As support for the military is paraded in streets across the UK at Armed Forces Day events, politicians charged with fighting the military's corner are waging their own war on public and political opinion.
This article was published in The Morning Star on 2 July 2018
The apparent threat by the Defence Secretary to bring down the Prime Minister should she fail to stump up more billions for the armed forces formed the background to the launch of a major new report on 25 June.
Warrior Nation: War, militarisation and British democracy examines the relationship between recent conflicts and the wider power of the military in society and politics.
Leicester for Peace
Leicester for Peace report on their 'War hurts everybody' vigil at Leicester Armed Forces Day on was 23 June.
Concerns we have raised with the Scottish Parliament about armed forces activities in special schools have been picked up by The Daily Record newspaper.
With the publication of the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee report on our petition on armed forces visits to schools, there has been substantial coverage in the news (see our round-up). The Ministry of Defence have said a number of things in response that are very disputable – this blog outlines some of the evidence.
Former education minister Robert Goodwill has been tasked with drawing up a report for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on the benefits of ‘military ethos’ in schools. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has suggested this could include ‘military academies’ in disadvantaged areas.
We consider the ethics of imposing an ethos from outside of education, especially when it serves interests at odds with the best interests of young people.
Members of the Scottish Parliament have agreed to produce a report into military visits in Scotland’s schools in a response to our petition on the issue.
Three cases involving over 40 claimants and 16 Army instructors have collapsed, raising a number of serious concerns about failings within the military justice system. As a result, serious allegations of abuse against very young recruits have not been tested. We call for changes to the system and question whether a military environment where aggression is fostered will ever be condusive to the wellbeing of young recruits.
Today is the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers. Today also sees the start of a court martial of 16 instructors at Army Foundation College Harrogate which trains young recruits aged under 18. They are charged with numerous counts of bullying and abuse.