(c) Credit: Lesley Martin/Lesley Martin
This is indeed good news as the SNP membership shows its best, most enlightened, side. 16 and 17-year-olds will not be able sign up to the armed forces in an independent Scotland. Army cadet units in state schools have already been banned by the Scottish government.
The motion pointed out that younger soldiers have an increased risk of death in combat are more likely to abuse alcohol during and after service and are more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. There have also been the four disputed suicide deaths of young soldiers training at the Deepcut Barracks in Surrey. Not mentioned, as far as I can see, is the additional fact that soldiers living on the streets, homeless, are according to a British Legion survey, ‘mainly young and of junior rank.’
There are around 9 000 ex-service personnel living on the streets after being discharged.
The motion also accused the MoD of targeting vulnerable 15-year-olds from deprived areas by making visits to schools. I can’t find any official line from the Scottish Tories on this.
Footnote: Months ago I happened to spot that Ruth Davidson and Adolf Hitler had served in similar military roles. Just saying. It’s at: