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Wednesday 23 September 2020

Troops On The Streets - OR MAYBE NOT

How many Sun hacks does it take to cobble together an article missing basic fact checking and sub-editing? The answer today appears to be four, including the odious flannelled fool and non-journalist Master Harry Cole, who claims to be the paper’s political editor. The subject, as with many papers, is restrictions in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

This disastrous foray into know-all one-upmanship began when Master Cole took a Downing Street briefing on board without asking someone who knew their facts what it really meant, because he knows everything (no laughing at the back). “Police can draw on military support if they are busy enforcing covid rules. That's new and big and slipped out there” (fnarr fnarr). And what other superior insights would Sir care to dispense?

Opening the door to troops on British streets, PM says he takes no comfort in ‘stifling freedom’. Grim times … Operation Temperer - military support for police, under police command - not launched since Manchester bombing in 2017. PM announced Police can draw on it again … Fifteen hundred soldiers, currently on standby, would guard sites such as Downing Street, parliament and nuclear power plants - to free up cops responding to coronavirus calls”. Spot the howler? Nor did whoever subbed the resulting article.

Because the Sun has now told readersTHE Army could be used to help police enforce coronavirus laws, Boris Johnson warned today. Five hundred soldiers, currently on standby, would guard sites such as Downing Street, parliament and nuclear power plants - to free up cops responding to coronavirus calls”. The howler is still there.

And there is more. “Troops from three battalions will step-in [poor use of punctuation there] if armed police are overstretched”. There are armed cops on the streets already? Not here in Cheshire there aren’t. Has the Sun sacked its subs? Or are they equally clueless? But we do know “Plans seen by The Sun show infantry soldiers, armed with SA80 assault rifles, are ready to be drafted in”. So the leaked document had pictures in it.

On goes the clever tone: “Around 500 troops will form the first wave of reinforcements with 12 hours notice to move, defence sources said”. Someone has been watching too many World War 2 films. Pay attention men, we will be deploying here, here, and here.

Then the Sun contradicts itself (this detail was also noted by the Guardian) as it cautions “Police chiefs would decide where to deploy the military and soldiers would not take over, and currently the National Police Chiefs Council believes: ‘At the moment, no military involvement is necessary, nor do we anticipate this will be needed.’”.

So there is no current requirement for military backup and the story is therefore crap. Worse for Master Cole and his pals is that howler: nuclear installations, such as civil nuclear power plants, nuclear materials in transit, and research facilities that may handle and/or store nuclear material, are protected by the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

That is the kind of elementary detail that someone entrusted with the job of political editor should know. Yet it has evaded Cole and three of his colleagues.

That’s in addition to frightening readers over a military deployment that is not happening.

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Johnspartacusanonymous said...

Cole = Squealer the hog. Animal Farm courtesy of the alt-right,who've run amok in former UK. Where do we go from here ?

Ordure, Ordure said...

Careful now, Master Cole, or you'll get troops turning their attention on Branch Covidian media outlets.

Jonathan said...

This is gammon fodder copy,attempt to whip hysteria where none is needed or required.

It's in these times, responsible journalism is needed, cool heads and wise advice required.

Except we have a newspaper more in thrall to its circulation figures than actual journalism.

Jonathan said...

The sole reason The Flanned Fool is talking about troops on the streets is to inflame the Gammon and get them onto the streets..