Friday, 7 March 2008

When is news "news"!

The BBC’s headline news today highlights the fact that RAF service personnel in Wittering have been told not to wear their uniforms whilst off duty as some staff have been abused by members of the public with regards to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. My personal stances on the wars are clear – I don’t support them. However, this type of treatment is deplorable. 175 people have given their lives without question and thousands more place themselves in a similar position every day of the week. They deserve support, not criticism.

However, what is not being broadcasted is that this incident happened 15 months ago. The view has also been offered that the people who are shouting abuse are from Iran and Afghanistan. Their actions cannot be condoned, but they can at least be understood.

I can always remember a friend of mine who served in the Army telling me that he was once spat at whilst in uniform outside a Catholic club in Jarrow – the Irish troubles were prominent at the time. I suspect that this was not an isolated incident and was repeated up and down the country as the troubles flowed and ebbed. I have also personally seen policemen and women abused because of their uniform. However, it never hits the news with such a sensational fanfare.

Harry the Hero returns from his one man war, and now the uniform is up for glorification. Am I the only one to detect a government driven media plot here?

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