Antisocial behaviour? Bring back the Caine

Hollywood A-lister Sir Michael Caine believes there is a simple solution to Britain’s rising levels of social disorder which politicians may have missed – a spell in the army.

Speaking at the premiere of his new film Harry Brown, the multi-millionaire said: “The government have missed a trick here. I’ll tell you what would sort out antisocial behaviour – make them all do national service. That would solve the problem overnight, plus it would teach them all a bit of bloody respect. I can’t see why they haven’t done that already, to be honest with you.”

Crime and antisocial behaviour are central themes in Harry Brown and the subject has certainly struck a chord with the Leatherhead resident of late: “This film holds up a mirror to the thugs that roam the streets of this country. Honestly, some of the things I’ve read about these hoodlums in the Daily Mail are shocking. It made me think of myself when I was young. In my day, things were nothing like they are now – they were much better. You simply didn’t get antisocial violence and crime 70 years ago, and that was down to compulsory service. Why don’t they do that now? Put them to some use and get them all killing the bloody Taliban, that’s what I say.”

When asked about how the government should go about dealing with the logistical issues which would arise from the potential influx of over 5 million new army recruits, the award-winning Hollywood star replied: “I don’t know, to be honest. But then, that’s not my problem, is it? It’s up to them to sort it out. I’m just offering my point of view on this issue and if they don’t want to take any notice, then fine, that’s down to them.”

Sir Michael Caine, whose real name is Maurice Micklewhite, was then asked to clarify who he meant when he referred to ‘them’: “Well, you know, the government and the army. Basically, the people in charge of that sort of stuff. Look, if you made it compulsory for school leavers to serve in the army you’d not only sort out crime and antisocial behaviour, you’d also wipe out unemployment too. It seems simple when you think about it.”

The 76-year-old was then asked about the potential social problems which could be experienced at the end of the compulsory service period, and what measures he would take to ease the inevitable difficulties arising from constant stream of young people attempting to reintegrate into civilian life: “I don’t profess to have all the answers. But again, it’s not my place to say. Maybe they could take up acting?”

He added: “It never did me any harm.”


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