Monday, 19 July 2010

Military 'Softening-Up' Pupils



Christine Grahame is a list MSP for the south of Scotland. In other words she didn't win election to Holyrood but attained her seat courtesy of her party, the SNP, whose members voted for her.

At times she has been controversial and at times I have supported her, but her latest outburst shows how out of touch she is with reality.

Six months ago she complained the army were recruiting in 'poor' areas. Now she is accusing the Ministry of Defence of a campaign of deception over visits to Scottish schools by representatives of the armed forces. She claims the MoD are 'softening up pupils' for recruitment when they reach the age of 16 and that they were visiting primary schools and nurseries and she wants the visits banned.

Time Ms Grahame did a fact-finding tour rather than sitting in her plush office reading documents she has received from local authorities. The police service, fire service and various other public services visit schools so why is Ms Grahame discriminating against the military? Don't our children deserve to meet people who dedicate their lives towards our protection or is it only the men in camouflage kit who they shouldn't be permitted to meet?

The senior Army commander in Scotland, Brigadier George Lowder, said the army "simply do not recruit in schools - primary or secondary".

"The army gets numerous informal and official requests from schools every year and gets no special treatment or access, but neither should it be excluded or discriminated against.

"This is not recruiting - far from it."

The army has careers officers who will visit a school if invited, in the same way as the police and other services visit schools to speak to young people who are of an age to make career choices. Any military personnel who visit schools, other than careers officers, ought to be welcomed by our political masters because children need to hear first hand how our country is protected and perhaps the older ones will become aware of how the military is regularly used as political pawns by our leaders.

A soldier speaking to a group of children and answering their questions can create confidence in our youngsters, because they see a person of discipline and knowledge interacting with them, the 'real deal', rather than reading information from a book or watching a video. Children will remember a visit and chat from a member of our armed forces far longer than a propaganda visit from a politician.

Maybe that's Ms Grahame's gripe.

16 comments:

Dark Lochnagar said...

Rosie, I'm asking you sergeant, where's mine?

Demetrius said...

Perhaps Ms Grahame ought to look at a few computer games, some DVD's and showings of films. If she did then she would get a wholly distorted picture of what servicemen do. What better idea, as so many youngsters do watch all this stuff, much of which is nasty or propaganda, to have a dose of reality from someone who really knows. Or is she not aware of what youngsters actually watch?

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

snp peacenik i am not surprised
the forces can be a great career move for many kids when they grow up.

Joe Public said...

"She claims the MoD are ....visiting primary schools and nurseries"

Does any intelligent person think that a military visit to a nursery (or even primary school) could ever be considered 'recruiting'?

subrosa said...

You've finally lost me DL, or I'm being very slow tonight. Your what?

subrosa said...

She's not in the real world with this Demetrius. I don't know why she bangs this drum about the military. Complains they're recruited from poor areas. What does she want them to do - recruit only from middle class and wealthy areas?

subrosa said...

Niko, they can be a great career move for many youngsters because the job ensures they do grow up and quickly.

subrosa said...

Joe, are you saying Ms Grahame is lacking in intelligence? I won't argue with you.

Key bored warrior. said...

Rosie DL was referring to one of Connollys songs:




I'm Asking You Sergeant Where's Mine

[print]
(Billy Connolly)
I'm lyin' in bed, I'm in room twenty-six
Thinkin' on things that I've done
Like drinkin' wi' squaddies and bullin' my boots
I'm countin' the medals I've won

These hospital wards they're all drab lookin' joints
But the ceiling's as much as I see
It could do with a wee touch of paper or paint
But then again maybe that's me

Oh sergeant is this the adventure you meant
When I put my name down on the line
All that talk of computers and sunshine and skis
Oh I'm askin' you sergeant where's mine

I've a brother in Glasgow wi' long curly hair
When I joined up he said I was daft
He says shootin' strangers just is nae his game
That brother of mine is nae saft

But I can put up wi' most things I've done in my time
I can even put up with the pains
But what do you do with a gun in your hand
When you're faced with a hundred odd wanes

Oh sergeant is this the adventure you meant
When I put my name down on the line
All that talk of computers and sunshine and skis
Oh I'm askin' you sergeant where's mine

Oh sergeant is this the adventure you meant
When I put my name down on the line
All that talk of computers and sunshine and skis
Oh I'm askin' you sergeant where's mine

Oh sergeant is this the adventure you meant
When I put my name down on the line
All that talk of computers and sunshine and skis
Oh I'm askin' you sergeant where's mine





==================================


I was charged in BAOR for refusing to stop singing htis song at a squad night out. only 7 days i did it in a week.

JRB said...

… and on YouTube "Sergeant" by the Big Yin -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdBoSu56_3Q&feature=related

As for Christine Grahame, I suppose she is entitled to her opinion - my opinion of her, is best inferred and not published.

subrosa said...

Many thanks KBW. I hadn't heard that one before. And thanks for the words, always makes a difference to read them as well as listen.

You charged? Auch I can't believe that. Such an upstanding young man too. :)

subrosa said...

How kind of you to give the video link John. Now I can sing along as I have the words.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Roasie, do you not remember that song of Billy Connelly's called, 'I'm asking You Sergeant where's mine?' about an army recruiting office. Mind you I've got 'Harbinger', giving out at mine about anyone joining the forces as being stupid.

subrosa said...

That means I've known a great many stupid people in my time DL, although I'd say most were in civvie street. :)

CrazyDaisy said...

SR,

Think I will send her a lovely message from my MOD account this morning!

Rain due,

CD

subrosa said...

Go for it Daisy! She really doesn't like the military Ms Grahame. Shame, because it's having armed forces such as we do that keeps her safe. Does she honestly think the police can do that alone?

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