Facebook military campaign targets young people

‘By appealing to the desire to belong, the Army have latched onto a very powerful recruitment tool, in particular among adolescents who feel isolated or marginalised.’ (ForcesWatch UK June 2018)

Although having held the role of General Secretary of the Celtic League (twice) not to mention Assistant GS before that and DOI for many years I recently divested myself of all League roles including my final Mannin branch PRO brief. However one thing stubbornly hangs on – my role to monitor the military which the AGM in Dublin in 1916 and subsequently in Peel in 2017 asked me to continue.

As part of that role I liaise with ‘ForcesWatch’ so I was interested to receive their most recent circular the other day (ahead of Armed Forces Day this weekend) entitled ‘Resist Militarism on Armed Forces Day 2018’ (link):

https://www.forceswatch.net/content/resistmilitarism-armed-forces-day-2018

I also found one of their links to a recent article in the UK newspaper ‘The Guardian’ quite illuminating. It sets out the background to the exploitative manner in which the UK targets young people. The UK is currently the only country in Europe that recruits children as young as sixteen to its Armed Forces. The Guardian article points out that the MOD and British Army use slick PR including Facebook to influence impressionable young people particularly ‘stressed and vulnerable’ teenagers. (link):

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jun/08/british-army-criticised-…

The Manx government encourage the military into schools and propound the military as a career opportunity. Perhaps the Education Minister, Graham Cregeen MHK, should read some of the literature like ‘The Guardian’ piece or the views of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that is if his literary skills are up to it!

Meanwhile ForcesWatch, which has full time staff dedicated to its campaign, have recently enjoyed some success in publicising their petition to the Scottish Parliament (they already have conducted a similar exercise in Wales). As part of their evidence they discovered the British Army even target special schools (link):

https://www.forceswatch.net/blog/armed-forces-and-special-schools

Bernard Moffatt

pp Celtic League Military Monitoring

22/06/2018

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