• May 12, 2015


It looks as if 1970s graffiti artists may yet get an opportunity to ‘reprise’ their role following the announcement this week that the United Kingdom is to set up a reserve unit for its armed forces on the Isle of Man.

Yes you heard it right! A foreign power (the one responsible for the Island’s ‘good governance’) is to establish some kind of military facility here, although it is likely to be more like ‘All Quiet on the Preston Front’ than ‘daring do’ SAS type ‘ops’.

Of course no doubt it will appeal to the gormless and inadequate in our midst that is until they get called upon to ‘up sticks’ and go on active service.

Quite a lot of difficulty we seem to recall getting TA units overly interested in the first Gulf War!

There is however a serious problem underlying this ‘life and death of Colonel Blimp’ story.

The United Kingdom just cannot afford to maintain a credible strength of full time service personnel and therefore in relation, particularly to the Army, it intends to raise large numbers of ‘reserve’ troops.

The problem is that since the plan was unveiled the UK has had difficulty recruiting reservists ‘at home’ hence the decision to cast the net wider where is it likely to find a willing pool of the naive and the stupid…well we won’t go there again!

The great irony is that experienced British troops are being paid off (made redundant – chucked out on the street) so that weekend warriors ‘in the colonies’ can play soldiers.

Nationalists are already up in arms (forgive the pun) and it looks like we will have a repeat of the 1970/80s when walls around Jurby Army Camp were bedecked with the slogan ‘Armee Magh’ (Out with the soldiers).

In fact during that period the Ministry of Defence turned out to be for Nationalists ‘the gift that keeps on giving’. There was opposition to the troops, opposition to the NATO sea range, and opposition to low-flying by military aircraft over the land area of the Isle of Man (they had to stop that!), opposition to recruitment (they packed their office up and took it home). There was even a dedicated anti-militarist group (the AMA) – I can already here the (military) band playing “happy days are here again!”

There was also opposition to army exercises and after a particularly badly received urban war exercise in the Castletown area they packed them in as well – took their toys and went home!

Yes Manx nationalists it seems have once again got an ‘enemy’ (not another pun?)…wonder how long this war will last?

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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