The longer I’m away, the more I think “Funny bunch, those Brits.” A whole slew of commentators read this piece in the Tellytubbygraph and fell to frothing at the keyboard. At first glance, you’d think the same, but as my old Dad was fond of telling me “Don’t believe all you read in the papers” . As always, the truth is a little more complex and mundane.
Wootton Bassett has been doing a sterling job of welcoming UK soldiers home who died overseas for some time, and the thought that British war dead were to be sneaked out the back door like so much garbage is utterly shameful. Yet the Failygraph piece misses one important piece of information; the dead only go through Wootton Bassett because the runway they would normally have come back to blighty via Brize Norton, has been closed since 2007, and instead have been coming via RAF Lyneham on the other side of Swindon Wiltshire. Now the runway at Brize is reopening, the repatriation flights will be going back to their previous routine.
The ‘new’ route will take the repatriated dead from Brize via Carterton, where a special memorial garden has been planned to honour the repatriated dead at the roadside. It’s worth noting that some of the comments in the article, from people who were consulted before the decision to re-route via Carterton are very telling. Although I’m sure that the rest of the Lamestream would not have done something so simple as do a little easy fact checking, rather than go for a cheap headline, now would they?
In Canada of course, we do things on a grander scale.
I know people are blaming Cameron, and don’t get me wrong, I still think he’s a patronising git, but on this occasion apart from mishandling the news like a bunch of 6 year olds writing their first essay, he and his government are not to blame. Even though there is no blame to be apportioned.
It took me about ten minutes to fact check this story. What a pity Hitchens in the Fail and Vicki somebody in the Tellytubbygraph couldn’t do the same. Clucking bell.
Update: Sent the text to our man on the spot, Witteringsfromwitney, who said that the good folk of Carterton had wanted to do a Wootton Bassett, and there had been quite a local spat about it. I’d like to point out there were issues about market days, narrow roads and the risk of loaded Hearses ‘grounding’ on specific routes, UK B and C class roads being what they are. All this was sorted out well before the headlines. So the ‘cheap headline’ accusation still holds good.
The further thought occurs, that newspaper reporters and columnists expect to get paid for shoddy work like that? Sheesh.