Soiffen SS

Emmanuel Macron’s attempt to form a praetorian guard isn’t going too well:

President Emmanuel Macron’s new-look national service has got off to a shaky start, with 29 teenagers in the first group of recruits succumbing to heat exhaustion during a ceremony in Evreux, near Paris.

Well done, chaps. Now I thought France had abolished national service and indeed they had, but:

Mr Macron is France’s first president not to have done compulsory military service, which was abolished in 1996. The first batch of 2,000 recruits embarked on his updated version of national service at the weekend.

Several hundred politicians, public personalities and military cadets also attended the unveiling of the statue on Tuesday, the anniversary of General de Gaulle’s 1940 appeal to the French to resist the Nazis.

Mr Macron’s new “Universal National Service” is mainly civic but has a military component. It was launched at the weekend with a volunteer group, but is eventually to become compulsory for all 16-year-olds.

What better way to mark one’s opposition to Nazis than forming a compulsory politico-military youth movement?

The teenagers are spending two weeks under the supervision of soldiers and youth workers, who are training them in self-defence and how to respond to a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

Or, the ruling classes hope, put down the mob at the palace gates.

They are only allowed to use their mobiles during a one-hour free period each day.

Presumably so they can’t inform their parents that their supervisors are so incompetent they can’t even supply them with water and keep them in the shade.

They wear a uniform of black trousers, white shirts and a blue cap for ceremonies, and fluorescent vests for civil protection exercises.

I guess this will make things easier for when they defect to the gilets jaunes. At least they had the sense not to make the shirts black. Because of the sun, you see.

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13 thoughts on “Soiffen SS

  1. It has been very hot, and no doubt the frog bigwigs have forgotten that “punctuality is the politeness of kings”. No wonder the poor lambs were dropping like… er… British Guardsmen.
    I’m told that the response, from both public and participants, has been strongly positive. We’ll see how that goes when it’s rolled out nationally with the inevitable quality dilution.

  2. It’s going to be real fun if they turn this from a voluntary to a mandatory scheme.

    Right now, they’ve undoubtedly got the whole thing run by staff who are like the French Guardian readers. Useless people who like something a bit charity, a bit public sector, but preferably with plenty of opportunities for sitting around drinking coffee, rather than real public sector work like emptying bins. And they’ve got volunteers who are going to be similar sorts. Kids who are enthralled by government.

    What happens when they start getting rough kids from the banlieues who tell them to faire enculer when they ask for their mobile phone? What possible incentives can they use? Start locking them up?

    The whole idea of it’s bloody stupid. If you’re Israel, which could realistically face a sudden invasion and needs a force ready to go, sure, it totally makes sense. You listen to what these morons like Rory Stewart say. How troublesome kids from rough estates will gain common purpose and identity. No, they won’t. They’ll just be pissed off at being there. The best way to get rough kids to behave is work. Go to work, do a job, get paid. Have money to spend on stuff you want. You give them an incentive to contribute to society and they will behave according to it.

  3. Presumably the white shirt will double as a surrender flag if required…

  4. I did avoid doing my 12 month military service through a preparation militaire superieure (so I would have been an officer) for 2 weeks, and then going for cooperation. It wasn’t much fun but it did wonders for my fitness.

    That said, most of the guys doing their 12 months were bored to tears as the issue was that it is bloody expensive to do proper military training so they were not doing much.

    I can’t see anything different happening with this, even without the military element.

  5. Silverite,

    Typical. The Tories surrendering to the people who will never vote for them. Climate Emergency can carry on being disruptive fascists.

    I’ve often tried to get over to people that UKIP weren’t just about leaving the EU but that they were the anti-milquetoast right. They were against the smoking ban, wanted an end to the TV license, a ban on the burqa. And probably the sort of people who wanted the police to deal with eco-fascists by destroying their blockade and arresting them, rather than riding on skateboards.

    I don’t care that they’re eco twats. I’m even tolerant of a once in a blue moon road protest at the edge of the law. But you’ve had your fucking fun, now fuck off and either protest legally, or get your life destroyed by the law.

  6. What’s the popular sentiment around this impending compulsory service? I mean, nothing in my very limited understanding of the French suggests they would cotton to a compulsory paramilitary organization, much less the ruling classes pushing one through. Very confusing, but again my only interactions with the French have been in a corporate Quality Control context, and while they are keen on compulsory Pride Month events a Baguette Brownshirt draft seems way out of character.

  7. “who are training them in self-defence and how to respond to a terrorist attack or natural disaster”

    I suppose they will use the states response to the Bataclan incident as the main training basis and a recent and real example of combating terrorism and how to respond to elevated weather temperature in mid-summer as a basis for preparedness for natural disaster .

  8. Soldiers fainting in a ceremony isn’t that uncommon. It’s not fun, but it’s not that serious, either. It’s usually the standing-in-place for an hour which does it, I think, not near-fatal dehydration.

    I think this story is interesting, but not because of the clickbait title in the quoted article. National Service which contains a paramilitary element is not used for recruiting a praetorian guard. For that you need an elite unit, beholden to the government, or to the president-for-life personally. It’s also not used for putting down a popular insurrection, because the draftees are the social peers of the rebels, so to speak. If France really is starting to give paramilitary training to its youth, then “why?” really is an interesting question.

    This move is not going to draw in large numbers of rebellious youth from the banlieues. They will just abscond, even if it becomes compulsary. Maybe you’ll get a very small number who want to be part of French society very badly. This sort of conscription will gather in boys from precisely those parts of society NOT represented in the banlieues – i.e. the indiginous French. If there were someone in the French government with little alarm bells ringing in the back of his head, who forsaw an urgent need in 5-10 years’ time for large numbers of young men with at least some military training – and a willingness to accept military discipline – then this would be the way to go about preparing them.

    They are only allowed to use their mobiles during a one-hour free period each day.
    Presumably so they can’t inform their parents

    Come on, Tim, you cannot teach discipline to youth if they are constantly distracted by their phones. And the one-hour free period is quite enough to complain to mommy.

  9. National Service which contains a paramilitary element is not used for recruiting a praetorian guard.

    How do you know what it’s for?

  10. I was just quoting someone on the internet: 😉

    Emmanuel Macron’s attempt to form a praetorian guard isn’t going too well:

  11. The teenagers are spending two weeks under the supervision of soldiers and youth workers, who are training them in self-defence and how to respond to a terrorist attack

    Remember everyone, life going on completely as normal, no reason for alarm. Go about your business.

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