Monday, 3 March 2008

Harry the hero

Unsurprisingly, I’ve managed to resist the Harry fever that’s sweeping the country.

Fair play, on a personal basis as rugger-bugger toffs go, Harry doesn’t come across too badly. At least he had the balls to go on the front-line. Unlike George Dubya he didn’t elect an easy form of service. Like defending Texan air-space with the National Guard from incursions by the Viet Cong. (I guess the equivalent would be defending Boujis with the territorial army from Taliban attack ).

But amidst the euphoria of Harry’s return the larger issues have been lost.

Channel 4’s Jon Snow has been crucified by the press for daring to criticize the media embargo. But it’s a fair question – just why did the Western media agree to keep silent ? Surely it is not their role to be conscripted into the war effort. Therein lies a very slippery slope.

Of course it’s naïve to imagine that there is no censorship in war - but Harry’s presence in the theatre wasn’t an operational secret. And can we rationally argue that his life is any more precious than that of any other young squaddie?

As it stands though Harry has become the poster boy for the war. Army recruitment will doubtless get a boost. And fresh life has been breathed into an increasingly irrelevant and unpopular monarchy. PR mission accomplished.

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