A man from Irvine in Scotland has criticised the MoD after British Army troops from the Scots Guards set up in the town centre with guns.

Yes, you read that correctly, soldiers had guns.

Campaigner and Ayrshire CND secretary Arthur West was quoted in a local paper, the Irvine Times, as saying:

“The stall was a recruitment stall and as well as leaflets it had four machine guns pointing into a pedestrian shopping area. I was really quite disturbed by what I saw. I’ll not say the guns were loaded but they were pointing out on to the street and I just think that’s unacceptable.

If they’re going to try and recruit in areas they should do it responsibility, they should be handing out leaflets in a reasonable way, I was quite shocked. I have seen this in a few places. I was in Kilmarnock about a year ago, and also in Glasgow.

I’ve already got worries anyway that they seem to concentrate on schools and areas that have high unemployment. We had reports last week that areas of Irvine have a third of child poverty, and suffered down the years from a lot of job losses as well. There does seem to be a link about the army giving a high profile to recruitment in areas where there is high unemployment and low income, and if they’re going to do that they need to do that responsibly.

I just think it’s really distasteful and if they’re going to recruit they should be doing it in a balanced way. I just think it’s totally inappropriate. The time in Kilmarnock, I think the soldiers that were there were a bit embarrassed about it, there wasn’t any dust up, but I went and spoke to them and think they felt a bit awkward about it.

They were just doing their job and as people know the army is very hierarchical and you do as you’re told, so I did think it would be a bit unfair to have a go at the people that were there on the day. There were four soldiers and they were all quite young. I made a formal complaint but would be interested to see any response.” 

A spokesperson for the British Army said:

“The display weapons were under the control of professional soldiers who apply the highest standard of weapon discipline. At no point where they pointed at members of the public and no ammunition was present during this event.”

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When I was at school the Blues and Royals visited with a couple of Scimitars. You were allowed to jump in the turret, slew it around and move the gun up and down. Even better you were allowed to track teachers, mates etc. This is one of my fondest school memories, can you imagine Mr West’s comments if they had a scimitar or equivalent and allowed you to “play” with the turret, what a snowflake!

john willis

Mr West comments are a bit out of date the police are armed around certain places and they have live rounds, are we worried, no, if you lived near an airport or certain parts of london you get used to it and are thankful, like the cct you never notice it , as for recruitment yes it helps people to get a job and a trade when you come out of the service and gives a future for people in poorer communities where jobs are scarce , so he should stick his complaint on the toilet wall and use it… Read more »

Barry White

April 1st ?


Probably an SNP member with a hated for the BRITISH Army

Stephen sedgwick

That’s most likely the reason


Labour I think, or at least a supporter. Left-wing.

Scottish Labour don’t support Trident either, with one or two exceptions.

John Winspear

Except for the shipyard work and bunkering.?

Paul Macdonald

Rather a blinkered suggestion Paul, when Scottish SNP supporters are also employed as soldiers in the British Army. The man complaining indicated no political bias towards his views. Some people with no positive Life experience of weaponry (guns, knives, etc.) or martial arts are adverse to them.


Paul Read the story muppet CND not SNP. you a rangers supporter

Daniele Mandelli


Sadly I feel this is very much true.


I was curious until the first line when I read “CND”.

Kremlin sock-puppets doing what they always do.

Daniele Mandelli

Like Corbyn? Wasn’t he head of CND?


Vice Chairperson….. whatever that means!

By some incredible coincidence, wherever you found Britain’s enemies Jezza was nearby.

Phil Drackley

Were these Nuclear Rifles?

Stephen sedgwick

This man is an idiot of the highest level and most probably a member of the Scottish nazi party grow up you fool they are soldiers recruiting and for pointing unloaded guns at the public you were disturbed !!!! Get a life you fool god bless our British armed forces .the fact they were British is what probably disturbed your 2 brain cells


No doubt an SNP voter as well…


“but I went and spoke to them and think they felt a bit awkward about it”

They were probably thinking who’s this moron


when i did a stint recruiting all around the country this was normal to have a few vehicles and weapons on show,and for good reason one to try and show where the taxpayers money went but also to show potential recruits just some of the equipment our unit had…but that was before this snowflake generation….

Evan P

Snowflake generation? The man looks like he is 70. Have some respect, it’s that attitude that drives young people like myself away from you grumpy lot!

Bobby Mctaggert

I don’t think he was aiming the comment at the the younger generation. He meant the new, constantly offended, Anti UK, Leftie, SNP sympathisers!

David Stephen

I can’t respect anyone making those utterly ridiculous comments.

Andy P

Respect for what? His ridiculous scare mongering views? Your reaction gives me a feeling that his ‘grumpy lot’ would probably not the right place for you.

Evan P

Respect for the younger generation, commonly referred to as “snow flakes”. If he meant people who are against guns in army recruitment stall in general, I apologise. Andy P, I’m interested in military news and equipment, so indeed this is a good place for me.

Biggus Dickus

Trust me, they won’t miss your worthless azz. Love your country or leave. This is from a Texas veteran, Scotsman, and Anglophile. They protect you, remember?

Levi Goldsteinberg

the absolute state of the left

Stephen G.

Exactly, what a pathetic excuse for a “man”.

Daniele Mandelli

Agreed. Scary.

Pete Cain

Some people are beyond help, whatever next?

David Watts

Is the “Complainant” for real? Not even the far left is that stupid, or is it? I am glad I was not there,or in uniform because I might have used the C… word!

d fenner

And the services give people like him his freedom to mouth off

Dave Tume

What the feck should they set up with then
Pictures of horses and ice cream tell him
To get the feck and when he gets there feck off some more RETARD


Knowing the current touchy feely agenda of the british army, they will now spend millions on an ad campaign where it will be promoted that it is ok not to touch weapons in the British Army.

Trevor Horn

Rather the young soldiers looking embarrassed , I expect they were thinking ‘ wjhat sort of dickhead have we got here then’

Shawn Dunn

“Gentleman, you can’t fight in here, this is the WAR ROOM!” -Peter Sellers as President Merkin in the film Dr. Strangelove, 1964.


OK I will bite at this… I come from an area of high unemployment and the army certainly opened up my eyes to a world of opportunity that I grasped with both hands. If I had remained in my council estate I would be in a low/medium pay job or in trouble with the police (unlikely in my case – but not for many on the estate). I remember the RM coming to my local secondary and getting us fit for 2 weeks each year and I also think it is entirely appropriate that organisations recruit in areas of high… Read more »


Sounds like we followed the same paths, well said, “brother from another mother”


Yup, that’s about it I think. I’m glad they exist, even back in the (original) Cold War days though I thought differently then. Helps to keep awareness of the dangers of the deterrent getting out of control. They also do some good research.


What a sensible post.✌️?


If the SOLDIER’s were uncomfortable, it’s because the Cretin concerned was talking to them.


Why is this given news space – its a non-story. Now he has lots of publicity for his organisation and himself.

John H.

I cannot shake a feeling of deja vu. The Roman Empire collapsed due to decadance ( with a little help from lead posioning from the pipes). The detachment from real world realities in the West is accelerating.


I find his rant about recruiting tedious and annoying but just possibly there is one aspect of his concerns that I agree with. He is quoted as saying “The stall … had four machine guns pointing into a pedestrian shopping area. I was really quite disturbed by what I saw. I’ll not say the guns were loaded but they were pointing out on to the street and I just think that’s unacceptable.” If he was specifically complaining that the gun barrels were horizontal, i.e. aimed at body height as opposed to pointing down at the ground or up in the… Read more »

Harry Bulpit

OMG an employer looking for employes in an area with a lot of employable people, how disturbing.

J. Ross

Unfortunately that kind of person is on the rise. Blame politics or education for this unpatriotic view,if you’re proud of your country then it’s frowned upon. Even if you support the Queen you get laughed at. It’s a sad time.

Anthony Alphonse

Some people simply have too much time on their hands! Can I be rude and suggest he moves to the USA so he can have a proper experience of being shot at by proper ammunition and automatic weapons owned by normal day to day citizens on the Streets and sometimes even in Schools!


In other words the only man in the area offended and threatened by unloaded guns is outraged at the armed forces providing jobs to people in the area.

Listen to him try and insinuate thay they agree with him. More like they nodded along and hummed because they can’t make a scene. I’ve been in that situation a dozen times. You roll your eyes and laugh when they leave.


They probably felt “awkward” taking questions from a prattling fool.

Peter French

God whatever next, perhaps the Squadies should simulate firing a gun shouting Bang, bang and loading up carapaults . What is worse this rather stupid old man then embarrasses the young soldiers with his objections , what are they supposed to say, they have to respond with courtesy, He should be ashamed

Eddy Edwards

The actually do go around shouting bang bang, as the MOD can’t afford blank rounds or live ammunition for training. And to make it realistic they get the biggest lads to walk around souring Tank Tank???

Ron Mawston

If this stupid man had been around in 1939 with his warped views we would all be speaking German now .

mark nicholls

There’s always one!
He can complain, because of British army men with guns!

Rikkie Carette

“I’ll not say the guns were loaded…….”

No, because if you said that it would make you out to be an even bigger prat.


The man is an idiot. These weapons as the MOD states are display weapons and NO AMMUNITION was on site. I would suggest this idiot asks the questions first before looking and talking stupid and with obvious idiocy. But of course he is CND and supposedly a pacifist but I would like to bet at the first sign of at trouble around him he would scream for his mother or beg down on his knees not to hurt him


my freind complained to her local RAF station thasat she could read the squadron markings on two low flying aircraft (phantoms I think) She was talking to an officer who asked her if the markings were British, and she replied that yes she saw the roundels. He replied well madam just be thankful they did not carry the soviet star!

Reg Cumbley, ex REME veteran

If only that protester had been with me when we were threatened by Hitler and expecting an invasion he would be better educated. As a 15 year old I bore arms ,as an Army Cadet (“The Churchill Youth”).We we’re ready to defend our homes and families. Might be better if some form of National Service was introduced.


Perhaps the army is all out of Unicorns and flowers!


What plank.

Mr Bell

I remember the Army recruitment team coming to my school on careers day. They were great, really entertainment Inc, really enthusiastic and best of all they brought a Milan anti tank rocket and an 81mm mortar. Superb, we all loved that. Did they aim the Milan at the headmasters office, of course they did, much to the delight of all the hundreds of boys present. When asked “how many 81mm mortar rounds would it take to utterly flatten the school?” An honest calculated answer came back 250-300 rounds. Great we all said when can you get started. Nothing wrong with… Read more »

Oh no you wont get me to admit 25 years in the army, with a gun.

What fucking planet is the dickhead at the top of this page from, he says, yes Ive seen them in Glasgow to. Oh, Hep ma Boab, a sidjer we a gun! swoon awa swoon awa. Course they have fucking guns to protect wankers like you. In Glasgow, most women carry fucking guns you fucking tube.

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Snooty McShootalot

What a chopstick! Know your weapons they would have been rifles not “guns”

Eddy Edwards

I have to say I have experienced the passive way on which CND have conducted they’re demonstrations expecially in the 80s
May be they should have handed out lefelts in a responsible manner
Remember Greenham comman