HMS Cornwall - the true story (apparently)

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by MrPVRd, Apr 28, 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. The latest issue of Private Eye has a convincing article that apparently lists the c0ck-ups behind the whole Cornwall saga. Below is an abridged version - no link available to the article, so buy the magazine.

    - The Cdre in charge of task group has BBC, Channel 5 and Sky film crews on board Cornwall (his flagship) as the Senior Service is envious of the amount of coverage the Army are getting.

    - It is decided that it would be good PR to send out a boarding party consisting of 2 small boats, one of which is driven by a Wren, rather than any of the other larger vessels in the task group. The 2 boats inspect 1 vessel and board a second.

    - The Lynx has a BBC film crew on board. The Lynx returns to Cornwall because the film crew have an appointment scheduled to interview the Cdre!

    - The Iranians have seen the Wren on Channel 5 news and come up with a great idea. The rest is history, and following the capture and release of the 15, the Admiralty is desperate to avoid the true story getting out.

    - Someone decides on a great idea. "Let's get the guys and girl to sell their stories, lots of PR." Meanwhile, no BoI, let's "move on".

    - After the brown stuff hits the fan, Swiss Des (liberally splattered in it) sets up 2 inquiries to get himself off the hook. One of those inquiries will look into the events leading up to capture. Ouch!

    This version appears to get Swiss Des off the hook somewhat, and the Eye claims it was a decision taken entirely by the Navy, which I find hard to believe - they may have come up with the idea but it would have been run past MoD corporate comms.
  2. 'king 'ell, lol :wink:
  3. I read this the other day.
    I enjoy PE immensely but wonder why if the story were true none of the 'papers picked it up.
  4. Private Eye seems to me to have been quite accurate on a lot of news stories that have dropped off the mainstream media radar over the years. Given that they're no friends of the government, I'd say that Des Browne is off the hook and a few admirals will soon be spending more time with their families. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at the BOI.
  5. Hislop often gets it wrong, but often gets it right. This has the ring of truth about it.

    The decision to allow the hapless crew to sell their stories was unprecedented - this more than anything points to a cover up by the top brass.

    Perhaps somebody should tell these Admirals how wonderful and important they are - and massage their huge bloated egos more often. A small price to pay to avoid risking the lives of crew members and dragging the reputation of the Navy through the mud in the future.
  6. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Quite a few MPs have asked PQs about the role of the film crews in this affair. The answer so far has been that there is an enquiry and they will ahve to wait for it to report.

    I wondered what they were getting at - now I know.
  7. Sounds like it could well be on the money.
  8. Given the article in the Sunday Telegraph and the letter from the First Sea Lord, the PE story is growing in credibility.
  9. Because PE is fed info from all news rooms to jolly along their own editors - especially in a story that calls into question the media's role on operations.

    Looks like PE's version is on the money.
  10. If this were true then you'd think the crew would be pretty threaders. In that case allowing them to sell their stories seems like a really bad idea when you're trying to cover stuff up.
    Also, if they were on channel 5 before they were captured, don't you think 5 would have been showing us that footage (and selling it to everyone) while they were detained?
  11. Cross check with Patrick Mercer's article that suggests the Lynx didn't have a door gunner...

    Would there be room/payload for a full TV crew (three/four peeps plus gear) and still fit in the door gunner?
  12. FP I continue to be scared by the number of times I am starting to agree with you. :D

    This whole P Info thing has got out of control. If MoD feel HMF really have to play the media game, they should have professional P Info types (they are the ones in Civvy Street who cost lots of dosh). However personally I think we ought to stop playing silly burggers with the media. It will only backfire - to the diasadvantage of the MoD.

    As with other posters here, although I hope the PE version is not true, I suspect its very close to Bulls Eye.
  13. The only thing I'd say is that the media already had film footage of the boats from previous boardings. Why would they need more? (We saw this footage repeatedely on the news during the crisis). Also this was the 66th time the CORNWALL had carried out boardings in this way in 4 weeks - so hardly a one off incident with the use of 2 boats!
  14. Looks like b#####ks to me. BBC did a week long series of special reports on Iraq 2 weeks before the kidnappings where they were out on HMS Cornwall (thats when they filmed the non-Iranian footage we have been watching). Sky did the same thing 2 weeks before that.

    Why would they have gone back to HMS Cornwall so soon when nothing else of any interest had happened? If they were going to send crews back south surely they would have sent them to Basra where there was a story worth getting at that time.
  15. Ha! Because.....

    1, The BBC & Sky tend to source not only from their own news crews but from associated 'independants', internal 'News market' etc. (Like the Army, the Media only share when forced, only worse because they are mostly coke heads ).

    2, This was a Channel 5 gig (all this utter chaos for a C5 slot!! Jesus Fcuking H Christ!)

    3, The MoD makes it difficult to access Army units and any offered access i.e. HMS Cornwall is better than doing 'cat up tree' stories in Yorkshire

    4, Iran did not want to provoke the West BEFORE the the UN SC vote on their Nuke program.

    5, The RN seem to have been ignored during the whole Iraq thingy (in their own eyes) and they so very, very much want to be on telly doing something dangerous....