Monday, October 17, 2005

Lest We Forget

The BBC has been given unprecedented access to the RAF flight teams responsible for responding to hijacked aircraft over UK airspace. Brian Hanrahan's report was the lead story on tonight's 10 O'Clock News. The video link is on the BBC News front page at the moment if you missed it (not sure how long it'll stay there though).

There's lot's of good and scary stuff in the report. Did you know that in the case of a 9/11 type attack these pilots might have to shoot down a fully loaded passenger aircraft?* Well, yes, I'm sure you did know, doesn't everyone? It's good to occasionally be reminded that we face the constant possibility of instant burning death from above though, don't you think?

I have to be honest and say that the first thing I thought when watching the report was "unprecedented access... hmm". Just when the government is having a spot of bother trying to sell it's draconian anti-terrorist proposals. Curious coincidence that, isn't it? I wonder who made the decision to grant the BBC unprecedented access to these heroic Top Gunners at this particular moment in time? Could it possibly have been someone at Number 10?

Of course that could just be good old fashioned paranoia talking there. Possibly. I honestly can't say I'm sure either way. It does seem that that old standard of arresting suspected terrorists on suitable days (and then releasing them again without charge to far less fanfare) is starting to wear a bit thin. It's just so passe darling. Hardly even makes the front pages.

So, what do you reckon? Is this:
A) A clever bit of news manipulation by someone at Number 10?
or is it:
B) A crackpot conspiracy theory from a blogger who really should get out more?

Answers on a postcard.

* I should say that I'm not one of those people who automatically detests everything about the military. In the real world, unfortunately, a nation needs a defensive military capability. Personally, I'm glad those guys are ready to jump in those Torndoes if it ever comes to the crunch. They've got more balls than I'll ever have.

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