Home Sea First Sea Lord responds to Daily Telegraph ‘Weakened Navy’ claims

First Sea Lord responds to Daily Telegraph ‘Weakened Navy’ claims

The following is an open letter from Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord to the Daily Telegraph regarding their recent article entitled ‘Weakened Navy’.

The Daily Telegraph article can be found here.

“As head of the Naval Service I owe it to my people and your readers to set the record straight (‘Weakened Navy ‘can barely protect UK’’, September 15).

It is simply plain wrong to say that HMS Ocean has been delayed by engine problems. She sailed from Gibraltar on time and to plan and was laden with nine helicopters, hundreds of pallets of emergency aid, water, trucks and almost 700 personnel from all three services.

I would also highlight the role of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Mounts Bay which has been instrumental to the UK’s immediate military response and deserves to be recognised.

As for the wider Fleet, this week there have been over 30 ships and submarines deployed on operations, preparing for operations or in training. This includes frigates and destroyers that are patrolling our home waters, protecting maritime trade in the Middle East and leading a NATO task group in the Mediterranean.

The Royal Navy does have manpower challenges and we have not tried to hide this fact.

We are making good progress to put them right and earlier this week I was able to announce Royal Navy affiliations with a further four University Technical Colleges which are helping to train the engineers and scientists that the Navy and the Nation will depend on for our future security and prosperity.

It is reassuring that the Daily Telegraph recognises the pivotal importance of a strong Royal Navy but it is disappointing that such a story, with key errors, was printed with such prominence.

We must never lose sight of how hard our sailors and marines are working today, or how relevant their contribution will become as the United Kingdom forges a new, confident and ambitious role in the world.”

– Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff

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Ron5

Actually a pretty good response by Jones. Thanks for publishing.

geoffrey james roach

Well said, Sir Philip. Sadly, this needed saying. A handful of us have been arguing this point since the article appeared. The Telegraph and other newspapers are s source of great disappointment to those who serve or have served their country. They have belittled the armed forces with their errors and inaccuracies to the point in some print where they cannot even get their own captions right. In an ideal world I am sure that we would all like more but at the moment there are large numbers of people who are concerned that cuts are on their way. Another… Read more »

Mike Saul

The RN has 30 ships and submarines deployed worldwide, sounds impressive.

However the RN has only 19 surface combat ships and 10 submarines, of those only 33% are deployed so around 10.

The other 20 are mainly small patrol vessels, minesweepers and non combat support ships.

So while 30 sounds impressive, the reality is only 10 warships and submarines are deployed.

Ben P

Deploying 10 out of 29 of our major surface vessels and submarines is an excellent amount. That means that a 1/3 of the fleet is deployed as it should be according to the rule of three that most modern navies follow.

Also don’t forget that two of our ships are unavailable due to manpower issues and several frigates and a destroyer are going through major refits currently.

Mike Saul

The biggest class in terms of numbers of RN ships is the Archer class.

Each weighs 54 tons and has a GPMG, that keep the Russians at bay.

The RN is weak and no matter how many letters the FSL writes is going to stay that way for some time.

Alan Jarvis

I think there is a panic on. As ‘Mike Saul’ says above – many of the 30 ships deployed will be small patrol boats like the two in Gibraltar – HMS Scimitar and HMS Sabre which are 24 ton lightly armed vessels. The Andrew doesn’t have 30 ships to deploy.

KieranC

“As ‘Mike Saul’ says”

*head in hands*

Barry Larking

“Stick that in your pipe!” I particularly appreciated the FSL’s mention of RFA Mounts Bay and what she and her ship’s company have done to help our friends in great need.

Armchair sailor’s who have not done the difficult things fighting the corner for our armed services. Ducks in the bath tub from now on.

TH

Test

Northern Wolf

You ok there?

Paul

Fully expect Devonport to be run down with the GMB asking for the future frigates to be based in Portsmouth. Who needs marines and an amphibious fleet when all the brass want to do is admire their Big And Expensive follies moored up outside the window

The FSL must be living in a dream world if he thinks anybody who keeps up with whats happening in todays RN is going to believe the rubbish in his letter to the Telegraph he’s spent to much time with the politicians.

geoffrey james roach

Paul and R H ….I presume your only ever going to believe the people who agree with you completely. Can I ask what you have done so well that enables you to rubbish the F S L and the Royal Navy he is standing up for?
T H … I am still waiting for your reasoning.

William Franklin

As ex RAF I am sure that 30 ships deployed around the world is not nearly enough especially if some are small patrol vessels or non combat support vessels.
I served between 1966 – 1988 and even then all of the services were being downsized the Royal Navy seeming to bear the brunt of the cuts.

TH

I have today written to the SoS for Defence with the following proposals following this report today in the Plymouth Herald concerning cuts in the RN and RM: Dear Secretary of State May I draw your attention to the following article in today’s Plymouth Herald which concern the coming defence cuts: As a UK tax payer, I am deeply concerned at the growing national debt which is now approaching £2 trillion. I therefore recommend the following: dispense entirely with the Royal Marines and scrap all landing craft as they are irrelevant and out of date sell a further three Type… Read more »

Ben P

TH, this is why everyone thinks your an idiot. You just proved it fully for everyone.

The MP will simply shred your letter and get his/her secretary to send you a thanks for your input letter to make you feel like you have achieved something.

Harry bulpit

Lol.

geoffrey james roach

The Plymouth Evening Herald. Wow! Now were talking front line international impact.

Harold

Instead of shouting TTH down, I read the Plymouth Herald article. It’s not looking good for the Royal Marines, one of the LPD vessels (Bulwark / Albion ) ( I recall the last ones well enough!) is looking as though it might go, Ocean is all but sold. So perhaps instead of knocking TTH you should do as he did and write in defence of the armed forces.

( ex Blackwood and Ham class )

Ben P

In defence of? He supports disbanding the armed forces because he thinks his £10 a year in taxes is been wasted.

KieranC

Harold go away you halfwit. It wouldn’t surprise me if you were TH, multi posting. I don’t usually lower myself to respond to trolls but you’re a f*****g idiot. “as he did and write in defence of the armed forces” Have a word with yourself and get a f*****g life, do you not have anything better to do? Have you not got a wife? Girlfriend? Kids? What do you think they would think if they peeked at your laptop and seen you trolling on a British defence website. They would think you a f*****g loon, a pathetic individual with most… Read more »

Harold

Drop dead. Paddies never did make good matelots.

(Ex Blackwood and ham class)

Northern Wolf

Swearing aside I have to agree with KieranC, TH is hardly writing “in defence of” the Royal Navy, but supporting further cuts to it. It’s annoying how the go-to solution to help solve national debt seems to be to neuter the Armed Forces. I’m sorry but in the long run how do you see that as effective? How much will the UK really save by doing all of those cost cutting measures. The money saved is going to be a drop in the water and have very little effect. For example you say the landing craft are obsolete and should… Read more »

Slaine

Who pays for the outsourcing? Is it free?

FrankLT

TH You must love the governments of the last 50 years, all cutting steadily our Navy with no regard for the risks to our national defense. The Falklands war wouldn’t have happened had we not given the clear impression we were disposing of the very means to defend or re-take them. I can’t see any room for any more cuts & the frequent claims of the defense secretary giving the false impression HMG is investing generously in the RN is political smoke & mirrors. I am disgusted at how perilous our forces have been cut to. As for the FSL,… Read more »

Steve

You forgot to add ‘run up a white flag’.
Sir,you are a fool !

David Stephen

I have today written this to ask that waste of flesh TH to dispense with himself, preferably in a permanent manner.

Chris

TH – I got as far as: “dispense entirely with the Royal Marines and scrap all landing craft as they are irrelevant and out of date” and realised you are either a nutjob Troll or a complete fantasist living in an alternative universe. So here is my plan for your reality check: You pop down to Limpstone (nice day trip on the train. You won’t be needing a return fare) and repeat that one sentence to any of the hoofing Bootnecks down there. I have no doubt they will get a tad threaders and your resultant condition may well be… Read more »

Barry Larking

Is that you Jeremy?

Rover10

So, loosing Ocean is not weakening the Royal Navy? I personally find the disposal of this vessel disappointing. Right now she is doing sterling humanitarian work, so why can’t she be retained as an emergency ship, and paid for from the foreign aid budget, and not from the navy’s purse? Such a plan would allow the carriers to concentrate on pure naval activities, though would still be deployed in humanitarian missions when required. Retaining Ocean but under the RFA means it could be manned wholly by a civilian crew. Such a plan would allow Ocean to be taken up by… Read more »

Paul.P

It looks like the sale to Brazil is a done deal. Best hope now I think is more flat top capacity in the MARS ships and maybe a new hospital ship. Funded out of the overseas development budget perhaps?

Ben P

While I agree. This hard on for the foreign aid budget is getting old, it is not going to happen so we should move on.

geoffrey james roach

Hallelujah!!!

Will

Ditto

It may be a free country and everyone is entitled to an opinion. M
That being said I think I speak for everyone else here on what is after all a PRO DEFENCE FORUM when I say

F**K OFF TH!!!

Harold

Instead of shouting TTH down, I read the Plymouth Herald article. It’s not looking good for the Royal Marines, one of the LPD vessels (Bulwark / Albion ) ( I recall the last ones well enough!) is looking as though it might go, Ocean is all but sold. So perhaps instead of knocking TTH you should do as he did and write in defence of the armed forces.

( ex Blackwood and Ham class )

geoffrey james roach

You think TH wrote an article in DEFENCE of the armed forces! Your in a bad way Harold.

KieranC

“(Ex Blackwood and ham class)”

Of course you are ?

Now that we know you’re ex Blackwood and ham class we will go home and never post on here again.

Harold

Sounds a good idea. Paddies never did make good matelots.

(Ex Blackwood and ham class)

Chris

Harold – I am sure that anyone who had served in a ship / boat would know its Class name requires a capital letter as in:
“Ham Class”

Please correct your base Copy / Paste file accordingly.

Or better still stop being a knobber

Chris

Harold – I notice you repeatedly refer to ‘TH’ as ‘TTH’. Do you know something we don’t or are you indeed one and the same personage?

Ben P

Nice copy and paste. If you bothered to read past the first four sentences he wrote, he then suggests that most of the armed forces be scrapped or privatized. He is the opposite of in defence of. Try actually reading his comment.

Steve

is it me or does this sound like a sales pitch. is there another review going on in respect of the armed forces, oh right it appears there is.

However to respond to a lot of negative posts about smaller vessels. What tasks exactly is the navy currently needed to do, are they high intensity warfare operations or are they flag flying/ policing role. I’m pretty sure it’s the later and so heavy weapons are not needed, meaning frigates would be overkill.

geoffrey james roach

I suppose it’s inevitable but now, apparently, according to our bloggers the FSL doesn’t know how many ships are deployed. To remind those who didn’t like or take any notice of my post of some days ago the RN listed only three escorts as inactive so sixteen plus opv’s and mine counter measures ships, Ocean, amhibs, RFA’s and yes patrol vessels so It seems we are perfectly capable of having 30 active warships.

Harold

Instead of shouting TTH down, I read the Plymouth Herald article. It’s not looking good for the Royal Marines, one of the LPD vessels (Bulwark / Albion ) ( I recall the last ones well enough!) is looking as though it might go, Ocean is all but sold. So perhaps instead of knocking TTH you should do as he did and write in defence of the armed forces.

( ex Blackwood and Ham class )

geoffrey james roach

The Plymouth Evening Herald can’t even be bothered to run it’s own article in the city it serves that houses thousands of service families. It picked up a piece from the Times who picked it up from the internet four days ago. Still, better to grab a headline and worry a lot of families than make an effort and work on their behalf.!

Harold

See below

Ben P

Just a note. I think Harold and TH are the same person.

Harold

Just a note. I think Ben P spends long periods of time playing with himself.

Ben P

I do. Twice a day if you really want to know.

Harold

1,000 Royal Marines could be sacked to balance the books Plymouth could bear the brunt of the latest defence cuts, according to reports. The Royal Marines are facing a cut of 1,000 personnel as the Ministry of Defence seeks savings of up to £3 billion a year, The Times claimed. Cutting the size of the Royal Marines is among a number of options being considered, the paper said. Other options include scrapping at least one amphibious assault ship. Plymouth MP Luke Pollard accused the Government of coming up with “an accountant’s answer” to Britain’s military need. Mr Pollard, Labour MP… Read more »

geoffrey james roach

Yes , I know Harold or TH or whatever you name is. I read it the first time. Now I’ve read it again along with the party political broadcast that came with it. As Labour is intending to spend billions on everything from student loans ( Oh, that was untrue wasn’t it ) to a new railway across Dartmoor ( except that their not currently allowed to ) to soft furnishings for a soft brexit I’m amazed that Mr Pollard knows what an accountant is.

Harold

Good for you geoffrey james roach or whatever your name is. Labour are more reliable on defence matters than the Tories. Remember what Maggie was going to do?

geoffrey james roach

Labour are more reliable on defence matters? Your view of history must be very strange. I could give you a list of the cancellations and project mismanagement that Labour governments have overseen in the last few decades but I think most posters here already know about them.

Slaine

Tell me Geoff how does spending a few billion on student loans compare to pumping £700bn or maybe more into the financial system in order to prop up liquidity and stimulate the economy? How would you react to the knowledge that most of this has been trousered by the financial system? Why is it OK to bail out and prop up the financial sector but not students? Who have been the more wasteful? I don’t think students or railway investment caused one of the worst crashes in history. Personally I agreed with rescuing the banks and stimulating the economy, although… Read more »

geoffrey james roach

I agree with most of what you say about the appalling attitude of many of the banks and THEIR (for Harold) executives. Two things you have to remember though. The banking bailout took place under Labour. However that wasn’t the point I was trying to make. They promised all sorts at the last election including taking care of student debt and they have since said the promise was never said. Incidentally, the amount involved is not a few billion. It is over £100 billion, enough money to pay for everything the posters on this defence site would like to see… Read more »

Harold

PS. geoffrey james roach or whatever your name is, try learning the difference between ‘their’ ‘there’ and ‘they’re’. Basic grammar and spelling, so important when one is trying to create a good impression, don’t you think geoffrey james roach or whatever your name is?

Elliott

Wow you are a ignorant little boy. You suggest getting rid of the Royal Marine Corps nearly all military police an aircraft carrier, the submarine force, military medical units, and 10,000 army personnel as somehow TH talking in defense of the Armed Forces. Not to mention forcing “independence” on your fellow citizens against their wishes. I thought the word for that was abandonment and abrogation and dereliction of duty. Any political charlatan right, left, or center who willfully abandons his own people and jeopardizes the rest with cuts of this magnitude . All for something as petty as money. Should… Read more »

geoffrey james roach

Harold, If this is the best you can do I think I’m on pretty safe ground.

Chris

geoffrey – Do you, like me, now have this image of Steptoe senior embedded in your mind?

“Harold! …. Harold!…..”

(There is actually a Royal Marine connection here ………..)

geoffrey james roach

Oh yes, now you’ve said it, Chris…….and I do know what the connection is. I wonder how many others do.

Bill

Good grief, what a hotchpot of disparate views. The FSL, chief of Defence staff, are corporate employees and therefore spout the company line. 30 ships deployed? Complete garbage of course. Doestrogen he want to lose an LPD, OCEAN, POWER before it sails or a 1,000 marines? Of course not but to continually insist that the RN is anywhere near coping with what are limited commitments at present is delusional, dangerous and perfectly reflects this sleep walking administration that we lumbered with. MANPOWER the biggest problem today. A net intake of 1,500 including the much needed engineers would man or woman,… Read more »

geoffrey james roach

So The F S L is lying, all prime ministers are useless, this administration is bad, Bae is crap, except that is the second largest defence supplier in the world and supplies the U S with huge amounts of equipment, and we envy the French who have one 30 year old carrier that is out of service, a cancelled replacement, a shipbuilding industry in crisis and fewer destroyers, frigates and nukes than the R N . This site is getting more and more peculiar.

Mike Saul

Lying is not always a black and white issue, I doubt the FSL is happy with the current situation but politically feels unable to express that view.

Being a good liar is one of the skills you need to get to the top of greasy pole whatever trade pursue.

Name a prime minister who didn’t tell a lie?

geoffrey james roach

Come on Mike, this is a it over the top. I came from the back end of nowhere to become the M D of a successful company and I’m pretty sure I didn’t do that based on being a good liar.

Mike Saul

That’s my opinion you don’t have to agree with me.

Got any prime ministers who didn’t tell a lie?

Daniele Mandelli

Such a great site being spoiled by idiots like TH who have a MASSIVE chip on their shoulder for their country and like to spoil it for the rest who do care for the forces and want to enthusiastically talk and discuss military matters and ways to improve.
Why be so involved in something you clearly despise?
Lefties always the same. Quite alright for other nations to have a strong military but not the UK.
Sad, sad little man.
Our war veterans must be turning in their graves having defended the likes of you.

G478

Difficult to see TH as writing `in defence of the armed forces` when he said this about the RAF campaign against the terrorists of Daesh: TH July 28, 2017 at 15:04 `How much are these murders by bombing costing and what exactly is being achieved other than setting this country up as a target for terrorism?` I enjoy visiting this excellent site forums, and I believe the best way of confronting the perverse minority is to quote their own hatred of our armed forces back at them; it completely delegitimizes their claim to be speaking in the national good. Back… Read more »

Mike Saul

I thought this was a free country where people were allowed to express an opinion however stupid, bound only by the rule of law, without fear of retribution or harassment.

I served in HM forces and I’m not turning.

geoffrey james roach

I don’t think Daniele was talking about you.

Mike Saul

I don’t believe he was either, but it a general point about free speech.

I have never responded to TH because I see no value in his comments.

But I defend his right to say whatever he likes, as long as it’s within the bounds of the law

geoffrey james roach

No argument with that, but I just wish he would say something original and helpful.

Chris

Mike – Well no. But on a lighter note as you are still alive you aren’t in your grave which sort of prevents the ‘turning in’ bit.
But well said yes we have freedom of expression and long may it stay so…..

geoffrey james roach

Mike .Can’t say one way or the other but as it was your statement why don’t you give me a list of those who did lie.

Mike Saul

Cameron said he would stay on PM if he lost the referendum.
Brown on the Duffy affair, he forgot he was being recorded by sky.
Blair, Iraq 2003.
Major, lied to wife about Edwina Curry.
Thatcher, miners strike said only 20 pits we now know due the 30 year rule it was actually 70

That’s a start.

geoffrey james roach

See below.

Alan Jarvis

Again well said Mike Saul. If only the energy spent posting on this website were used in writing letters of concern to MPs about the appalling state of the armed forces and indeed other services too.

geoffrey james roach

Simple statements like “the appalling state of the armed forces” attacks the people in those services as well whether you mean to or not. We are all after better kit and better opportunities but if you want to write to your MP feel free. I’m in touch with my ex army MP regularly.

Mike Saul

I consider our armed forces to be facing a number of serious problems. Recruitment and retention, cost of equipment, obsolescence, lack of equipment (the fitted for but not with scenario) further defence cuts to come and so on. As I said before I am ex forces and currently have a son serving in the army. So I have an insight some may lack. In my opinion these serious problems are not being addressed. We profess to be a global power, yet we do not have the equipment or personnel to operate independently outside the north Atlantic’s in a wartime situation.… Read more »

Alan Jarvis

My son has just about a planned five years left. He is fairly demoralised. I am writing to my MP in protest at the lies we are being told. You can email easily via a website called ‘write to them’. I don’t care what the FSL says. Our ships are in a state and no one is keen on joining up like they used to be. It’s no wonder.

geoffrey james roach

Alan,
I am sick and tired of hearing that your son has five years to go and is fed up. For Heavens sake and everyone else’s sanity get him to leave now!

G478

BBC must be following UKDJ.
They have finally broadcast a report on the extensive efforts of UK military in helping hurricane victims on the main evening news. Be interesting to see if other UK broadcasters tell the public about our forces` humanitarian efforts.
Efforts made even more remarkable against the backdrop of catastrophic mismanagement of the RN by the political classes over the course of several governments. No wonder the RN has retention problems; lions led by donkeys etc……..

geoffrey james roach

Sorry. I thought we were talking about defence lies, not getting into the gossip columns

Mike Saul

Far enough Geoffrey, let’s just leave it there.

Ed Baines

This is a disappointing read. I had expected informed comment, courteous debate and common sense. Oh well……..

Ex-Service

Actually a poor response toeing HM government line, but in fairness to the sir, he is a government employee and will not (vs could not) say the truth: The RN is a hollowed out unbalanced force given its worldwide commitments.

The deployment rate of current resources (personnel and vessels) while commendable is unsustainable for all involved – The vessels get worn out, just as the crew do; voting with their feet out the main gates. It is a vicious circle with no end in sight.

geoffrey james roach

Another one who thinks the FSL is a liar. I don’t think a number of people in this post would want to believe the truth if it sworn on a stack of bibles.

Gerard

Question available ships, overall strength, decision making etc respond like it’s an attack on personnel to shut down debate.

geoffrey james roach

What?

Steve

His not lying, his just choosing his words carefully, so that he doesn’t have to lie, he just doesn’t tell the full truth either.

However we all know that second he retires, we will see open letters written by him as ex-first sea lord crying that the navy can not maintain its required tasks without more money.

I assume he is careful with what he currently says because he knows he will be sacked if he tells the full story and probably thinks its better to fight the problem from the inside.

Alan Jarvis

Shocked to read of the ship and military and aircraft cuts in today’s news. HMS Scott is a new vessel and being flogged off already and all those armoured vehicles only purchased recently. I cannot understand why they are continuing with the sale of Ocean and possible a Bay Class vessel. This is madness!

geoffrey james roach

Where was this news?

Alan Jarvis

“NewsNow:UK MilitaryNews” website. I find it very good.

Bill

A coherent and balanced defence strategy and budget for this ‘wealthy’ nation? The madness is we continue to expect that this will be addressed at some point. I had HMS Scott down for the next flagship so we had now better stick a 40mm cannon on a Sandown class MS to perform this distinguished role.
Cunningham must be spinning; 300 years to create a tradition, seven years of tory rule to destroy it. Ruse Britannia.

geoffrey james roach

This has got to be one of the daftest posts yet.

Alan Jarvis

“Save the Royal Navy” is covering more news regarding defence cuts today in a piece entitled ‘It’s time for an honest conversation about the future of the Royal Navy”. As my son confirmed, the Type 23 class have several tied up awaiting repair – if ever.

Alan Jarvis

“However, he also claimed the RN had “more than 30 ships and submarines deployed on operations this week”. This is something of a deception. Of that 30, only about 10-12 could be described as major combat vessels. To reach the figure of 30 must also require counting several P2000 patrol boats. These are very small unarmed boats that provide useful training opportunities and experience for potential recruits and junior officers. In military terms, at best they have a good weather-only short-range surveillance capability and are certainly not “ships”. Including P2000s in the RN’s ORBAT shows a drift into the realms… Read more »

farouk

Brilliant thread and whilst I support the Armed forces 200% (something about a nice little pension) I have to disagree a little with this snippet:
“I would also highlight the role of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Mounts Bay which has been instrumental to the UK’s immediate military response and deserves to be recognised.”

Why, because it deployed with a Wildcat and not anything bigger, which tells me whilst they did prepare for the Hurricane season, they simply didn’t put any actual thought into it.

farouk

Just for the info: The Royal Navy in 2017 consists/will consist of the following warships: 1 landing helicopter platform (Ocean) 2 landing platform dock (Albion, Bulwark) 4 nuclear-powered ballistic submarines (Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant, Vengeance) 7 nuclear-powered attack submarines (Astute, Ambush, Artful, Torbay, Trenchant, Talent, Triumph) 6 destroyers (Daring, Dauntless, Diamond, Dragon, Defender, Duncan) 13 frigates (Argyll, Lancaster, Iron Duke, Monmouth, Montrose, Westminster, Northumberland, Richmond, Somerset, Sutherland, Kent, Portland, St Albans) 15 minehunters (Ledbury, Cattistock, Brocklesby, Middleton, Chiddingfold, Atherstone, Hurworth, Quorn, Penzance, Pembroke, Grimsby, Bangor, Ramsey, Blyth, Shoreham) 2 hydrographic survey & mine countermeasure vessels (Echo, Enterprise) 5 offshore patrol vessels… Read more »

John Stevens

Yup… And to add to that new large aircraft carriers coming into service soon plus more astute subs, type 26 frigates and so on..

John Stevens

*could be wrong but I think there are 6 ssn’s in service currently back up to 7 during 2018?

John Stevens

*6 ssn

John Hampson

The UK’s Foreign Aid budget is the biggest in Europe. It is ironic that HMS Ocean that is on the way to help is about to be scrapped, without replacement. The more unjustifiable aid projects should be cut and the money directed to increasing and improving the UK’s ability to help. No more spending millions on Eth*iopian girl pop bands. Reducing the 0.7% budget to the EU’s level of about 0.5% would provide about £3.75 billion. Use this to build emergency relief vessels in the struggling shipyards in Liverpool, Newcastle and Belfast, not Kor*ean yards. Use British steel for the… Read more »

[…] but what do the current chiefs really think? The current First Sea Lord plasters over the gaps with hyperbole to the media. This helps to prop up the government rhetoric but does little to address the problem. The public […]