• August 3, 2015



Well what you may be asking yourself happened after all those ‘fun’ interviews on Manx Radio about the establishing of a Manx Reserve force.

The pantomime was in full swing for several days with excited Manx Radio (MR) interviewers almost sounding as if they had signed up for ‘fatigues’ themselves.

Since then it has been ‘All Quiet on the Fleshwick Front’ so we thought we would reprise what is happening with the United Kingdoms Reserve programme generally.

Of course earlier this year the Celtic League poured cold water on the whole exercise and not surprisingly as we are ‘peas out of the same pod’ nationalist party Mec Vannin joined in as well.

Our analysis at the time, boringly drawing on MOD statistical analysis, showed that despite ‘the cornucopia of delights’ promised to both serving troops and reserves that many regulars were ‘jumping ship’ and not just from the Navy!

In addition the ambitious reserve programme called FR20 was underperforming consistently.

Cynically we speculated that the desire of the British Army to offer ‘outdoor enthusiasts’ in Mann the opportunity to ride quad bikes and aspiring recruits in the Channel Isles the opportunity to learn how to lay bricks (yes really!) was more to do with the fact that on ‘the mainland’ things were not going very well. Time to reach out to the colonies!

In reviewing the situation we thought we would eschew the boring (and interminable) current statistics of the MOD and stick with one of those pillars of news for ‘Empire Loyalists’ the Daily Telegraph and go even further back.

Bizarrely a year ago the Telegraph said that more ‘brits’ were signing up to become jihadists than join the reserves – astonishingly by their estimation by a factor of 3.

They also said that more people were opting to cut hair than fight for ‘Queen and Country’. This year the numbers are even higher – hairdressers we mean!

Obviously quad riding and brick laying must be enjoying a renaissance in Syria and Iraq and despite the Army/MOD slick videos (the Telegraph helpfully included one) and the help of local media like MR the flow does not seem to have been reversed. Perhaps the promenade recruiting pantomime should have eschewed Douglas this year and opted for down town Raqqa – they may have got more recruits!

Helpfully the Telegraph figures told us that the shortfall of regular recruitment over the 2013 – 2014 years had been 34% (around 3000 personnel). FR20 was no better the difference between the projected reserve level and the actual was 57%. To make up the gap the Army needed to recruit 2750 per year for the next three years (2015-2018).

Now don’t expect to hear any of this on the local ‘news’ anytime soon. Sometimes the factual does not suit the narrative of beating a drum and waving a flag!

Link Daily Telegraph:


J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League



The Celtic League was established in 1961and 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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