Keep The Military Out Of Schools


THE BROWN government is now beating the big drum of patriotism, a quality that has often been termed as the ‘last refuge of a scoundrel’.

With the British economy in a state of free fall and prices rising in inverse proportion, Brown faces an explosively sharpening class struggle, since his policy is to hold wage increases down to 2 per cent a year, meaning that he is actively seeking to turn the working class into paupers.

There are big class struggles directly ahead.

Brown and the bosses and bankers are fearful of the anger of the working class. However, they are terrified of the millions of disaffected youth that see no future under capitalism and have no loyalty to, respect for, or fear of the system and its capitalists state enforcers.

Reactionaries up and down the country are demanding that the youth be disciplined and be made respectful of their ‘betters’. Some are demanding the restoration of conscription so that a Sergeant Major can ‘knock some sense into them’.

However, forcing rebellious youth into the army is no solution since they will become even more mutinous, but this time with weapons in their hands.

So along comes Labour MP Davies with his call for a cadet corps to be established in as many comprehensive schools as possible so that disaffected youth can be worked on for some time, brainwashed in the process, taken on adventure trips, and then into a ‘life of travel and adventure’ under the ‘Butcher’s Apron’ in her majesty’s armed forces.

Davies and the Ministry of Defence want Britain ‘militarised’ He wants an ‘Armed Forces Day public holiday’. He has made 40 recommendations that include making it a criminal offence to discriminate against people in military uniform!

Davies’ report says the annual public holiday should also recognise the role veterans have played in the armed forces, with soldiers being ordered to wear their uniforms in public, while a subject called ‘military awareness’ is to be on the national schools curriculum.

The NUT commenting on the report states: ‘The NUT has never been anti-military. However, our concern is that whatever role the Ministry of Defence has in our schools, we need to ensure that a balanced view is given of what a career in the armed forces would involve.’

As far as the News Line is concerned, the Ministry of Defence must have no role in British schools.

The NUT adds: ‘As “Informed Choice”, the report by the Rowntree Foundation found, non-officer recruitment is often undertaken in the most disadvantaged areas. It is right for teachers to raise for public debate the fact that youngsters with limited job prospects are being targeted for careers in the military. It must also be legitimate for teachers to raise young people’s awareness about the risks, as well as the opportunities, of being in the armed forces.’

Yes, teachers must have the right to speak out clearly on what the role of the British military is without the danger of facing criminal charges.

The NUT calls for ‘a summit on military marketing and recruitment’.

The News Line response is to say again, keep the military out of the schools. They are only looking for very young cannon fodder who out of a spirit of adventure can be conned into joining up, to be brutalised by imperialism.

We urge: remember the Deepcut ‘suicides’.

Remember that young British soldiers were responsible for the torturing to death of Baha Mousa and other Iraqis, with the state unable to find a single soldier or officer guilty of murder, and with the Ministry of Defence pleading in court that the Human Rights Act did not apply to Iraq.

Imperialist armies brutalise their own troops and turn many of them into cold blooded killers of innocent people. Many others are mentally scarred for life, and live on the streets.

That is the lesson from the Iraq war, the Malayan emergency, the Hola Camp torture prison in Kenya in the 1950s, the Cyprus emergency in the 1960s, Bloody Sunday in Ireland in the 1970s etc, etc.

The lesson of this history is to keep the military out of the schools and organise the working class to get rid of capitalism and imperialism with a socialist revolution that will disband the capitalist state, its officer corps and its armed forces.