|[ VoyUser Login optional ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, , 10 ]|
|Subject: D-notices (censorship) slapped on Black Watch "Wives embarrassing Blair"|
|[ Next Thread |
Previous Thread |
Next Message |
Date Posted: 11:28:01 11/05/04 Fri
In reply to: Ed Harris (Venezia) 's message, "Sad news" on 23:35:11 11/04/04 Thu
Row over MoD gag on Black Watch families
Wives embarrassing Blair, Scottish troops in Iraq told
By Paul Hutcheon, Scottish Political Editor
Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon was last night accused of curbing free speech after it emerged the wives of Black Watch soldiers are being told to stop talking to the media.
In a revelation that will embarrass ministers, British troops fighting in Iraq have been asked to inform their wives to stop embarrassing Tony Blair by publicly criticising the government.
The Ministry of Defence is thought to be angry that ¡°winning the peace¡± in Iraq is being undermined by soldiers¡¯ relatives attacking the government¡¯s handling of the war, particularly in regard to troop redeployments.
It is understood that senior officers in the Black Watch, acting on suggestions made in Whitehall, have advised soldiers to silence their wives.
Jeff Duncan, spokesman for the Save the Regiments Campaign, said a number of wives had complained to him about the edict.
¡°I have taken a number of calls from wives of soldiers in the Black Watch who say their husbands have been told to tell them not to speak to the media. Orders have come from the top,¡± he said.
He added that the curb on talking to the media proved the government wasn¡¯t interested in revealing the truth about the conflict. ¡°The fact that the wives are being bullied says a lot about free speech and the desperation of the government,¡± he said. ¡° They should be ashamed of themselves. Wives have every right to speak their mind.¡±
A spokesman for the MoD denied responsibility for the instructions. ¡°Nobody is aware of any such directive coming from the MoD. If it¡¯s being done, it¡¯s an initiative pursued by the battalion,¡± he said.
The wives have voiced a number of complaints to the media recently, particularly in regard to contact rights and the quality of information provided by the MoD on troop movements. But their biggest grievance focuses on the recent redeployment of Black Watch troops to central Iraq.
The controversial move, dismissed by opposition politicians as a stunt to help the re-election campaign of US President George W Bush, was intended to provide American troops with cover in one of the most dangerous parts of Iraq.
US military figures had asked their British counterparts to take responsibility for areas surrounding the Iraqi capital while US marines focused on trouble spots such as Fallujah.
But wives of the affected soldiers are furious at the new posting and have voiced doubts that the troops will be back home by Christmas. Their anger has been made worse by the government¡¯s proposals for Scotland¡¯s regiments.
As revealed in the Sunday Herald, Geoff Hoon intends to restructure Scotland¡¯s six battalions into a single unit, plans that have led to protests north of the Border. He is set to explain the government¡¯s policy this week before the defence select committee.
Duncan says the soldiers¡¯ spouses believe their husbands are being mistreated at home and abroad. ¡°Quite legitimately, they have been voicing their displeasure at the fact that while the Scottish soldiers are being sent to trouble-spots in Iraq, their numbers are being cut at home,¡± he said.
The clampdown is similar to advice sent to staff working in the MoD which demands that civil servants stop talking to the media. In a leaked letter seen by the Sunday Herald, it reads: ¡°Under no circumstances should any contact be made with the media. Only official media spokespersons ¡ Employees are expected to show a degree of loyalty to their employer.¡±
SNP Leader Alex Salmond described the attempt to gag soldiers¡¯ wives as an ¡°outrage¡±, adding that his party would be tabling questions to find out who authorised the move. ¡°This is a disgraceful action by a Labour government under pressure.¡± he said. ¡°It shows opposition to Blair¡¯s illegal and ill-thought out war in Iraq is forcing them to suppress debate. Rather than scaring the families of soldiers into silence, the government should be listening to their concerns.¡±
Yesterday hundreds of demonstrators, including parents of two British soldiers killed in Iraq, marched in Glasgow to call for the withdrawal of troops. Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed in a roadside blast near Basra while serving with the Royal Highland Fusilliers, was joined by Reg Keys, father of Royal Military Police lance corporal Tom Keys, who was killed in June last year.
Rose Gentle blamed the Prime Minister for her son¡¯s death, saying: ¡°Tony Blair is a murderer, he sent my son to get murdered and I don¡¯t want him to murder any of the other boys. ¡±
Meanwhile, the MoD yesterday named the Black Watch soldier who was killed on Friday during the controversial redeployment of the regiment.
Private Kevin Thomas McHale, of Lochgelly, was 27 and single. He died when his armoured vehicle overturned in a situation where no hostile action was involved.
31 October 2004
NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.
[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]
|[> Subject: Doesn't it make you sick|
[ Edit | View ]
Date Posted: 05:19:04 11/06/04 Sat
First, condolences to the families of the Black Watch soldiers killed in Iraq, all of them. My heartfelt thanks to all the regiment for their work, regardless of my thoughts on the war itself.
And how that spin-happy cheesemonger can send them into that hell-hole while simultaenously plotting their destruction - it makes me want to puke.
Please, God, the regiment who is an integral part of the British army and Britain's history is not wiped away by that odious little man.
[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
Forum timezone: GMT+0|
VF Version: 2.94, ConfDB:
VoyForums(tm) is a Free Service from Voyager Info-Systems.
Copyright © 1998-2012 Voyager Info-Systems. All Rights Reserved.