By John Baylis
Substitute methods to British Defence coverage
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Does the Labour Government's dedication to Freedom of data suggest the top of over the top secrecy within the united kingdom? Why has Britain eventually determined to affix the various different international locations that get pleasure from a 'right to know'? This publication locations the present united kingdom debate over open executive in its political context. Robertson argues that simply as secrecy mirrored the pursuits of the robust, so too does freedom of knowledge.
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As for the non-uniformed workforce, although the number on this payroll too should fall during the mid-1980s, the chances are that the civil servants- white-collar and blue-collar- will fare well in the pay stakes, as they have hitherto. Then there is the matter of pensions. Both Service and general public-sector retirement benefits are generous on any reckoning, and the former are a direct charge on the defence budget. 17 The solid underpinning of the 'less defence for your money' thesis comes, however, from the rising real cost of military equipment.
For the moment, though, suffice it to note two things. First, the prescription in The Way Forward was for important changes in how the maritime tasks should be discharged. The key elements in it were: enhancement of the maritime-air and submarine effort; but a reduction in the size of the surface fleet and in the scale and sophistication of new ship-building, permitting closure of one major dockyard and contraction at another, as part of a general attempt to alter the 'balance of our investment between platforms and weapons ...
The result was an exhaustion of the best investment opportunities ... and a fall off in the rate at which the capital stock was increased. 22 What produced the deficient demand in the first place is a key question. The oil-price rises of 1973-4 and 1978-80 had a lot to do with it, for they affected real demand not only directly but also indirectly (by strengthening inflation and so leading to restrictive actions by governments). On the supply side, some role should also be assigned to what economists call 'catch-up': the scope for growth depends on how far you are below the frontier represented by best practice; and the international differentials here have been narrowing.
Alternative Approaches to British Defence Policy by John Baylis