• January 18, 2016


Whats happening with the Reserves? When the announcement was made about establishing defence reserves unit on the Island we didn’t just ‘kick off’ opposing it we provided thorough analysis of why it was happening. Despite the cacophony of media braying best characterised by Manx Radios interminable broadcasts about ‘military-fest’ on Douglas promenade last spring we pointed out that the decision by the Ministry of Defence to ‘cast its nets in Manx waters’ was because of:

1) The exodus of service personnel
2) The failure of FR2020 the military reserves plan to plug the shortfall in military personnel ironically created when the UK reduced frontline military personnel numbers and made substantial numbers of serving personnel redundant.

We analysed stats provided by the MOD to back up our argument.

Here are some of our links on this at the time there are loads more if you use the search:


Anyway it appears from leaked documents published by the Sunday Herald that FR2020 is still not on track and the Conservatives new fall back is to establish cadet forces to provide pools of recruits in deprived communities. The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) has hit out about the plan (see below):

“TORY plans to create military cadet units in state schools in Scotland’s most deprived areas have been attacked as an attempt to recruit vulnerable children as British Army ‘cannon fodder’. Leaked correspondence obtained by the Sunday Herald shows defence minister Julian Brazier urged the Scottish Government to embrace in-school cadet units. A senior SNP source branded the plan a “cannon fodder scheme” and said it would not go ahead.

With the army and reserve forces struggling for recruits, the Tory government has launched a £50m Cadet Expansion Programme (CEP) to establish 500 school cadet units across the UK by 2020, with schools in “less affluent” areas being prioritised.

Scotland’s largest teaching union, the EIS, said its members would also oppose anything that smacked of the armed forces trying to recruit within schools.

With around 100 units recently established in England, and many more already in place in private schools, the UK government needs 145 more state cadet units to hit its target.

It has now turned its attention to Scotland’s 360 secondaries to help make up the numbers.

Critics say such schemes amount to a backdoor recruitment drive by the armed forces, with young children drawn in by a sense of adventure, but with no understanding of the risks of combat.

In 2008, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Children urged the UK to rethink its “active” recruitment of children and avoid specifically targeting children of low-income families.

The full Herald article can be found at this link:


With FR2020 still struggling and the Manx Reserve initiative quiet expect more broadcasts from the BFBS on Douglas Head any day soon!


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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