META name="verify-v1" content="i1TVJEv2OOOg+fzf1aEgIJ1srnyAsn3jT1UDDDhjUU4=" />

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Answers - #2

Cookie Monster asked:

"how do you feel when you hear the british action in afghanistan and iraq criticised? im guessing it must make you feel pretty unloved/unappreciated back home here in blighty. is that accurate?"

Tricky - I'm not entirely sure that the media are against us per se. Certainly in the early days of the Iraq deployment the press was primarily anti-going-to-war rather than anti-British-Army. At the end of the day the media are after a story and sometimes we are an easy target.

Some stories really irritate us - e.g British soldiers caught taking drugs - this story runs regularly but all it really illustrates is that a) We randomly drugs test all our employees and b) If they are caught we kick them out.

The other stories that I wish were dealt with in a different manner are the allegations of 'war crimes' in Iraq - these stories do raise tensions in the theatres of operations and on at least one occasion it would appear that the publication of story led to an attack resulting in the deaths of two soldiers. I think we - in the army - are fully agreed that anyone breaking the rules should be dealt with - but why not wait until the outcome of the disciplinary hearing before publishing anything.

Do we feel unloved? - No I don't think so but as Richard Holmes pointed out in Dusty Warriors these days there are very few people in the country who know someone well who is serving. So unloved - no, not understood - yes.


Blogger gonorr said...

Yep, I can identify with you there.
Personally, I hear there is more bad than good that hits the papers,
Good news bad, bad news good.
That kind of thing

As for anyone saying "Well, I would have done this / that."
Unless they have been in our boots I ignore them.

10:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What did Kipling say - "It's 'Tommy this' and 'Tommy that' and 'kick him out, the brute'. But it's 'Hero of the country' When the guns begin to shoot"

11:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the media are at the end of the day there to sell paper/ad time - thats the bottom line, they will write any old tosh that they think will accomplish their main task, with a bit of truth thrown in.
i used to have a healthy respect for journalists, until i was involved in a story they were running with that week - complete rubbish they wrote.

in essence only 2 people remember stories, the person who wrote it, and the person it was about - the public are as fickle as the media

12:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For most rational people, today's headlines = tomorrow's chip paper (and that's the clean version). Unfortunately that doesn't help people involved when the headlines are out.
I'm sure the MOD media people send out "good news" bulletins all the time to the press, but a picture of forces Medics treating disease etc in the local population doesn't sell tabloids half as well as one of a rioter getting whacked with batons.

10:24 am  
Blogger The Boy said...

The media itself gets bad press. There are certainly those who bend or make up the truth for the day at hand, but for the most part its filled with conscientious professionals who do believe in the truth.

Saying that I think the forces get a hard go of it. All the good work gets overlooked, and the bad played up. This is true in all areas of life, but when the stakes are life and death it takes on a certain poingency.

1:55 pm  
Anonymous Thursday said...

I'm still thinking of a question and will get back to you ...

2:14 pm  
Anonymous Kath said...

I can tell you y'all are well thought of, respected, and loved here in America by most everyone - whether our news displays it that way or not.

3:29 pm  
Blogger toastedeggbanjo said...

I dispise all Tabloids
Ever since some lads I knew came back from the first Gulf War and were put straight on a NATO exercise in Italy, the OC decided to make it a holiday and they had the infamous Squaddie Barbie on the beach which resulted in a bit of inter unit rivalry and a few punches thrown, this is nothing unusual. However the local plod turned up in riot gear and gassed then.

Why I hate the tabloids ? Because a few weeks earlier it was "Back our boys" later its "Army Shame" and "Squaddie yobs attack police" etc etc never let the facts get in the way of a good story

For the record I used to have Tommy typed up on my office cubicle wall, it is the most truthful poem ever

4:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I should perhaps have posted the link. I'm sure old Rudyard would have included the tabloids were he with us today. :

8:15 pm  
Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

You're all British soldiers and we are proud of you. We are pissed off that you are being used to further Princess Tony's weird view of the world. Most people don't care if the odd squaddy loses it and kills a rioter. You shouldn't be there anyway and you're under ridiculous and unfair pressure. Shoot Bliar and bring the troops back.

10:20 pm  
Blogger Ellie said...

Can you turn down an assignment for any reason? If you refused to go where the need is are you immediately court martial-ed? (Amer. English term ... not sure if its the same .. sorry).

9:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an afterthought to an earlier post, I seem to recall (vaguely!)that during the sail down to the Falklands, one high-ranking officer (think it was a Para 2 i/c) replied to a press question "what advice have you got for families etc etc" with "believe half of what you hear and see on the tv and nothing of what you read in the press"
That was probably pre-media training days!

9:50 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home Top of the British Blogs