Cornwall Report

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Nutty, Jun 10, 2007.

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  1. As reported in the Times today

    Cornwall

    Says what most of, you know nothing about modern day operations silly old barstards, said months ago. It seems that the modern all happening Pusser had no idea what it was doing. Once again lessons of the past had been forgotten.

    I have started a new thread as the Cornwall Report Leak one appeared to be good but a bit off subject.

    Nutty
     
  2. Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fudge!

    A statement is due at 1530 by Des Browne to the House of Commons on the results of the Fulton & Hall Inquiries into the HMS Cornwall debacle and related issues. More information available below:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/uk_politics/6765903.stm

    I will provide a link to the Statement when it appears online in the Commons Hansard - Ministerial Statements section - tomorrow. Hopefully if the government don't publish the reports as such, they will Deposit them in the Library - in which case, unless restricted to MPs only, they will be in the public domain, albeit not easily accessible.

    A summary of the statement is available below:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/uk_politics/6765903.stm
     
  3. Heads up

    Taken from today's agenda in the House of Commons:

    3.30 p.m. Urgent Questions; Ministerial Statements, including on the Fulton and Hall reports on the detention of naval personnel by Iran on 23rd March 2007. :tp:
     
  4. Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fudge!

    The Minister has asserted that he is not personally responsible but rather the decision to allow the Cornwall 2 to sell their tales to the media was collectivly made. :cussing:
     
  5. Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fudge!

    The Beeb's website is headlined "MoD to band troops from selling stories". Isn't that already the case? I always had it that you couldn't go blabbing to the media. That said, does that mean that every little story will be "censured" by the MoD Big Brother? Can you really see DPR(N) (or whatever they're called these days) editting the "feel good" stories for local newspapers, such as AB Bloggs running a marathon, or CPO Doobery getting an MSM? I think not.

    (Political high horse) Typical of the Bliar cabinet - making an error and then not taking responsibility and accountability for the mistake.
     
  6. I have little interest in the story of the sale of their stories but the report of Lieutenant General Sir Rob Fulton I do find of interest. Today at a press briefing the 1st SL told reporters is was all caused by a lack of understanding both on the part of the RN and our allies in the area.

    CO to Commodore "I did not understand that Iran's may kidnap people"

    I notice that the Times report in the first post has not been denied

    Nutty
     
  7. Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fudge!

    You can blab to the media but cant get paid. I guess officers writing books will also be out, or is this just for us dumb ratings?
     
  8. Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fudge!

    That really is a disgrace, to punish the Cornwall 2 for following MOD advice! I'd like to see HMG defend that one in open court! It derogates from the legal principle that there shall be no punishment without crime. If they are to be punished, then so should all the others responsible.
     
  9. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fu

    Once again Browne sidesteps the issue of trying to delegate responsibility- no matter who he delegated to make the decision, he cannot absolve overal responsibility.

    Something of a "burying bad news day" once again. Interesting to note today that the amount of prison inmates is now twice the size of the Navy, with 10 000 more in prison.
     
  10. Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fudge!

    And still the media focus on the media aspects of the story, not that 15 RN personnel were kidnapped and held illegally by Iran, a clear act of war in years gone by...

    The ban on earning from speaking to the media only applies to serving personnel, so we look forward to many more memoirs yet..."So I said to Johnny Band, you fool! Don't you realise....."
     
  11. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fu

    I just watched Browne on sky news, what a tosser. No one to blame but I'll take collective responsability...where's yer frigging resignation then?

    No one could be found who made THE decision, to let them sell THE stories...bit fcuking convinient that one eh?

    So he sat there quite happy to give the impression that it was someone from the military who made the decision and really, it had fcuk all to do with the Govt....Oh fcuking really, and I'm a hippy with a ten foot penis as well then?

    This Govt is so slimey, no wonder none of them have freckles...they'd slide off.
     
  12. Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fudge!

    Another BLOODY whitewash. We've got wall to wall Ministers on preposterously large salaries, serried ranks of senior Civil Servants on similar, more Admirals than ships, and still no one is capable of making a decision, or taking responsibility. Just pass it down the line to Ordinary Seaman Batchelor, who doesn't even appear to know what planet he's on, and let him take the flak from the media, and the ridicule of the public.

    Advance apologies if I upset some serving members, but definitely NOT the Royal Navy in which I was so proud to serve half a century ago.

    2BM
     
  13. Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fudge!

    [quote="OSLO"]And still the media focus on the media aspects of the story, not that 15 RN personnel were kidnapped and held illegally by Iran, a clear act of war in years gone by...

    The ban on earning from speaking to the media only applies to serving personnel, so we look forward to many more memoirs yet..."So I said to Johnny Band, you fool! Don't you realise....."[/quote]

    Good point! Though personally I would like to see a senior officer or polito stand up and say that by the coolness of their actions Cornwall's 15 probably prevented a war, and BZ to them. The way they seem to have been dumped on from above is disappointing.

    I recently read a great book on the Iraq invasion by a serving Lt Cdr WAFU ("Armed Action"), it is a shame that this excellent insight into the modern RN by a serving officer has been ignored and the press covered this story instead! Personally, of far more interest is the fact that as HMS OCEAN sailed to war they wanted to exercise landing on Cyprus and were apparently told they couldn't fly their airfraft as the Red Arrows were training FFS! Reading between the lines it wasn't long before the crabs were put into their place!
     
  14. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fu

    Yes, always puzzled me why they (Red Arrows) need to go to to Cyprus to practise, let alone how they still exist in the current financial climes.
     
  15. Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fudge!

    I think it is due to good weather and an RAF base. But in the current climate, could you afford to buy a few more helicopters instead?

    Likewise the Army, the horses are lovely but isn't the ability for the paras to jump a bit more important?

    The RN scrapped the Field Gun, while the Army and RAF just carry on as ever...
     
  16. Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fu

    Now that the reports have hit the streets, after a fashion, I think it’s worth posting this un-attributed article that was in an April issue of Private Eye. Apologies for listing it in full, but there isn’t a convenient link I can provide as Private Eye alas, doesn’t have an online archive.

    As more details emerge on the background to the Iranian hostage fiasco, the biggest own-goal in the RN’s history begins to look like a publicity stunt that backfired.

    When the frigate HMS Cornwall was sent out to the Gulf, high among the Navy’s priorities was the need to win more coverage for its efforts in the region. For too long, thought the Navy top brass such as the First Sea Lord Sir Jonathon Band, the role played by the Senior Service had been overlooked. Invitations were sent to the BBC, Sky News and Channel Five News to send film crews to cover the Cornwall at work.

    Commodore Nick Lambert was not the Cornwall’s captain but was using it as a flagship in his capacity as commander of the coalition task force 158 in the northern Gulf. On the fateful day, two small inflatables were sent out from the Cornwall to inspect a passing freighter, accompanied by a Lynx helicopter with a BBC crew aboard. They detoured to board another freighter, the Al-Hanin, at which point the helicopter, detailed to keep watch over the boarding party, had to return to the Cornwall because the BBC crew had an appointment to interview Lambert.

    Lambert had under his command at least four or five vessels which could have stood by to give protection to the boarding party, including two British minehunters and two armed US coastal patrol vessels. But he chose not to deploy them because it would make a better TV story to show the two small British craft doing the job on their own, particularly since one was being driven by Leading Seaman Turney. What better advertisement for the RN than a woman in the front line?

    As the Iranians were later to reveal, it was the sight of Turney on Channel Five news that gave them the idea for a propaganda coup of their own. How better to show the Muslim world the sad, soft state of the once-vaunted British navy than to capture a boarding party that included a woman? Thanks to Lambert’s decision not to provide proper back-up, the seizing of 15 hostages by just six Iranians made the victory all the sweeter.

    Back in London the magnitude of the Navy’s cock-up was at once realised. Normally a blunder this big would trigger an automatic Board of inquiry, but that would have compounded the Navy’s embarrassment by exposing its real cause: a publicity stunt ordered from the top. Thus was a decision taken, again at the top, that no Board of Inquiry would take place.

    Navy bosses needed something to divert media attention, hence the unprecedented decision, personally signed off by Band’s number two, Vice-Admiral Adrian Johns, to allow the hostages on their return to become the centre of a media feeding frenzy. This was entirely a service decision, taken under the rules which give the armed services a high degree of autonomy in all operational and service matters. The hapless defence secretary Des Browne was only notified when the whole publicity exercise had been set in motion.

    Two days later it was clear the stunt had backfired. Browne insisted that the usual Queen’s Regulations prohibiting the sale of stories should be reinstated. But by this time the media and the Tory party, not understanding the protocols of the MoD, were convinced that Browne had somehow been behind a decision taken by Navy top brass. Even, to spice it up further, that Blair himself must have known.

    Browne’s ingenious comeback, on the day when the Tories were sure they would force his resignation, was to announce two independent inquiries. One would expose the real story of how the hostages had been permitted to sell their embarrassing tales. The other would be the inquiry Band and his fellow admirals had been avoiding all along: how and why the Navy allowed its boys and girl to be captured in the first place – a catastrophic misjudgement for which no one was ultimately more responsible than they.


    I don’t know how accurate the above article is, but I’m cynical enough to believe that it’s substantially more accurate than most.

    It would perhaps explain why Sir Jock Stirrup said that the capture of our sailors was “the result not of a single failure or any particular individual’s human error, but rather of an unfortunate accumulation of factors - many relatively small when viewed in isolation - but which together placed our personnel in a position that could be exploited through a deliberate act by an unpredictable foreign state.â€

    Heaven forbid that our top brass should be shown to have made a complete b’lls-up of the whole event from start to finish.

    Any comment/thoughts folks?

    LPB
     
  17. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fudge!

    LPB

    Must admit to not having read Private Eye's take on the issue, and must confess to not knowing the full internal detail but:

    It makes sense that it was initially seen as a press coup for purely PR purposes.

    It also seems entirely feasible that it was a major miscalculation, given the available assets on task in the immediate area which were not utilised.

    Private Eye has nothing to gain by fabricating the story, if that were the case they would normarily take every opportunity to have a pop at the Government, not the Navy.

    Sadly, I have to conclude that it was quite possibly a poorly contrived public relations exercise that simply could not have gone more wrong!
     
  18. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fudge!

    Statements that the two were 'allowed' to sell their stories craftily shift the blame - I believe the verb should have been 'encouraged'.
     
  19. Re: Statement on conclusions of Fulton & Hall Inquiries - Fudge!

    LP and Ninja,
    I have to agree. "As any fule no" Private Eye is seldom wrong on stories of this magnitude. In addition, the Eye's military correspondents (usually serving ossifers) have probably done more for the welfare and fighting ability of front line service personnel than most organs of our so-called press. Off the top of my head the Eye has been tireless in bringing to light problems with inter alia dodgy defence contract deals for our own services (never mind those of others!), overrun projects (from Nukes, to fighters, to ships, to bullets, beans and band-aids), the poor treatment of our wounded, the role of the House of Saud in terrorism, the pay system fiasco, cover ups and false accusations of pilot error in fixed and rotary wing crashes, problems with the SA80, dodgy ammo, the routine canniblisation of front line aircraft and equipment in front line service, the outright refusal to buy sufficient body armour in GW1 and 2, the vulnerability of WMIK rovers, etcetera etcetera.

    Although the the mass media have reported such concerns they have in the first instance usually been alerted by the Eye. Moreover, where the media quickly move onto the next pair of tits or the latest from Big Brother the Eye almost always doggedly pursues the issues. Evidence of this? The indignant and straightforward denials and threats routinely made by Ministers, Defence execs, foreign goverments and others.

    Somebody on here recently accused the Eye and it's readers of being 'left wing' .... don't make me laugh. Tell that to the Left, Right and Middle ground councillors and boroughs the Eye routinely takes to task in it's 'Rotten Boroughs' spread. It always gets me kicking the Eye across the room in anger. Very cathartic. It's one reason why I took out a subscription for about 27 quid per annum :)

    Oh, and it's very funny.
     

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