No, they’re (probably) not going to bring back National Service.

Kit Knightly

As you all know, the UK is in the throes of campaigning following the announcement of an “election” on July 4th.

One particular campaign promise has already caused a huge stir, with incumbent PM Rishi Sunak pledging to re-introduce National Service – mandatory military or some other community service – should the Conservatives win:

It’s caused a huge backlash already, with memes and videos circulating on social media either mocking or protesting the plan.

Not even the usual Tory defenders in the media have come to the governments aid, with defense of the policy relegated to joke hate-figures like Stanley Johnson.

Even the UK military is said to be “divided” over support for the scheme, with one ex-military Chief supposedly calling it “bonkers”.

…and despite this backlash, the Tories have doubled down. Claiming that children and parents could face fines and criminal prosecution for refusing to participate.

So, will the Tories really do it?

Almost certainly not. For two reasons.

1) They don’t really want to.
2) They won’t have the opportunity.

This is simply confirmation that the powers-that-be have already decided Labour will almost certainly “win” the “election” in July.

Sunak couldn’t more obviously have signaled the Tories are throwing the race if he’d included the re-introduction of slavery, cancelling Christmas and banning puppies in his manifesto.

But it’s not just about throwing the vote, it’s also about controlling the conversation. Talk of national service sets up that the country is on some kind of war footing and sells  the reality of an “impending WW3” narrative. Something that is also being sold very hard right now. After all nothing rationalizes perpetual deprivation and sells Fear better than a good old war.

Further, it opens the door for Labour to offer some other “solution”. They will claim that the UK military does need to “modernise” in response to the “Russian threat”, but that national service is “an old fashioned response”, or something similar.

Then the newly elected Labour government will dedicate billions in tax payer revenue to some other military program, “updating our nuclear deterrent” or funding cyber warfare programs to “combat misinformation” or sending more “aid” to Ukraine or all of the above.

And everyone will be alright with it because “well, at least they didn’t bring back national service”

It’s an ancient manipulation tactic: Ask for something you don’t want, only to get “talked down” to the alternative you wanted all along. It’s a technique I like to call Lisa’s Limousine.

So let’s be clear: No, they’re almost certainly not going to introduce National Service.

I doubt they have either the desire or intention to do so. National Service is a topic introduced to the national political discussion because it’s so unpopular, because it sells an agenda, because it almost certainly opens the door for an emphatic Labour victory and because it sets up a secondary bait-and-switch “solution” down the line.


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Categories: latest, UK Election 2024