LETTER: Bring back national service

editorial image

When I look around the youth of today there are many teenagers in the Ashfield area that are costing us (the taxpayers) money in wasted police, social services and the courts’ time by having no direction in life.

The government is eager to ring fence £74 billion everyyear to be sent to other countries to get them out of the stone age (where they seem happy to be, other wise they would have done something about it themselves).

But the government does nothing to stop the epidemic that the youth of our area put decent people through when they aimlessly walk about Sutton looking for things to do. Well here’s my suggestion. If we could just get the government to spend a couple of million, (remembering that one billion is one thousand million) on British youth, and not some foreign kids.

My suggestion is to stop selling the old military camps off and convert them into youth learning centres (I bet you thought I was going to say bring back National Service).

The learning centres would be for all boys and girls (separate of course, or the birth rate would explode) from the age of 18 until 21 who would be under a mixed education/military-style learning programme.

Their week would consist of schooling Monday and Tuesday (everyone whatever their ability can always learn some thing extra).

If you did an A-level at school you would do a degree or HND, if you didn’t attend school you would at least learn to read and write. Wednesday and Thursdaywould be military training, giving them discipline and the ability to defend their country if theworse came to the worse.

Friday and Saturday would be learning a trade. If you’re doing a degree or HND these days would be used to study, the others would train as brick layers, plumbers, electricians, road layers or other skill sets (depending on academic study) and Sunday would be a free day. Yes if you want they could be in a military style uniform and live in barracks, but thiswould keep the cost down and would give them a sense of camaraderie.

There are some who would say: “What, only one day off a week?”

But we already know that a bored soldier is a dangerous soldier. Oh no I think you have seen the real reason I wrote in, yes BRING BACK NATIONAL SERVICE.

Think what Sutton would look like if the youth were in the learning centres? The fast food restaurants would be youth free where you could enjoy your family treat and you could go on Sutton Lawns without some idiot riding around on an illegal off-road motor bike.

The roads would be free of the mopeds screaming around with loud exhausts, and the street corners would be safe to walk by without eight kids intimidating the elderly. We would in fact be reducing the crime rate and saving the kids from themselves, they would have a clean driving licence when they come out of the centres.

We could even reward good behaviour by teaching them to drive while away learning at the centres, how good an incentive would that be?

Gloria de Piero (our beloved MP) have a think about my suggestion, you can even put it forward yourself as your idea (there’s no copyright on it).

Karen Gibb