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Should the released RN hostages be selling their story?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Story. Also.

Seems quite disgraceful really. Tacky and an insult to the professionalism of our armed forces. It's bad enough that we had to witness the bizarre stunt of the sailors in cheap suits smiling and waving ... Would have to say Littlejohn seemed pretty much on the mark:
God knows what the generation who went through World War II would make of it. "We now take you live to Colditz where Captain Pat Reid and a group of captured RAF pilots are giving a press conference, thanking Herr Hitler for his hospitality and apologising for trespassing in German airspace."

If Gilad Shilit is eventually released - after 9 months, I'm sure there will be the professionalism and dignity Israelis expect. It's a shame that it seems British people won't be able to expect the same of their armed forces in future - if recent events are anything to go by at least.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Would that be the Pat Reid who wrote the Colditz story?
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Colditz-Story-Cassell-Military-Paperbacks/dp/0304358126


    Hardly a good example to criticise people making money out of their captivity by using as an example someone who made lots of money out of their captivity.

    In a perfect world they wouldn't sell their story, but everyone does it... It may be a joke that SAS selection includes a section on writing your autobiography, but theirs a grain of truth in it. Beharry wrote his autobiography, after winning the VC (though the first book on 'How I won the VC' was published just after the Indian Mutiny - so it may not as new a phenonema as thought).

    I can't blame them, because if someone offered me a couple of hundred k for a few days sitting in a nice hotel telling my story to journo I'd grab it and 99% of people would do the same...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hardly a good example to criticise people making money out of their captivity by using as an example someone who made lots of money out of their captivity.

    As if Richard Littlejohn would ever let a little thing called facts get in the way of one of his ill-informed rants.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can't blame them, because if someone offered me a couple of hundred k for a few days sitting in a nice hotel telling my story to journo I'd grab it and 99% of people would do the same...

    Indeed. I don't blame the captives themselves for any tabloid deals, I blame the MoD for allowing it to happen. It's not professional, it sets a bad precedent and it cheapens the reputation of our armed forces - which is something they definitely do not deserve.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Indeed. I don't blame the captives themselves for any tabloid deals, I blame the MoD for allowing it to happen. It's not professional, it sets a bad precedent and it cheapens the reputation of our armed forces - which is something they definitely do not deserve.

    :yes:

    Spot on. It wouldn't surprise me to see the sailors on next years Celebrity Big Brother.

    :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They're desperately trying to scramble back all the ground they lost to Iran in the propaganda war by allowing this. It just makes them look even more desperate really.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's poor taste, coming in the week of six deaths. Now, if the money was going to benevolent funds...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be fair one of them has said that if he is given money it'll go to charity

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6537217.stm
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The quote there is "probably" go to charity...

    Royal British Legion at least IMHO
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Indeed. I don't blame the captives themselves for any tabloid deals, I blame the MoD for allowing it to happen. It's not professional, it sets a bad precedent and it cheapens the reputation of our armed forces - which is something they definitely do not deserve.

    I agree. We should proceed with quiet dignity or else we are as bad as the Iranians are.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They should force them to wear a t-shirt that reads "I went to Teheran and all I got was a lousy 6-figure payout".

    Strike another victory for the wonders of chequebook journalism as well.

    Trebles all around then!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Has anyone actually remembered that these guys have gone through a tad more scary situations, especially this current one, than most of us ever will?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MrG wrote: »
    Has anyone actually remembered that these guys have gone through a tad more scary situations, especially this current one, than most of us ever will?

    Welcome to the armed forces.

    I don't have a problem wit htheir story being told. I do have a problems with them making money out of it though. Used to be that you had to get an MC or VC before anyone was interested - now it seems that you just have to get captured and paraded on TV...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What I was thinking MrG.

    It's terribly easy to criticise someone who thought they might die for accepting the highest offer. People want to know what happened to them, it was difficult experience and they're entitled to tell their stories to who they like (unless theres something official secrets act thing, but I think it's good the MoD is trying to be more transparent) - and then it's just common sense if someone is gonna give you cash for it that as a private individual you're gonna take the person who gives you the most.

    I bet 95% of people who say 'ooh no I wouldn't sell the story, it's mean' would instantly sign their name if a newspaper offered them £50k for something similar.

    Servicemen and women go to war, know they might be killed or heaven knows what, they're getting two weeks leave - the newspaper wants to know what happened and is prepared to pay to get an exclusive. It's the same as footballers being paid over the odds - people want to see football, so the stakes are higher, so the sums involved are higher.

    Maybe if it was fair then those who are most upset would be given money to 'compensate' them, but its not fair - the newspapers are free agents - and they're not compensating the soldiers but paying them for their stories. Sure, if servicemen who've been injured have stories that are compelling enough for the whole country to want to read, so the newspapers will want to run an exclusive to ensure more sales, then whats to stop them?

    No victim no crime, I think Kermit said that once. So what's the big prob?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The big problems is something which they will find out when they get back to their day jobs - assuming that they don't use the money to buy themselves out that is.

    Got caught. Got two weeks in Iran (not nice I know), got two weeks with their family. Got £50k (or so).

    Their shipmates haven't moved, have faced the same grind, haven't seen their family etc. and certainly haven't made a fortune.

    Gonna be huge resentment.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yea that's one thing I hadn't considered.

    Also in a professional capacity they shouldn't but as individuals they should be allowed to.

    But they're soldiers and owned by the government.

    http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=548342007
    THE government performed a spectacular U-turn yesterday when it banned all military personnel from selling their stories to the media - only hours after defending the right of the Iranian hostages to do so.

    But that lass gets to keep the £100k though. Pays off being a woman sometimes :p

    Though I hate the feelings coming through that they're getting paid for 'doing nothing' and citing how their being taken hostage wasnt that bad.
    "What an extraordinary story that people who every day take calculated risks with their lives are expected to earn relatively small sums of money whilst people who get themselves taken hostage, in circumstances which are worth exploring, can make a killing. I have never heard anything so appalling," he said.

    So our servicemen who were captured werent risking their lives then? They 'got themselves' taken hostage then? I've never heard such an appaling attitude.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    their being taken hostage wasnt that bad.

    Compared to being blow to pieces?


    So our servicemen who were captured werent risking their lives then? They 'got themselves' taken hostage then? I've never heard such an appaling attitude.

    I think that it's sad when they are portrayed as some kind of heroes. They didn't do anything special, didn;t put up a fight or anything (like those SAS lads in 1991) and so you have to ask what story they really have - were picked up, tortured in the lightest way possible and released. Hardly ground breaking stuff.

    In the same week, six of their brothers in arms were killed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    So our servicemen who were captured werent risking their lives then? They 'got themselves' taken hostage then? I've never heard such an appaling attitude.

    not quite they didn't do anything special or heroic like all the other navy people there


    if members of the armed forces want respect which they normally do from me, dont go selling your stories whilst in active service
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Compared to being blow to pieces?





    I think that it's sad when they are portrayed as some kind of heroes. They didn't do anything special, didn;t put up a fight or anything (like those SAS lads in 1991) and so you have to ask what story they really have - were picked up, tortured in the lightest way possible and released. Hardly ground breaking stuff.

    In the same week, six of their brothers in arms were killed.

    I didnt call them heroes. But surely anyone in active service can be a hero. But we can say how difficult it is for those every day in Iraq, but as soon as they get captured and people say ooh look at them, then people want to kick up a fuss and say 'well they were just doing their job - nothing special', but i think it goes too far to imply that they're substandard soldiers and they 'had it easy'. Yea, people get blown up, injured, killed. It's what's being a soldier is about.

    Why is there less respect for these who've been captured, at the end of the day they've been through more than the average soldier in Iraq (who, from one's own mouth, is boring sitting around trying to find something to do) and people overreact and call them heroes, and in reaction to that people say they're not as amazing as those who got blown up.

    What makes an exceptional soldier? And why should it even be called into question. they were doing their duty, they were taken prisoner - better than being killed imo - they were detained and then released. Not the worst experience ever but certainly at times more strsesful than sitting about on your arse trying to find something to do.

    And placebo, if you want respect from members of the armed forces you shouldn't judge them on who they're selling their stories to. Without meaning to be blunt, you're not the one travelling thousands of miles to be put in the firing line from an enemy nobody is sure why we're fighting. But being a solider is about following orders isn't it?

    The only difference here is that it has been made into a media circus. At least there have been no gagging orders.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    not quite they didn't do anything special or heroic like all the other navy people there

    What do you mean? What heroic things are all the other navy people doing?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The quote there is "probably" go to charity...

    Royal British Legion at least IMHO

    Agree (as you might be able to tell from my picture :D )
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be honest this detracts from the big picture (as no doubt MoD intends) which is why they were captured in the first place...

    You're searching ships in waters disputed by a less than friendly power, but the helicopter which was supposed to be covering you had left, nor were any larger ships. 15 sailors and marines were left exposed, which was an absolute fuck-up. As it happens they got away with a few slaps and some pyschological pressure, but it could have been a lot, lot worse...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wonder if the Iranians had foreseen or hoped for such thing to just happen. The nation is divided and arguing bitterly about the whole affair and the Iranians will be loving it.

    It was certainly no coincidence Faye Turney was featured heavily in the propaganda footage released by Iran and that she was made to write letters. The Iranians knew exactly how the media was going to react. And boy, didn't the media oblige... at some point it seemed only her had been captured.

    All in all, a massive propaganda and psychological victory by Iran over Britain. You could even describe it as a humilliation.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    I wonder if the Iranians had foreseen or hoped for such thing to just happen. The nation is divided and arguing bitterly about the whole affair and the Iranians will be loving it.

    It was certainly no coincidence Faye Turney was featured heavily in the propaganda footage released by Iran and that she was made to write letters. The Iranians knew exactly how the media was going to react. And boy, didn't the media oblige... at some point it seemed only her had been captured.

    All in all, a massive propaganda and psychological victory by Iran over Britain. You could even describe it as a humilliation.

    Possibly, but a long term blow for Iran. After all as small country, with UN sanctions about to be imposed it needs the UK more than the UK needs them.

    It does lead to the wider question of whether women should be serving (though I may step back and allow the fireworks before adding any comments on that :D )
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