Monday, 11 October 2010

Kid's Army

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP today urged the government to raise the recruitment age for Britain’s armed forces to 18.

The Early Day Motion, EDM 781, reads: "That this House notes that sixteen to eighteen year olds currently entering the armed forces commit themselves to a period of four years beyond their eighteenth birthday; notes that after a period of six months they are unable to leave as of right; notes that no other country in mainland Europe recruits at the age of sixteen; welcomes the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Human Rights in its report on children's rights that the UK adopt a plan of action for implementing the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the rights of the child; and urges the UK Government to implement the Joint Committee's recommendations and raise the age of recruitment to eighteen."

It occurs to me that, having left school, 16 year olds are faced with a crap job on minimum wage, unemployment (with the government now proposing to scrap certain benefits) or a so-called 'career' in the armed forces. Faced with this decision, and with the right to vote, many 16 year olds would surely vote for a party that would raise the NMW to a living wage, scrap tuition fees and introduce a citizen's income. Of course, they can't do this, as they are not trusted with a ballot paper and pencil till they are 18, but they can be trusted, it seems, with a gun. They can also be trusted with the task of creating and raising a child.

After two years in the armed forces they are 'brainwashed', in my opinion, to think that what they are doing is right and good, 'Dolce et Decorum', as it were. They're now not going to vote for a bunch of pansy pacifist politicians who are trying to get us off of oil like it's some kind of addiction.

16 = no job, no benefits, no cash for further education, no chance to vote for someone who offers you all this, a career in the Army.

18 = Indoctrination, a child to worry about, terrorists left, right and centre, a gun in your hand, the right to vote, three parties that 'Support the Troops', a bunch of hippies talking about climate change and human rights, or something.

One could even believe this has been arranged on purpose.

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