Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Election campaign day 4: when is a spoof not a spoof?

On Saturday evening I saw a suggestion that the Conservatives were about to launch a policy of national service for 18 year olds. Someone had posted it on Facebook and my quick read of it led me to think it was a spoof. I knew the Conservatives were desperate but I didn't think they were that desperate. It was only after it appeared as a news story on Sky News that I realised it was not a spoof and was in fact a real story. 

By now, the jokes about reviving the Home Guard and reintroducing ration books have done the rounds so I won't mention them here. Nevertheless, there is an element of desperation in the Conservatives' announcement. While I strongly support the principle of volunteering for non-military organisations, I draw the line at the army. The UK needs a quality professional army, not one padded out with national service recruits. It is why we have one of the most effective armies in the world.

Not content with making a mess of the army, the Conservatives seem to have revised the meaning of "volunteering". Now it is to mean compulsion as 18 year olds will be required to take part in volunteering schemes.

So, be careful how you respond to social media posts about the Conservatives. If they appear ludicrous and absurd, it is probably true.

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