Monday, 23 July 2007

Committee attacks ministry over hostage crisis

This weekend saw the release of a report by Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) over the handling of the hostage crisis in which 15 sailors and marines were captured and subsequently released by the Iranians.

There has already been an enquiry about the whole incident, one result of which was to absolve anyone from blame, particularly as to who gave our service people permission to sell their stories to the media. The FAC found that situation totally unsatisfactory and want the "guilty" named. I couldn't agree more with them. It is totally and utterly wrong for individuals who are so ready to accept praise when things go right not to accept personal responsibility for crass decisions. What bugs me is that Defence Secretary Des Browne on the one hand says that the buck stops with him regarding the hostage debacle but then has to be repeatably asked to say "sorry" in the Commons and is left in post! Similarly Margaret Beckett has cost the country literally hundreds of thousands of pounds with her appalling handling of rural payments to farmers. She then got promoted to Foreign Secretary by Tony Blair whereas she should have been sacked. But this is characteristic of this government I'm afraid.

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