Archive for the 'military recruitment' Category


Quantum Of Solace: Don’t Buy Bond

Bondmania is back! Everyone loves Bond, especially since the franchise’s gritty 2006 reboot, fronted by a brooding, steely-eyed Daniel Craig. As with recent Bond films, Quantum Of Solace is being used to sell various lifestyle products. Big name brands pay handsomely to be associated with Bond, and Quantum Of Solace has racked up £50 million pounds for product placement. Let’s take a look at what the film is selling.

Promotional tie-ins for Quantum of Solace include Heineken lager, Smirnoff vodka, Coca-Cola, Ford cars, Virgin Atlantic airline, Sony TVs, National Lottery Scratchcards and The Sun newspaper. Launching a new perfume, Avon claims that “through this unique partnership, every woman can feel like a Bond Girl – smart, empowered, confident, and sexy,” while package holiday company Orbitz tells us “you can’t do it better than Bond, but you can certainly travel like him.”

If some of those promotions make you feel slightly queasy, hold on; the best is yet to come. The new Bond films feature product placements for, yes, you guessed it, Heckler & Koch firearms. In Casino Royale, Bond defeats the villainous Mr White with a H&K UMP9 submachine gun – a weapon that he carries on using in Quantum of Solace.

Promotional graphic for Quantum of Solace showing James Bond wielding a Heckler & Koch UMP9 submachine gun

Promotional graphic for Quantum of Solace showing James Bond wielding a Heckler & Koch UMP9 submachine gun

Continue reading ‘Quantum Of Solace: Don’t Buy Bond’


Students Target Unethical Career Corporatism

On Monday 20th October the annual AISEC Careers fair commenced at Nottingham University, featuring many organisations with despicable or at least dubious ethical credentials and social-responsibility records, including BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Qinetiq, E.On, BP, RBS, MoD and the army. The fair also featured some student activists and Grim Reapers who had made an appearance in order to remind fellow students of the deadly consequences of working in the arms trade or climate change industry.

Continue reading ‘Students Target Unethical Career Corporatism’


Opposing military recruitment in schools

As a result of the unpopular occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the armed forces are struggling to recruit, so they have stepped up their efforts, on billboards and TV and in our schools and city centres. All this week, the armed forces are running snazzy recruitment stalls in Nottingham’s Broadmarsh shopping centre, and in June the Veterans’ celebration in Wollaton Park will be used as “a showcase for the modern armed forces” with military vehicles, displays and games to attract potential recruits. It’s all about making a career in the forces look like an exciting, all-terrain humanitarian peacekeeping adventure instead of deadly grunt-work occupying other peoples’ lands to secure energy supplies for the declining US empire.

Perhaps most concerning is the marketing of military careers to school children. A recent report claims that children as young as seven are now being groomed for army recruitment. The report also claims that “Key messages are tailored to children’s interests and values: military roles are promoted as glamorous and exciting and warfare is portrayed as game-like and enjoyable. Children are introduced to the potential benefits of a forces career but not to its risks.”

An army recruiter shows a schoolchild how to aim a gun

Disregarding these concerns, the UK Government is proposing a law to promote military cadet forces in schools, and to teach “understanding of the armed forces” as part of the National Curriculum. However, the MoD faces significant grassroots opposition. At this year’s NUT conference, teachers voted to oppose military recruitment in schools. Delegate Paul McGarr spoke out against misleading army propaganda in schools, proposing that truthful recruitment material should say:

Join the Army and we will send you to carry out the imperialist occupation of other people’s countries. Join the Army and we will send you to bomb, shoot and possibly torture fellow human beings in other countries. Join the Army and we will send you probably poorly equipped into situations where people will try to shoot or kill you because you are occupying other people’s countries. Join the Army, and if you survive and come home, possibly injured or mentally damaged, you and your family will be shabbily treated.

Delegate Stefan Simms added that young troops are being used as “cannon fodder for the profits of oil companies”. The MoD has denied recruiting in schools, despite the fact that the forces visit around 1000 schools a year and give schools free pro-army teaching materials.

A leaflet to counteract armed forces recruitment in schools has been produced by the Nottingham Stop The War Coalition and handed out to students at the gates of schools around the city. It seeks to persuade students who might be tempted by the recruiters’ talk of sport and travel not to join up.

The leaflet has been handed out at about 10 schools so far. It has generally had a good reception from students, but at a couple of schools, the management has tried to stop the leafleting and called the police. However, as the leafleters were not doing anything wrong, the police did not stop them.


Armed Forces Careers Office graffitied

Anti-war graffiti on Nottingham Armed Forces Careers OfficeThe Armed Forces Careers Office in Nottingham has once again been the target of a political paint-job. Daubed either side of the entrance in red paint are the words “terrorists join here” and “war 4 oil”. After the graffiti was completed, a man approached police to claim responsibility and was arrested.


Armed forces office paint-bombed as UK invades Iraq

On the day that US and UK forces launched the invasion of Iraq, the Nottingham Armed Forces Careers Office at the Victoria shopping centre was spattered with red paint by anti-war activists. This action reflects the deep public anger at UK participation in what is widely perceived as an unjustified war.

Nottingham Armed Forces Careers Office paint-bombed on the day the UK forces invade Iraq

On the same day, other anti-war actions took place across Nottingham, including road blockades and a demonstration on Market Square.


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