• May 21, 2015


There was a lot of guff from the media last week when the British Armed Forces launched their Reserves recruitment initiative about the ‘commitment the Isle of Man has to the armed forces’ and giving people here ‘opportunities’ – not to mention the ‘fun’.

The media joined in so enthusiastically not least in the case of the print media because it smells lucrative advertising contracts and no doubt Manx Radio would not be averse to some of that business coming their way.

However, if Manx journalists had got off their backsides and done their homework they would have found that what’s driving this new interest in the Isle of Man amongst the military is not a new found love for the Manx, but desperation.

You don’t have to look far, but it does mean undertaking a little bit of research and spending a little bit of time. Back in the days when we had a real media here it was called “investigative journalism” – but there’s precious little of that around these days.

Investigative journalism has been replaced it seems by a few stupid sound bites or quotes and if you can throw in a ‘bash a nationalist’ aspect well I suppose that counts for balance.

However, back to the main point: The MOD’s own figures show that presently all three services are running an establishment deficit of 4% – think about it that’s 4 places in every hundred not filled.

Some services are in worse shape than others, the RAF for example is 6%.

The apparently positive position in regard to ‘outflow’ (that’s squaddies running for the exit to you and me) from the Services, which is down 20% on last year, is counterbalanced by the fact that the number crunchers at the MOD think that’s probably because those leaving via, so called, ‘Tranche 3 redundancy’ are not counted in. (I smell a bit of statics massaging here but it will take a bit more work to establish that).

Nonetheless even without those redundancies figures a staggering 18,820 personnel left the services last year. That is almost 10% of its total establishment, it is clear that not everyone likes the ‘fun’.

The offset to all this is build up reserves – well that’s the plan – but despite an increase in the so called ‘Future Reserve 2020’ by 930 last year the figure is still well under target to achieve the FR 2020 targets.

The end result of this is not ‘fun’ but panic which leads to a realisation that to achieve anywhere near their targets the net has to be spread wider.

Cue bullshit which the Manx media eagerly soaked up on Douglas promenade last week.

We still have a welter of statistics but the Manx nationalist ‘data analysis unit’ love a challenge so I’m passing the documentation over to them – hope they can have some ‘fun’ with them.

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.)


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