College managers are increasingly inviting military
recruiters onto campuses to glamorise violent role
models and glorify weapons of war, despite a recent
Joseph Rowntree Trust report highlighting the "ethical
shortcomings" of military recruitment, it said.
North-East London delegate and Tottenham Quaker Ben
Jones told delegates that, during Peace Week, his
college's management had invited the army to hold a
recruitment drive on campus.
"My students are between 14 and 19 years old, the target
age for army recruiters," he said.
"We are the only country in Europe to allow recruitment
"We have a duty to these students to encourage their
critical faculties. This is not a benign employer.
"We must insist that the realities of violent death,
serious injury and psychological damage are made clear."
Moving an amendment to the motion calling for a joint
summit of teachers, educationalists and the Stop the War
Coalition to discuss the issue, Darren Bradshaw (Croydon
College) said that the army had been particularly active
in Croydon - which has the greatest proportion of
children and young people in the country - in recent
years and were now encroaching on the college.
"A six-foot poster appeared on the stairs saying: 'You
can go from Croydon to Canada.'
"It didn't say: 'You can go from Croydon to Kandahar.'
There is a Fawlty Towers attitude of 'don't mention the
war' here," said Mr Bradshaw.
NEC member Sean Vernell (City and Islington College)
pointed out that, while Britain may not have formal
conscription, it has what amounts to economic
"I believe wars are fought by the poor and unemployed of
one country against those of another," he said.
"I have been to France and seen the ages on the
gravestones from World War II - 16, 17, 18 years old,
mile after mile. We said 'never again' then and we
should say it now."