Unionise the armed forces?

From the summary of the HoC/HoL Joint Committee on Human Rights 22nd Report:

Other matters on which the Committee is seeking clarification from the Government are—

  • the justification in relation to Article 11 ECHR (freedom of assembly and association) for restrictions on members of the armed forces in terms of trade union membership (paragraph 1.41)
The link to the original document is here.

Now that would be fun - the army going on strike and the navy coming out in sympathy.

More seriously, it might do something to alleviate the equipment problems the armed forces are having. I don't think they should be in Iraq (etc ad nauseam) but if the poor buggers are going to be there, at least give them decent kit. It'd be very interesting if they refused, en masse, to go unless they felt they were equipped to do the job.

One of the Augustinian requirements for a "just war" is probability of success and adequate equipment for the task is necesary for that success. I tend to think that the troops in Basra at the moment would feel more protected by body armour than Trident.

That having been said, I do wonder if "just war" fits into the same category of warballs as "military intelligence", "friendly fire" and "collateral damage".



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