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Posted on Mar 26, 2008 in Stuff We Like

A little bit of politics…and a new comic strip…

Armchair General

I got slightly annoyed yesterday having seen on the BBC news website that a teachers union here in the UK was in favour of banning Army recruitment at schools on the basis that the Army issues "misleading propaganda" about its operations. One chap on the news was nearly foaming at the mouth as he talked about events in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I’ve never served in the forces myself, but in my opinion, this is merely sour grapes on the part of certain elements of society to punish the Army for its role in recent fighting.

It’s fine of course for people to disagree with Government policy, but to take it out on the troops seems very petty to me. The British Army just goes where it is told to, they don’t make policy and they aren’t responsible for the conflicts themselves, but they are duty bound to pursue those conflicts as best they can once committed.

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Furthermore, from a recruitment perspective, it’s not as if the Army just shoves recruits into a uniform and ships them out without giving them at least some idea of what to expect. I even understand that prospective soldiers can attend six week camps before they decide to take the final plunge and sign up. In addition, at 18, men and women should be trusted and able to make their own decisions.

And then of course there is the issue that if students don’t know what fighting a war is likely to entail, then the teachers probably haven’t done a very good job in the first place. It’s OK by the way, I’m allowed to say stuff like this as I’m married to a teacher myself.

As long as the prospective soldier has enough in front of him or her to make an informed decision, then I don’t see the problem.

Now, I don’t want anyone to think that my comic strip, Grunts, is setting itself out as some kind of high satire, but the whole situation struck me as very silly indeed, so in response to this ridiculous piece of news, I proudly present Grunts, Episode 29. I’d be interested in your thoughts on this story as well.

The opinions here are solely my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Armchair General magazine or website.

I use the term diapers in deference to my US readers. My British readers think I should have used the term "nappies" anyway…you can’t win…

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