SO, are we all ready for World War Three?
It’s all so exhausting isn’t it, this “pre-war phase” we’re now apparently in?
I can’t work out how worried I should be.
And should I just do what I usually do when very serious things occur — assume someone qualified will deal with it?
But who will that someone be?
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No wonder military chiefs, struggling to recruit, are panicking and floating the idea of national service.
The logic is clear.
If we won’t sign up voluntarily, then perhaps we should be compelled to at least be ready for the scrap.
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Naturally, there are numerous problems with this idea in the free world of 2024.
Quite apart from it being an election suicide note for any political party — Vote Labour, Get Killed By A Psychopath! — resistance will be robust.
War is anathema to most of us in Britain, today’s conflicts are horrifying but abstract.
The brutal slaying of innocents in Israel and Gaza rightly disgusts us.
The invasion of peaceful towns and cities by Russian tanks and the murderers and rapists contained within makes us weep.
Houthi rebels firing state-of-the-art rockets at ships full of car parts and groceries is outrageous.
So we dig deep into our pockets in a bid to help as best we can.
The vast majority of us don’t actually worry these atrocities will spill over here.
National service was introduced in 1949 for men aged 17 to 21 and meant you would join the forces for 18 months and be a reservist for a further four years.
More than two million men took part until the last was demobbed in 1963.
Now, how would that army look today?
Do today’s under-21s have what it takes to tackle terror?
Could Generation Microaggression deal with some actual aggression?
We live in an age when even rolling your eyes at someone or raising your voice is considered harmful by our Citizen Snowflakes.
A time when any displays of machismo are dismissed as “toxic masculinity”.
An era when who you say you are is more important than who you actually are.
Could these woke warriors look the enemy in the eye and shut out his lights?
Of course, it would be unfair to blast all under-21s with the same blunderbuss. Many would indeed sign up for the fight and be damn good at it.
But would there be enough?
A recent poll by YouGov revealed that 38 per cent of under-40s say they would refuse to serve in the event of a new world war.
And 30 per cent say they would not serve even if Britain was facing imminent invasion.
So even if Putin’s tanks rolled into their own backyard they would refuse to do anything about it. Gosh!
At this rate we would end up with a Dud’s Army.
It is a frightening thought and symptomatic of the entitlement many feel as we get deeper into the century of the self.
As former Tory leader — who with his judo skills could probably hold back a few invaders — quipped recently: “How dare we disturb the idea that everyone has a lot of rights without any responsibility to protect them?” Hague
No one likes war. But war is what has allowed us to have the rights we enjoy today.
You’d think that was obvious but, as more and more of our brave soldiers from World War Two reach the end of their lives, the disconnect grows.
We should all hope that we never have to fight for our country, and I do believe the odds are very slim that any of us civilians ever will.
But as we contemplate things such as national service and conscription and consider what WE would do in World War Three, it is also a good time to reassess what it is that we actually find harmful.
Because when compared to the danger of having to defend the nation, we may discover that the problems some of us have with each other may not matter very much at all.
Jayzus! Can’t arrogant men let Beyonce speak for herself
YOU have to feel sorry for the beautiful, multi-millionaire singer Beyonce (I know, stay with me).
Poor love can’t even enjoy the Grammys without some maniacal man marching up on stage to bemoan the fact she didn’t win one.
This time it was the turn of her husband Jay-Z to make the unwelcome observation at Sunday’s ceremony that his missus – who already has 32 Grammys – should have bagged Best Album.
“I don’t want to embarrass this young lady,” he whined, embarrassing the couple’s young daughter Blue Ivy, 12, stood by his side.
“But she has more Grammys than everyone and never won Album of the Year.”
He then threw a diamond-encrusted rattle into the crowd before filling his nappy and storming off.
This brave show of chivalry followed Kanye West’s hijacking of Taylor Swift’s speech at the VMAs in 2009 when he insisted the one-time Destiny’s Child warbler should have won a Best Video gong.
For a singer who has captivated fans with her songs of female empowerment and cast-iron belief in what women can achieve, it must be especially galling to then have some supremely arrogant bloke remind the world that there are still some things that remain out of her reach.
Fiction equals facts
I WATCHED an excellent film the other day, American Fiction.
Unlike much of the box-ticking b*****ks being spewed out by cynical Hollywood studios, this was actually a rare thought-provoking gem.
A biting – and funny – satire on racial stereotypes, it revolves around writer Thelonius Ellison (played by a brilliant Jeffrey Wright) who, frustrated by the publishing industry’s obsession with derivative “black stories” about guns, gangs and ghettos, writes a spoof version and sends it off to (white) wannabe woke publishers.
But they don’t recognise it as a spoof and fall over themselves to market this “authentic” tale.
And a salivating white director ponies up millions to make it for the big screen.
It is a whip-smart study of ham-fisted political correctness and the damage it does.
It’s rightly up for numerous Oscars but if the film industry really wants to reward it, it should pay attention to what it’s actually saying.
Robot willies for all
JUST signed up for a “bionic willy”.
Apparently, 550 fellas got one last year, and on the NHS too.
These “penis prosthesis” ops can ensure your pecker stands to attention whenever active service is required.
Officially they’re designed for chaps who suffer from erectile dysfunction, usually linked to pre-existing medical conditions.
And of course they should be first in the queue.
But why draw the line there?
A robot rod sounds like the perfect solution for that old alcohol affliction brewer’s droop.
If the technology is available, let’s make the most of it and offer it to everyone.
As I said to my doctor, “How hard can it be?”
My new beer’s pledge
SAD times at the weekend when I discovered a local boozer known for its lively music nights, excellent beer and friendly staff has rung its last orders bell for good.
The Harringay Arms was a much-loved fixture of the North London enclave where I live
How devastating that it will be no more, the latest victim of soaring costs and one of 21a week now closing.
But then I tried to remember when I’d actually last been in there. My mind went blank.
It’s easy to forget that soaring costs must be met by soaring income if pubs are to stand any chance (as well as the 75 per cent reduction on business rates that The Sun is campaigning for).
It’s too late for The Harringay Arms (sorry) but my belated – and sole – new year’s resolution is now to frequent pubs more than I did any previous year.
It’s one resolution I think I might be able to keep.
Never has a few more pints been so good for us.
Now, what are you drinking?
Happy not to be here
BEING poor is officially more fun – if you happen to live in the arse end of nowhere.
Boffins at the University ofsurveyed a heap of indigenous people in places such as South America and discovered that only two-thirds of them had a cash income.
And those with the least amount of readies – a mere £450 – were the happiest, notably the farmers of western Guatemala and folk living in the Amazon rainforest and the Andes.
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Quite why they’re so happy is unclear.
But perhaps it has something to do with not being hooked up to a greedysupplier that extracts £1million from their bank account every time they turn on the heating.