Sunday, April 08, 2007


There you go...that will be next year's smash, RealityTV hit. Z list celebrities grabbing little motor dinghies and putting across into Iranian waters in order to get themselves abducted, paraded around on Iranian TV and handed back a fortnight later in a Primark suit.

Well, why not? Everyone's a winner. The Iranian's get to look really kind - by not beheading them, British diplomats get to strut around and announce how cleverly they've played the negotation game, and the hostages themselves gets lots of lovely publicity, a fortnight of free curries and a £100k book deal.

I heard about some sizeable payouts being offered on the radio this morning. And some guest columnist raised the valid point that families of soldiers killed and maimed in Iraq have to be satisfied with derisery payments of £5-10K, whilst these navy kids, get to walk away from their rub with the enemy like Celebrity Big Brother contestants. You can imagine there'll be a lot of bad feeling over this, festering among the armed forces, and their families. Not good.

The thing is, I don't know who you blame here. I don't blame those kids - the hostages. They're on pretty crap salaries in the Navy, and £100,000 is going to sound like an awful lot to a nineteen year old. I also don't blame them for not putting up a respectable fight, as some armchair Generals have been grumbling about. Think about it...there was nothing they could. They were sitting in a flimsy boat, packed in like sardines, surrounded by three or four boats with heavy machineguns mounted on them. There's no such thing as 'a respectable amount of resistence'. If just one bullet had been fired by the Brits, those machineguns would have churned them into a human soup. Different story entirely if they'd been on foot patrolling some suburb of Baghdad...there'd be hard cover to dive for, and the possibility of fighting back.

So anyway, I don't blame them for surrendering, and I don't blame them for taking the huge sums that have already been offered by newspapers, and even greater sums that will come from book publishers in the next few weeks. As somebody mentioned, what the Hell can you expect from a bunch of teenagers whose only understanding of the world is what they see on TV; money-grabbing celebrities behaving like pampered toddlers, desperate nobodies doing anything for 15minutes of fame and cash prize, and pernicious TV adverts cajoling them to 'go grab what's rightfully theirs...because they deserve it.'

It's just a symptom of the crappy society we've built for ourselves here in UK over the last twenty-thirty years.

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