Spin the News

Some more ranting time, sorry. Today must be a slow news day in the UK and obviously we are no longer interested in international news. As a result, one of the prominent news items has been a “Row over military uniforms in public [also on BBC News].” Shocking really. Not the “row” but the fact it has made headline news.

Basically, the Station Commander at RAF Wittering has banned personnel working at the base from wearing uniform in public because they have had some abuse from locals (while in uniform) in Peterborough. This has caused a bit of a row because recently the government were very keen to push forward plans to encourage service personnel to wear uniform in public (and get some free advertising for the military, I presume). That is it. That is the sum total of the news. It is borderline news for a local weekly rag, let alone pretty much every national news outlet. How in Zeus’ creation this has happened is beyond me.

Well, I have a few ideas but I will leave that for the conspiracy theorists….

Now, before I settle into a rant about how apparently stupid people are there are some salient points you might want to be aware of. First off, the military have been banned from wearing uniform in public for almost longer than I have been alive. For most of my life they were viewed as legitimate targets for Catholic Terrorists and to a great extent treated with disdain by the general public. Dislike of the military is not new. This is what the times has to say about the current situation:

The Prime Minister is to be presented this month with a report that will call for the widespread wearing of military uniforms to engender respect and appreciation for the Armed Forces. In the US service personnel wear their uniforms off-duty. This was banned in Britain in recent years because of the IRA terrorist threat.

“recent years” here means since about 1974.

Secondly, the station commander of RAF Wittering, Group Captain R L A Atherton , is female. You may see why this is important later.

Last but not least, remember what quality media outlets we have:

This is the BBC news explaining what triggered the “ban”:

The guidance was issued in January 2007 advising personnel to wear civilian clothes in certain areas for fears of abuse. It followed a verbal incident in December 2006.

No, seriously. The guidance was issued over a YEAR ago. Really. This is what passes as “news” today… To support this, this is how the Times (normally one of the few quality papers left) reported it:

Group Captain Ro Atherton, the RAF Wittering station commander, took advice from RAF Police before ordering his personnel to keep a low profile.

Hmm. I wonder is this an example of poor research, intrinsic sexist assumptions or lazy journalists – or all three? This mistake is repeated throughout the reporting on lots of different media sources, which largely goes to show that they are all lazy and copy of each other. No one cares about such trivia as “facts” any more. In fact (all puns intended), if they can’t be arsed checking something as blatant as this out (a quick visit to the RAF Wittering web page told me she was female in about 10 second), can we trust the veracity of anything else they report?

The Times Online piece has zillions of comments. Largely from the idiotic, ranting, racist fools who always seem to comment on this sort of thing. I wont make you endure each one, have a look and see what I mean. The general theme of the comments is that this “abuse” has come from immigrants and “ethnic minorities.” This is strange given that the normally racist Daily Mail had this to say:

However sources close to the police and RAF said the biggest offenders had been thugs from the local white community.

So, like every other city there are thugs who hurl abuse at people. Is this new? Did this happen 10 years ago, 100 years ago, 1000 years ago? Yes. The idiots don’t care about this though, they see this as a great chance to spout their racist BNP ideology – for example:

Those who have encouraged this cancer within our midst must be made accountable for their crimes . This might encourage future generations of those who govern to be more circumspect in the care for the ancient inheritance to which they are entrusted . For one thousand years the peoples of these islands have sacrificed life to deny those from outside who sought to subjugate them . No government or people has the right in any circumstance to forego this heritage . paul, london, uk

Sounds familiar. It is nonsense, but it carries the weight of history that the BNP love to throw around. White thugs throw abuse at the military so it must be immigrants who are to blame. What amazing logic. Sadly there is more:

The problem is that Peterborough is over-run with immigrants. They speak for their immigrant communities not Britain. When the election comes the B N P is going to be laughing. Decent people don’t want to vote B N P because of their past associations with racism and violence but there seems little choice left as the major parties are too scared of losing votes to tackle this issue head on. White middle class people are leaving the U K in droves. We are not allowed to push back to reclaim our Country from these foreigners who have ousted out the indigenous population. When are people going to take to the streets and say ‘Enough’? There are lots of Ex-pats like me who want to go home but just don’t recognise the U K anymore and don’t want to live in a country that is even more foreign to us than the countries we moved to. But – If it ever came to violence in the streets I’d go back and fight – and I bet I’m not the only one. Riley, Kiev, Ukraine

Oh Dionysus, the Irony. Still, it is nice to think that such die hard BNPers are out of the country now. God bless ’em all…

[snip] If you don’t support our government, troops or way of life, it’s time you found yourself another country to live in. [snip] Tam o shanter, Glasgow , Scotland

Oh dear, I didn’t think the Times’ comments would manage to avoid a nugget like this. Damn democracy, if you don’t do what you are told leave the country. And I thought it was only the US that came up with this line of nonsense. Again, this poster misses the irony that he is disagreeing with a lot of the governments policy and our normal way of life…

I will stop here because it becomes depressingly similar. Almost every comment is from an idiot who says something along the lines of they are being forced to leave because there are so many migrants coming in, or how dare people have the cheek to not bow and scrape whenever a military person is in their vicinity. There are a few redeeming comments, but not enough and double sadness comes from the fact lots of the “other side” comments are equally idiots who just want to slag of the government at every chance.

For some reason, I was under the impression that people in the UK were, on the whole, sane and balanced. It seems I am massively wrong. Every day, I have listened to the radio interview a collection of retards from different cities who have no idea what they are talking about, but still feel the need to rant about immigrants, law, values etc. Today, the interviews about the RAF were so depressing I nearly crashed my car to put myself out of any misery the future must hold for our once-great nation.

Maybe it is time for me to migrate – does anyone know a nation where sanity remains? Can anyone afford to pay for my family to get there? (All donations welcome…)

6 thoughts on “Spin the News

  1. I too see the people of this country as largely sane and sensible, but here is a little story a journalist once told me:

    “Old woman leaves house, walks on the road. Red bus misses her by swerving. Now that is not a news story. But try this. Old woman leaves house, walks on the road. Red bus hits her and drives over her. The driver was an immigrant who has recently arrived from a country where they have left hand drive automobiles. DVLA and London Transport were under fire and forced to explain how a driver could have driven a bus with little training. An enquiry has been ordered.”

    So it is with reporting. I am sure you saw BBC’s self-serving Populus (or is that Populist?) survey on the white working class feeling under-represented. Not a lot of academic detail is available about the questions and more fool me, if I intellectualise an issue, while the headlines are likely to have me spat at by some person who deems it fit to spit. But the questions are rather self-serving and in reality, they did not discuss that the data from working class and middle class respondents are not very different. But by framing it as a “race” issue rather than a “class” issue, BBC is redeeming its soul and will I am sure return with its ‘integrationist’, ‘diverse’ agenda with greater vengeance. BBC reporters on Facebook almost all mark their politics as liberal, so any surprises?

    Back to the journalists’ laziness and other factors – yes it is all of those. All news that is unfit to be called news is now rolling on our TV channels and radio stations 24 hours a day. Who can find substance to discuss 24h a day? Garbage has to be it!

    PS: I found your blog through Tales Of An Ordinary Girl. Glad to find too. Thanks.

  2. I think this is where I seriously contemplate banning free speech for anyone who is a closet member of the BNP.

    Honestly, I don’t want to see British Armed Forces in uniform, in public. Looking at 19 year old squaddies makes me feel nervous, not protected.

  3. I think it is disgusting that our armed services have to face abuse when they work to such professional standards. Sadly there is little respect for anything these days.

    However: I agree with the comment above as I too feel threatened with the prescence of a uniform, any uniform, but I would not hurl abuse. Is there any reason why they have to wear uniforms when ‘off duty’? I think not. What purpose does it serve? I think none.

    So why do it?

  4. I think it is disgusting that our armed services have to face abuse when they work to such professional standards. Sadly there is little respect for anything these days.

    I agree, however this is not just an issue about people being seen, off duty, in uniform. The same happens to people who are not members of the military as well as on duty policemen, nurses, firemen etc. People in plain, civilian, attire get abuse hurled at them in public places as well. One of the points I was trying to make is how is this news? This has happened since humanity learned to talk…

    One thing I hadn’t considered with the original post was the effect of 200,000 people wearing uniform (on and off duty) around the streets of the UK. That is around 1 in 300 people, so a busy high street in a city would expect to see several uniformed people wandering around. Add into this the ID card situation and, blimey, we get cold war East Germany. My, how times have changed.

    The fact this bit of nonsense made it into the news astounds me. No member of the military in their right mind wants to wear their uniform “off-duty” as it kind of defeats the purpose of being “off duty.” We don’t complain that Police, Nurses and Firemen get changed out of their uniform at the end of the day, so why should the military be any different?

  5. LOL

    I see your point but up here in the Hebrides the ratio is far higher!

    By mentioning the lack of respect I should have made it clearer that I was talking of respect in the areas that you mention including non uniformed people such as teachers.

    The ‘news’ in the UK has, since the 1980’s been highly polituically motivated and has been used as a tool by consecutive governments in an attempt to manipulate the popular attitudes. If you listen carefully to the news it still states facts but by shifting the emphasis onto certain words they can change the actual meaning of the news article.

    For example I was horrified last year when there was an article which appeared on all channels news. It covered the ‘plight’ of the economic migrant in Italy where, in the summer many had to camp in the countryside for a pitance of pay. It left the listener feeling as though the migrants were being abused but the article quetly stated that the wage was an average of £150 a week. If you consider this logically how many on benefits in the UK get this amount per person? Furthermore they had no housing expenses and were in reasonable summer accommodation like many other campers. These migrants came for the summer months then went home with their savings – this was not reported. What made it even worse is the fact that the average wage here is actually less than that!

    Bearing this in mind surely the plight of many in the UK is far more ‘newsworthy’ than the supposed plight of the seasonal economic migrant in Italy. What is considered newsworthy is often ignored and the ‘planned’ news item will be used in preference. The article about the wearing of uniforms was, in every case, alarmist and one station actually stated several times that the abuse was from minority groups. To my mind it was a poor attempt at bringing something to the fore of which we are not yet aware. I have noticed that articles such as these are followed a week or two with another article about a different matter but one which ties in closely with the first. In this case I do not know where they are heading but I can say with some certainty that there will be a further article soon.

    I may be a sceptic but time and time again I have seen this scenario play out. You are correct, all the squadies I know only ever wore their uniforms when on duty. However there is another very important reason why uniforms – and I mean all uniforms, should not be worn off duty. If a uniform is worn off duty it dilutes that uniforms importance. If all soldiers wore their uniforms off duty we would grow accustomed to it. If there was ever a need for a large army presence the sight of so many uniforms would not have the same impact. Just a thought 😉

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