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Soldiers having a laugh? Or a serious threat to democracy?

The Ministry of Defence said it has launched an urgent investigation after a video appeared on the social media showing members of the Parachute Regiment at a firing range in Kabul, shooting at a poster of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Here’s the footage:

Here’s the MoD’s response:

Mr Bunkall also tweeted that there are images of “other celebrities” on the range, but as VIPs to be protected, rather than targets.

The footage raises serious questions as it suggests that members of the UK’s armed forces are being trained to consider one of their own political leaders as an enemy.

We need to know who authorised it and why, and we need to know what the soldiers who fired at the poster thought was the aim of the exercise.

Of course, it seems likely they’ll all just claim that it was ill-judged humour – but was it?

At a time when the Labour leader has already suffered one assault, other politicians have received death threats, and less than three years after the Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered, the possibility of our own military being trained to consider him an enemy could be considered a critical threat to the UK’s democracy.

What will happen when Mr Corbyn finally becomes prime minister? Will the military turn on him?

These are questions that should be unthinkable, but the video revelation makes them absolutely necessary.

It seems to This Writer that any UK soldier, firing on even an effigy of Mr Corbyn, is a potential security risk. They should be trained to defend all UK citizens, and any member of the armed forces who cannot do that – for whatever reason – should be drummed out.

And how many others are carrying out similar exercises in which they attack Mr Corbyn in effigy?

I fear this video may be only the beginning of the scandal.


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