It’s day four of the 2024 general election. In previous elections, I have written various think pieces about Labour’s offer, its manifesto and made some criticisms of Tory attack lines. I don’t know what I’ll be doing this time, as I have a number of blog articles stuck in production hell, which may have to wait until after the election.

I just wanted to comment on Rishi Sunak’s promise to reintroduce national service. This would seem not to be designed as part of an effective defence strategy as some have argued for (or on Medium). There are others, such as Nadia Whittome and David Osland who have eloquently pointed out the national service is not what young people need, what is needed his decent jobs, free education, an affordable home and a decent standard of living.

One dimension I would like to add, to raise is that the Tories are not fit custodians of the British military, particularly the British Army. Cameron’s cuts slashed NCO wages and the Army is struggling to recruit to fill the current underwhelming cadre plans; the Army is the smallest it’s been since the Napoleonic Wars. It’s not capable of meeting realistic future demands in the defence sphere, asking them to train/supervise unwilling teenagers is just more of the Tories fantasy solutions design.

Antisocial behaviour and youth criminality are complex issues; Tory sloganeering is no help and they have proven they are not suitable custodians of the armed forces.

National Service, the Tories are not fit custodians of the military
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