|This weekend relatives of victims killed or injured in the Iraq war and opposition politicians criticised the authorisation as “inappropriate” and “undignified”. It comes only three days after their release and before they have given detailed evidence to an official inquiry.|
Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said: “One of the great things about our armed forces is their professionalism and dignity. Many people who shared the anxiety of the hostages’ abduction will feel that selling their stories is somewhat undignified and falls below the very high standards we have come to expect from our servicemen and women.”
Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon Gentle was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra in Iraq, said the MoD should not allow the servicemen to sell their stories. “This is wrong and I don’t think it should be allowed by the MoD. None of the parents who have lost loved ones in Iraq have sold their stories,” she said.
Critics claimed it had become a media circus, with one former British commander saying the released hostages were behaving like reality TV contestants. Others said they were being used as pawns in the propaganda war with Iran. But some former soldiers said it was a shrewd move by the MoD to control publication of the captives’ stories.
The storm over the money came as it emerged that the White House had intervened to boost the British captives’ chances of release despite official denials of a deal.
In other news, the London-based brother of the General in Iran who ordered the kidnapping says the UK better say thank you.
|Salman Rahim Safavi, an academic and brother of Major-General Yahya Rahim Safavi, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said: “We sent the boys back as a gift to the British people and Tony Blair didn’t even say thank you.”|
Safavi, who is in close contact with his brother in Iran, warned that the Tehran leadership has been angry about British reaction since the hostages arrived home and hinted at a tougher response in future.
He said in his first interview: “Tony Blair is unfair. Only a day after we released his soldiers Blair denounced Iran and described us as a country that supports terrorism. This is unacceptable.
EU Referendum is ticked at the ploy by the MoD to turn this into a media circus to save their own behinds.
|This is far more skilful than a mere cover-up. It has been difficult enough to try to get people focused on the circumstances which led up to this episode and now it will be even more difficult. Commodore Nick Lambert can sleep easy in his bed in the coming nights in anticipation of the next honours list when he will receive his knighthood in recognition of his services to a grateful government.|
Thus the rot which infects the very top of our Armed Forces will go unrecognised and unchecked. The weaknesses will remain unaddressed and the guilty will go unpunished. For the rest, the thousands of brave and unassuming service personnel who do their duty by their country – their jobs will be inestimably harder and dangerous. And more will die.
By comparison with this government, Ahmadinejad is an honourable and principled man. As for the Navy (I can't bring myself to call it Royal), we might as well scrap it, for all the use it is.