The Labour announcement of a policy to see much greater involvement of the military in our schools helps Labour distance itself from where the vast majority of its members and supporters would see it go.
This would be distinctly to the left of a party that would blindly follow America into its next adventure – Syria is on the cards via NATO – and to the left of the party which, for example, massively increased PFI within the NHS under Blair.
This latest move announced by MPs Twigg and Murphy shows, like the overwhelming support for the destruction of Libya’s peace, that Labour MPs aren’t expected to be backward when it comes to bombing Syria or Iran, both on America’s list for regime change.
Like Blair’s desire to return to UK politics, Labour expresses no difficulty with the history of Blair’s “journey” involving the mass murder of innocents. Rather this move is another indication that they have no problem with the war agenda.
Indeed it was New Labour that introduced Veterans Day, later renaming it Armed Forces Day, probably after too much flak for not actually caring much about veterans and going for something more unassailable: for who can say bad things about the Armed Forces?
But this merely sets up nationalism as your God. You may as well ask: which country anywhere criticises their armed forces? It has no ethical value just propaganda value. It matters what they do. It matters what they’re ordered to do. Executing orders doesn’t exonerate officers – or other ranks – from responsibility to respect international law or laws on the conduct of war. Orders is orders, of course, so it matters ten times more what the politicians order them to do .
Blair designed policy so that he could get Britain’s Armed Forces into America’s war on Iraq. It wasn’t a “mistake” as Labour plaintively calls it now. It was deliberate calculated policy.
By announcing an “invasion” of the military into our schools, Labour is trying to bolster its historical position, take votes off the Tories after Forces cuts, and make the next war more likely.
Its touching that they want military academies in the most disadvantaged areas. It’s forever been the poor and less advantaged who have fought wars on behalf of richer, more powerful others.