1,223 comments posted · 2 followers · following 1

48 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Our survey. Gove is Mi... · 0 replies · +1 points

What is wrong with political competence. Would you prefer a sheep to a snake?

48 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Our survey. Gove is Mi... · 0 replies · +1 points

He is much more important that Mr Johnson. Gove understands government

50 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Julian Brazier: So Dow... · 0 replies · +1 points

The Japanese build excellent warships (for a very demanding marine environment, not too different from the North Atlantic) and they take, for instance, a US missile destroyer/frigate as a staring point. They add a helicopter facility (which the US original does not have) but stay close to the US original and they do not reinvent the wheel in terms of systems, missiles and sensors. This while the Japanese are the most advanced shipbuilders in the world. Why should the UK design a carrier escort (like the Type 45) from scratch or discioer that UK needs are so different from the French, Spanish, Dutch etc that a joint standard type with a rum of some 25 ships is impossible? It must be the artisanal urge that dominates so much of British engineering excellence.

50 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Julian Brazier: So Dow... · 3 replies · +1 points

Thanks for your elaborate reply. If you do n to mind, I'd like to address your comments one by one:
- Uk does not build (conventional) submarines. The nuclear ones are probably as good as the French and probably slightly inferior to the Virginia class. No one really knows. As to missile boats, that is a very different thing of course. Their cvapabilities are kept very secret. The British conbvntional submarines were OK but since then the small conventional (German, Swedish) have become extremely good for specioalised tasks. Tanks? The current UK tanks as upgraded are probably quite good in combat.
- Turkish tanks: Turkey has refurbished (by Israel) M60s and upgraded second hand Leopards. Neither can handle modern AT projectiles without suitable tactics. That new Russian tank is still largely a prototype and the Russians will not be building many, apparently I guess good tactics, maintenance, air superiority (a NATO a priori) and numbers would be more important than specifications and set pice tests. This is not WWII
- why not buy American? It is highly unlikely the UK will be in a position to have to fight defensively in the forseeable future ( with heavy equipment that is). Offensive war is something the UK is unlikely to enter into, even of the type Iraq/Afghanistan. Contributing say, five brigades (US standard) to NATO would be an extraordinary effort but more useful than continuing with the present approach. That dos not ap-ly to the Navy of course. The US Navy is built around carrier forces for power projection, attack submarines for fighting bot surface and submarine opponents and Marine Corps assault groups. Next to the navy they have a large Coast Guard and excellent marine surveillance air capabilities.
-Finally the Australians. I mentioned them because that is a clear example of a country with unique defence requirements combined with irrational objections to nuclear propulsion (in their case the obvious solution) and a tradition of supplying work to defence contractors and their unions, rather than concentrate on simply performing the miliary task effectively. They have very good effectiveness, but the politics make evertything they do expensive. Fortunately they do not build aircraft, missiles and heavy armor/artillery.

50 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Julian Brazier: So Dow... · 0 replies · +1 points

Scrap it and give the money to people who know what they are doing. If the DoD (and many of its foreign counterparts) were a business, it would heve gone bankrupt a long time ago.

50 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Julian Brazier: So Dow... · 0 replies · +1 points

Excellent comment but does it occur that this combination of inefficiency and recklessness is indicative of a government function where output is ill defined (winning specific conflicts? Keeping the country safe? if so what conflicts and what means " safe" . Could a small country like the UK do that alone? If not in what distribution of labour with other countries etc). Also where no one bothers about the relation between measurable input and completely fictitious goals for output.

Defineing the role of junior (ie every member except the US) NATO members should be priority #1 and procurement should follow from that, preferably on a supranational basis. Stragely enough, the new EU initiative is likely to make procurement supranational, but without having defined outputted goals. Maybe that will be even better for the industry...

50 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Julian Brazier: So Dow... · 0 replies · +1 points

It is very simple: the UK is a NATO member hence British forces' primary role is to complement US air and sea superiority policy. The task for government is to find the cheapest way to do that, not the way that pleases military hobbyists in uniform. You are right in your diagnosis but the cure should be more radical. Just imagine that the Hawaiian National Guard would develop its own navy ships. Defense is too serious to be kleft to small scale design and production efforts.

50 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Julian Brazier: So Dow... · 1 reply · +1 points

Autarchy tends to be inefficient, especially if the country lacks an integrated manufacturing base. That passport would have been more expensive. OK you would say, a few quid per passport would be acceptable. But if you apply that on big ticket items, it would add ups. Why just passports, why not make the UK self-sufficient in palm oil? Oil palms can frow in greenhouses, it will make your soap just a few pennies more expensive...

50 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Julian Brazier: So Dow... · 11 replies · +1 points

Simple solution: buy American, off the shelf, haggle about price and adopt US doctrine wehere possible. Defence research in a small country is wasteful. Just look at that stupid (Royal) Australian Navy example: they will be building 4-6 submarines using a French design (not operational yet, France is nuclear) and an American combat system (as on their frigates) and will build those in Australia at a projected building cost of around 50-60 bn USD. That could have bought 15 Virginia class submarines (admitted, not very suitable for certain tasks in shallow waters and for intelligence gathering) but that is the price of having weirdo procurement policy. There are no conventional submarines with an (original; Japanese and Koreans may have something very similar) American combat system.

Something similar with armoured vehicles. Britain builds tiny quantities. so does France. Much easier to take a proven US or German design (or the best of both, like Korea) and build too many plus abundant spares.

Military contractors are as predatory as software developers are and shopuld be rated with a high degree of hostility, by civilians with a confrontational attitude. Not by retired peactime soldiers.

50 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The non-reshuffle shuffle · 1 reply · +1 points

And what do you want to do about it?