Michael Caine makes controversial comments about national conscription

Hollywood legend Sir Michel Caine has shared his controversial views on how to whip today’s youth into shape, saying we

Hollywood legend Sir Michel Caine has shared his controversial views on how to whip today’s youth into shape, saying we should bring back national conscription.

The actor was talking about his own time in the army and said: “It made men of us in a very short time.”

National conscription has always been a controversial issue, particularly in Australia.

All baby boomers would remember the last time compulsory conscription was instated in 1964 during the Vietnam War. It sparked protests across the country and lead to hundreds of arrests at rallies against the war.

Michael was called to serve in the Korean War when he was 19 years old and says the experience had a huge impact on him and the way he sees the world.

“When you train to protect your country then you really belong in it and you are a different sort of person,” he said.

“But I don’t think you should be sent off to fight or anything like that.”

He also spoke about when his father went away to fight in the Second World War, saying his mother made sure he understood the hardship it brought.

“When I was six and my brother three, our father went off to war in 1939,” he said.

“My mother said ‘Now, your father has gone. You have to take care of me’. We said ‘You will be alright, mum’.

“She made little men of us with one sentence.

“Then when I was 19 and in the Korean War there was four of us and we were surrounded. We knew we were going to die.”

Of course, Michael was lucky enough to survive where so many others had perished.

Many baby boomers had friends and family who were called on to fight and it was a gut-wrenching time for those who had to wave goodbye to their loved ones as they headed off to war.

So what are your thoughts on Michael’s views?

Should we bring back national conscription? Or is Michael way off the mark here?

  1. Glenda James  

    Yes i agree kids dont know what they want to do when they leave school ,, so they will play pokie mon games and worse also disrespect their perants so for them to go into the forces whould make better adults out of them 1 year of their life could for a lot of them make a difference to their life for ever a perpose to get up in the morning…

    • Janet  

      Glenda I totally with you but omg lady your spelling is woefull don’t you have spell check or read through your answers before you post them

  2. I agree, some off the youth of today both girls and boys have no self respect and no respect for other people or property. A year after they leave school or college would help to give them self respect as well as respect for others. It needn’t be just the military, what about the fire and ambulance service or simply a form of community service. This would give them self discipline and maybe keep them off drugs.

  3. Maggie  

    I agree – Michael is spot on with his comments.

  4. stnc  

    It’s like sometimes people would say we need a war to straighten thing out! Get’s the youth off the streets. Now almost 70 years since the great war, about 45 years since Vietnam (Gawd I feel old) society as in a way gone of the rails, what better way to redirect the youth , the unemployed and those who have lost their way! Two years National service, scoop them up, clean them up , teach them a trade, a way of life. Think about all this could help the struggling farmers, overseas seasonal workers would no longer be needed , we’d have a unique work force.
    As you see we don’t need a war to save our youth, unemployed lost or disadvantaged.
    You don’t get to say no it’s to far when it comes to deployment , it would be the best way instead of working for the dole, you’d be working for a wage and pick up a trade along the way!
    I dare say it would also have a huge impact of prisons, might just be the discipline people need, and this time around ,just like during the war years women are included.

  5. Robert Haile  

    WW II was one thing where all out attacks of war occurred, but I served in Vietnam, a foolish war about greed and power with the loss of so many young lives. All wars since then have been acts of aggression for fossil fuels, based upon lies: WMD’s my ass. Older men such as myself should be about protecting our young men and women, not putting them through deadly initiations to serve the rich.

    • Gillian  

      I disagree, Robert Haile. So many people now don’t know how to get up in the morning, have poor routines for their day and little motivation to improve themselves. Conscription would be a great thing – healthy eating, physical exercise, hygiene, education, trade training, routines and a bit of backbone and self esteem. It doesn’t mean we have to go around looking for a war to fight. What’s it got to do with rich people? That’s making excuses too.

  6. Sue  

    Yes, I definitely agree with Michael, conscription should be reintroduced. Our society today is getting very selfish & out of hand. Reintroducing conscription for both males & females would instill national pride, comradeship & values again.
    I don’t think these conscripts should go to war which probably is an oxymoron as I think war is a waste of lives but to have this training would benefit all concerned.

    • Lu Byard  

      Its something that needs to be thought out hard and long.Whilst I think service of any kind is a wonderful personal builder, we need to make sure those who participate come out with a saleable work experience that will help them greatly in obtaining a job in the very near future. They must be trained in what industry is short of.

  7. Ian Halliday  

    My only complaint with National Service was that Natios were sent to war and professional soldiers stayed home. The career soldier could have had many times the training. I had a job and I never chose the military, others did.

  8. Dave  

    Always noticed that those who agree with conscription are those who aren’t forced to go to war and lose their lives. That’s what happened last time , I didn’t get called up but felt very sad for those who did, many were never the same again.

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