How and why the British government is increasing military influence in schools, and society as a whole
by Tony Kempster
The 159th Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race on the Thames was held this Easter Day  and Oxford won. Royal Marines in dinghies lent their support to the security which was stepped up after a protestor jumped into the river last year. There was no reason for the military involvement because the risk of a similar incident was small and 200 police officers patrolled around nine miles of the river and had launches to hand.
This is symptomatic of an increasing tendency to promote the civil use of the British armed forces, a response to the weakening of support for them because of the bad publicity surrounding their use in recent adventures overseas and worries that further cuts in spending will be demanded by the public. Recruitment to the armed forces has also become more difficult. At the same time, the UK’s old cultural militarism that we have all become accustomed to is now being developed with new features following 9/11 and the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
Military personnel were involved in all of the medal ceremonies at the 2012 London Olympic. Large numbers were also called in to assist with security at the event when the G4S private security company failed to meet its commitments. Read more…
Tony Kempster is a Vice-President of the International Peace Bureau.