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back to article MoD's London brass resist job cuts

Ministry of Defence headquarters offices in central London are to shed 1200 uniformed and civilian staff posts, according to reports. Military bureaucrats are resisting the moves fiercely. The Times, having unsurprisingly "obtained" documents outlining the cuts and the MoD brass' resistance to them, gave full details yesterday. …

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"resisting the moves fiercely"

Will likely involve some serious "tut-tut"ing down in some of the Gentlemen's Clubs.

Looks like there's way too many overpaid chiefs, and insufficient (as usual) *Native American Citizens* (cliché corrected by the Politically Corrected Target Words Approval Transcription System, or P.C. T.W.A.T.S) aka *the cannon fodder*.

Sacking half of them would (probably) free up enough cash to give the cannon fodder at least a full set of 'basic' equipment each. And some spare.

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Anonymous Coward

Cant we send em to Afghanistan?

I always wondered why we needed 100,000 civil servants to manage the armed forces. What are they doing apart from shifting paper about like nearly all civil servants. Still, gordon has said he will spend his way out of this recession so no doubt we will have 200,000 MOD civil servants soon enough!

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Cal

Yes, but..

Regards to the number of Lt Col. in the British Army. Yes, the number compared to the actual amount of units available to command doesn't add up, but you need to look beyond actual unit command and look to individual posts. If you go to a Brigade HQ, take the one in the COB in Iraq as a good example, many of them are employed in the planning and control aspects of everything from ISTAR to Civic Projects.

This is down to the decisions required and the people working under them.

You need to remember that for a decision to be made, it often needs to be made by someone with the authority to do so, but more importantly, be of a suitable rank to blame should it all go tits up.

Can't hold a Trooper responsible for mis-managing an ISTAR asset when it's obviously well out of his league, but a LtCol will do nicely. :)

I'm a Trooper by the way, and am surprised to find myself sticking up for the 'other half'. :)

(Although I speak only for the Army. I'm sure we could easily sack half the Navy and Airforce)

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Rank Inflation

Just create a new Über-General and bump every job-description and pay grade down one level. Everybody gets to keep his rank and there'd be some room for years of generous promotions.

How come they never though of that?

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Stop

Some things never change

and others just get worse. I used to think my Dad's solution to the civil service population was a bit extreme, now I find that I agree with him but instead of 2/3rds it should be 75% of them lined up against a wall and shot and the other 25% made to do a proper days work like everyone else.

I used to argue that they should be sacked not shot, he would argue that the compensation paid out to the families would be less than the wages and index linked pensions.

Looks like he was right :P

Stop sign, the civil service is probably big enough for a 200% population growth already

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Joke

Do a "Proper days work?"

Not if I can bloody help it!

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N

Send them to Afghanistan?

No way, they need men out there who can fight.

What use are these desk bound tossers who flip their lids if their coffee dosnt arrive at exactly the right time every morning?

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Alert

get rid of civil servants not miliatary personel

The numbers in your report may indicate that the RAF has more wing-commanders than wings to command, but other positions, notably squadron dentist are of a wing-commander rank.

Little more understanding of how the military ranks works please!

Also shoot the civil servants, they are a waste of space.

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Martin Jarvis strikes again

Turns out "Our Brave Boys" was a documentary.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/ourbraveboys/

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Anonymous Coward

So in short....

You don't understand what these departments do, and faintly remember they have made mistakes, so they should loose posts? I take it that this will magically make Ops planning etc. lots better?

The support elements of the armed forces are always the one's to get cut, mostly because no one understands or cares about them. Retire the ancient Jaguar and there's tabloid uproar, chop £100M from the support budget of the remaining aircraft at the same time, meh. Which do you think will have a greater effect on the frontline?

As long as the sad old cliche of the noble squaddie on the front line fighting and weasily civil servant/senior officer at HQ doing nothing remains you'll get cuts in training, equipment, housing, medical care, safety, logistics and all those other boring bits. I'd have thought Lewis was keen to improve these sorts of things, not reduce them.

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Coat

Draft the civil servants into the Army

(yes, I did mean "Draft", as in, legally forced into the army, even if against their will).

They would have to come in as grunts of course, then they can be given 6 weeks basic training and shipped out to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Make sure the ex-civil servants get the soft skinned "snatch" land-rovers that they were so keen to tell us were up to the job and make sure they're at the back of the queue for body armour, so that the proper soldiers get the proper kit and the civil servant get the kit they were willing to pay for.

It will actually save money too, 'cos soldiers get paid a damn sight less than civil servants.

Mine's the one with the extra 7.62mm ammo in the pocket.

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Simple solution

Just take the 1200 desktop warriors and send them to Afghanistan as the Home Guard. They can be used for guard duties, while the real soldiers go out and do their job.

Kind of like a cross between 'Dad's Army', Carry On Up the Kybher' and 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum'.

Sometimes I don't agree with these articles, but this was right on.

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Anonymous Coward

Title

GB can't even organise a piss up in a brewery.

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re: I always wondered why we needed 100,000 civil servants to manage the armed forces

There used to be a fair few of them doing things needed to support the troops - ranging from maintaining/repairing equipment to installation and design that would have had the MOD ripped off even more than usual - and if not on the front line, some have certainly been into operation support areas.

But with the changes to "outsourcing" during the 90's and then during the late 90s the start of equality for all "grades" irrespective of the qualifications and skills - I suspect most have now left and been replaced with pen pushers monitoring contact compliance where they have no authority or power to actually do anything

bitter no - pay is much better out side ( though bureaucracy seems as bad) :)

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Pirate

Red flag them

Send the civies into Afgan waving red flags infront of the vehicles (see your history if you don't get it) - they'll easier to replace if they get hit by roadside bombs.

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I'm a little surprised

To be reading about quite a few people supporting the pen pushers in command/mod central. I used to be an Officer in the RAF, and served in a variety of different places, including alongside MOD civil servants, on the front line, and in command. I was left in no doubt at all by my experience that most staffers are pretty useless and the command organisations could be very heavily cut back; and that the MOD civil service is very inefficient, with it's key ability being justifying their own jobs (see this article for more on that). One thing that routinely happens within these organisations is that a requirement changes for some reason, a new organisation is created for the new requirement, but the old organisation refuses to die; usually because of some civil servants who don't want to change what they are doing. I saw it first hand, because I had the misfortune when I was leaving the RAF of ending up in one of those areas. The job was no longer required, but the group that did it refused to die.

A great example of this is PJHQ. When the Permanent Joint Headquarters was formed it took command responsibility for all deployments, regardless of colour (green, light blue, dark blue). However, all the existing command functions at the RAF, RN and Army remained, without any real cuts. I worked for a while in one of the Strike Command functions, and it was clear that we weren't needed, all the important work was going on at Northwood in PJHQ. But, if they cut back Strike Command, then the 4 star would be out of a job, because the 4 star at Northwood rotates between the services.

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Pirate

Bureaucracies

Over half of any bureaucratic workforce are useless drones that, at best, merely retard work slightly, and in worse cases actively interfere. You could turn the drones into cat food without anyone much caring, except for the kitties.

Unfortunately, the drone concentration increases as you go up the ladder, and drones protect drones, so if a "fire half of them!" order comes down from on high, you'll lose many more useful than useless employees. Also, non-drones tend to be rather short-tempered with the idiots around them, so have reputations as being "uncooperative", "not team players", etc, which are convenient excuses to use when purging the ranks.

Footnote re kitties: they probably wouldn't eat canned drone. Mine took one bite of a venison cat food and said "fuck off, meow, that stuff is inedible." Maybe it was laced with melamine?

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Anonymous Coward

@SpeakerToAliens & AC 14:25 GMT

SpeakerTo Aliens: "It will actually save money too, 'cos soldiers get paid a damn sight less than civil servants."

Not really. A full Colonel, that Lewis seems to think are just bumming around (I'll have to take his word for it) trousers £77,545 to £85,268, the equivalent civil servant is a B2 grade on £41,528 to £54,488. Slightly down the scale an Army Captain collects £36,160 to £43,002, his civil service equal is a D grade on £19,315 to £26,626. Right down the bottom of the pile, an Army Private gets about £16,227 to £21,323 and the E2 grade gets £12,674 to £19,315.

AC 14:25 GMT: "I worked for a while in one of the Strike Command functions, and it was clear that we weren't needed"

Having just complained about how inefficient the civil service is you go on the explain how you did bugger all of any use for a tour. Pot. Kettle. Black.

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The navy has almost two admirals for every frigate

I thought the captian ran the ship and the admiral ran the fleet. That over staffing sounds crazy. It means each captain is bossed about by two admirals. I am a ssuming a ship has one captain.

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Joke

CCCP

Er, "capacity for concurrent contingency planning"? Some sort of soviet?

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@Cal

"be of a suitable rank to blame should it all go tits up"

And we all know that will be the lowest POS on the totem pole.

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DR

@@SpeakerToAliens & AC 14:25 GMT

>"SpeakerTo Aliens: "It will actually save money too, 'cos soldiers get paid a damn sight less >than civil servants."

>Not really. A full Colonel, that Lewis seems to think are just bumming around (I'll have to take >his word for it) trousers £77,545 to £85,268, the equivalent civil servant is a B2 grade on >£41,528 to £54,488. Slightly down the scale an Army Captain collects £36,160 to £43,002, his >civil service equal is a D grade on £19,315 to £26,626. Right down the bottom of the pile, an >Army Private gets about £16,227 to £21,323 and the E2 grade gets £12,674 to £19,315."

Ummm.. yeah, so kind of proved that then, getting rid of 1200 full Colnels could buy 4 full squadrons of E2 grade privates,

alternatively getting rid of four of the lowest pen pushers pay for five of the lowest lead pushers. (@ higest wage for each using figures you posted).

and then..

>AC 14:25 GMT: "I worked for a while in one of the Strike Command functions, and it was clear >that we weren't needed"

>Having just complained about how inefficient the civil service is you go on the explain how you >did bugger all of any use for a tour. Pot. Kettle. Black.

not pot kettle black at all. he's proving a point.

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