Monday, 8 March 2010

Army gagged during the election campaign

While our old friend Gordon is making electioneering trips to Afghanistan, grabbing any photo opportunity he can with the troops and cynically using them as "political props" to divert attention away from the "disingenuous" comments he made at the Chilcot Inquiry, while all this is going on the MoD has ordered a "truth blackout" over the war in Afghanistan for the duration of the election campaign.

Although Britain's Armed Forces are engaged in a major war and Operation MOSHTARAK is about to enter a critical phase, the British public are apparently only going to be allowed to hear a sanitised, labour-spun version of events.

To manage the news to their own liking the government, through the MoD, has decreed that:

  • British journalists and TV crews will be banned from the Afghan frontline;
  • Senior officers will be prohibited from making public speeches and talking to reporters;
  • MoD websites will be “cleansed” of any “non-factual” material including anything containing troops’ opinions of the war;
  • The only information provided about operations will be through MoD briefings in Whitehall.

The labour government is clearly seeking to avoid any news that would cause further damage to their ratings. They certainly don't want the voting public to hear Army generals criticising policy, complaining of the lack of vital equipment and accusing labour ministers of neglecting the Service Community.

As far as Gordon and the labour party are concerned, our troops can spill their blood on the frontline but mustn't spill the beans back home.

The Telegraph: Army faces Afghan gag for election