"They ought to bring back national service"
...The clarion call of white van men, cab drivers and retired colonels everywhere.
Well that's what David Cameron wants to. All 16/17 year-olds should go on a "boot camp" and wrap themselves in the Union Jack, he reckons. In fact, he initially proposed this in 2005 but he has pulled it out of his "in case of emergency lurch right" box to fit in with his "on the hoof" PR "programme".
There is no more suitable organ for Cameron to re-announce this than the Currant Bun, the home of the White Van Man.
To be fair, it's a voluntary scheme. Six weeks. It could involve helping charidees or such like. And he's getting Amir Khan to launch it with him, so that's alright then. Very glossy and shiny.
And the youngsters would be given a cash sum at the end of their "service"! But - wait for it - that will go to a charity of their choice and to the organisation who provided their service opportunity.
I can't see it, somehow.
Is this idea cobblers or am I being unfair?
Is the take-up of teenagers, who could be surfing and earning a bit of money over the summer holidays, to go on a sort of "Boot camp", for no pay, likely to be overwhelming?
It seems to be, above all, another example of policy (re-)announcement driven by a rather desperate PR agenda, aimed, above all, at getting Cameron's revolting, shiny, saintimonious face on the telly as much as possible.