If we are going to reimagine a future of peace, we have to ask ourselves some deep and absolutely uncomfortable questions. We must question some truths that we have come to believe and uphold about the nation state and the role of the armed forces. The three videos below are seriously worth watching.
You were a bit perturbed by all those cadets in their uniforms the other day then? Bizarrely, almost all the way through school I had only one fixed idea about a career – I was going to join the army. I’m not sure when or how I realised that I was actually a pacifist, but thank goodness I did. Ben Griffin makes his case brilliantly. Did you notice that the first speaker on the other side of the debate was local Tory (MP for Penrith) Rory Stewart?
I’m a huge fan of Mark Thomas – are you old enough to remember his brilliant Channel 4 TV series which managed to be both politically radical and absolutely hilarious?
I find the entire story line of patriotism and the romanticism associated with the armed forces really difficult. I do not in any way believe that peace maintained through violence or the threat of violence is real peace. I do think there is a compelling difference between use of force to protect the vulnerable as in ‘the locust effect’ and what we are seeing through military and political initiatives to promote our own interests. I cannot find any real hope for the future in this pervading dominant narrative and I want to be the part of a different storyline of hope for the future.
Ben Griffin did a great job and I admire his bravery. Mark Thomas is a genius and we increasingly need the comedians/court jesters to help us see that the emperor is utterly naked!