Browne to blame RN - plus ban wounded complaining

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hansvonhealing, Apr 15, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Browne blames Navy over sale of stories

    Mark Townsend and Ned Temko
    Sunday April 15, 2007
    The Observer

    The defence Secretary, Des Browne, will risk reigniting the row over the 'cash for stories' affair tomorrow when he lays some of the blame for the debacle at the door of the Royal Navy.
    He is expected to tell Parliament that he accepts he should have challenged Navy legal advice suggesting he was powerless to bar the 15 freed sailors and marines from selling their accounts of being held captive in Tehran.

    Browne will concede he should have questioned the resulting decision by Vice-Admiral Adrian Johns, the Second Sea Lord, to allow the sale of stories, rather than reversing it only on Bank Holiday Monday as the public outcry mounted. While Browne has said he takes overall responsibility for an episode that has deeply embarrassed the government, the move is likely to be interpreted as a veiled criticism of Johns.

    In an attempt to draw a line under the affair, Browne is expected to draw a distinction between the sale of stories, which he will say he regrets, and having attempted to bar interviews altogether.

    Brown will defend the Ministry of Defence's decision to allow 'controlled' interviews by the captives, amid concern that otherwise some of the families might talk to the media anyway without regard to possible security or operational implications.

    Faye Turney's paid-for interview appeared in the Sun last Monday and she was also interviewed for the ITV1 programme Tonight with Trevor McDonald. Turney, 26, is thought to have earned £80,000. Arthur Batchelor, 20, sold his story to the Daily Mirror. The interviews provoked widespread criticism from families of service personnel killed in action, serving soldiers and former senior military figures.

    Separately, it has emerged that the MoD is to introduce strict new measures to prevent families of wounded soldiers complaining to the media about their treatment. The move follows high-profile criticisms over the treatment of casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan .

    An internal 'defence instruction' seen by The Observer states that where wounded soldiers 'discuss their own individual cases with visitors, it is the visitor's responsibility to ensure that such discussions remain confidential. Under no circumstances may visitors repeat or discuss any clinical details they obtain during the visit'.

    The three-page memo, from the central defence medical headquarters, makes it clear the rules apply both to family and friends and to official visitors, including MPs and military officers.

    The directive argues that medical confidentiality makes such restrictions necessary. The memo follows a spate of critical media reports, including a harrowing account in The Observer of a young Iraq war veteran left to lie in his own faeces at the flagship ward for military casualties in Birmingham's Selly Oak hospital.,,2057633,00.html
  2. That will be becaue the families signed the Official Secrets Act when?!?
  3. Exactly, they haven't, if they wish to go to the press as any private citizen can do, then they can.

    If the MoD don't want embaressing stories leaking out about the treatment of the wounded, there is a rather simple way of preventing them isn't there.

    As for the example sited....

    I hardly see how being alowed to wallow in sh1t is part of the doctor/patient confidentiality trust? Likewise if the patient tells someone else, then that person or persons aren't covered by the trust in the sameway as teh Doctor.

    If you tell your mum something, she can keep schtum or post it on banners around London, that is her choice (a freedom that soldiers and die fight for incidently).

    I really can't see how this will work, unless the MoD is going to start threatening to withdraw treatment and compensation if the families speak out.
  4. This cannot be serious !

    This wretched government has all but destroyed centuries of freedom enjoyed by Her Majesty's Subjects, and now we are not to be allowed to complain about the treatment of our wounded Servicemen and women, when we determine that treatment is unsatisfactory.

    Wounded as a direct result of an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation authorized by Blair.

    How long before I shall be arrested for making statements such as this ?
  5. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    How is this 'ban' going to be put into operation?

    Just picture the scene:

    "Right Sarn't Major; march in Pte Bloggs mum"
  6. I do wish our government would stop taking lessons from Mugabe.

    How soon will criticising the Dear Leader be punishable by two years in prison, but with the chance of being accidently set free after a few days.
  7. This nonsense tends to drive me toward visiting the wounded service personnel purely to obtain details of "care" provided to them and then making the widest possible distribution of those facts. If barred, I would speak to families outside the hospital gates and get the details from them. I think I can still write a "good" statement or two.
  8. Every civilian visitor visiting a patient in hospital has a right to free speech, irrespective of whether the injured person is service personnel or not. There is absolutely no way Medical confidentiality covers the visitor in this situation. Medical confidentiality only affects health care workers. If injured serviceman is laid in their own shit in a dirty ward, then I think it is a matter of overriding public interest that that story be known.

    Bottom line- this is an attempt to use the fig leaf of medical confidentiality to curtail the basic human right to free speech enjoyed by our loved ones.

    It would be illegal and I hope like hell that the MoD change their mind before they shoot themselves in the foot again.
  9. So That's what paragraph 2 of Article 10 of the HRA meant.

    You have the right to freedom of expression except when the Government says you don't. (But I don't see where it says that this freedom can be curtailed in order to prevent embarrassment to Government Ministers).
  10. I am stunned, how could any government member think he can curtail people's rights in this way? Do we know if there is any real basis for this or if it is a journo invention? If it is real then I am not going to sit idly by I will be cnsidering what I can do to bring this into the public eye
  11. msr

    msr LE

    Have you signed the Road Traffic Act? Didn't think so, but you are still bound by it when you drive your car...

  12. Indeed but the RTA is tied up in sections and it is a simple affair to determine when a breach has occurred. The OSA is not so clear cut obviously a boffin selling nuclear secrets to the soviets would undoubtedly be easy to determine as these are 'official secrets'.

    Pte Smith's complaints about his treatment to him mum are not 'official secrets' and as has been pointed out it is entirely up to mum how she chooses to share that information. Exactly how would Mrs Smith be breaching opsec by complaining to the press about treatment.

    Whilst Pte Smith is subject to Mil Law his mum is not. If a prosecution was to take place it would be before a jury. What jury in their right mind would convict in a matter like this.

    This is simply new labour and his tonyness trying to hush up the abysmal treatment being offered to our service people which could have been entirely prevented if we had retained some BMH's.

    This is more to do with the New Labour spin machine that controls information to the press than anything else.
  13. from the torygraph he takes a priv day but doesnt have his mobile with him, yer right. :x i think the offical term is Bo lux
  14. I know this is not the case but was the HRA written with this government in mind?


    2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

    So just let me-hopefully- misunderstand this, if the governments reputation can be tarnished, is this not a breech of HRA?

    As to NOT speaking out on the behalf of Service personnel that have been mistreated, to quote from the Rev Ian Paisley;


    Apart from having to register to protest in London, I have never read such a flagrant breech to the Freedom of Speech.

    How this will be enforced, I don't know, but I am sure that the draconian bunch of cnuts that form our government will find a way. :pissedoff: