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Government denies Lincolnshire's iconic Red Arrows team could face axe in new defence cuts

By LeighCurtis  |  Posted: February 02, 2013

The Red Arrows display team may be axed

Comments (18)

The government has denied Lincolnshire's iconic Red Arrows team could face the axe as part of a new wave of defence cuts by David Cameron.

According to the Daily Mirror, military bosses fear the world famous air display team are under serious threat of being grounded as part of a fresh round of cost-cutting. 

Ex-Red Arrows pilot, Justin Hughes, told the Mirror that "it would be a huge loss to the nation" if they were taken from the skies.

But in a statement released to the Echo this morning, the government said: "This is not true. Anyone suggesting the Red Arrows could face the axe is wrong."

The Red Arrows, said to cost £9m a year, are based at Scampton and this year is due to be their 49th display season.

According to tourism bosses, they are worth £1.5m to the county.

They were formed in 1964 and donate to more than 500 charities in the UK.

What do you think? Leave your comments below or Tweet @LeighCurtis_LE or @ThisisLincs

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  • Pete67  |  February 03 2013, 6:03PM

    Bolshie - - - Luckily I have found a page that mentions my source it's on - http://tinyurl.com/ce53j6g - unfortunately I do not record News programs (or watch them 24 hours a day), but the BBC News channel does at times interview a fair few politicians, and department spokesmen. I find it very useful at times to see what's happening in Government as opposed to what the papers print (which isn't necessarily the same).

  • Pete67  |  February 03 2013, 5:29PM

    Bolshie - - - I didn't look at the figures, but just went on the statement which to my mind can be deliberately confusing or misleading. A lot of people remember David Cameron's promise of a referendum before the last election. He did promise, but most people didn't listen to his actual words. The promise was followed by 'If the other Countries have not ratified first'. All that was needed was sufficient delay to make sure the other Countries had ratified to make his 'Cast iron guarantee' 100% worthless. I suppose that's why many people complain he lied about it which he didn't whatsoever. Also don't forget he said 'You can sack me', but adding 'At the next election'. He is though not the only one who has given misleading statements like this, and probably every Prime Minister in waiting has done something similar. As for Government figures you seem to forget they tend to get 'adjusted' (massaged) to suit the time they are given out, and often have very little to do with the genuine figures.

  • Bolshie  |  February 03 2013, 3:21PM

    Pete67 - because the original author is using contemporary business jargon; directly repeated from the Government statement or to pad out a boring article of little substance (how long does it actually take to say "Government figures released today show unemployment amongst 18 - 25 year olds fell from xxxxx to xxxxx in the period Oct - Dec 12"?). Not much - so when your editor wants a couple of column inches from it and you lack imagination you pad it out with jargon, the consequence of which is often to obscure or confuse the original meaning - this is not always deliberate. Anyway - back to the Red Arrows. Has anyone considered that the 'smoke' may come from the RAF itself? The Government won't force the Red Arrows' disbandment as there will be undesirable political fallout from that. They will though (via MOD) cut the RAF budget to the point where RAF Chiefs question the Red Arrows' affordability in the face of higher priority tasks. So - leak a rumour the Red Arrows are going as part of the Defence cuts; get David Cameron to deny it publically and what have you achieved? The answer might be the leverage for RAF Chiefs to go back to MOD and say - your political bosses are forcing us to fund this low priority non-operational capability and we can't cut anywhere else so we need more money! Sadly the result of that is unlikely to be more cash from the treasury to the MOD, and faced with the need to stretch existing funds further this (internally in MOD) is likely to delay funding for equipment replacement programmes across all three services. Never mind the Red Arrows - we should be looking at the actual need for an RAF as an entity, it is now very small and could easily be cut into two parts - Land & Fleet Air Arms - and absorbed into the Army and Navy. That would save us a whole load of cash as there would be no need for the RAF Personnel Office and other central (to the RAF) administrative functions, and we could stop buying light blue uniforms whilst increasing scale in 'Green' and 'Navy' to achieve economies.

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  • Pete67  |  February 03 2013, 2:00PM

    Bolshie - - - So if they meant less why didn't they just put 'Youth unemployment is decreasing', so that people like myself who has listend to Government statements since Harold MacMillan's time does not get the wrong end of the stick?

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  • Bolshie  |  February 03 2013, 12:50PM

    Pete67 - "'youth unemployment is one a downward trend', but what does it mean 'it's on the increase i.e. getting worse' or it's on the decrease i.e. getting better'? The statement can be read either way when you think of Government doublespeak." I'm no professor of English Language but I do consider myself not easily duped by bias in reporting, but if you believe that statement could be read as 'getting worse' you need help. The subject of the clause is 'youth unemployment', to refer in any way to 'getting worse' in the context you imply the subject would have to be youth employment not unemployment. You (rightly in my opinion) claim Government and media sources mislead the public through their communications with them - I wonder how much that is enabled through a general ignorance of grammar amongst the readers?

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  • Pete67  |  February 03 2013, 10:50AM

    Sir_Chasm - - - So that must mean the BBC was also wrong (I don't know about ITV). Just because a story has been denied doesn't mean it wasn't true to start with, and don't forget most people in prison are 'innocent' according to themselves. What the actual truth is we may never know, but somehow the story has surfaced again. Myself I never fully trust what we are told by the Government. e.g. Yesterday it was reported that 'youth unemployment is one a downward trend', but what does it mean 'it's on the increase i.e. getting worse' or it's on the decrease i.e. getting better'? The statement can be read either way when you think of Government doublespeak.

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  • Sir_Chasm  |  February 03 2013, 7:57AM

    My point, Pete67, was that the Mirror, like the Sun and for that matter the Mail, is hardly a credible news source. Since I made my first comment the story has been shown to be incorrect, thus proving my point.

  • Pete67  |  February 02 2013, 12:15PM

    It's just been on BBC News that the stories are NOT true, and we all know that David Cameron keeps his word - Don't we?

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  • adamcayhall  |  February 02 2013, 12:04PM

    by reporter 2010 - the answer would be none as they would be abolished for cuts, the money would be saved and not re-used

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  • reporter2010  |  February 02 2013, 11:22AM

    why not let them go? How many stab vests for paramedics, equipment for soldiers in the front line, books for schools would the £9 million buy?

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