Feeds

MoD redefines 'public' with online poll

We forgot to announce it. Whoops!

Mobile application security vulnerability report

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is holding an online poll to get the views of the public on the massive reorganisation of the nation's armed forces - for which read cuts - expected next year.

In the spirit of openness with which the entire defence review will probably be conducted, the MoD has let the "public" poll proceed for several days of its fortnight-long run before announcing it. The poll is accessible from this MoD webpage, which states that it has been up and running since last week, but the official announcement came only yesterday. The poll is to close nine days from now.

All the main political parties have agreed that there is to be a full strategic review of the UK's defences following next year's election, almost certainly involving serious budget cuts given the state of the economy. However, concerned citizens should be aware that the jockeying for budget and survival among the different services, branches and projects is already well underway in MoD and corporate offices up and down the land.

It's to be expected that industry and government insiders hope to have most of the review sewn up well before the next government gets round to thinking about it seriously. In particular, British industry - and its best friend at the MoD, Lord Drayson - will want to get as many of their favoured deals down in some sort of writing while Lord Drayson remains in government.

The online poll results, to be published once it has finished running, will be just one factor - probably a rather unimportant one, unless they happen to agree with the internal consensus - feeding into the Green Paper which the present government will draft, probably early next year, to set things up for the review in advance of the election.

While the media and public argue about comparatively small programmes like the new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy - projected cost in the region of £4-5bn - industry and the warring branches of the MoD will be seeking to slice up much more important cakes which don't get nearly as much attention.

Examples include the potential £14bn in budget lines for new army tanks and armoured-infantry vehicles, a possible increase in total cost for the Eurofighter to £25bn following upgrades to its third tranche, and various extremely lucrative long-term support deals for existing or imminent kit - for instance the astoundingly expensive "new" Nimrod MRA4s, each pair of which has cost as much as a space shuttle to buy and will probably cost a similar amount to run.

Needless to say the online poll doesn't ask for your views on any of this as such, focussing much more on the vanilla: perceptions of the armed forces vis-a-vis the MoD itself, whether it would be better for Blighty to fight its enemies overseas or here on home ground, etc.

Nonetheless, as it promises to be the only input many of us get, it would probably be a good idea to seize the chance. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.