Combat lack of respect with return to camp

Right, front and centre, you ‘orrible lot! You at the back – stop slouching! That’s better. I have something that I consider rather important – in the scheme of my mundane existence – to run past you: it’s time to bring back National Service.

For those who aren’t sure what this is, it’s an 18-month stint in the Armed Forces at the age of 18 or so.

Every bit of research, surveying and polling I have read recently shows that our youngsters have neither the skills nor the discipline to keep the UK going as a major economic power.

India and China are charging at us like bulls and we have neither the manpower nor the inclination to do anything about it. You’ve seen the stats – our record in producing people with basic skills is lamentable compared with other countries. Poor Sir Digby at the CBI is going to have a seizure if we don’t sort it soon.

The Army on the other hand not only instils discipline and respect, it has rules that say all recruits have to reach certain levels of basic skills. And while they are off doing this under my new regime, they are not terrorising our neighbourhoods and stopping you and your staff from sleeping soundly, which in turn affects your productivity.

So there is my attempt at a business case for the return to National Service. Admittedly it’s in its simplest form, but my entreaties that I be given a full page in Personnel Today have, as yet, fallen on deaf ears. Please drop me a line at and let me know what you think.

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