Cultural Differences - UK and elsewhere

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by FlagWagger, Sep 21, 2006.

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  1. No - keep the great unwashed out.

    100.0%
  2. Yes - allow selected groups to use service facilities

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Yes - allow free access to general public to non sensitive areas

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Yes - allow the club-swingers to beast the public (for a price)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Over the past couple of months since moving, I have been struck by the major difference in the way the military over here in Canada interact with their civilian neighbours.

    1. The town in which I live, Petawawa, has a population of approx 15500 and is home to a major Candian Forces Base. Rather than shutting themselves up behind armed sentries and barbed wire, many areas of the base are open to the public; for example the Canex store (aka NAAFI), the pool and gym (annual family membership for non military approx 200 quid), public groups like Cubs & Scouts are encouraged to use the facilities, free regimental museums, associate mess membership offered in the community, etc.

    2. Whenever the military suffer a loss (sadly 5 from Petawawa this month) all federal and provincial governmental buildings fly their flags at half mast. This serves to highligh to the public the price being paid by the military.

    These two are in stark contrast to the way the UK military operates. Given the ever-shrinking military footprint in the UK, do people think that greater involvement in the community lead to a greater recognition of what the UK Forces do? Would it be realistic to open the gym and swimming facilities at UK bases to the wider community? Should all national flags be half-masted as a mark of respect when UK servicemen are killed and again when their bodies are re-patriated?

    I feel that my local community over here has a much greater awareness of and empathy for the military (and its not just because I live in a garrison town!) than I've ever experienced in the UK. In the UK, wearing rig was an invitation to be insulted for being a copper or car-par attendant whereas over here there's still pride in the military.

    Have any other ex-pats noticed anything similar in their part of the world?
     
  2. You cant let any tom,dick or Mohammed in!its too bloody dodgy as it is without free acess to our bases!
     
  3. We had a similar experience when visiting my mother on the Sunshine Coast north of Vancouver. We went to the RCL for Sunday lunch and when they found out that we were British military there was an announcement, and we had to stand up and then lots of drinks were bought! I had put it down to the fact that the particular town we were visiting thought that they had moved into the 21st century when they got their second lot of traffic lights in the town, but now I have revised my opinion!
     
  4. It would be quite a good idea actually, which is why the Government will NEVER agree! It would allow the public to see members of the forces as ordinary people like themselves with families and feelings, etc. It is one thing for Forces people, but many civvies simply don't have these connections. They ought to. Just think about civvies seeing what facilities actually look like. Personally it would also allow me to pop down the road into HMS St.Vincent and use their gym facilities :D after a lecture at RUSI. What could be more civilized?
     
  5. I think you'll find that HM Government have been progressively implementing similar schemes all around the country over the past decade by merging, downsizing and selling off military establishments. Now the public can walk about them at their leisure. At the same time they have been integrating greater numbers of service personnel into the civilian population through redundancy.

    My Naval Establishment is now a trendy wine bar with leisure complex and golf course. If only Natwest did Naval Bases.

    SF
     
  6. If you pitch the "charging of membership" idea it will be sold no questions asked!
     
  7. The UK did start to go that way in the 60s, many Army barracks had their perimeter walls removed, and the accomodation areas were progressively opened up. Then along came the IRA and they suddenly had to recreate the old perimeter and security systems. The MOD rightly fears that if it returns to the open barracks concept it will make such areas targets for terrorists and the S*n.

    Peter
     

  8. What community would that be?
    The only community I hear of these days involves muslims.
     
  9. Maxi wrote: The UK did start to go that way in the 60s, many Army barracks had their perimeter walls removed, and the accomodation areas were progressively opened up. Then along came the IRA and they suddenly had to recreate the old perimeter and security systems. The MOD rightly fears that if it returns to the open barracks concept it will make such areas targets for terrorists and the S*n.

    It would also make is easier for the gutter press like the Sun to come in and say they managed to smuggle fake bombs in, etc and make us look like a bunch of chimps yet again.

    Our friends and best supporters? Never.

    SF
     
  10. I believe that Service messes should be for Service personnel, so find the suggestion of free public access to Units to be abhorrent. Indemnity costs would be astronomical for the public to use Service sporting facilities and the Services would have to police such use at a time that the bean counters are trying to close everything that costs money.

    It grates with me that our messes have to provide facilities to the Civil Service, let alone the civilian population, and whoever the ******** in Whitehall was who agreed to extending mess membership to so-called equivalent ranks should be ashamed of himself. There are few enough perks to being a Serviceman any more, but I thought mess life was sacrosanct.
     
  11. Well; there's your big chance to win hearts and minds!
     

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