Friday, January 04, 2008

Good Enough to Fight - Not Good Enough for 'Brum'

Like me, you may have been angered to hear of the story, that returning troops from Afghanistan, diverted because of bad weather on December 23rd, from RAF Brize Norton, to Birmingham International Airport were instructed to change out of their military fatigues on the airport's runway, before being allowed to proceed through the terminal building.

Troops were reportedly told not to be seen in public in their uniforms and last night the Ministry of Defence and management at Birmingham airport blamed each other for the indignity suffered by the soldiers.

The soldiers, only hours out of active operations against the Taleban, were told they could either wait for coaches to take them back to Brize Norton or else travel home via public transport - in which case they must change into civilian clothes before entering the terminal.

The MoD eventually confirmed it has a ban on troops wearing uniform in civilian airports, claiming it was because a small number of airlines ban all uniforms on flights for security reasons.

Or was it because they feared that someone might have been offended? What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I honestly do not recognize the country that I was born into. I am constantly being told that immigration and this multi cultural society in which we live is a good thing .But where is my British identity going ?What happened to national pride? How much longer are we going to let it erode?

Anonymous said...

If, as has been stated here, some airlines ban all uniforms then how can the captain and crew be easily identified?

Anon 9.25 I agree with you fully, I also cannot see how immigration has benefited this country in any way.
It might have been a short-term solution to an employment problem in the 1950's but now we are bringing in ever greated numbers of immigrants.
Its an ever increasing downward spiral which is leading to terrible problems now and even worse in the future.
There is unfortunately no stopping it as we are in the EU, when we went into that we thought it would be an exclusive club made up of wealthy countries such as Germany and France, never imagining that millions of eastern europeans would be able to come here willynilly and change our country forever.
We were misled and naiive.

Anonymous said...

What do you think?

I think that the Taliban in their uniform could mix easier with the people of Birmingham than our troops!

Ken Gregory said...

Political correctness gone mad. I would have thought the sight of our troops in uniform would have done more good than any number of police in uniform.
More to the point, does this mean that the 'Trooping of the Colour' will now be done in 'civvies'?

I would of thought a few troops in uniform, complete with firearms, would have enhanced security a little.

With regard to the small minded and nasty comments about the population of Birmingham, as a frequent visitor to that City, I would say, visit and talk to them. A more sociable bunch of folk I have not found, regardless of race.

Anonymous said...

No doubt the airport was worried that soldiers in uniform would offend some of the members of "the religion of peace" I am sorry to say that I also no longer recognise the country I grew up in. I think we will face a dismal future.

DrMoores said...

It's a good point! If soldiers in uniform, arrived on security duty and walked through the terminal, is that OK then?

But weary survivors of the most intense active duty, going "off-duty" since WW2 can't walk the other way through the terminal???

I'm not directly aware of any airlines that operate out of Birmingham banning forces uniforms... could you imagine the fuss if a UK carrier did?

Anonymous said...

anon 925

Tony Blair was advised, after the Lazelles inquiry, that multiculturalism had failed.

However he was happy to be told that what we should try now is "Interculturalism".

It is easy to whinge about Europe or about immigration. But in doing so most whingers carefully avoid the bigger questions such as:

The Queen as Fount of all Justice is there to uphold the principle that there shall be no law save that of the Realm, so how come she did not intervene to stop anything beyond trade agreements with Europe ?

The Office of Constable is an independent ministerial office of the Crown conditional that the holder degends the CULTURE of the people. How many so called constables have you seen upholding their oath of office ?

The United Nations Charter guarantees a right to a hoemlreand and culture. What happened to English rights under the UN charter?

Read any blog (such as Urban 75) What of the role of education ? The certainty with which our young people assert the righteousness of multiculturalism. Wasn't it the Romans who said that education for the Britons was part of their servitude ? All those pseudo educated young bloggers, with their smug "knowledge", regurgitating what they were told in class and mistaking it for their own opinions. Meanwhile a skills shortage meant that there were insufficient men to complete overhead rail electrification work on schedule over Christmas.

The fact is that we are supposed to be a constitutional monarchy. The two great balancing powers. Crown and Parliament. But the Crown abdicated responsibility.

The NUM had a chance to make a fight for the lawful constitution in 84. The Queen should have been petitioned that forces of the Crown (police) were offending against the people. Then if she abdicated responsibility to remove Maggie Thatcher's unlawful control of police, there should have been lawful rebellion. Once a few dozen police had been killed then minds would have concentrated and the greater long term good would have been done.

Anonymous said...

You must mean "We are a grandmother" Maggie. She who would be Queen ?

Mr Friday said...

Come on people. The issue of a multi-cultural society and political correctness has nothing to do with this story and was only Dr Moore's slightly provocative question in the last line of the original news story that twisted it this way and people, predictably, took the bait.

Let's have a debate about daft airline policies and "security measures" by all means but let's not let yet another story be dragged into the crosshairs of some of the more less tolerant readers on here.

DrMoores said...

If you recall an earlier story, true or otherwise, last year reflecting concern about wounded servicemen being treated in NHS hospitals in the Midlands causing "offense", perhaps we should ask if airport security is really the principle cause of such concern?

It is very hard to say these days what the real truth is and speculation over the growing nature of the divide in our society is frowned-upon.

You may have also seen the documentary a couple of months ago which revealed the shambolic nature of the security at Birmingham Airport, which was the subject of one of the entries here.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

I think Mr Friday is spot on here.

Happy Hew Year to you all in Fanit.

Anonymous said...

Travel in uniform off-duty was banned by MOD in the early seventies as a result of attacks on serviceman so doing, by the IRA. There was a particularly nasty attack reported near Sutton Coldfield.
In the days when, predominantly only ncos and officers owned cars, many used uniform as a means of hitch-hiking to get around!

This does not sound like a unit move but a Christmas R&R flight with the priority to get people on their way to start leave. Most would in fact take the opportunity to get out of uniform quickly and be on their way. Combats and fatigues do not have the same 'pulling' power as 'red tunics'did!

Anonymous said...

Immigrants living in Britain who cannot speak English could be given free lessons according to ministers. Will this build community cohesion?


Anonymous said...

It would at least improve communication so that when foreigners are banned from driving for drink-driving offences, they would not be able to claim they did not understand as they are arrested again for drink-driving!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I agree with this one, but only because I know of far too many people who would attack a soldier personally, because they don't agree with the war. The fact that many soldiers struggle to understand why they are there gets missed. So yes, for their own protection they should change out of uniform.

Anonymous said...

British Uniform.
Good enough to die or be maimed in.
Not good enough to wear in the country you're being maimed and killed for!

Anonymous said...

I was a soldier on that flight and we had to change into civvilian clothing just off the airport runway. A few guys had very minimal clothing and one marine walked out in his vest,shorts and flip flops carrying his body armour,helmet and huge army bergan(rucksack)just so people wouln't know who we were. It was ridiculous to see and caused embarrasment for us all. Salute the troops yeah right!