Savings from defense cooperation on our core mission

ringobrodgar

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What's our defence budget again? Around the equivalent of $1.1 billion. Much of that will be maintenance of logistics/camps/property spend and administration of buildings and land, wages and salaries, maintenance of naval assets which are effectively a coastguard unit along with limited air-sea rescue. Otherwise notorious as a sort of Uber for government ministers.


Anyone got any numbers available on what we'd need as a minimum to be competitive and put up a valiant but futile defence so beloved of those who'll never have to fight in them?

Couple of squadrons of the latest military jet fighters at least plus the technical equipment and training to keep them operational and available. Couple of squadrons wouldn't be enough against the airforces of any of our neighbours. Say five or six squadrons plus supply line costs. This would probably quadruple our defence budget alone.

Then you'd need an AWACs 'plane. High altitude gizmo, requiring three or four in rotation to maintain coverage over the skies you want to defend. You won't know you're being attacked until it is too late unless you have a very high eye in the sky and we don't have any military satellite systems. So chuck in a few high altitude latest generation planes for basically edge of space flight in order to be able to monitor the air territory you are supposed to be defending. Another few billion a year, easy, when you build in all the resource and upkeep plus training, security at the base where they occasionally land etc.

Now let's see. Submarines. We'll need a lot of those with the length of coastline we have and no doubt the expectation that because of our position off the west coast of Europe we'd patrol the western approaches. So we'll need a fleet of nuclear subs. Say 30 or 30 billion for those.

Tanks. APCs. Obviously we'd need a fair few squadrons of those. Not so much for defending Athenry against the latest Russian weaponry but for the inevitable operation we'd be launching to Liberate Europe from the oppressor when we switch from defence to attack :)

That restaurant bill would blow our defence budget out by at least ten times its current cost. The quare thing is that it would all be useless in the very scenario it would be most wanted.

I vote we save our money. If the UK and US want to play silly buggers with China and Russia my suggestion would be that we do our level best to stay out of it. As one of the few locations in Europe where there would likely be survivors from a battlefield nuke scenario on the continent I don't think we should be jumping up and down to make ourselves targets for any of the superpowers.

We definitely cannot afford Belgian notions. They still persist with an army and military spending despite their unfortunate habit of becoming essentially a refuelling lay-by for anyone making a play for western Europe.
Lumpy may I call you Lumpy? very obviously in the 21st century, we are in a new era the threats we face have clearly changed. The vast majority of your post while jocular is no longer relevant to our countries requirements. Let me state it again in case any on these boards havent got the message our two countries require a gendarmerie an external police force in the shape of a coastguard.
 


Lumpy Talbot

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No
A coastguard and fisheries protection shared policy would be a very good idea and would provide a forum for dispute resolution. If Scotland were to leave the Union and agree an accession track I guess much of that would become a good idea anyway under EU rules. But if Scotland were to leave the Union and somehow square away Brussels which for obvious reasons does not like to encourage regional break-aways from current member states then it would still be a good idea for bilateral talks between Holyrood and Dublin, certainly. That would make sense.

Essentially our naval services to all intents and purposes are set up to be a coastguard and fishery protection service so if Scotland were to go that route then it would make perfect sense for Dublin and Holyrood to talk and not via Westminster or Brussels either.

I think Dublin and Holyrood should be talking about areas of common interest or at least identifying what those areas are under any scenario in any case.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
One area I think it would be vital to talk about is the salmon export business. I noticed years back that Scotland is doing very well in marketing farmed Scottish salmon into the Chinese market.

I believe it is a vital earner these days and took off substantially in the last 20 years. The Chinese middle class, some 300 million new consumers for luxury/prestige western goods have taken to the pink salmon with great alacrity and Scotland has done well in supplying that market. I have a notion it might become bigger than Scotland can supply and Ireland has the same conditions as Scotland for salmon farming, a need to supply jobs along our job-starved west coast, again a similar issue that Scotland has, and the perfect conditions for the high quality end of the market.

That's one area where Irish and Scottish mariculture experts should be talking. There's a big export market with more than enough sales room for joined up thinking between Scots and Irish Fishing and agri/maritime food exports.
 

ringobrodgar

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One area I think it would be vital to talk about is the salmon export business. I noticed years back that Scotland is doing very well in marketing farmed Scottish salmon into the Chinese market.

I believe it is a vital earner these days and took off substantially in the last 20 years. The Chinese middle class, some 300 million new consumers for luxury/prestige western goods have taken to the pink salmon with great alacrity and Scotland has done well in supplying that market. I have a notion it might become bigger than Scotland can supply and Ireland has the same conditions as Scotland for salmon farming, a need to supply jobs along our job-starved west coast, again a similar issue that Scotland has, and the perfect conditions for the high quality end of the market.

That's one area where Irish and Scottish mariculture experts should be talking. There's a big export market with more than enough sales room for joined up thinking between Scots and Irish Fishing and agri/maritime food exports.
Yeah that worked really well for Norway they made a diplomatic protest cant remember what it was about and the Chinese responded by leaving their salmon to rot on their docks. Might be a marketing solution for us both Celtic salmon? environmentally the industry isnt good we really need to work on that
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
I did a sort of informal business case history on that sector out of personal interest and I think I may even have launched a thread or placed it in a thread here on developing new business lines/exports.

Part of the reason there is so much wastage in salmon farming, a major cost to the business in attrition rates, is because salmon are being farmed too intensively, too many fish per square hundred metres.

With an Irish and Scottish joint approach to salmon farming that could open up a huge area of salmon exports, shellfish exports, the various edible weeds that are being farmed now for the restaurant business worldwide (I know, but better days ahead again) we have a vast amount of sea we aren't making the best use of.

Sustainable salmon farming could be huge between Scotland and Ireland and could allow for agreed expansion of the trade at many coastal locations with broadened out 'cageing' systems so the attrition rate drops and costs start lowering, the profit margins widen.

Is it better to have two compressed farms, one on the west coast of Scotland, the other on the north western coast of Ireland, both of them suffering attrition rates that are too high because of a lack of allowed space and the need to chase the margin?

Or is it better to have one joint operative body for salmon exports and trade interests, regulation and reporting off an industry with more space in which to operate, lower attrition costs, higher profit margin and an agreed and negotiated divident payout to the taxpayer in Scotland and in Ireland. No reason at all why that could not happen, plenty of reasons why we should explore it.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
So many similar interests. The tourism and hospitality industry is obvious. Alcohol exports for both countries are huge duty/revenue generators. There's lots we should be talking about bi-laterally.

Information sharing alone in a commercial and economic sense would be a very good idea both ways. Academic and research tie-ins between Queen's in Belfast, Edinburgh University and National University of Ireland would be a good forum for exploring common interests in the arts and culture spaces. Can't see a downside for our Dept of Foreign Affairs or our business community.
 

ringobrodgar

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I did a sort of informal business case history on that sector out of personal interest and I think I may even have launched a thread or placed it in a thread here on developing new business lines/exports.

Part of the reason there is so much wastage in salmon farming, a major cost to the business in attrition rates, is because salmon are being farmed too intensively, too many fish per square hundred metres.

With an Irish and Scottish joint approach to salmon farming that could open up a huge area of salmon exports, shellfish exports, the various edible weeds that are being farmed now for the restaurant business worldwide (I know, but better days ahead again) we have a vast amount of sea we aren't making the best use of.

Sustainable salmon farming could be huge between Scotland and Ireland and could allow for agreed expansion of the trade at many coastal locations with broadened out 'cageing' systems so the attrition rate drops and costs start lowering, the profit margins widen.

Is it better to have two compressed farms, one on the west coast of Scotland, the other on the north western coast of Ireland, both of them suffering attrition rates that are too high because of a lack of allowed space and the need to chase the margin?

Or is it better to have one joint operative body for salmon exports and trade interests, regulation and reporting off an industry with more space in which to operate, lower attrition costs, higher profit margin and an agreed and negotiated divident payout to the taxpayer in Scotland and in Ireland. No reason at all why that could not happen, plenty of reasons why we should explore it.
I'm against creating QUANGOs but your proposal while I'm in full agreement with would require some type of overarching organization in order to fulfill your stated purpose. I'm certainly interested in the dividend scheme but more so to fund our health care systems Ireland is isnt free at the point of use anymore
 

ringobrodgar

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So many similar interests. The tourism and hospitality industry is obvious. Alcohol exports for both countries are huge duty/revenue generators. There's lots we should be talking about bi-laterally.

Information sharing alone in a commercial and economic sense would be a very good idea both ways. Academic and research tie-ins between Queen's in Belfast, Edinburgh University and National University of Ireland would be a good forum for exploring common interests in the arts and culture spaces. Can't see a downside for our Dept of Foreign Affairs or our business community.
We should definitely cooperatively fund our diplomatic mission separate funding we can cover about 50 to 80 countries together we can share the world
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
A trifle ambitious, perhaps. I'd settle for a forum to discuss matters of mutual interest in the first place. That may be happening in splintered fashion already across sectors but there would be a case for Holyrood and Dublin to have a talking shop which could float subjects up where mutual co-operation may be beneficial and where problems can be identified and attended to before they start getting silly.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
There's a case for a trilateral forum between Dublin, Holyrood and Cardiff, the Welsh Assembly. We should be sharing good ideas and ameliorating risk by identifying them when they are small on the horizon.

A case in point would be something that the first independent Scottish Government would have to focus on and that is infrastructure. From our point of view, for people fairly famous for construction around the world we do tend to make a regular balls of major infrastructure projects at home, in the same way an accountant will usually have client accounts in good order, but their own affairs may be a heaving mess.

With Wales they managed to do something unheard of. Certainly it was unheard of in Dublin, which you can nearly see with binoculars from Wales, when we started messing about with a new Irish Water organisation charged with supply, repair and update of the water system in Ireland. In Wales their water company emerged from the privatisation frenzy in the 1990s to noughties when the city got a whole new sector to play with, slice and dice, package, benchmark and generally play about with in search of short term profit rather than the infrastructure company's primary purpose in being. Board members benchmarking themselves to the moon, parasites in suits everywhere.

Plas Cymru, (Welsh Water) basically went into a huddle and came out with a Golden Share idea owned by its customers, which acted as a poison pill to deter city speculators and 'activist investors'. The customers control the company. They were lucky in identifying a good Managing Director who changed the governance at the company and actually declined along with the new board to take any pay rise where no pay rise was available to front line workers. Faith restored, the company set about its purpose. It is now one of the fastest expanding water companies in the UK, foreign infrastructure experts are flying in to examine a successful model with high approval ratings from its customer/owners and is expanding its repair of the old victorian network and moving beyond the Welsh borders into England it is doing so well. Complete turn-around.

That's the sort of stuff that Dublin (in particular) and arguably Holyrood should be benefiting from. Good successful projects in Scotland, Ireland or Wales should have a place where they float up naturally. The Plas Cymru example, with the blinkers taken off our politicians, would be a perfect model in Ireland but of course allows no room for parasites on the board or shareholder list so our lot would take a lot of persuasion to give up the model which provides the most corruption.

But it is handy to have such a shining example of how to do it so close to Dublin. There must be others in Wales, Scotland and Ireland that don't have to be seen through a Westminster or Union filter.
 

ringobrodgar

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A trifle ambitious, perhaps. I'd settle for a forum to discuss matters of mutual interest in the first place. That may be happening in splintered fashion already across sectors but there would be a case for Holyrood and Dublin to have a talking shop which could float subjects up where mutual co-operation may be beneficial and where problems can be identified and attended to before they start getting silly.
https://www.dfa.ie/media/missions/consulates/edinburgh/CG-Edinburgh.jpg There is a huge amount of traffic even under the Scottish devolution settlement
between the two governments. Meetings between the first minister and the Taoiseach aren't uncommon Scots inspired by EU’s support for Ireland – Nicola Sturgeon
 

ringobrodgar

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There's a case for a trilateral forum between Dublin, Holyrood and Cardiff, the Welsh Assembly. We should be sharing good ideas and ameliorating risk by identifying them when they are small on the horizon.

A case in point would be something that the first independent Scottish Government would have to focus on and that is infrastructure. From our point of view, for people fairly famous for construction around the world we do tend to make a regular balls of major infrastructure projects at home, in the same way an accountant will usually have client accounts in good order, but their own affairs may be a heaving mess.

With Wales they managed to do something unheard of. Certainly it was unheard of in Dublin, which you can nearly see with binoculars from Wales, when we started messing about with a new Irish Water organisation charged with supply, repair and update of the water system in Ireland. In Wales their water company emerged from the privatisation frenzy in the 1990s to noughties when the city got a whole new sector to play with, slice and dice, package, benchmark and generally play about with in search of short term profit rather than the infrastructure company's primary purpose in being. Board members benchmarking themselves to the moon, parasites in suits everywhere.

Plas Cymru, (Welsh Water) basically went into a huddle and came out with a Golden Share idea owned by its customers, which acted as a poison pill to deter city speculators and 'activist investors'. The customers control the company. They were lucky in identifying a good Managing Director who changed the governance at the company and actually declined along with the new board to take any pay rise where no pay rise was available to front line workers. Faith restored, the company set about its purpose. It is now one of the fastest expanding water companies in the UK, foreign infrastructure experts are flying in to examine a successful model with high approval ratings from its customer/owners and is expanding its repair of the old victorian network and moving beyond the Welsh borders into England it is doing so well. Complete turn-around.

That's the sort of stuff that Dublin (in particular) and arguably Holyrood should be benefiting from. Good successful projects in Scotland, Ireland or Wales should have a place where they float up naturally. The Plas Cymru example, with the blinkers taken off our politicians, would be a perfect model in Ireland but of course allows no room for parasites on the board or shareholder list so our lot would take a lot of persuasion to give up the model which provides the most corruption.

But it is handy to have such a shining example of how to do it so close to Dublin. There must be others in Wales, Scotland and Ireland that don't have to be seen through a Westminster or Union filter.
Have you forgotten the major stuff up we made with Edinburgh trams the inquiry into it has now been going six years and still hasn't provided a conclusion and now we are building an extension?!! without having the lessons learnt!

Yeah Welsh water is a lesson to us all how to do it right
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Didn't know that about the tram system but I suspect in the end it will turn out to be a good idea because the days of cars traversing city centres are really at an end I'm fairly sure.

I used the tram system quite a lot and it seemed very good to me and love the fact it goes out to the airport. Well situated there too.
 

ringobrodgar

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Didn't know that about the tram system but I suspect in the end it will turn out to be a good idea because the days of cars traversing city centres are really at an end I'm fairly sure.

I used the tram system quite a lot and it seemed very good to me and love the fact it goes out to the airport. Well situated there too.
still funny 10 years later
 


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