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Shame. Shame on the BBC.

A land fit for heroes [Mark Steyn]

As Britain's returning "heroes" are selling their stories for six-figure sums (in dollars), here's one who can't get a look-in:

Private Johnson Beharry's courage in rescuing an ambushed foot patrol then, in a second act, saving his vehicle's crew despite his own terrible injuries earned him a Victoria Cross.

For the BBC, however, his story is "too positive" about the conflict.

The corporation has cancelled the commission for a 90-minute drama about Britain's youngest surviving Victoria Cross hero because it feared it would alienate members of the audience opposed to the war in Iraq.

How brave is Private Beharry? He's the first living recipient of the Victoria Cross since two Aussies, Keith Payne and Rayene Stewart Simpson, were honored with the Commonwealth's highest award for gallantry in 1969 for their service in Vietnam, and he's the first living recipient in the British Army since Lance-Corporal Rambahadur Limbu of the 10th Princess Mary's Own Gurkha Rifles won his in the Confrontation with Indonesia in 1965. Private Beharry is one of only 12 living Victoria Cross holders. But his story might "alienate" the British public.

Shamelessly lifted from National Review's blog "The Corner"

Update: As Oldloadr linked in the comments - the Brits have now banned their soldiery for selling their stories. Heh. Why? Because they were on "company time" and so the gov't should get the cash? I'm sure not, it's all about being "seemly". That said - does this mean that their vets can't write books now? What a back-door convenient way to restrain the documentation of history, though admittedly I'm reading into it on that point.

Another Brit, Toby Harnden a Telegraph correspondent in DC, was also rather harsh on the whole thing:

British humiliation becomes disgrace
Posted by Toby Harnden at 09 Apr 07 09:58

So now they can sell their stories? The Ministry of Defence believes the Tehran 15 should be treated like troops who have won the Victoria Cross. Britain's political and military leaders hail their "dignity" - and then give them the green light to profit from their abject capitulation.

Rather than courts martial for the top brass, expect gongs for the ex-hostages. The Government and Royal Navy seem to think they can wash away the humiliation in a sea of sentimental twaddle. Iran is laughing. Has Britain gone completely soft?

Harsh? I don't think so. Lasting damage has been done to Britain's reputation, never mind that of the RN and Royal Marines.

You can read the rest here.

I've been watching with bemusement. I'm not quite as harsh on the issue of the troops as many of you, but I *am* simply appalled at Brit senior leadership and governmental responses.


This is upsetting especially in light of the $250,000eing paid to leading Seaman Faye Turney for her story.
No good deed goes unpunished...
Check this out. Britain bans military sales of stories: The new ban will not affect any of the 15 service members held captive in Iran who already given accounts,[SIC]
Clear evidence of the civilizational rot infecting us all in the West: We can't exalt our brave and courageous military heros because: 1) of fear of alienating .... ourselves and unassimilating Islamic immigrants in our midst; and 2) it would be too "positive". WTF ??!!!**@@
Well, his story won't "alienate" us, so who is going to go over and make a documentary or movie about this guy and sell it to the American public? Where are the independent movie makers on this stuff? Didn't they get it when Frank Miller's 300 kicked butt? People like heroes. Real ones, too. Not just people in costumes. They are so killing themselves at the box office.