A retired British Army Officer has said that France’s plan for all 16-year-olds to be sent on a month’s national service is “better than doing nothing” but will “cost a great deal”.
Those enrolled will be made to serve for one month, focusing on civic service and military training.
Colonel Richard Kemp told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham: “It is more like citizenship service for a month, which is obviously going to cost a great deal of money but I think one might question how much you can achieve in a month.
“It is certainly much better than doing nothing at all with a French population that has got an increasing number of immigrants as a way of melding them together.
“It may help explain certain aspects of French culture that they don’t necessarily know.”
There are 5.7 immigrants for every 1000 inhabitants, according to 2016 statistics from the European Union.
'Society begins to disintegrate'
Mr Kemp added that nationalism should be “encouraged”.
“A lot of people decry the idea of nationalism because when they think of nationalism they think of the rise of Nazi Germany and fascism in Italy and so on.
“Actually nationalism and patriotism are more often than not, good things. They should be encouraged. A sense of spirit and support of your country is essential.
“A country is a very large version - but when you’re part of any organisation, club or family – there has got to be a sense of collective pride in it, if not society begins to disintegrate.”
The new Service National Universel will be trialled in 13 regions in June, with three thousand boy and girls taking part.