14 April 2009

Gordon Brown's 'National Service'

Terrible things appear in the papers practically every day and my unrecognised university is still unable to publish any criticisms of them.

An additional infringement of individual liberty is proposed by Gordon Brown.

‘Every teenager will have to do at least 50 hours of community work before the age of 19, Gordon Brown has announced. The Prime Minister believes youngsters would be less likely to turn to crime if they had a sense of citizenship. The scheme, a form of ‘national service’ for teenagers, will ensure that they spend a minimum of 50 hours working with charities and vulnerable groups such as the elderly or disabled. Forming part of Labour’s next election manifesto, it will be woven into plans to make everyone stay in education or training until the age of 18 by 2011. Mr Brown said: ‘It is my ambition to create a Britain in which there is a clear expectation that all young people will undertake some service to their community, and where community service will become a normal part of growing up in Britain. And, by doing so, the contributions of each of us will build a better society for all of us. ‘ He added: ‘That would mean young people being expected to contribute at least 50 hours of community service by the time they have reached the age of 19.’...

The Prime Minister first proposed the idea of a National Youth Service to channel teenagers into voluntary work last year. It is due to be formally launched in September, and would become compulsory if Labour was re-elected. The scheme – which could include teenagers helping out charities both in Britain and abroad – is likely to become part of the National Curriculum. (Daily Mail, 13 April 2009)

Being forced to spend even more time doing things which they have no motivation to do will actually only make teenagers even more demoralised and decentralised than they already are.

I know two people who had a little experience of what is called ‘community service’ several decades ago, when things were less bad than they are now, and both found it an unpleasant and disappointing experience.

In both cases they were attempting to ‘help’ people who had already forfeited their liberty and had fallen into the clutches of the oppressive society. The first person’s experience was earlier, and voluntary, trying to feed disabled children in a disorganised institutional environment.

The second person’s, over a decade later, was compulsory because it was a school ‘lesson’ and he was forced to attend all ‘lessons’ provided by the school in order to attend the school at all. This is an oppressive, although commonly accepted, state of affairs. As I have pointed out before, children should be free to attend only those lessons which they find relevant to their own purposes.

However, the second person was forced in this way to go to a hospital to ‘cheer up’ old people who had fallen into the power of the medical Mafia, and found himself trying to make conversation with an old lady in a hospital bed who did not seem to find anything he had to say interesting. She may well have found it particularly depressing to be confronted by a bright young person who, ostensibly, still had his life ahead of him.

No doubt most of those who will be subjected to ‘help’ from demoralised young people will already be being abused by those ‘trained’ to help them. You could call Gordon Brown’s plan the ‘Compulsory Community Abuse’ programme.

Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Alf Hitchcock last year suggested jobless teens should be sent on a non-military form of National Service to curb the rising tide of fatal stabbings. (Ibid.)

Now what, I wonder, is there to prevent resentful youths, torn away from their knife gangs, from stabbing the old people and disabled children with whom they are forced to associate?