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ISSUE 71 AUTUMN 2015 Full pdf

Peace Matters Index

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ONLINE contents
Selection from paper publication

- assassination inc uk
- believe it or not
- sinister forces at work
- keir hardie centenary
- writing for peace
- women making peace
- migration, climate and security
- we can stop wounding the world

 

believe it or not
The Vulcan bomber whose replacement front wheel cost £70,000 has been on a farewell tour around the country. Perhaps you caught all the excitement in the media. In the case of one event apparently the police were so concerned about crowd numbers that they threatened to cancel it. Horror! All very interesting. The cost of keeping this useless bomber flying has become prohibit, so no more entertainment by a billion pound doomsday machine.

The Vulcan was part of Britain’s nuclear MAD force (Mutual Assured Destruction for younger readers) and only managed to fly in ‘anger’ in its declining years to the Falklands causing little inconvenience to the Argentinians. Its extraordinarily long flight (record at the time) undertaken is suspected more as a last desperate bid for more cash by the RAF than an expectation of any meaningful impact on the war in the Falklands.

The parading of military machinery for public entertainment is the ‘innocent’ part of militarisation though in the case funding the ancient Vulcan it was an expense too far for the government who stopped paying for its upkeep some years ago
At £3 billion an aircraft the 150 V bombers were the money oubliettes of its day as Trident is today. The Trident missiles are made by Lockheed Martin who are generous contributors to the British Legions poppy fundraising which would surely be redundant once the missiles do their business.

sinister forces at work
David Cameron’s long held wish to enlarge the Cadet Forces is finally taking shape. In his summer austerity budget George Osborn pledged £50 million to create cadet forces in 500 state schools. Most would be in ‘less affluent areas’. This is a vast increase over the present 275 cadet units most of which are in private schools and already receive £26 million per year. Too few seem to ask why this expansion, in time of ‘austerity’ or indeed any time, is needed. It cannot simply be because the prime minister is a former cadet?

A key reason is revealed by an MoD spokesperson: ‘Cadet units are beneficial to both society and for recruitment into the Armed Forces, that is why we want to increase the number of them.’

The Combined Cadet Force website expands on the reason for such expansion: ‘The Cadet Expansion Programme is part of the Government’s aim of promoting military ethos in schools; to instil values in young people that will help them get the most out of their lives, and to contribute to their communities and country’.
Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, is also enthusiastic about cadet forces ‘Teenage girls from single-parent families who had “never experienced the love of a man” could be deterred from forming “unsuitable relationships” if they enrolled in a cadet unit’.The power of cadet forces seem limitless.

The WW1 anniversary is a boon for military recruiters and military ethos promoters. On the army’s website alongside an offer of some not very interesting stuff about WW1 is an ‘option to request a soldier to support teaching activities within the classroom’

Touting for military recruits in schools may be bad enough and indeed the MoD faced mild criticise when it was revealed that it requested access to sensitive data in the National Pupils database so that it could “target its messaging” in relation to military careers, but ‘inculcating the military ethos’ is wholly unacceptable. This is the sinister part of the government’s militarisation project. While some fulminate about Trojan Horses, the silence around this multi million pound, multi agency indoctrination program is profound and we need to change this wherever we come across it.

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