ForcesWatch press release
Defence Secretary Liam Fox is being urged to uphold the right of armed forces personnel to be given a discharge if they develop a conscientious objection.
Controversial plans to radically expand military cadet corps in English state secondary schools are being pushed forward by Ed Balls, the Children’s Secretary, apparently backed by No 10. The plans were the idea of Quentin Davies, a Labour MP who defected from the Tories last year, and come on the back of a government-commissioned review of “civil and military relations”.
Wales On Sunday
The true meaning of the poppy is being forgotten as it becomes a political tool to support current wars, a former elite soldier has claimed. Ben Griffin, the first SAS soldier to refuse to go into combat, also said the use of the word "hero" to describe soldiers glorified war and was an "attempt to stifle criticism" of conflicts the UK is currently fighting.
A letter from veterans of a number of conflicts about the the Poppy Appeal and the idea of 'heroism' that it promotes was published in The Guardian and The Independent.
An editor at the BBC explains how they have no policy that presenters have to wear a poppy but that they do give 'guidance' on wearing them,
This week, hundreds of thousands of people will join the annual act of remembrance to commemorate those who have died in war, proudly wearing a poppy to honour the fallen. Is the decision to not wear one an act of disrespect?
A group of veterans from conflicts including the Falklands and Northern Ireland have complained of the increasing glitz and glamour of the annual poppy appeal and of it being hijacked to marshall public support behind current campaigns.
“Stricken by Iraq and low morale, the British army is on a desperate recruitment drive. Its new targets? Poorly educated teenagers and young schoolchildren.” This article looks at new recruitment techniques such as the Camoflage scheme, which includes a magazine and website designed for those as young as 13, MoD school presentation teams and various forms of ‘outreach’. “Our new model is about raising awareness, and that takes a ten-year span. It starts with a seven-year-old boy seeing a parachutist at an air show and thinking, 'That looks great.' From then the army is trying to build interest by drip, drip, drip."
This article looks at the challenges posed by new military recruitment strategies including the “army showroom” concept and the “Start Thinking Soldier” internet and TV advertising campaign – both “initiatives which utilise the language and tools of computer games and simulation, which young people immediately relate to, and desire.”
Quakers and Unitarians have welcomed the move by Julian Huppert, Liberal MP for Cambridge and Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton, to table an Early Day Motion calling on Parliament to raise the age of recruitment into the armed forces to eighteen.