yorkshire, now he’s the best PM for Defence since WWII

    Many thanks for this Dura Ace, was a real pleasure to publish this.

    Would you be interested in Dr Foxy's perspective on UK health policy?
    Absolutely.
    I have a bit of time off this week, so will see what I can do.
    Looking forward to it.

    If anyone wants to submit a piece for publication please vanilla message me at any time.

    PB is always looking for guest submissions.

    Any pieces that praise AV and/or denounce lovers of pineapple on pizza as degenerates have a higher chance of publication.
    What about pieces on Education which compare government policies to The Last Jedi?
    I regularly publish pieces I disagree with.
    So a piece on the shortcomings of AV still would have a chance, contrary to your earlier assertion? :smile:
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 7,754
    HYUFD said:

    So is today the day that the Home Secretary and her predecessor resign from the government and accept responsibility for their actions and the resultant increase in violent crime and murder?

    The above is my submission to the 'Questions to which the answer is "No"' file.

    There was a similar spike in murders a decade or so ago.

    We had a lot more rozzers then.

    Correlation doesn’t imply causation.
    But the Home Office are the ones saying it does thiis time:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43694062
    Did you read this bit?

    The analysis does go on to say that forces with the biggest falls in officer numbers are not seeing the biggest rises in serious violence.
    Indeed and councils can put up council tax to pay for more officers as Essex is doing this year
    The Mayor has also increased contributions to police funding, as you keep forgetting.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 39,697
    edited April 9

    HYUFD said:

    So is today the day that the Home Secretary and her predecessor resign from the government and accept responsibility for their actions and the resultant increase in violent crime and murder?

    The above is my submission to the 'Questions to which the answer is "No"' file.

    Will Khan be resigning too then after London saw a higher murder rate than New York last month for the first time on his watch as Mayor?
    Its down to Police Cuts.

    Have you not read the Home Office report.

    Either Rudd has and she lied her ass off

    Or she hasnt in which case she should have

    I think the former is most likely
    Not entirely true, as TSE says the forces with the biggest rise in violent crime are not those with the biggest fall in police officers.

    More stop and search and dealing with minor crime first and a 'broken windows' policy is all part of the solution
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 41,952
    Mr. L, mildly surprised by that. Also worth noting that the military were asked to undertake various adventures by Blair, though.
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 64,315
    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Always liked Ted Heath.

    Took us into the EC and took Middlesbrough out of Yorkshire, now he’s the best PM for Defence since WWII

    Many thanks for this Dura Ace, was a real pleasure to publish this.

    Would you be interested in Dr Foxy's perspective on UK health policy?
    Absolutely.
    I have a bit of time off this week, so will see what I can do.
    Looking forward to it.

    If anyone wants to submit a piece for publication please vanilla message me at any time.

    PB is always looking for guest submissions.

    Any pieces that praise AV and/or denounce lovers of pineapple on pizza as degenerates have a higher chance of publication.
    What about pieces on Education which compare government policies to The Last Jedi?
    I regularly publish pieces I disagree with.
    So a piece on the shortcomings of AV still would have a chance, contrary to your earlier assertion? :smile:
    Yah.

    But we all know AV has no shortcomings.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 17,423

    Mr. B, debatable. The Mercedes suffers more in turbulence, and Vettel was driving impeccably. It's a shame that we didn't get to see how Raikkonen or Ricciardo's races would've panned out.

    A good write up of a great race, very close at the end but Vettel did well to hold Bottas off given he was forced to stay out by the chaos in the Ferrari pit. I see the red team got a €50k fine to add to the bill for putting one poor guy in the hospital, another team that need to take a very careful look at how they do pit stops.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 14,120
    One of the Tories great leadership hopes, may have blundered:

  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 17,423
    edited April 9
    While on the subject of racing cars and military, a free plug if I may for a charity called Mission Motorsport http://www.missionmotorsport.org

    I have no relationship with them other than as a donor, but they run racing teams in a number of series staffed entirely by disabled military veterans. They’ve also got a lot of their team members jobs in the automotive industry, and run an annual charity race called Race of Remembrance every November. Awesome charity.
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 7,754

    Mr. L, mildly surprised by that. Also worth noting that the military were asked to undertake various adventures by Blair, though.

    It is the same with the police (see elsewhere on this thread). Conservatives cut police and defence. Against that, Labour privatised a chunk of the NHS. It is partly "Nixon in China" but shows both parties are vulnerable to attack on their perceived strengths -- the strategy Karl Rove used to get Bush elected.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 43,090
    A very enjoyable read with my early morning cup of tea.
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 64,315
    The Met are massively overfunded.

    I mean they spent over £2.5 million on believing the fantasist Nick.

    I could go on.
  • Andy_CookeAndy_Cooke Posts: 803
    Defence procurement suffers due to military cultural issues: a posting to a procurement post is seen as a second-rate tour, or a tour for second-raters; command tours are the ones you want and need for promotion. Of course, everyone (who's not extraordinarily lucky or luckily extraordinary) will get such tours sooner or later... but if you're good at it, you're in danger of being stovepiped into it, and that's a career-ender.
    Added to that the view that project management skills don't need to be taught to more senior officers (after all, surely they've inherently developed them by now?), and the specialised skills for defence acquisition and project managers only tend to be taught to the junior and middle-ranking officers (usually no higher than OF-3), who are then in danger of stovepiping, and you don't have a recipe for unqualified success.
    Senior officers usually got to that level through showing a good skillset for crisis management, while procurement should be carried out in such a way that there are no crises to manage, but somehow Defence Procurement tends to devolve towards crises. Either they've got the perfect skillset to cope with that and stop it becoming disaster, or there's a subconscious attraction towards crises, as that's where the skills comfort zone is.

    There needs to be a culture change, where a tour in procurement immediately after a command or combat tour is seen as the final leavening before promotion, with an intervening training course in acquisition and programme management skills. Maybe that would help.
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 64,315

    One of the Tories great leadership hopes, may have blundered:

    Another Oxford educated lawyer, they really are thick as mince, especially when it comes to presenting evidence to boost their case. Cf Blair and Gauke.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 17,423

    One of the Tories great leadership hopes, may have blundered:

    Another Oxford educated lawyer, they really are thick as mince, especially when it comes to presenting evidence to boost their case. Cf Blair and Gauke.
    If those criticising him had read economics, they’d be well aware that increasing demand while keeping supply constant leads to an increase in price.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 8,102
    Sandpit said:

    One of the Tories great leadership hopes, may have blundered:

    Another Oxford educated lawyer, they really are thick as mince, especially when it comes to presenting evidence to boost their case. Cf Blair and Gauke.
    If those criticising him had read economics, they’d be well aware that increasing demand while keeping supply constant leads to an increase in price.
    Certainly true for rents, perhaps less true for prices.
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 64,315
    Sandpit said:

    One of the Tories great leadership hopes, may have blundered:

    Another Oxford educated lawyer, they really are thick as mince, especially when it comes to presenting evidence to boost their case. Cf Blair and Gauke.
    If those criticising him had read economics, they’d be well aware that increasing demand while keeping supply constant leads to an increase in price.
    Does anyone know how much house prices rose over the last 25 years?

    Plus didn’t Robert recently post some figures showing some of the biggest rises in house prices in the UK happened when there was virtually no immigration to the UK?
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 17,873
    Sandpit said:

    One of the Tories great leadership hopes, may have blundered:

    Another Oxford educated lawyer, they really are thick as mince, especially when it comes to presenting evidence to boost their case. Cf Blair and Gauke.
    If those criticising him had read economics, they’d be well aware that increasing demand while keeping supply constant leads to an increase in price.
    Demand isn't the same as need, and supply is highly elastic as occupancy patterns can easily change.
  • TGOHFTGOHF Posts: 17,500
    tlg86 said:

    Sandpit said:

    One of the Tories great leadership hopes, may have blundered:

    Another Oxford educated lawyer, they really are thick as mince, especially when it comes to presenting evidence to boost their case. Cf Blair and Gauke.
    If those criticising him had read economics, they’d be well aware that increasing demand while keeping supply constant leads to an increase in price.
    Certainly true for rents, perhaps less true for prices.
    Eh ?

    You think no immigrants have bought houses ? Or that those who have become new landlords by renting out to new immigrants haven't pushed up house prices by buying for themselves and for their tennants ?

    That anyone thinks Raab is incorrect shows the ignorance of economics in this country.

  • Andy_CookeAndy_Cooke Posts: 803
    DavidL said:

    Good piece.

    My father left the army after 22 years in the late 70s. Although he had started in the ranks he left as a Captain. I was just leaving school but I remember being impressed by how much effort was being given in supporting him with his next career. He went on training courses for interviews, did assessments to identify strengths and had lots of explanations about how civilians lived outside the cocoon that was the army. The result of all this was a placement as a college lecturer which went very well for him.

    Has this fallen apart as the armed forces have shrunk? Or was it always better for the officers than the other ranks?

    The resettlement provision (training and direct support) is actually still superb. The access to courses, training, tuition on things like CVs, the job market, covering letters, how to phrase things, interviews and so forth is excellent and should be used for long-term unemployed, in my opinion, or even provided at the end of school for school-leavers.

    The issue comes in before there: we spend many years inculcating a certain ethos and mindset in order to strengthen people in facing dangerous and hostile (and, to civilians, abnormal) scenarios and situations. Add to that those dangerous, hostile, and abnormal situations incurring an emotional and mental cost that can't be unpaid.
    This is why the issue is exacerbated for those who come straight back from combat. As mentioned above, a 'decompression' tour would help no end.

    There's two other elements that would help - one of which is being done, another of which is not:
    - Transferable skills and qualifications. Ex-engineers and technicians often find it easy. Ex-infantry, not so much. The military try to encourage personnel to do courses and training throughout that aren't necessarily linked to their jobs (look up the ELCAS learning credits). They also try to align qualifications with civilian qualifications.
    - Maintaining contact with civilian life. Because it's such a different (and peripatetic) life, people lose touch with those outside the military world; the military becomes their lives. Encouraging links with communities and trying to provide a "home base" for people would help, otherwise when they leave, they've lost their world and they're rudderless. I think officers tend to keep those links better than other ranks, which is one reason they tend to do better after discharge.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 41,952
    Mr. L, a sound point.

    If Labour didn't have someone on the record calling for more Defence cuts (and an aspiration of abolishing the armed forces altogether) it could be a weak spot for them.

    Incidentally, for anyone into classical history I just reviewed Xenophon's The Persian Expedition: https://thewayfarersrest.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/review-persian-expedition-by-xenophon.html
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 17,423
    edited April 9

    Sandpit said:

    One of the Tories great leadership hopes, may have blundered:

    Another Oxford educated lawyer, they really are thick as mince, especially when it comes to presenting evidence to boost their case. Cf Blair and Gauke.
    If those criticising him had read economics, they’d be well aware that increasing demand while keeping supply constant leads to an increase in price.
    Demand isn't the same as need, and supply is highly elastic as occupancy patterns can easily change.
    rcs is doing some analysis on this, but some points:

    Demand is not the same as need, I agree. There’s no demand for buying property from those who can’t afford to buy, but people still need to live somewhere.

    Demand for housing to buy is as much related to demand and supply of mortgage finance, as it is supply and demand of the properties themselves. The Corbynites who want to f... the banks don’t realise this.

    Demand for rental properties is related to supply of rental properties. If government policy discourages landlords then rents go UP in the short term, even if demand eventually falls as people buy rather than rent.

    Some people don’t want to buy as they don’t wish to commit themselves to a particular location and there is a high barrier to moving in terms of the costs of purchase (stamp duty, estate agent, solicitor etc)

    Supply isn’t highly electric, far from it. Lead times are years, the only mitigation being HMOs and property conversions, the latter of which still have relatively long lead times. The result is ‘beds in sheds’ and renting of ‘bed space’ in what are basically dormitories for lower paid workers in large cities.

    Any government policy to increase affordability carries the risk of leaving people in negative equity, which is a serious restriction on mobility of labour.
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 64,315
    I’m assuming someone at L’Equipe was high when they wrote and published this, as I can’t think of a player less in the Klopp mould than Marouane Fellaini.

    ‘Liverpool offer Fellaini a three year deal’

    https://m.lequipe.fr/Football/Actualites/Mercato-liverpool-se-positionne-sur-fellaini-monaco-et-le-psg-a-l-affut/891151
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 43,090
    edited April 9

    One of the Tories great leadership hopes, may have blundered:

    Another Oxford educated lawyer, they really are thick as mince, especially when it comes to presenting evidence to boost their case. Cf Blair and Gauke.
    Say 65.63 million people left the UK tommorow (Leaving 10,000) and everyone stuck their property up on rightmove, ceteris paribus that would reduce demand and increase supply for housing very considerably and would lead to a wholesale collapse in prices (See Detroit for a working example I believe). So clearly there must be some link.
    However it is not the only factor, and I'd be interested to see his workings to get at a figure of 20% for immigration alone.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 25,870

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Always liked Ted Heath.

    Took us into the EC and took Middlesbrough out of Yorkshire, now he’s the best PM for Defence since WWII

    Many thanks for this Dura Ace, was a real pleasure to publish this.

    Would you be interested in Dr Foxy's perspective on UK health policy?
    Absolutely.
    I have a bit of time off this week, so will see what I can do.
    Looking forward to it.

    If anyone wants to submit a piece for publication please vanilla message me at any time.

    PB is always looking for guest submissions.

    Any pieces that praise AV and/or denounce lovers of pineapple on pizza as degenerates have a higher chance of publication.
    What about pieces on Education which compare government policies to The Last Jedi?
    I regularly publish pieces I disagree with.
    So a piece on the shortcomings of AV still would have a chance, contrary to your earlier assertion? :smile:
    Yah.

    But we all know AV has no shortcomings.
    [Sunil whistles innocently]

    2011
    No 2 AV = 68%
    Yes 2 AV = 32%
  • Scrapheap_as_wasScrapheap_as_was Posts: 8,298
    Wing-nut in chief..... in a cravat?




    Amongst his supporters agreeing with this, one of the comments seems unfortunate..

  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 8,102
    TGOHF said:

    tlg86 said:

    Sandpit said:

    One of the Tories great leadership hopes, may have blundered:

    Another Oxford educated lawyer, they really are thick as mince, especially when it comes to presenting evidence to boost their case. Cf Blair and Gauke.
    If those criticising him had read economics, they’d be well aware that increasing demand while keeping supply constant leads to an increase in price.
    Certainly true for rents, perhaps less true for prices.
    Eh ?

    You think no immigrants have bought houses ? Or that those who have become new landlords by renting out to new immigrants haven't pushed up house prices by buying for themselves and for their tennants ?

    That anyone thinks Raab is incorrect shows the ignorance of economics in this country.

    I didn't say that it didn't have an effect, just that there's a multitude of factors.

    But the higher rents have certainly generated a sense that you have to get on the housing ladder as quickly as you can because it's actually cheaper in the short term and not just the long term. And, of course, higher rents makes saving for a deposit that much harder.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 39,697

    One of the Tories great leadership hopes, may have blundered:

    Raab was right, immigration with lack of transition controls in 2004 certainly contributed to higher house prices added to by the downward pressure on wages for those on lower wages.

    However lack of housebuilding, banks lending too much etc all added to the problem
  • bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 9,632
    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    So is today the day that the Home Secretary and her predecessor resign from the government and accept responsibility for their actions and the resultant increase in violent crime and murder?

    The above is my submission to the 'Questions to which the answer is "No"' file.

    Will Khan be resigning too then after London saw a higher murder rate than New York last month for the first time on his watch as Mayor?
    Its down to Police Cuts.

    Have you not read the Home Office report.

    Either Rudd has and she lied her ass off

    Or she hasnt in which case she should have

    I think the former is most likely
    Not entirely true, as TSE says the forces with the biggest rise in violent crime are not those with the biggest fall in police officers.

    More stop and search and dealing with minor crime first and a 'broken windows' policy is all part of the solution
    It’s difficult to know which is worse, that Rudd says she’s never read her own dept’s analysis on violent crime or knew its conclusions POLICE CUTS ‘LIKELY’ CONTRIBUTED TO SERIOUS RISE IN VIOLENT CRIME & covered it up.Incompetence or willingness to mislead
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 64,315

    Wing-nut in chief..... in a cravat?




    Amongst his supporters agreeing with this, one of the comments seems unfortunate..

    David Cameron helped Chris Williamson lose his seat, Mrs May helped him win back his seat.

    The more I think about it that might be the worst thing Mrs May has ever done, worse than sacking George Osborne, making Gavin Williamson SecDef, appointing Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill her Chiefs of Staff, and losing Dave’s majority.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 17,873

    Wing-nut in chief..... in a cravat?

    He thinks he's Terence Stamp.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 41,952
    Mr. Eagles, maybe. It might be that Williamson is more help to his adversaries than his allies, though.
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