• October 4, 2015


Eventually after much trumpeting and a ‘media love-in’ that had become almost nauseating at times the Manx Reserve Force has ‘dug in’ at a disused school on the Isle of Man.

The Reserves have unveiled ‘50’ new recruits although figures are distorted somewhat by talk of 150 expressions of interest after ‘military-fest’ on Douglas promenade in the spring of this year.

Since recruitment to the reserves plummeted in 2013 the MOD have thrown everything but the kitchen sink into the so called FR2020 programme aimed at delivering 30,000 trained reserves by the end of this decade.

Despite all the media hype and outright lies from the MOD it was only when the extent of the reluctance in the UK became apparent that they decided to look offshore (to Mann and the Channel Islands).

The ‘fall out’ (no pun) rate has been so high in the UK that it was described as a disaster and it makes you wonder how solid the support will be in Mann once the novelty value of strutting around in fatigues wears of and the media find something more constructive to do such as highlight some of the social failings of the Manx government.

In the meantime 50 seems an incredibly high figure given that in 2014 the Reserves across the whole of the UK grew by just 20! Of course we are not suggesting the figure is contrived.

The figure prompted shadow Defence Secretary Vernon Coaker to remark;

“The Government should be worried and embarrassed by these shocking figures which show an increase of just 20 in the number of trained Army Reserves in the last year.

“It’s clear that these plans are failing and there is a real concern that Britain’s Armed Forces could be left with a dangerous capability gap as a result.”

So what is the mass attraction here? Perhaps the ‘thin khaki line’ just got a bit ‘thicker’ in every sense of the word!

FOOTNOTE: The National Audit Office, Parliament’s spending watchdog has said the MoD may not hit its target until 2025, six years behind schedule.


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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