I shall keep this brief, I’m taking a rest from long blogs you’ll be pleased to know. A brief, but perfectly civilised, exchange with @keenyn7 the other day brought the point home. The BBC ran a perfectly good item in their evening news programme pointing out to the viewers what a great job the Armed Forces have done in stepping in at the last minute to save everybody’s arses after G4S so woefully failed to deliver. They showed servicemen off duty, in uniform, watching the events. They showed servicemen on duty manning scanners etc and they showed servicemen in uniform generally walking about the Olympic Park mingling with the throng. I believe that the unit used for the purposes of this broadcast was 7 Para Horse Artillery or something similar.
They (the BBC) then interviewed several members of the public and asked them what their views were on Armed Forces personnel being deployed at the games, and if my memory is being reasonably faithful to me today, the vast majority of those interviewed were generally supportive and thought that the troops had actually contributed something positive to the Olympic Games.
All of the above I would agree with whole-heartedly, our troops have stepped in at the last minute, slept in accommodation which is not the best and reminded me of the miners strike only too readily. They have done all of this with professionalism and good humour and we should be rightly proud of them.
What was missing from this article, and I must credit @keenyn7 for raising it, was there was not one word of praise for the extra Police on duty at the Olympic Games. It may well be that there will be a separate news item highlighting the good work done by our professional police officers, but I’m not holding my breath. Instead we get drip-fed news items like the infamous I’ve Met The Met sticker incident. In my tiny mind this raises three questions:
- Are the media anti-police?
- Have the media been instructed by HMG not to portray the police in a positive light?
- Why are the police not being portrayed positively when the Police Service is in a time of crisis?
I will leave you there as I did promise you a much truncated rant today, but please do feel free to add your own comments and opinions, and thanks once more to @keenyn7 for planting the seed in our minds.