Sunday, January 11, 2009

media in fake outrage shocker

Oh jesus. This should not be news. It's a terrible slur on our society that this is considered worthy of such blanket coverage.

I notice that the News of the World call this video 'an outburst'. It's not, is it. It's a matey video taken by Mr Wales which clearly is considered entertaining by the others around him.

Raghead, for example, is a term I have heard used by the higher echelons of our military organisations. It's a term used to describe, amongst others, members of the Taliban. You know, the ones that they're going to fight and kill? The ones who kill their friends? Them. It's not exactly likely that they're going to think too fondly of a group of people intent on killing them, their colleagues, friends, maybe family and who want to destroy our way of life. I don't and I can't imagine that the News of the World and other papers really think that members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces should go to combat zones with the intention of making friends with the other side.

How saying "fuck me, you look like a rag head" is pouring shame on the royal family I don't know. Particularly coming from a newspaper whose Royal editor was banged up for illegally bugging Prince William's telephone. What's more shaming, we ask ourselves. Being a bent journalist or going to the front line and fighting for your country?

Perhaps we should ask Andy Coulsen, the man who resigned as Editor of the News of the World over the scandal. Or we could have a look and see what Andy's new boss, David Cameron has to say over the whole incident. It is, he thinks:

"a completely unacceptable thing to say"

So there we go. Call me Dave has spoken. As have lots of other politicians who would probably last 30 seconds on the front line and endanger the lives of other men.

Remember what happened the last time an MP spoke out about army life? One who actually had military experience and knew what he was talking about?
In his interview with the Times, Mr Mercer said of the black men he had known in the Army: "They prospered inside my regiment, but if you'd said to them 'Have you ever been called a nigger,' they would have said 'Yes.'

"But equally, a chap with red hair, for example, would also get a hard time - a far harder time than a black man, in fact."

He was fired. They don't like it up 'em, as it were.

The news from The Army is that it's going to be 'dealt with in line with normal army procedures'. I do hope that means they're going to ignore it and let him get on with his job. Because, truth be known, if it were any other soldier then it would be 'news' would it. It's not even news to the people it involves directly as they were around at the time it was filmed. I am sure that Ahmed Raza Khan had been called 'A paki' many times before and if he didn't complain about it then why are the Islington elite jumping up and down? PAK is the abbreviation for Pakistan in international circles, including at the MoD. Rather like GBR is for Great Britain, or 'Brit's for British people.

I suspect it's because the usual crowd of Islingtonites who've no fucking clue when it comes to the Military but are hell bent on imposing their views and their lifestyle choices on everyone else from the comfort of their own sitting room. The kind of people who one could never imagine really suffering in their life, bar a run on the Olive bar at Waitrose leaving them caught short for when Hortensia and Hugo pop round for drinks and kitchen sups.

The kind of people who don't wear a poppy during November because they are 'against war' but relishing in the freedom of speech that millions of men and women died so that they can enjoy.

Military life is not like civilian life. They choose to have some of their civil liberties curtailed and put their lives on the line and consequently life is just a bit different for them. And it's not for us to judge.

But fuck me, I wish I could join them.

UPDATE: Look here for some decent debate sadly missing from our TV screens.


Witterings From Witney said...


I started to 'vent my spleen' and just could not find the words I wanted so stopped and linked to your post with which I can only concur. Hope you don't mind!

The Penguin said...

When I was in the Army, the language was extremely ripe. No-one gave a toss, even the poor bugger gettingthe earful. Check out ARRSE threrads on parade ground bollockings if you want to waste a few hours. Terms such as the Red Headed Royal used are nothing. No story, not news, nothing.

The Penguin

Mark Wadsworth said...

I've set up a Fun Online Poll Have you ever used the word 'Paki'?

Trixy said...

Penguin, couldn't find anything on arrse.

Surreptitious Evil said...

"We have a policy on Arrse of not discussing the military activities of Princes William and Harry; and quite rightly so as the vampires of the press will jump over any little thing that is said about them. However, there is no bar on discussing the probity, integrity and sense of honour of whichever scumbag it was who made a tape of Prince Harry, sat on it for three years and then flogged it. What a total and utter shit."

Trixy said...

I think that's new since I checked it.

I'll link anyway, it does really say what I think.

The Penguin said...

Trixy, try toiling through a few pages of

for some cracking examples of what Drill Sergeants inflict on everyone, including "officer cadets" such as young Mr. Wales while at Sandhurst.

The Penguin

Thud said...

As the proud member of a multi ethnic family I have heard more over have all the journalists involved.

Craig said...

Trixy - as a former soldier myself I'm also a member over at ARRSE and some of the names given to other members of ones platoon, troop etc are given affectionately.

An example of the non-story blown out of all proportion by the News of the Screws (H/T PrivateEye) is that Prince Harry himself was known affectionately in the lead up to his trip to HERRICK as the "ginger bullet magnet".

Equally - if one listens to Harrys' commentary, he uses the suffix "friend" when referring to OCdt Ahmed. If he'd used a less flattering epithet then perhaps - just perhaps - there might be a story here but as it is: no.

Trixy said...

Craig, you've no need to convince me of the non story element of this.

I'm sure the Welsh get a much harder time.

Craig said...

Indeed - and I got a hard time too as the only highland Scotsman in my regiment ... not a day went by when names were not applied including:

- Sheep-shagger
- Mac
- Jock
- Oi, kiltie

Indeed, isn't the P-word that everyone's getting het up about not a term of endearment within their own community?

Craig said...

The kind of people who don't wear a poppy during November because they are 'against war' but relishing in the freedom of speech that millions of men and women died so that they can enjoy.

Why does this section remind me of the old saying "If you can read this, thank a teacher" to which some wit (almost certainly in green) had added "If you can read this in English, thank a soldier".