'As a young person, I think something like National Service would be a good thing'

CornwallLive readers have been sharing their thoughts on the news that over 800,000 18-year-olds, including over 6,500 in Cornwall, could be mandated to join the Armed Forces or undertake voluntary work under Rishi Sunak's proposal to reintroduce compulsory national service.

The Conservative plan, set to be fully implemented by 2029-30 if the Tories are victorious in the election, would legally require all 18-year-olds to either serve a 12-month stint in the armed forces or cyber defence, or dedicate the equivalent of one weekend a month to volunteering in their local communities.

This means that the first generation of teenagers to undergo national service since 1960 are currently around 13 years old.

One reader Freddyagain believes: "This National Service is a really bad idea. Not something that a free Country should have, this is basically forced upon one. I see absolutely no advantage to National Service at all."

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Cornwall123 commented: "Lord West, the former head of the Royal Navy, 'this idea is basically bonkers.' General Richard Dannatt, the former head of the General Staff, 'The costs of this would be considerable in terms of trainers and infrastructure'. This task cannot just be imposed on the Armed Forces as an extra thing to do."

Mick6161 said: "Do you genuinely believe that the content absorbed by youngsters from platforms like Tik Tok isn't detrimental to their mental health? Seriously? And as for physical health, it's clear that many individuals would benefit from a balanced diet and regular exercise. It's surprising that these points even need to be made. But wouldn't you agree that they might become more well-rounded if they weren't constantly exposed to influences telling them they're special and can demand to be anything they claim to be?"

Callumlong argued that: "If this becomes mandatory, it's essentially stripping people of their human rights. Being forced into something that one may not want to do is fundamentally wrong."

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Thewestisbest said: "This will never happen. Our military bases have been run down or closed by the Tories to the extent that there would be no accommodation for these 18-year-olds plus the youth of today are so namby pamby and soft they would refuse. The whole plan is just attention seeking headline grabbing desperation."

Blackpyramid added: "This might be controversial, but as a young person, I do think something akin to National Service would actually be a good thing. I'm not in favour of the military service though, warfare has changed drastically, and sending hoards of untrained young men into a battle seems like a terrible idea, just look at the Russian/Ukraine conflict..."

Jimbob77 said: "Here we go again, the wealthy starting wars and sending the poor to fight. Nothing ever changes. If a war starts, the politicians should be the first to go as they are the ones arming the warzones now. We need more security because we've angered Russia with arms for Ukraine and when it kicks off, you're going to send the young first and protect the rich with office jobs in the military. Stop arming warzones that have nothing to do with our country. And stop wasting taxpayers' money on weapons for foreign armies."

Colinfromcornwall commented: "I really don't see the problem here. This is a good opportunity for those who perhaps need to be steered on a better path. It could be a good career changer for a few. My nephew is in the Army Reserves unit and he certainly enjoys it."

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Justice4cornwall said: "I wish a scheme like this would happen. If youngsters have left school without a job, apprenticeship or going on into further education then it would create something to focus their minds instead of staring at a computer screen all day, glued to their smartphones or hanging around getting into trouble."

Chainsaw123 said: "To a percentage, it will benefit. A return of respect and responsibility to their characters lost in a liberal, tolerant society."

Are you for national Service or believe it to be an outdated conscription? Let us in the comments below or HERE.