Saturday, October 14, 2006
This is a response to the acknowledged problem that "Public support will be vital to the conduct of military interventions", and that "Trust and respect for institutions generally is in decline and the Armed Forces and MOD are not immune. Adverse media coverage of aspects of defence activity may encourage such attitudes. Projecting an image to potential recruits of military service as a rewarding career may become more challenging.". It is part of a long-standing policy by the government, based on understandings reached and built upon during military campaigns of the 1990s.
There is a real drive on this by the government at the moment. Schools Minister Jim Knight, writing for the Euston Manifesto website (yes, that augean stable of 'progressives') following the catastrophe in Lebanon, has insisted that the armed forces should sponsor schools, setting up what he called "Armed Forces Trust Schools". Gordon Brown wants more school cadet forces. Sir Ian Russell, the former head of ScottishPower, has been asked to look at involving "private benefactors and companies to help fund new cadet forces in state schools, particularly those in deprived areas." They're going after the working class kids who, failed by the system, will be used as cannon fodder to defend it and advance its aims. Earlier this year, a school in Scotland handed children over to the armed forces for the day - with no prior parently consent. They were "made to take part in exercises that included 'imagining they were in a minefield' and 'acting injured', and told by an officer that he was 'having more trouble with you lot than with Iraqi terrorists'."
All of which is designed to teach working class kids that 650,000 Iraqi deaths = fun, adventure, civic duty, humanitarianism and ethnic diversity.