Big Issues

Drafted For War? Are You Alright?

conscription UK tiktok reaction

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So, according to the head of the British Army, if the UK goes to war, conscription is not off the cards. I have thoughts.

Conscription fears were sparked after Gen Sir Patrick Sanders told a military conference last Wednesday that the British public are a “prewar generation” and need to look at countries like Sweden who reintroduced national service. While the UK Government were quick to walk back Sanders’ comments — insisting that there would not be a return to conscription, and calling “hypothetical scenarios” involving possible future wars “not helpful” — it’s slightly (very) terrifying that the head of a national army can just casually make comments about bringing back mandatory military service. It doesn’t help that NATO has made similar calls that both governments and civilians need to prepare for an “all-out war” with Russia in the next 20 years. Pardon? 

Speaking of NATO, they’ve sent around 90,000 troops as part of Operation Steadfast Defender to test member states’ ability to face Russia in war. Totally cool. Guess the Cold War never really ended, did it? 

But in terms of the UK, it looks like conscription is almost certainly not going to be a thing. Through the chaos of the last few days, though, I’ve become wholly captivated by British TikTokers responding to the threat of conscription in the most British way possible: telling the government to piss off innit. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said “drafted for war, are you alright?” 

I echo Charley’s call for exemption because she’s gay and a Northerner. She’s so real for that. Us gays have been through enough! I also can’t express how much joy “behave give your head a wobble” has brought into my life. 

Ayame raises a very good point that we simply aren’t built for armed service. We are all just girls eating bowls of yoghurt naked. 

Knowing that PM Rishi Sunak doesn’t agree with Sanders’ comments, I had a lovely little laugh and giggle watching these TikToks from my pals across the pond.

So imagine my shock and horror when I read that Australian ‘experts’ are also calling for mandatory service. Normally I’d be quick to write off anything written by Sky News for obvious reasons, but at this stage I have literally no idea what the Labor government will pull next

Just leave us to our tummy issues and sweet treats, please. 

Ky is a proud Kamilaroi and Dharug person and writer at Junkee. Follow them on Instagram or on X.

Image: TikTok