GMB, the largest shipbuilders union in the country, has warned the UK Government that there is a big difference between “deliver” and “develop” when it comes to the Fleet Solid Support ship programme.

Responding to the publication of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy this afternoon, GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said:

“Workers across Scotland’s defence manufacturing industries will read a lot of rhetoric in this review, but what they’ll want from the government is detail.

The challenge for any grand plan that depends on manufacturing to support its ambitions is simple. Are you going to invest in the domestic infrastructure and supply chains to deliver it, or are you going to export it to the rest of the world?

In the case of the Fleet Solid Support ships, there is a big difference between “deliver” and “develop”. The manufacture of these vessels could transform UK shipbuilding, and with it the prospects for yards like Rosyth and Ferguson Marine, and supply chain fabricators like Harland & Wolff (formerly BiFab).

On that basis, what today’s review means for shipbuilding in particular remains to be seen.”

The 100-page Integrated Review document sets out the UK’s national security and foreign policy approach.

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Mark F
Mark F
7 months ago

Nothing like being fed pie in the sky.

Last edited 7 months ago by Mark F
pompeyblokeinoxford
pompeyblokeinoxford
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark F

I prefer jam to-morrow

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 months ago

When ever anyone mentions Ferguson Marine as a possible supplier of MOD work they confirm the view that they are a few lamps short of a full chandelier.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Ah! So that was the problem. Ferguson were commissioned to make the big chandelier for the First Minister’s official bed chamber and tried to make it by welding lamp posts together. It was soooo delayed that there was no effective lighting and the poor guy kept bumping into things. Brilliant Gunbuster you have solved it! Joking apart the idea of Ferguson Marine making anything for the MOD when they can’t even build a couple of ferries is quite reminiscent of when two of the Bay’s was built at Swan’s….although I don’t think they would even get that far TBH……and that… Read more »

john melling
john melling
7 months ago

Doesn’t take long for the Unions to kick up a fuss!

I’m not bothered where the FSSS is built lets spread that work to other yards, Scotlands got plenty of future work and they still moan.

And as for Ferguson Marine, they are a disaster and we need to stay clear!

Last edited 7 months ago by john melling
Herodotus
Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  john melling

A perfectly understandable response from the trade union! They want to see the flourishing of shipbuilding in Britain….as do we all! I’m sorry for Daily Heil readers that can only play one tune!

Trevor G
Trevor G
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Totally correct to highlight the difference between “develop” and “deliver” because that is where all the tricky stuff happens. I do note however that none of the yards mentioned by the GMBU are in England…

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

I was in some of the dockyards and shipyards that the Unions held sway over in the early 80s. If the unions had not been so militant then they could have had a flourishing shipbuilding industry now. . As it was the Unions in their battle against Thatcher and the need for change and modernisation made most of the British industrial base hugely uncompetitive and inefficient and pretty much unrecoverableble. True dit… 1981…I’m a 16 1/2 year old baby tiff who has just left Liverpool and joined the RN and I am stood on the upper deck of an Ikara… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Gunbuster
Herodotus
Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Unfortunately that image has stayed with many on the right…with little justification. It’s been many a good year since unions exercised any real authority. Believe you me, I am as critical as you are of the absurd behaviour of many trade unions that culminated in the ‘winter of discontent’ 78/79. Had the unions signed up for Barbara Castle’s white paper ‘In place of strife’, we might be living in a competitive industrial country….as it is we are not. It is not all the fault of trade unions…weak management and lousy government are also to blame! I worked as an electronics… Read more »

BB85
BB85
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

One positive note is that our manufacturing base is not beyond recovery. Brexit is definitely a big risk but I believe more cars where produced in Britain in 2016 than any other year on record. Even with those levels of production the UK still imported more cars from Germany than it produced. If significant obstacles are erected on manufactured goods sold to the EU, we need to ensure the same is applied in reverse. Imagine the difference it would make to Jaguar and Aston Martin if we stopped importing Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche. Hopefully Jaguars focus on electric pays… Read more »

Johan
Johan
7 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Jaguar/Land Rover owned by TATA who moved production of discovery to Slovakia, with the help of a EU GRANT. Discovery price didnt drop for using farm hands to build a SUV. would avoid Jag/Landie now. sub standard cheap

James
James
7 months ago
Reply to  Johan

One of many UK manufacturing bases removed from the UK to elsewhere thanks to EU grants im afraid, no idea why such grants couldnt be allowed to be used to keep them in the UK.

Look at TVR trying to build a factory in Wales, years delayed due to utter ridiculous EU competition laws having to be passed before could even start building anything.

expat
expat
7 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Sadly that won’t happen we’re very good at spouting off about stuff being made in the UK especially when it not our money but very few actually buy British. Few years back Crossley started making white goods in the UK but have now folded, I own one of their products and its every bit as good as Bosch, people just weren’t interested. We import £50 billion worth of vehicles every year!!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

On the right?
Left or Right it has stayed with many.
As I said I grew up in Liverpool. I saw first hand what happened in the late 70s and 80s. Govt and Unions where both to blame.
That’s why I joined up to get a job, a trade, see somewhere other than Merseyside…. Oh and to meet dusky maidens in far off ports which I also did a lot of….

Herodotus
Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yes, I can understand that…I took a different route! I joined a hydrographic survey company and worked out of many middle/far east ports. Worked out of Manama for some years…but preferred Singapore or Miri for obvious reasons! I managed to avoid all the crap back home of the late 70s and early eighties and make some money as well. Absolutely no regrets…..I would recommend every young man to pack a bag and get out there in whatever way they can!

expat
expat
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Its nothing to do with left or right, it was more like not seeing the wood for the trees. I worked in manufacturing in the 70/80s it was appalling. Management had ridiculous investment criteria but when we did get new kit to improve productivity the unions would play up meaning we rarely got the improvements to stay competitive. In the eighties I had the option to go to the US to see how they manufacturer the same part, they had 1 man running 5 machines and pick and place loader, at the same time we were employing 6 people to… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
7 months ago
Reply to  expat

I think it was all part of the “managed decline” culture that set in so many places. The Unions key people did not believe there was any long term future (regardless of what was done) and so the strategy was maximum delay and maximum extraction for their people until that day. It kind of makes sense really, and it had become so automatic and reflexive that they probably didnt really remember or appreciate any original logic, and it was of course also self fulfilling in assisting to generate that outcome. I think Thatcher’s greatest legacy (in as much as she… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I do love the notion that people join up for some noble reason like serving your country. I’ve done it twice now (full time) and the first was because I’d always wanted to, a decent pay packet and the travel. Then second was even more selfish, having been outside for 5 years I wanted to run back to where I could be a big man-child and drink heavily through the week without being judged and to meet more of those dusky maidens while getting well paid. I do cringe when people rewrite their history and make out joining up was… Read more »

Herodotus
Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

That is refreshingly honest! I balk at the ‘I fought for people like you’….one thing is for sure, they bloody-well didn’t.

StevenW
StevenW
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

It is a total fallacy that the industrial base was demolished in the 80s. After a very sharp decline in the 70s industrial production rose strongly during the 80s and in to the early 90s. I have not checked the figures for the most recent period but for the post war years up to 2015 is an uncomfortable fact for the trade unions and Labour that, the Heath government apart, industrial production generally rises under Tory governments and falls under Labour ones. Check it out at fullfact.com

Crabfat
Crabfat
7 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Picture my cousin, Brian, a plumber. On site one day, weather freezing cold, pouring rain. Brian sitting inside a small shed, fitting washers to dozens of taps. Snug as a bug. Union rep comes opens the door ‘don’t worry Brian’ he says ‘I’ve got you ‘confined space’ and ‘dirty job’ money….!

expat
expat
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

So when has a Union ever called for action because a company cut RnD budget? If they really cared about workers a company’s profit and loss, RnD, Sales and Marketing spend would be centre stage. This is what will drive long term sustainable job security.

Herodotus
Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  expat

I don’t know, I’m not an expert on trade union history! Why isn’t the moon made of green cheese?

John Mulley
John Mulley
7 months ago

Reopen Portsmouth Dockyard for extra capacity plus insurance in case the Scots go independent.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 months ago
Reply to  John Mulley

Pompie hasn’t built a ship since the 1960s…the last one it built was a Leander Andromeda I think( good mess quiz question) They have built some blocks recently but that’s it.

Robin Milford
Robin Milford
7 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I helped build HMS Clyde, three Omani ocean patrol vessels and the first River class for Brazil in Portsmouth. All complete ships, not to be dismissed. Plus of course the T45 and carrier blocks.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago

So we are now building:
8 x T26, 5 x T31, 5 x T32, 3 x FSSS, 3 x Astute & 4 x Dreadnought. That is 28 complex ships. Can’t all be built on the Clyde & Rosyth because there isn’t the capacity. So we must get building on the Tyne, Mersey, south coast and NI.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

“3 x Astute & 4 x Dreadnought” – all nuclear build is now at Barrow. And the cost control issues there are likely to come under laser focus as the cost control of the building of surface ships seems to be getting more transparent. There is space at Rosyth in the frigate shed, two bays, to double up build if the workforce can be found. I’d hope we will be seeing the T32’s as a better equipped version of T31 and ordered super fast if they are to be in service by the end of the decade. The second bay… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
7 months ago

I doubt T32 happens as a parallel build, because it plunges the shipyards back into a feast and famine cycle on escort builds. I also initially went down the path of leveraging T31 for additional hulls, before T32 became a thing, but it is actually better to develop a new modern platform to support continuing naval architecture investment, which is at least as important as actually building the ships for a shipbuilding industry. IMV T32 becomes a modern intermediate frigate spec similar to the French FTI and the Italian PPA Full, with strong but not T26 level ASW. If, however,… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago

I sort of agree.

But this is about expediency and getting good hulls in the water as cheaply as possible.

Let’s see what comes of the full announcement in 22nd but I’m pretty sure we will see more T31 clones. It is simply the only way you can get that many hulls in the water that fast.

It is hard to understand what Bo Jo really meant as he misspoke so many times.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
7 months ago

I suspect “hulls in the water” may be the key gating requirement for BoJo to push the boat out (sorry couldn’t resist) with his 24 escorts by 2030 statement. Of course he could also be including T26 and T32 in build but not yet in the water too … because he’s a politician. But if we hew to a more honest hulls in the water, then one way we might get there is with 6x T45, 4x T26 commissioned plus 1x in trials and workup, 4x T31 commissioned plus 1x in trials and workup, then 6x T23 still within their… Read more »

AndyCee
AndyCee
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

And the “Ocean Survelliance Vessel(s)” aka MultiRole Research Vessel as well. Presumably that will count as a complex warship too

Johan
Johan
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

NI in EUROPE so doesn’t count, cannot have there cake and eat it. either there part of the UK or Europe. time to chose

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Johan

Have their cake and eat it? We’ll have see how things work out. An independent NI can’t be ruled out. The Troubles have creates a resilient province. This is all about France. Pope Alexander VIII supported the protestant William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne. Both were part of the European alliance opposed to Louis XIV plans for the domination of Europe. Sound familiar? The EU has a Napoleonic governance model. The tale of the Chinese historian comes to mind. When asked was what were the consequences of the French revolution he replied ‘it’s too early to say’.… Read more »

barry white
barry white
7 months ago

Scotland this
Scotland that
Even British Gas in Scotland is called Scottish Gas whereas in England and Wales its British Gas (not sure about NI)
Seems they want the lot

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  barry white

Barry, while I’ve long grown out of being overly nationalistic or patriotic I think a lot of English boys are quite jealous of the wee nations overt patriotism.

If its going to make you feel better you can break out the crayons and write ‘ENGLISH GAS’ on your bills, then you too can bask in the pride of being overtly patriotic… go on, you know you want to. I’d advise against writing it on worky vans though, you might get into trouble for that.

Herodotus
Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

?….there is a sense that overt patriotism is somewhat juvenile. Time for everyone to grow up!

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Good luck with that H, I fear nationalism will be the last bit of tribalism that goes, it seems more ingrained than a lot of other ‘isms’.

As I said, while I’m not immune to it, I like to think I’ve shaken off the worst of it.

Herodotus
Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Agreed…however, I think that all forms of tribalism are perfectly natural depending on the community you come from (including racism). When people say to me that they aren’t racist I conclude that they are either very lucky, or a liar. It isn’t having racist emotions that is the the problem, it is how you deal with those emotions that is important. As you point out, we are not immune to it, but can learn to deal with it!

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Its all a bit primitive but that’s understandable, we’re not as evolved as we like to think we are.

Unfortunately we’re quite fond of our assorted prejudices, whether its for one ‘sky fairy’ or another, a political ideology, a football team etc, as long as we have an ‘us’ and ‘them’ then its all good, someone to despise, look down on or even just vent your spleen about. I’ve sadly come to the conclusion that we seem to need it.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

English boys jealous? Only natural. English nationalism was the underlying driver for Brexit. England was the mother of parliaments but following devolution seems to be the only home nation without one!

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Honestly Paul, I wouldn’t bother. I voted YES/YES back in the day for devolution and the ability for the parlie to vary tax rates by3p in the pound. Roll on 20 years or so and we’ve got a hugely expensive (think it was about 400m) eyesore of a building and an extra layer of lawmakers trying to justify their existence. That’s before you throw the whole indy thing in the mix. Maybe not popular (at least in Scotland) but I’d bin it and use the cash it sucks in for other things like schools, hospitals and fixing the roads etc.

Herodotus
Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

The Scottish Parliament building won a number of design awards and I don’t dislike it. One of its features is the lack of right angles giving a ‘crooked appearance’. The architects were therefore using the building as a metaphor for the future goings on inside it…..if David Davis is accurate with his latest revelations!

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Yes it won awards but then some awards get dished out willy nilly. I’ve never like the building but that’s a personal preference. I’d have opted for the ‘timeless classic’ of pillars and that but hey ho. There are problems with flooding etc apparently as water likes to gather underneath it. I recall the number bandied about at the time was £40m to build it. I’m not sure that even bought the land as its in central Edinburgh. I’m looking forward to what the ‘Eckgate’ committee come out with, whatever it is, one side will be screaming “FIX”. I just… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Eckegate.. love it ?

TrevorH
TrevorH
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

That’s interesting. You suggest is cost 40 million. Original estimate was 10 to 40 million. In fact it cost 414 million…!! Some figures say 431 million. Even my maths say the cost has gone up 10-fold. I believe it was conceived and agreed literally on the back of an envelope. A Spanish architect who died just after it was completed 3 years late. The roof is meant to be like upturned boats and despite it was not specified as such it was built to be bomb proof… good news for Krankie. Kirsty Wark was part of the design competition. Go… Read more »

TrevorH
TrevorH
7 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

I i tended to add…

Rennie Macintosh must be turning in his grave.

Ian
Ian
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Hi AndyP
There is always money for politicians …
Mayors…. police and crime commissioners….. national parliaments…
Cameron started the process to reduce the number of MPs by 50 but that has been dropped while everyone has been watching COVID-19
Thanks Ian

Johan
Johan
7 months ago
Reply to  barry white

NI Its called Peat lol

Johan
Johan
7 months ago
Reply to  Johan

and BRITISH GAS is part-owned by some french company.

Ian
Ian
7 months ago
Reply to  Johan

Hi Johan
Centrica own British Gas and they are British
Thanks Ian

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago

Given the need to create jobs post Brexit and support the UK politically my money is on Harland and Wolf.

James
James
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

They government are certainly throwing and awful lot of money and government positions into the Leeds and North of that line area, North East for a contract maybes?

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  James

They certainly are.
https://www.business-live.co.uk/technology/uks-largest-independent-battery-factory-16563129
But Harland and Wolf have joined up with Navantia and are almost certainly bidding for the FSS contract. The issue for Boris is he has to placate the Unionists who he knew would be up in arms ( I use the term advisedly) because of the Brexit Northern Ireland protocol. Hence the Boris burrow tunnel proposal between NI and Scotland.

TrevorH
TrevorH
7 months ago
Reply to  James

Tyne and Wear

Andrew
7 months ago

Just hope the work stays in the UK ,and not give any part of it over seas just to keep face.

Jacko
Jacko
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

The FSSS have been designated as warships so the contract won’t go outside the UK

Andrew
7 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

Hope your right Jacko ,need good news?

dan
dan
7 months ago

Are unions still going strong over in G.B.? In the U.S. they have been on the decline except for the socialist states of CA and NY.

Johan
Johan
7 months ago

This project should go nowhere near Ferguson Marine, and who says they will be built in Scotland. the assumption is the mother of all cock-ups. and with weeeee jimmie Crankie using independence to hide her failings, and now losing £2.9B of covid support money. any procurement will be on target and @ a fixed cost. plenty of skilled work force sat @ home currently.

James
James
7 months ago
Reply to  Johan

The wannabe queen of scots is certainly starting to allow cracks to appear, hopefully one appears under her and she vanishes through it.

BradyS
BradyS
7 months ago

Hello UKDJ readers. Just looked at the integrated review. And i think it is good doctrine, not a bad documnt and they are right about how in this day and age we need to be ready everywhere.
But is it in the integrated review or the white paper where the cuts will be announced? Where are the cuts

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 months ago
Reply to  BradyS

Defence details on 22nd March. Hopefully fewer cuts than feared.

Mark B
Mark B
7 months ago

Looks like robbing Peter to pay Paul if anything …

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  BradyS

Indeed it is an impressive piece of work. We already know the number of MBT will effectively be cut if only 150 are upgraded to be effective. There are also rumours we will chop the C130 fleet and scrap Warror altogether. We also know that the regular army recruitment target will be cut so that we meet it ? On the plus side we will be investing a lot in intel and cyber, putting up our own satellites and according to today’s Telegraph developing laser and hypersonic missiles; fitting asea radars to Typhoon, developing Tempest, putting UAV capable cats and… Read more »

BradyS
BradyS
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

When you read it that way it sounds quite good. But currently. There is 19 frigates and destroyers with 13 Mine warfare vessels. With 5 of those forming a deployed squadron at HMS Jufair. So in the future all that’s planned is 5 type 32 frigates to replace the mine warfare vessels. So you really go from 32 to 24. There better be some good unmanned capabilities in Type 32, and perhaps there will be (unmanned surface Mine warfare vessels, unmanned subs perhaps, drones…). In regards to tanks maybe the Intelligence services can do something clever and persuade MoD to… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  BradyS

I’m not expert in selecting tanks but I have read other posts which suggest that the smart move is to upgrade C2 to whatever is needed to kill the Russian T-14 and then jump on board any US future tank program. I take your point on simple hull counts. But T32 is likely to be a full fat frigate, probably based on the Arrowhead hull; a globally capable solitaire i.e. what people were hoping T31 would be. I think UUV technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. Everyone of the 24 escort hulls will have a large mission bay capable… Read more »

Thenautist
7 months ago

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Mark B
Mark B
7 months ago

Unions should be looking after their members not pushing their political agendas or attempting to bully Governments. Looks to me like they will be built in the UK can I suggest the work is spread around a bit.

peter cross
peter cross
7 months ago

don’t just blame the unions for the demise of british shipbuilding,poor management had a major part to play and week partisan government were all in the mix giving the scots the major part of the build strategy was the biggest mistake,overruns on cost and delivery coupled with poor workmanship all came from a clyde build.