Racism and the British Army

“I WENT into a public ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, ” We serve no red-coats here.”

It’s the opening lines of Kipling’s famous eulogy (Tommy) to the foot soldier of the British Army. However these days ‘redcoats’ are thin on the ground. The British Army is below its authorised strength and the so called FR2020 policy of replacing full time soldiers with a strengthened reserve has been a disastrous failure.

The Army has offset its disappointing recruitment at home by recruiting oversea – effectively employing mercenaries – as this article from declassified illustrates

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/…/2020-01-08-revealed-one-…/

Commenting on the ‘Declassified’ report Professor Benjamin Zephaniah, the renowned poet and writer said:

“We’ve been here before. Other British institutions have found that in times of need they have had to look abroad for people to make up the numbers, with various degrees of success, and sometimes, various degrees of racism. The thing with this is that it really is a matter of life and death.”

“The racial aspects of these findings are clear, but what is just as disturbing is that the majority of these recruits (I call them mercenaries) are coming from developing countries. It’s basically another form of exploitation.”

He added: “The world has enough armies. What we should be doing is breaking down borders and recruiting, (and training), more doctors, nurses, teachers, and environmental scientists.”

All the more embarrassing then (given one in ten of regular troops are of foreign nationality and different races) that reports of racism in the British armed forces have resurfaced, apparently a backlash to the BLM movement.

Of course the British Army and MOD say they have zero tolerance to racism but as the man interviewed in this BBC video illustrates that’s not the case. Brought up in a military family, his father from Sri Lanka served with the RAF, he was subject to sustained abuse. It’s clear from the interview that it has traumatised him greatly. The MOD would not admit the abuse but settled his case out of court:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53780094

Image: Ghurka troops of the British Army

Bernard Moffatt
pp Celtic League Military Monitoring.

Note: The Celtic League opposes military activity by the UK and French Armed forces in the Celtic countries. It’s Manx branch adopted this as policy in the 1970s and it was extended to the League generally by resolution of the Leagues AGM in the early 1980s. The Celtic League cooperates with International peace groups and those opposed to the recruitment of children into the armed forces.

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