The Royal Navy – End of Days

The Coalition government’s Strategic Defence Review has turned out what some would see as apparently illogical results.

In assessing the defence needs of the UK, the coalition has always to be mindful of the elephant in the room, the EU, and whilst there is denial from every quarter about the building of EU armed forces, this carries on apace whilst the veil of the magician casts an illusion elsewhere.

This coalition government’s commitment to further EU integration is total, despite what it says in public, we need to look at their deeds rather than their words, and look at the law to understand why certain defence decisions which seem irrational are in fact necessary if that integration is to continue, then you will understand the method in the madness.

For a maritime nation to have its Navy all but dismantled seems both illogical and irrational. However understanding the laws which govern the creation and continuing operation of all 3 services gives the greatest clue as to why the Royal Navy is suffering the largest hits in these cuts.

Both the Army and the Royal Air Force (which started life as the Army Air Corps) require an Act of Parliament to exist, one that must be renewed by parliament each and every year.

To integrate the Army or RAF into an emerging EU armed forces is but a simple administrative matter, it can be done by statute, and to a large extent this transformation is already underway with the creation of EU battalions, EU Battle Groups, Rapid Reaction forces, the European Defence Agency and inclusion into the EU General Staff structure under the EU Military Committee of the EEAS of Baroness Ashton, driven by The Headline Goal of the Helsinki accord, the Common Security & Defence Policy,  and the EU procurement Directives 2009/81/EC & 2009/43/EC.

All persons enlisting in the British Army and the Royal Marines are required by the Army Act 1955 to attest to the following oath or equivalent affirmation:

I… swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will, as in duty bound, honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors, in Person, Crown and Dignity against all enemies, and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors, and of the generals and officers set over me. So help me God.

The same oath is made by recruits to the Royal Air Force under the Air Force Act 1955, with the substitution of the words “air officers” for “generals”.

This will eventually give way to a new EU centric oath swearing allegiance to parliament for soldiers and airmen, which to all intents and purposes have already been reorganised on a regional basis, with the new oath being prepared for the day following the death of HMQ, by Statutory Instrument in the intervening period before the coronation of either Charles or William.

However, the Royal Navy is a totally different kettle of fish (or can of worms for the integrationalists). As the oldest of our armed services, it was established by Henry VIII as a Service in Defence of the Realm by his Prerogative under common law. The RN does not require an Act of Parliament to exist, and an Act of Parliament may not abolish, claim it nor give it away.

No oath of allegiance is sworn by members of the Royal Navy, which is not maintained under an Act of Parliament but by the Royal Prerogative, or by Royal Marines officers, who unlike their Army counterparts are not enlisted before they are commissioned. They work directly under a Royal Commission for the Queen, even though day to day operations is handled through the MoD via the Admiralty. Note that they are Her Majesty’s Ships (The Admiralty, and Admiralty law, is a crucial element in the application of Common Law through the Crown Courts in the UK which is outlined in a previous post)

The only way that the Royal Navy can be merged into the EU forces is to let it fall into total disuse along with the ancient powers that are held by the Admiralty. The Ministry of Justice is working in tandem along the same lines, in its running down of our ancient Crown Court structures in favour of administrative and legislative courts under the newly formulated Supreme Court, which will only deal with legislative statutes whilst ignoring Common Law. The changes to oaths will be key in this judicial area as well.

A key part of the ongoing integration with the EU was the re-writing of the old military governing law. The Queens Regulations in place under The Army Act 1955 and the Air Force Act 1955,  and the Q.R. & A.I. under the Naval Discipline Act 1957 have all been merged and became the Armed Forces act 2006, and it is worth noting that this Act does not conform to the Common Law insomuch as it includes the discipline of members of the Royal Navy.

Do not be surprised to see further cuts to the Royal Navy, here are the latest, as the running down of the RN is crucial if integration is to be completed.

I have always maintained that the 2 new super-carriers will never see a commission under the White Ensign in its current form, and it has been the conflict over their eventual legal base and the EU procurement directives which have caused much of the delay and cost.

I fully expect that having run down the Royal Navy to such an extent that it becomes operationally extinct, somewhere between 2013 and 2015 parliament will announce the formation of a New, improved ‘Royal’ Navy, under statute and fully funded, to give the smoke and mirrors effect of continuity to the public, but in reality building a new navy that can and will form part of the EU Armed Forces.

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About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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23 Responses to The Royal Navy – End of Days

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  3. NavyLookout says:

    The destruction of the Royal Navy that has been going on since around 1990 has often looked illogical and the result of lack of any clear maritime and industrial policy. However as you suggest, it may in fact be a deliberate and sinister plan to rob the UK of sovereignty and any control of its destiny in order to bring us under the heel of the EU. If this is really the case, then this is frankly treasonous and those responsible should be held to account. The lastest round of cuts is further madness (or an EU-inspired disaster) and proves the Tories are completely unable or unwilling to stand up to Europe or be the ‘party of Defence’ that they claim. Labour left a shambles at the MoD but that is not an excuse to just give up and destroy the RN, endangering our security and future peace and prosperity. We will undoubtedly come to regret the decisions made in SDR.

    http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org

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  5. MrPCC says:

    This is a red herring. The simple fact is that we have one of the largest defence budgets in the world and very little to show for it. A combination of political and public apathy towards the armed forces, inability to think strategically, an MOD that is unfit for purpose, a woeful procurement record and ineffective top brass in all three services are responsible for the current lamentable situation.

    In the case of the RN, it was always obvious that the rest of the fleet would have to be gutted to pay for CVF. Navy chiefs have gambled everything, and lost, in a vain attempt to relive past glories. These ships are not needed by the RN. The last time British aircraft carriers were essential was almost 30 years ago in the Falklands conflict, and such an event is unlikely to reoccur in the next 30. It would have been better to invest the money in 1-2 additional SSNs, 3-4 CVH type ships, e.g. Hyuga or Juan Carlos/Canberra classes, and a viable escort force. It is clear that the RN is being subjected to the deepest cuts because the army is fighting a war in Afghanistan and the RAF fought its corner more convincingly during the SDSR. Some things never change. In addition, it will always be the case that it is easier to decommission ships than disband army regiments and aircraft squadrons.

    I am certainly not in favour of an integrated EU defence force. However, it is obvious that the nations of Europe are in a slow process of both relative and absolute decline, and also that the interests of the US will lie primarily in the Pacific rather than the Atlantic sphere in the forseeable future. It is therefore in our interests to co-operate with our neighbours in Europe on defence matters when it is feasible to do so. To do otherwise is nothing less than a dereliction of duty.

    • A red herring? If only it were.

      As for the Falklands: The Argentinians are making noises again, prompted, as last time, by the signals an earlier destructive Conservative government sent them with its proposed defence cuts, and buoyed with the support of several of our alleged fellow European ‘colleagues’. The Harriers were the mainstay of our air effort then yet the Harriers are slated for withdrawal and if the Argentinians kick off again we shan’t have them, even if we have sufficient VLCCs to commandeer as operating platforms.

      The Falklands themselves, and the wishes of the islanders, are not worth a single English life. The resources that live and lie in and in the seabed beneath the waters within the two hundred mile zone are so important to England’s future that it is imperative that we spend English money ensuring that we can defend them. We English are an island race with assets overseas and we need a navy and an air force that are fit for purpose.

      I’m sure that you are correct in your assertion that no Latin American banana republic will trouble a bankrupted and fully absorbed by the EU ‘U’K just as I’m sure that it won’t need to, as the EU will rapidly dispose of any of the ‘U’K’s hard won assets that the ‘U’K government has not disposed of already, in the process of disposing of the ‘U’K , more importantly England, whose navy the British Royal Navy actually is.

  6. jameshigham says:

    Difficult to see how this juggernaut is going to be halted or derailed. Cameron could do it but he’s one of them.

  7. criss of herts says:

    How can anyone disagree with the comment, by saying that Europe is in decline, so we all cut back our forces, what a load of crap and just the kind of people the government wants to con, isn’t it amazing that most of eastern countries are increasing their military, including Russia, china, Israel, Pakistan, India, and I could go on and on, but the west [Europe] is in decline, we have no money to spare, but we give billions to our Euro masters, we have no money, but we give overseas aid billions, we have no money, we have just given Ireland billions, we have no money, we have just increased GPs /NHS an extra 2 1/2 billion, and your telling me and the rest of the British people that we must destroy our military forces, as we have no money, are you all brain dead, we all voted the 3 big powers in the last election, decimation the likes of BNP,,UKIP,,GREENS,ECT ECT , why, because they are all bad parties, or was it the BIGGEST CON, to get rid of them ,, im not getting into politics, but the UKIP just as an example promised to INCREASE the armed forces, look at what we have, treason by the back door, and if the British people don’t wake up,, we will be sold out to Europe by the corruption and treason of the main politicians, so all I can suggest is this, in the next and probably last free elections, [it will take them that long to sell us] all British peoples should break the mould, and do something we have never done before, and stay Away from the 3 main parties and give the others a chance, after all they cant and wont be any worse than this lot, remember that if we ever gat another chance, NO labour, NO conservative, NO libdem, , if you want to remain British, with a ROYAL NAVY and military to be proud of, do the imposable, vote for anyone but the 3 main parties, and you may get something to pass on the your grand children, [think about it]
    your choice your vote, your military, your country, ????????????????

  8. MrPCC says:

    Criss, wake up to reality. UKIP’s defence policy is a work of fantasy and they are never going to win power anyway. UKIP etc. can say just about anything because they are nothing more than protest movements and know that their promises will never be put to the test. The Lib Dems were in a similar position until 7 months ago. The UK is not going to leave the EU and the defence budget is not going to radically alter, whoever is in power. Tough as SDSR was, it could easily have been much worse. We have the fourth largest defence budget in the world, but it has been grossly mismanaged and misspent. To say otherwise, you might just as well argue that the Earth is flat.

  9. criss of herts says:

    you still miss the point, that if we can give billions to others, we can spend more on defence, we may have the worlds fourth largest defence budget, but when the likes of India/pakistan/japan/korea/and even France among others , you would tend to worry what the top brass have done with all that money, and we are still left with a goverment that is bent on dismantling the forces, you just cant keep reying on the Americans all the time, one day they will pull out of europe, And as we import over 90% that comes by sea, we realy do need a bigger navy to protect our interest,
    but of course there will alway be people that say we dont need a big military, untill its to late, but time will prove if the goverment is right or wrong,

  10. MrPCC,

    That a government is left with a mess is no excuse to cut back on the defence of the realm, unless of course you have given up on the realm which in many areas, not just defence, is being seen to be happening.

    This nation will rue the day when diversity officers and outreach consultants were placed before our armed services, merely to create a false dependence upon those ultimately seek to destroy our nation state in favour of their all encompassing federal version.

    All the LibLabCon politicians know that for integration to continue, they have to place our common law into a virtual state of disuse which they do with a heavy veil of statutes to smother our law (more produced in just 10 years under Labour than in all the previous parliaments combined since Cromwell’s first), for non of them have the guts to attempt to overthrow it openly, so again we see the deceit and lies, and unfortunately an army of apologists for whom I have little or no time.

    • MrPCC says:

      We get the politicians we deserve. For the majority of the voting public, defence is no longer a major priority. The general public do not perceive a direct military threat to the UK and appear to have lost the connection with the armed forces that they once had. The post martial generation is more concerned with health, education and social welfare than an “out of sight, out of mind” Royal Navy. Our fruitless campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have added to this conception. Politicians, being the opportunistic animals that they are, know there are few votes in defence and act accordingly.

  11. Sea Dragon says:

    “In the case of the RN, it was always obvious that the rest of the fleet would have to be gutted to pay for CVF. Navy chiefs have gambled everything, and lost, in a vain attempt to relive past glories. These ships are not needed by the RN. The last time British aircraft carriers were essential was almost 30 years ago in the Falklands conflict, and such an event is unlikely to reoccur in the next 30. It would have been better to invest the money in 1-2 additional SSNs, 3-4 CVH type ships, e.g. Hyuga or Juan Carlos/Canberra classes, and a viable escort force. It is clear that the RN is being subjected to the deepest cuts because the army is fighting a war in Afghanistan and the RAF fought its corner more convincingly during the SDSR. Some things never change. In addition, it will always be the case that it is easier to decommission ships than disband army regiments and aircraft squadrons.” MrPCC

    You do know that the 3 Invincible class carriers seen HUGE amounts of use since the Falklands. In fact they regularly have provided support that the RAF just can’t do. Lets look at the Illustrious for example.

    During the 1990s, the main task of the aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy was helping to maintain the no-fly zone over Bosnia during the war there. All three of the navy’s carriers rotated through the area. In 1998 she operated in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch, the Anglo-Saudi-American enforcement of the no-fly-zone over Southern Iraq.

    In 2000 she led Task Group 342.1, a naval task force comprising HM ships — Ocean, Argyll, Iron Duke, Chatham — and numerous RFA ships in Operation Palliser, which was aimed at restoring peace and stability to Sierra Leone.

    A notable combat deployment for the ship took place in late 2001. A large British exercise, Saif Sareea II took place in Oman in the autumn of 2001. During the exercise, the World Trade Center was destroyed by Al-Qaeda. Illustrious remained in theatre while other elements of the task force returned to the United Kingdom. Illustrious had elements of the Royal Marines on board, ready for possible combat operations in Afghanistan. No deployment was made before Illustrious was relieved by Ocean in early 2002.

    2003-2005 she was in refit to enable her to fulfill both commando carrier and light carrier roles with more ease and to enable her to serve until 2014 when the QE were expected to enter service at that moment in time.

    2006
    HMS Illustrious along with HMS Gloucester helped in the evacuation of British citizens from Beirut as a result of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon crisis. Later that year, as part of the Royal Navy’s Remembrance Day activities, HMS Illustrious sailed up the River Thames on Friday 10 November 2006. She was moored at Wood Wharf, a few hundred yards upriver from the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, until Wednesday 15 November. Whilst there, the Falklands War commemorative events in 2007 were announced on board her.

    (Please note that the RAF was unable to “evacuate” the British citizens, something about not enough time, or the airspace being too hostile etcetc… Meanwhile the RN happily provided the service with pretty much no problems!)

    Now hang on a second…. There are also a number of countries expanding into building aircraft carriers or CVL/CVH hybrids. And yet we would be served by noting having a FAA to protect the fleet? Not being funny but those who actually KNOW their stuff also know the huge amount of support harriers gave in Afghanistan etc. Naval helicopter pilots also regularly got things done that the RAF just WOULD NOT do.

    Thats before we consider the issue with getting a land base secured for forward operations when you are half way around the globe from Britain. Wasn’t it the RAF who said they could defend the fleet just before the Falklands…. Unless I’m really mistaken the only air defence in the Falklands came from carriers.

    As mentioned above there is also the ability for a carrier to evacuate forces, place forces and do so all by itself without the need for support or consent from neighboring countries to use a land based airbase.

    Then we need to consider anti-narcotics, piracy, terrorism and the general patrols. The Falklands Islands has potentially a shed load of oil and the only real way to defend an island that far from Britain is to ensure we have a Navy capable of doing so. Especially when a large number of South American countries are keen to set up a coalition between each other and Argentina is among the key players there.

    The Defence budget is MISSPENT without a doubt, for starters we really need to stop doing the whole “lets try and compete with America” and look to the defence of BRITAIN. Primarily by moving more funding to the RN, set up capability to have 2 CV’s, 2 LPH’s and thus 1 CVBG and 1 ARG at any one time. 19 High end warships (T45 and T26) to defend these battlegroups and respond with a higher asset unit when needed. Then finally invest in LOTS of FFL’s. Something like the Khareef class that only costs £133-200 million pounds but is perfect for patrol, anti narcotics, anti piracy, anti terrorism… ie all those flashy headlines that people love to read about.

    99% of Britains trade comes from oversea’s. That cannot be replaced by air. We also have numerous colonies abroad AND already the RN do the best anti-narcotics job in the world. So lets get it sorted. A high/low end force is the way forward. High end assets to ensure we CAN fight the fight that no one expects to turn up. Low end to do the numerous daily jobs that the RN has to do but can’t because of lack of hull numbers.

    While we are at it, lets stop with stupid amounts of foreign aid when “apparently” we can’t sort out defences and homeland security. Why is aid being put before defence and police? Those are desperately needed right now to sort out country out. And both of those create jobs, a more stable country and thus a more stable economy.

    I really could go on and on, people seem quite happy in benefit induced bliss though, even if it does mean a liberal and free country is becoming chain locked into the country that bends over to help the EU with all it’s problems while getting very little in return.

    • Sea Dragon,

      Wonderfully articulated Sir. Your comment has my full agreement.

    • MrPCC says:

      I totally agree with your comments on foreign aid. That this has been ring fenced and defence not is a disgrace. I am also well aware of the utility of the Invincible class. They have served the Royal Navy extremely well. That, however, does not alter the fact that in just about every scenario imaginable, such ships will be required to work alongside other forces (usually in support of the U.S.) and not independently as in the Falklands conflict.

      I certainly do not suggest that we should abandon the FAA. A 30,000 ton ship such as the Cavour would be able to embark a viable number of F35Bs that would be more than adequate for any forseeable operation which the UK is likely to undertake. As it is, the FAA is probably finished as a fast jet force. The F35s ordered will most likely be operated by the RAF and spend precious little time on carrier operations. Both CVFs can then be declared surplus to requirements and mothballed or, most probably, sold off for peanuts.

      Those who understand defence know that sustainability is everything. By investing in platforms which are not sustainable, we play straight into the hands of a parsimonous treasury which sees defence as a luxury, not a necessity. Defence spending is not going to increase significantly whoever is in power. That is the reality of the situation. Thus an overspend on the aircraft carriers and the aircraft to fly from them will result in further cuts elsewhere. Only 6 Type 26s to be built? C2 variant to be dropped? MCM and the hydrographic squadron to be abandoned? Some or all of these are possible.

      I therefore stand by my assertion that CVF was a mistake and that the Royal Navy’s refusal to accept an alternative of the type described was a grave error of judgement. There are plenty of senior officers, both serving and retired, who are of the same opinion. Sir Sandy Woodward, for example, has publicly stated that three smaller carriers would have made more operational sense.
      Like the rest of us, defence has to learn to live within its means. To imagine otherwise is pointless.

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  13. Sea Dragon says:

    “I certainly do not suggest that we should abandon the FAA. A 30,000 ton ship such as the Cavour would be able to embark a viable number of F35Bs that would be more than adequate for any forseeable operation which the UK is likely to undertake. As it is, the FAA is probably finished as a fast jet force. The F35s ordered will most likely be operated by the RAF and spend precious little time on carrier operations. Both CVFs can then be declared surplus to requirements and mothballed or, most probably, sold off for peanuts.” MrPCC

    Except the F35B is not working properly, it is not as effective a fighter, it costs more to run AND to build. So in every way it is a less efficient design. Furthermore the CVF’s can easily act as Helicopter carriers as well as standard carriers. Given the age of the Ocean when the CVF’s enter the service this will probably be required. Especially as we will not have an invincible class remaining then.

    Between now and then I can almost guarantee that a situation will crop up that will either require a carrier or would have been so much easier to have a carrier. Carriers are exceptionally versatile ships, they are so important conventionally it is unreal, from being able to step in as commando carriers, to evacuation, to air space denial, to strike potential.

    Again the RAF is proving time and time again that it cannot deliver what it promises and the army is even beginning to notice this (army units preferred the Harrier for ground attack to tornado/typhoon because of it’s greater tolerance to hostile environmental situations and versatility.)

    “Those who understand defence know that sustainability is everything. By investing in platforms which are not sustainable, we play straight into the hands of a parsimonous treasury which sees defence as a luxury, not a necessity. Defence spending is not going to increase significantly whoever is in power. That is the reality of the situation. Thus an overspend on the aircraft carriers and the aircraft to fly from them will result in further cuts elsewhere. Only 6 Type 26s to be built? C2 variant to be dropped? MCM and the hydrographic squadron to be abandoned? Some or all of these are possible.” MrPCC

    The F35B, which is the only F35 that could work on your “smaller” ship ideas, is less sustainable, and as stated above less capable, than the F35C. So really you want a ship large enough to handle the F35C. It will be cheaper by FAR in the long run. And is also more interchangeable and flexible.

    A ship that has a hull life span of 50 years or over, that is large enough to be modified for future developments, that has been designed for chinooks, apaches, merlins as well as fast jets is more sustainable than a smaller ship. The larger the hull the better long term value for money due to the ease of refit available to it. Further more the Queen elizabeths will now also be able to provide proper AWACs. Something that is very often not available to our forces deployed far away from Britain. It is also a quantum leap in the ability for the Navy to deploy and successfully operate an amphibious mission. Something that is a primary requirement now a days.

    Overall the Queen Elizabeth class are very sustainable designs and ships, and definitely needed. In hard times as well I would like to point out… 1 year to build and push into service a T45 if you really needed it. A carrier will take several years PLUS the time to build the airgroup. Takes months to build a smaller OPV.

    “I therefore stand by my assertion that CVF was a mistake and that the Royal Navy’s refusal to accept an alternative of the type described was a grave error of judgement. There are plenty of senior officers, both serving and retired, who are of the same opinion. Sir Sandy Woodward, for example, has publicly stated that three smaller carriers would have made more operational sense.
    Like the rest of us, defence has to learn to live within its means. To imagine otherwise is pointless.” MrPCC

    It is not out of it’s means to have the CVF’s. Also I would like to point out that everyone who harps on about defence learning to live within it’s means are people I have little time for. Defence has seen huge cuts, for over 2 decades now. Despite that it has been asked to do MORE and MORE and MORE. It does so and at a high cost to service men and women, if not in lives then in mental health or family happiness. So yes value for money is important but that’s the MOD’s job and the defence industries jobs and both of them are more interested in skimming off the top.

    3 smaller carriers run into the problems I mentioned, they cannot necessarily carry the F35C, they cannot carry AWACs, they do not have the future refit potential. Steel is cheap and air is free. All in all I believe these 2 carriers are exceptionally important for the RN.

    That said I do also believe it needs many smaller FFL’s like the Khareef class that are very cheap (133-200 million) and thus able to be built by smaller shipyards, more rapidly and in large rolling drumbeat orders to provide lots of stable jobs, investment into the economy AND a good return on some of the duties the RN has had to cut back on that are truly important like anti-narcotics, anti-piracy etcetc.

    So the reality is that I agree with some of what you are saying however when people say “must learn to live within it’s means” people have to remember.

    We are an Island
    We have a senior security council seat in NATO
    We are a senior UN member and carry clout
    99% of our trade comes from sea
    We have 3 days oil reserve, 3 weeks food reserve, 3 months living necessities reserve
    We have overseas colonies and resources that need defending.

    Take trident out of the RN and you would have a huge amount of saving there and then, lets face it trident is a government weapon anyway and not of any use to the Royal Navy in any event. It could also be made smaller, with less warheads and smaller submarines in any event given that in hard times we need to cover the more pressing conventional threats than the need to cover being able to screw up the world with a global holocaust (not that simple but it’s a point.)

    So yeah, value for money certainly, but how about we inject benefit spending to the police and military, how about we tell people who sit at home all day with no work to go out and get a job instead of eating up the government budget. How about alcoholics, chronic smokers, obese eaters all “learn to live within their means” and not drain the NHS with propping up a dead man with the governments money.

    The military needs certain things. I am afraid I will not shift from the opinion that the RN needs to be able to;

    Deploy 1 ARG AND 1 CVBG at any one time
    Deploy 1-2 SAG’s to a threat area with RFA to deploy light forces
    Deploy multiple FFL’s to counter anti-narcotics, anti-piracy, anti-terroism, protect British colonies, trade and resources, show the flag
    Maintain a reasonable sized SSN and SSK flotilla for deterrence of invasion of British colonies and to provide clandestine operation capability.
    Deploy an RFA to sustain that navy and to provide disaster relief and humanitarian missions.

    How this is done, by increasing spending, by shifting more of the budget to the navy, by getting more value for money… is not so important as getting it done.

    Right now Britain is in a very vulnerable position but no one seems to realise how vulnerable it is… nor that investment in a navy provides a good economy, good jobs, good industry in any event. History has proven that many times over.

    • MrPCC says:

      Sea Dragon

      An interesting post. I am aware that the F35B is the least preferable version of the F35, that a smaller ship could only operate this type and that there are numerous limitations which are inherent to light aircraft carriers. I very much doubt, however, that a CVF would be used as a helicopter carrier in a genuine high threat environment. Could such a valuable asset really be utilised in such a role? I agree, however, that investment in the RN in recent decades has been woefully inadequate and that government spending in many other areas has been profligate and wasteful. I also agree that there is definitely a requirement for a low cost patrol vessel/corvette for low threat environments to supplement the current OPVs. But didn’t the RN dismiss such vessels as pointless “snatch frigates”?

      You say that you have little time for people “harping on” about defence living within its means. This, I feel, is the fatal flaw in your argument. You talk about the RN that you feel we should have ( a sort of “fantasy fleet”), but neatly side-step political and economic reality. Let me explain.

      Defence spending is going to be very tightly controlled over the coming decade and beyond. Even if it begins to slowly increase from 2014/15, this will not be enough to offset the existing black hole in defence spending and the increasing cost of equipment (conservatively ~8%p.a.) and personnel/administration (conservatively ~2%p.a.). An increase of 3-4% p.a. (we are unlikely to see more) would see us just about standing still in real terms. Health and education, etc. will continue to be protected, at least to some extent (it would be politically unacceptable to do otherwise), so our ability and willingness to pay for defence has therefore pretty much hit the buffers.

      As money spent on one programme will mean savings elsewhere, we have to be sure that investment is directed at priorities rather than posturing. CVF + F35 is an expensive programme. If it wasn’t for the fact that the contracts were unbreakable, both ships (not just one) would have been cancelled by the incoming coalition. There is a good chance that both (again, not just one) will be prematurely mothballed/sold/scrapped, and the money spent on them be recouped by further cuts to the fleet. Remember how the pundits predicted that SDSR would be “pro-navy”? How wide of the mark they were! Expect more of the same in future years.

      In light of this, don’t be surprised if some or all of the following are in the pipeline:
      Only 8-10 new frigates (8 Type 26 OR 6 Type 26 + 4 “off the shelf” patrol frigates) to be built. Therefore only 14-16 escorts in total.
      Amphibious capability to be further reduced or abandoned altogether.
      Only 8-10 C3 ships to replace 20+ MCM and hydrographic vessels and OPVs.
      RFA to be significantly reduced in size.
      Plymouth Devonport dockyard to close (inevitable due to the futher reduction in hull numbers).
      And the following are also possible in the longer term:
      2 Type 45 destroyers to be sold.
      RAF to assume responsibility for all helicopter assets from FAA and army.
      Future SSN fleet capped at 4/5 boats and UK submarine building abandoned (very long term).

      If you think that one CVF with a handful of RAF F35s occasionally embarked is worth this decimation, I personally don’t. You can forget about CVBGs and ARGs as we won’t have enough ships for either. The RN can do just about all the things it needs to be able to do without CVF. I am only interested in reality, not how things might or should be in an ideal world with a defence budget twice the size it actually is. Part of the reason we are in the current situation is a refusal or inability to recognise the mismatch between resources and commitments. To continue with this facade, because that is what it really is, will cause still further damage to the RN in future years.

  14. All excellent stuff folks, but I am afraid you have all missed the point.

    Its not about what the RN should or should not need, it is about how it is being manipulated to bring about a change in the legal basis for the RN itself.

    It is about integration with the EU and the demise of our Common Law. THAT is the important stuff, the rest is just detail.

  15. Sea Dragon says:

    I think the details are well worth discussing especially in relation to this article.

    Perhaps this is an overly simplified way of looking at it, however surely if the public wanted spending to be increased on defence through an increased awareness of the jobs the military do and the benefits a strong military and civil police service both bring then the government would be unable to do what they are doing to the Navy.

    In essence the will of the people, who have been made aware of the situation, would force the hand of the government and thus “common law” would trump legislation?

    In the short term I cannot have any effect on replacing the corruption in our government. In the short term I CAN educate people in the various arguments for a strong RN, the reasons we should have one based on recent and past history AND on economic and political current events. That education can possibly shift peoples view on the importance of the military and civil police service and thus help retain 2 foundations that defend the basic sovereignty of the British Islands, and thus the individual British persons liberty?

    As I said, maybe that is a flawed way of thinking however I am very young (applying for an officer after having just left university studying physics) and so therefore my understanding of the ins and outs of politics and law is…. limited.

    • Sea Dragon,

      I cannot fault your logic in putting the argument in the way you have.

      May I wish you every success for the future, here’s hoping your application for a commission is successful.

    • MrPCC says:

      Sea Dragon

      Forgot to mention that I’ve enjoyed this discussion, despite the difference in opinion. We are both concerned about the future of the RN but have different points of view and are prepared to back them up, which is good. I’m studying for my PhD at the moment (just gone through my upgrade). Hope you don’t find the culture shock between university and the RN too great!

  16. criss of herts says:

    [ The truth British or European]

    before you/we solve the problem of British disintegration, you have to kill of the disease /corruption/lies / dishonestly / treason / incompetence / EU/ that is slowly destroying us,
    1, who actually runs this country / our PM or Europe ?
    2, who ultimately decides what we do
    3, who ultimately destroyed our fishing fleet / steel industry
    4, who really wants to control this country
    5, who ultimately wants control of our military /nuclear weapons
    6, who ultimately would give their right arm to see the blue flag/gold stars
    fly over our parliament rather than the union jack
    7, why is our government trying desperately to sell us out .
    8+ if the words EuROPE , KEEP CROPPING UP then you know the answer to our
    main problems, crap you may think, I think this country cannot do nothing without European approval, so my remedy is quiet simple yet unique
    Withdrawal from the EUROPEAN UNION will instantly put billions of pounds
    back in British pockets‘, we then can control our own destiny, and our own future
    more importantly we can have a military to be proud of / and guess what
    [ IT WILL BE BRITISH]
    your country / your choice / your vote / you have been severely burnt
    next time forget all the idiots that will tell you how great the government is and kick them out, British military or European military, you choose, there will always be some who will disagree and say Europe is the future, we cant live without the Euro.
    / will you still be brain dead in 4 years time, you choose,
    if you want our country back and a ROYAL NAVY / ROYAL AIRFORCE /
    And British army to be proud of, pull out of Europe / rid us of these corrupt MPs,
    and take our proud country back, your choice / your vote / your country ????
    this is just my opinion as a very proud British citizen
    [ p/s merry christmas to all ]

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