8-4-2021 In Groot Brittannië bestaat een Cadet Force met afdelingen aan veel scholen. De bedoeling is scholieren warm te maken voor een carrière als officier in de krijgsmacht. Ze krijgen mooie uniformen en een militaire training. De Peace Pledge Union protesteert tegen het extra geld dat hiervoor wordt uitgetrokken, terwijl op andere jeugdvoorzieningen wordt bezuinigd.
Tekst van de verklaring van de Peace Pledge Union:
MINISTERS THROW MONEY AT CADET FORCES AS YOUTH SERVICES CUT
Britain's leading pacifist group has condemned plans by ministers to put an extra £1.1 million into armed forces cadet units in English schools after a decade of heavy cuts to other youth services.
The UK government has already ploughed more than £50 million into creating new school cadet forces since 2016. Meanwhile, youth services in the UK were cut by over £400 million between 2010 and 2019, according to calculations by Unison.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson say that the new £1.1 million will allow for extra staffing in existing cadet units.
But the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) denounced the policy as the latest example of everyday militarism in the UK.
They urged the government to instead fund civilian youth services that can promote teamwork, resilience and leadership skills without military values of violence, nationalism and subservience to authority.
The PPU hears often from teachers, parents and school students who are alarmed by attempts to set up cadet forces in their schools.
The announcement is the latest in a string of militaristic policies in recent weeks, including a 44% increase in the upper limit on UK nuclear warheads and the biggest percentage increase in UK military spending since the Korean War.
Saffron Gallup of the Peace Pledge Union said:
"It is incredibly disappointing to see this distorted allocation of funding, when there are ongoing and overwhelming calls from parents/carers, unions, local groups and young people themselves to invest in wellbeing and mental health services. Funding to youth services has been cut by £400m between 2010-19. Cadet forces have no place in schools and are certainly not the only agency capable of enabling 'the development of personal responsibility, leadership and self-discipline'."
Robert Campbell, who served for 13 years as a secondary school headteacher, said:
"The presence of cadet forces in our schools is an increasing anachronism; the era of British imperialism and military domination is over and we need to be forging a new identity as a compassionate and peaceful nation. Regimented conformity is not the skillset we ought to be nurturing in young people in the 21st century, when imaginative and innovative solutions are needed to navigate the challenges and issues we all face: economically, socially, environmentally, politically."
Katie McLean of the PPU Youth Network said:
"Students can learn resilience, leadership and working as part of a team from sports teams, dance classes, theatre groups or critical thinking classes and activities. It is the government who benefit from youth more receptive to military recruitment. Students would benefit from more support for the youth centres and activities they love, which have been consistently defunded over the past ten years."
1.The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) is a UK-based pacifist network. PPU members pledge not to support war and to work instead for the removal of the causes of war. The PPU's work includes promoting peacebuilding and active nonviolence, challenging militarism, providing educational resources on peace and encouraging remembrance for all victims of war. Founded in 1934, the PPU is the oldest secular pacifist organisation in the UK. The PPU is the British section of War Resisters' International, which unites pacifists around the world.
2. The Peace Pledge Union is not linked to any political party. PPU members include supporters of several parties and none.
3. Plans for a new £1.1 million on school cadet forces in England have been announced by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. Please see
4. Over 500 new school cadet forces have been established under the Cadet Expansion Programme, launched in 2012 and given an extra £50 million of public funding in 2016. Please see
5. Youth services in the UK faced combined cuts of more than £400 million between 2010 and 2019, according to calculations by Unison. Please see
6. Plans for an increase of around £24bn on "defence" over four years were announced on 18 November 2020 by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. According to calculations by Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR), this is the largest percentage increase in UK military spending since the Korean War. On 16 March 2021, Boris Johnson announced that he was lifting the cap on the number of nuclear warheads owned by the UK government from 180 to 260, an increase of 44%.
Bron: Peace Pledge Union