What can you do?
The UKNDA is “a campaign for sufficient, appropriate and fully funded Armed Forces that the United Kingdom needs”. By joining (£12 per year) or donating you will add your name and financial support to about the only independent group lobbying government, politicians and the media on behalf of the armed forces.
Online Government Petitions
Although these petition are hosted on the 10 Downing Street website and a petition in itself is hardly going to rock the government, if significant numbers of people register their protest at the state of the navy it will make politicians realise they can’t just get away with ‘quiet’ cuts un-noticed. If you are a UK citizen it will only take a couple of minutes for you to sign and register your protest.
Please sign the online petition we have created urging the MoD NOT to allow BAE Systems to shut the Portsmouth shipbuilding yard – here.
Please sign the online petition urging Government NOT to sell the second aircraft carrier when completed – here.
Write to your MP
There will be a wide variation in MPs attitudes and knowledge of RN issues. However writing a letter to them asking them if they will challenge the government about the decline of the RN will at least cause them to think about the issue. This sort of action will help dispel the idea that ‘there are no votes in defence”. If you don’t know who your MP is or their address, you can find out at www.writetothem.com by simply entering your postcode.
Write to the Secretary of State for Defence
Phillip Hammond was appointed Defence Secretary on 14th October 2011 (The 7th Defence Secretary in 10 years!) in the wake of Dr Liam Fox’s resignation. The department is still wrestling with collosal public debt, years of mis-management of MoD finances and a Prime Minister and Chancellor lacking the will to do the right thing and ring-fence defence spending. The October 2010 Strategic Defence review means massive cuts to the armed forces and the RN suffered the most. We urge the minister to do a major re-think of the RN cuts.
You can contact the minister through an online form here or write to him at MOD Ministerial Correspondence Unit, 5th Floor, Zone A, Main Building, Whitehall, London SW1A 2HB
Twitter: If you have a Twitter account, why not send tweets about the state of the Royal Navy? Twitter allows you to reach a potentially huge audience very quickly and raise awareness. We have a Twitter feed here which provides general news about the RN as well as highlighting the government negect of the service. Why not follow us and re-tweet from our feed or tweet any relevant news stories you find?
Facebook: There is a Save the Royal Navy Facebook group – (not run by or directly affiliated to this website) why not join, make a comment or or click the ‘like’ button on this site and this spreads the word to your friends on Facebook
Blogging: The power of the internet has made it much easier to get your voice heard. If you have specific expertise about RN issues, relevant experience or like the authors of this site, just want to get your voice heard, why not start a blog? You don’t need much technical knowledge about web design and you can even do it for free. Using tools such as Blogger or WordPress (which this site is built with).If you want to make an impact be sure to use good English and be factually accurate. Friends of this site have recently used the Scoop.it service to provide a manually-curated ‘online newspaper ‘of Royal Navy news and we have a feed from them on this site – here.
Write to the press / comment online
Writing a stiff letter to the Times may seem like an old-fashioned approach favoured by retired admirals but most newspapers and magazines do still print letters which can shape opinions. However the internet is a fast and free way to get the message out there. Whenever RN-related articles appear online in the media (such as BBC News Online, Telegraph Online etc), there is often an opportunity to comment on the story or vote in a poll.
Tell your friends
Spreading the word to those who will listen is a valuable contribution. There is no need to become a “naval bore” but the more people understand the need for the RN, the better. The Government has got away with so many cuts to the RN over the years mainly because the media has ignored naval issues and most people are ignorant of purpose and the state of the RN.
The RN presentation team
If your company or organisation can be persuaded and you can gather a group of 40 or more people, you can invite the RN presentation team to visit. In a largely ignorant society, this can help raise awareness of the purpose and need for the RN. You can submit a request for them to visit or find out where they are scheduled to give presentations on the RN website here.
Riot! / Lawful Rebellion
Well maybe not… But unfortunately the ideas listed on this page won’t exactly bring down the government unless huge numbers respond. All you can do is spread the word and make you voice heard. Sadly the media is mostly only interested when things go wrong. Unless there is urgent action there will undoubtedly be a ‘crunch point’ in the future when the RN is unable to “fight and win”. So do what you can now.
We welcome any suggestions and comments and you can contact us here.
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Records on defence...
2010 - Present
Before being elected Cameron claimed the Tories were the "the party of defence". Once in power, his government rushed through the ill-thought out 'Strategic Defence Review' which was in no way strategic just a slash and burn cost-cutting exercise with the Royal Navy hardest hit. The sudden crisis in Libya highlighted this folly yet the cuts are still going full ahead. In a cynical move to take the focus from massive defence cuts, Cameron announced that the Military Covenant (welfare benefits for service personnel) will be enshrined in law.
With an instinctive dislike of the forces, as both Chancellor and Prime Minister, Brown took every opportunity to reduce or put-off defence spending. Curiously though, he was a strong supporter of the Royal Navy's aircraft carrier programme (which provides many Scottish jobs near his consituency). When he left office the Ministry of Defence finances were in a catastrophic state and Brown must take much of the responsibility for this.
With a strong economy while in office, Blair cannot be excused from his failure to fund the Royal Navy properly and he was responsible for cutting the fleet in both the 1997 and 2003 defence reviews. Just 1 small patrol ship and 1 submarine were ordered for the RN between 2003 and 2007! He essentailly funded his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by reducing expenditure on equipment for the armed forces that do the fighting.