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Given it’s unlikely to get through parliament,I assume they are concerned that Reform UK might split the conservative vote so they are continuing to mobilise trigger issues to secure that base like Immigration, the ill-disciplined youth, lazy workers…

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‘They need to bring back conscription’ was a common refrain during my youth. As it was stopped 61 years ago, you’d have to be 80 to have experienced it! But it’s was popular on the right long afterwards, even though most of the population were glad to see the back of it. I think they are just trying to ensure their core vote has reasons to go and vote. Turnout is key to minimising the damage.

I also think Sunak’s really bad at politics, another Tory PM who has risen without a trace. And his advisers are as bad.

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It is the mindset of those proposing it that continues to stagger me. To be that distant, and detached from the history that surrounded conscription. Failing to grasp the realities of the fact that conscription was a product of social cohesion, rather than a cause of it.

Maybe it has something to do with shallow roots and a privileged education based on money alone.

Perhaps we just have to be grateful for the spotlight this shines on the bullshit of the message……

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They're just flailing around now, clinging at straws, "the drowning man will cling to a serpent". They will do anything, however absurd, rather than dare to admit to themselves they're just not very good at this. The challenge for me for the next six weeks is not to get outraged and not to waste anytime at all trying to figure out what's going on inside their heads.

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I agree. It’s just taking more effort than I would like to sideline the utter idiocy (in its original Greek context) and implied disrespect for people it involves. And breathe….

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You got me goggling! How ironic that this form of idiocy preaches the virtues of citizenship to *other people*

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Ha! Made my day😄 to be able to get you goggled.

https://youtu.be/ahgjEjJkZks?si=_XG1LQffl4Zi4bYc

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1. Volunteer recruitment must not be meeting goals.

2. It is another form of UBI for unemployable young people.

3. He owes someone.

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I wonder, at what will some MPs just call it a day? They have until June 7. It may be a long few days….

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I really appreciate the replies here. It’s a challenge.

I can’t help feeling that if we put the money being proposed for conscription into education, and children given room to explore, rather than “perform” into in a competiive space where failure is stigma, we might find things different.

The structure of the military (like that of boarding schools) gives support to the isolated. It is however a desperate, partial “cure” for a deeply flawed system we have the wit to change if we so choose.

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Picking up on Ed's comment "it is another form of UBI for unemployable young people", it not only possibly helps reduce visible homelessness on the streets and provide purpose to those seeing no future (for themselves or anyone else), it also helps justify the defense budget by creating a large constituency of the conscripted who become more likely to view the military-industrial complex in a more favourable light. I think the conscription notion may only seem ludicrous to those of us who do see the possibility of bright peaceful prosperous futures. But for the down and out, conscription may actually have appeal.

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It bolsters the numbers available to serve on the front lines in the event of a “conventional” conflict.

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Interesting debate Richard - I was just as surprised as you when I saw this yesterday. I was even more surprised given my own history, growing up in Germany where we had conscription right up to 2011, and have recently (April 2024) considered revival of national service in ‘landmark’ military reforms. I have 2 brothers who I have seen battle with conscription.

When asking my UK husband how this could win Rishi votes - he simply replied - it is pointless anyway. As others have stated, don't waste your time!

The only thing I can see underlying this is the attempt to revitalise nationalist feelings - the conservative and Rishi's dilemma: how can you combine economic liberalism with nationalist ideas - it appears he is unable to recognise this dilemma himself.

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This is interesting, thanks for posting this. I looked it up on the BBC today (I don’t watch a lot of news and definitely don’t watch any news here in the States!).

https://bbc.com/news/articles/cpddxy9r4mdo

Twelve months of mandatory national service would be reintroduced by the Conservatives if they win the general election. Eighteen-year-olds would be able to apply for one of 30,000 full-time military placements or volunteering one weekend a month carrying out a community service.

I have a lot of mixed views this, here goes -

- Could affect his chances of getting the young person vote!

- Given I’m now 46 and don’t live in the UK any more and have two boys 8 and 12, there’s a piece of me that thinks it would do my two boys some good. Is that old school of me?

- But thinking back to when I was 18, I had my own insecurities and a life that I enjoyed. I didn’t go to university unlike all my friends I went to work. Would I have enjoyed the experience? I’m not sure.

- Would Sunak of enjoyed the experience? I wonder!

- I did try the reserves when I was 23 and whilst I didn’t last long, I did feel a sense of pride and was enamored by the team work and camaraderie. But I also know at that age none of my friends would have even dared to do what I did.

I actually don’t know if I would be a supporter, I’m confused as to what this is meant to achieve. If there was a war pending then sure, I could understand a need to get people prepared even if nothing comes of it.

I’d like to see money put into building community and improving welfare services and not to throw more money to shore up the complexity of the system but to put money in to simplify the system.

And I’ve just noticed I’ve not responded to the question Richard raised which was views on why this policy has suddenly appeared. And to that… I have no idea :)

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I think he is desperate. I think he is delusional and is grasping at straws. This comes on the back of a post by a politician last week who was almost frantic about pending wars and Sunak realises that the reductions they've made in Armed Services over their 14 years leave us very exposed. Finally, I think it is yet another way of getting rid of people he thinks are 'not contributing to the economy'.

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