Saturday, 24 November 2018

Is the Frigate a dying breed?

You know, when I sat down to write this article I though it would be much easier than this. I'm definitely of the persuasion that the Pareto principle applies to writing, assuming you take a very liberal view of what the Pareto principle actually is, in that I seem to spend 80% of my time writing (and rewriting) just 20% of any article, while the remaining 80% of the piece takes just 20% of the time. 

It shouldn't be this hard really, especially as I've spent probably 9 or more years endlessly mulling this subject over in my head. And of course now one must be prepared for the fact (for one is in posh mode) that one might be coming across to the reader as lacking confidence in ones convictions, which is not ideal given the bold claim that one intends to make. Indeed now I'm definitely just rambling, so I might as well get to the point.

The frigate is dead.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Calling in some CAAS support

The other day I did a post about the MoD's 2018-2028 Equipment Plan, or as it's otherwise known "The common book of MoD prayers". In that post I referenced the National Audit Office's criticism of the MoD for forecasting costs using the 50th percentile. Today we're going to delve a little deeper into that, look at a highly contrived scenario involving groceries, and by the end I'll have somehow figured out how to make it all tie together in a nice neat bow. I hope.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

We will remember them

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), first published in The Times newspaper on 21 September 1914.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The Defence Equipment Plan 2018

To the surprise of fucking no one the National Audit Office released its review of the Ministry of Defence's Equipment Plan for the period 2018-2028 and found that the MoD is facing a black hole in its budget estimates. This amounts to £7 billion over the next ten years, which my keen sense of mathematics tells me would average £700 million per year, though the actual estimate is that 84% of that shortfall will occur in just the next four years out to 2022. The depressing words "the plan remains unaffordable" appear two paragraphs into the summary, later followed by the equally depressing news that the £7 billion shortfall might actually be a significant underestimate and that the plan could prove to be undercosted by as much as £14.8 billion by 2028.