Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Monday, 8 March 2010

Topsy turvy news.

This is the sort of thing the government won't want us to read in the run up to the election. It's a good story, telling of selflessness, bravery and one heck of a lot of luck.

Here's the beginning :-
A soldier of 3 RIFLES has been talking about his decision to pick up a live Taleban hand grenade and throw it back in an attempt to save himself and his comrades.Rifleman James McKie from Recce Platoon, 3rd Battalion The Rifles was under fire from three directions when the hand grenade hit his Platoon commander and landed at his feet.

“My first thought was I hope this doesn’t hurt too much” he said. “That, and I’ve really only got one chance to do this. If it fails, either way, doing nothing, I’m going to get the same amount of hurt. ...
You'll have to go over to Helmud Blog to read the rest.

It still seems unreal that there are people in authority in Britain who can order a news blackout, a total news blackout and a 'sanitising' of websites to 'prevent bias'. Nothing can change the past, nothing, but it can be concealed and we Brits have always frowned into our cornflakes when we've read of such things happening elsewhere in the world. We've chuckled to ourselves when we've seen pictures of Stalin and chums, heavily edited to remove those who have fallen out of favour. Not for one moment did any of us imagine the past could be edited here in Britain, yet it appears that's what is proposed by the MoD - and the claim is to ensure 'impartiality', to make sure nobody can be seen in a bad light in the run up to a general election.

Mrs R has no idea how the rest of the world will receive the news of this proposed media blackout, although she does plan to ask one or two overseas friends to see what they think. She has a fairly good idea they won't believe it, because they knew the BBC of many years ago, and they've heard the tales of "broadcast and be damned" and how the BBC was the one shining light of impartial information, telling the truth to those living in occupied Europe.

You see, nobody could stop the BBC broadcasting. No foreign dictator or despot, no matter how determined, could ever pull their plug and cut off their transmissions when they were safely based here in Britain, surrounded by a rather large moat. Who could ever imagine that there are those who believe that that same moat will prevent news getting into Britain from overseas, especially now, when there's the internet. It really is a Victor Meldrew moment - inconceivable, and unbelievable.

During the last war people risked their lives to listen to the BBC and, apparently, "The BBC was keen to safeguard its reputation and refused to broadcast 'dirty propaganda'." The BBC World Service pages still say this
The BBC Aims :

To be the world's first choice among international broadcasters for authoritative and impartial news and information, trusted for its accuracy, editorial independence and expertise.
It also says
We are the world’s leading international broadcaster providing programmes and content for radio, television, online and mobile phones in English and 31 other languages. Hundreds of reporters and specialist correspondents bring impartial news reports, documentaries and analysis from around the globe.
So let's take a look at some of the stories of the past week, stories the BBC would not be allowed to report if the MoD has its' way and the military media blackout in the run up to the election goes ahead.

Nobody would have known that Princess Ann was in Afghanistan on March 1st

Nobody would have known that four soldiers were repatriated on March 4th

Nobody would have known that two soldiers lost their lives on the day that Mr Brown visited Camp Bastion.

Nobody would have known that a soldier lost his life today.

It will be interesting to know how the rest of the world reacts when the BBC has to admit, as it surely must, that it isn't allowed to tell the people of Britain what is happening to their friends and relatives who are serving in the armed forces in Afghanistan, and tries to explain why - because so far they have been remarkably quiet, not a peep, nothing, they haven't admitted that it will happen.

No other country will be banned from reporting what is happening to our troops, so we in Britain will be dependent on others for our news.

Maybe we will find out what's happening via Forces Twitter, maybe we will have to visit sites such as this one or this one to learn of fatalities.

We won't be allowed to read anything from Afghanistan or about the military in UK published newspapers, we won't be allowed to hear it on UK-based television or on our radios, and we won't be allowed to read it on internet sites run by the British press - and all this is because there is to be a general election - an election when we Brits are meant to be able to exercise our democratic right, our freedom, to vote to choose the government of our choice.

Odd, isn't it, how things seem to be turning topsy turvy.


Oh, and ...

Go and read Cold Steel Rain, and take the time to watch the video.

Also read Constantly Furious on the 'Censoring Troops'.

Subrosa on the same matter, mentioning Cabinet Office memos.

Jess the Dog too.

Read each one, each one is important


Anonymous said...

This will surely backfire on the Gorgon, Mrs R.

Those of us who want to know what's going on will simly point our browsers overseas - Al Jazeera, RT and Fox, for example.

What a twat the Gorgon is.

Mrs Rigby said...

It might backfire, if only the media would let go of Ashcroft.

Did you see Anna Racoon's piece

"Russia’s main television channel is flying into Manchester to interview Nick Hogan as part of a special investigation* into the totalitarian regime that they see emerging in Europe "