• May 14, 2015


With the news that the British Army would be recruiting for a “Manx Reserve” it wasn’t going to be long before Manx citizens expressed their objections to what amounts to a recruitment drive for a foreign army with a somewhat soiled reputation. Indeed, the Celtic League’s Director of Information, Bernard Moffatt, has already covered the matter in a local historical context, a moral historical context, and an administrative historical context.

Expressions of objection will, in situations such as this, inevitably be met with the “invasion” counter argument. Everyone has seen this argument, particularly as it did the rounds during the Scottish Independence Referendum. Proponents of the invasion argument bleat that should the objecting country be invaded it would be useless to defend itself, sorry to have distanced itself from the UK’s superior military might, and thankful to receive its aid. The invasion argument is, of course, devoid of well developed logic and is inherently flawed.

To address the invasion argument in a Manx context, let’s consider the relationship of Mannin with the United Kingdom and other neighbours. First of all, Mannin pays the United Kingdom a substantial sum for the “protection” of its armed forces. “Protection” is ostensible here, since there is no current threat to Mannin nor is one foreseeable. Further, should some deranged nation take it upon themselves to initiate the conquest of a 250 square mile island the surrounding nations would be unlikely to (a) stop them before they caused significant destruction and (b) allow them to continue.

Focussing on the latter point, the strategic position of Mannin is known to all the surrounding nations and as such, whether we paid for protection or not, they would not simply let some threat slip past all of them and occupy our lands. Additionally, there is no reason (in a truly independent Mannin) that a military agreement cannot exist with a nation other than the UK. If we are feeling paranoid and going to pay for “protection”, why pay for an army that has oppressed and abused our own nation as well as many others? Why align ourselves with a entity of “protection” that faces more contemporary allegations of harm than it does issuances of praise for moral defence and peace keeping?

A lesser considered point is one of threat creation. Presently, Mannin is not strongly connected to military action in any country. As a result, terrorist attacks and military threats are not currently plotted or enacted against Mannin as they are other countries (for example, the USA, Canada, France, the UK). Creating a visible link to a foreign army that is much despised throughout the world will serve to put the name of Mannin in the minds of those seeking to launch violent attacks against perceived enemies. Simply put, creating a British Army Reserve in Mannin will increase the risk of attack rather than reduce it, leaving the invasion argument crumbling under the weight of its own ill-thought logic.

As a nation fond of touting its strong “international reputation” Mannin would do well to consider a reputation that extends beyond business. We are not part of any other country’s wars, nor should we wish war upon ourselves.

(This article has been written for Celtic League News by Peddyr Mac Niallan, Mannin Branch.)

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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