Shropshire Star

Mark Andrews: I'm ready for battle, just not sure about the aliens

Are you ready for when the balloon goes up? I've got my tin hat, and have taped a kitchen knife to a broom handle, as I wait for the call for King and Country.

Capita's infamous army recruitment posters

I'm heeding the call of General Sir Patrick Sanders, head of the British Army, who this week said the Government should prepare to 'mobilise' a 'citizens' army' in the event of a Third World War. Sir Patrick will no doubt find it a great comfort to know that this out-of-shape heart patient is locked, cocked and ready to rock.

Sir Patrick's observation follows an admission from Capita, the private company brought in by the Army to boost recruitment numbers, that it is set to miss its recruitment target by a third. Young people just aren't interested, and they are leaving at a faster rate than Capita can recruit them.

Capita, you may remember, was responsible for the cringeworthy adverts targeting 'snowflakes', 'phone zombies' and 'me, me, me Millennials'. Followed by another aimed at 'Generation Love Island'. Which made the army look about as exciting and cool as a cardigan from Dunn & Co.

Maybe it's time to ditch Capita and its wokery, and go back to promoting the Army for what it really is, a macho fighting force offering exciting careers for tough, active young people.

And maybe, just maybe, it might also prevent some youngsters from falling into the clutches of the evil gang leaders and drug barons. Who appear to be much more effective at recruiting fit young men than the likes of Capita.

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Aliens are living among us, and have been for a long time. At least that is the view of Shyam Batra, independent candidate to be Mayor of London.

"They’re also blending into our communities without us knowing and live way longer,” he adds. And when you see and listen to some of the folk in The Smoke, he does seem to have a point.

Anyhow, it emerged this week that Shyam, the self-styled 'Ambassador for Hope' and friend of John Travolta, has been banned from acting as a company director over his messy financial affairs. He also unlawfully took £106,000 out of his business, and in 2010 he was declared to be 'not a fit and proper person' to operate as a mortgage broker, after a tribunal ruled he 'lacked integrity'.

The worrying thing is that even after all this, Shyam still sounds more sensible than current mayor Sadiq Khan, or hapless Tory challenger Susan Hall.

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Meanwhile, Thangam Debbonaire, Labour's shadow culture secretary, reportedly said kids should be taught about 'white privilege' in schools.

She has since said her comments were taken out of context, so hopefully she will clear this matter up by unequivocally condemning the indoctrination of children.

For the record, Miss Debbonaire attended two separate private schools, before going to Oxford University and training as a cellist with the Royal College of Music.

No shame any of that. As long as you don't lecture working-class kids about their privilege.