I was following the saga of the British Navy and the Iranians.
I wasn’t exactly out there burning flags or ranting at the television. If the British go to war they mustn’t complain if bad things happen. Which they tend to do, in war.
Anyway, the Iranians made right eejits out of the British. They treated the captives well by all accounts. They showed film of them playing games and being happy. It wasn’t forced happiness. You could see they were having a good time. And the captives were released and were even given ‘goodie bags’. They were certainly treated better than any Iraqi captive!
Then there was the extraordinary move where the returned people were suddenly allowed to sell their story to the press.
Last night I watched yer wan Faye Turney being interviewed on “Tonight“. She suddenly told a completely different story. She told of isolation, and humiliation and mental torture. She told how the Iranians threatened her daughter [how did they know she had a daughter?] and how they contacted her mother-in-law [how did they know her mother-in-laws address or phone number?]. Basically, she was afraid for her life and had been treated very badly.
Shortly after the programme, the British Government announced that forces personnel could no longer sell their stories to the press.
Now a cynic might say that the British Government allowed them to sell their stories only if they told the story the British Government wanted them to tell.
A cynic might say that if you watched Turney as well as listening, her body language told a different story, and that she was lying through her teeth.
A cynic might say that this was a rather pathetic attempt by the British Government to save face after being humiliated.
A cynic might say that the right to tell a story was rescinded because the propaganda machine had done its job and wasn’t needed any more.
But I’m not a cynic. Am I?