James Hewitt Jr
March 3, 2008 1:08 AM   Subscribe

The 'bullet magnet' is back. I can't believe that the British press kept a secret for so long (10 weeks is a miniature eternity in journalist time). It was supposed to last six months... I also can't believe that the odious Drudge has broken yet another big story. Was it all just a PR stunt?

I'm sorry for the lateness of this post. I really can't believe it didn't make the blue before this.
posted by chuckdarwin (117 comments total)

 
I just wish the news blackout had been permanent, and had extended to the entire royal family.
posted by itsjustanalias at 1:17 AM on March 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


Well, if it was a PR stunt then it's pretty bone headed; I live in Central London, E1, Whitechapel / Shadwell area and just this weekend the first posters decrying the "Royal Crusade against Islam" went up.

Wonderful.

There is a vociferous minority down here who put up some very offensive, very divisive posters and this just gives them for more material for their propaganda.
posted by Mutant at 1:23 AM on March 3, 2008


Drudge needs a good seeing-to.
posted by flowerofhighrank at 1:28 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Knut's a killing machine now?? I have to read this Drudge character more often.
posted by maryh at 1:37 AM on March 3, 2008


Was it all just a PR stunt?

The war on terror? Of course.
posted by srboisvert at 1:38 AM on March 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Ah ok when I first read this it's was supposed to be a crappy Australian women's mag that broke the silence:

But the arrangement broke down after news was leaked out on the US website, the Drudge Report, which said that the Australian magazine New Idea and the German tabloid Bild were the first to break a world embargo.

The Drudge Report site later dropped mention to Bild and New Idea, claiming the exclusive as their own.


Wonders who really blabbed first...
posted by gomichild at 1:49 AM on March 3, 2008


Awh, gawd bless 'im, makes one humbled, so it does, to realise that your actual royalty is doing there bit in the war against Terry Taliban - by calling in air strikes from well behind enemy lines... and to think we all thought he as a Nazi-uniform wearing, exam-cheating, photographer punching, rare bird shooting, thick as pig muck, Hooray Henry thug. How wrong we were! Three cheers for Prince Harry!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:50 AM on March 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


I seriously doubt it was a PR stunt. The only reason the uk press agreed to keep their mouths shut about it was probably on a condition that they are allowed access to the prince throughout his tour and a whole bunch of interviews afterwards. And the fact that it took that fucking idiot Drudge to break the story and not some big news organisation is quite telling.
posted by Po0py at 1:55 AM on March 3, 2008


As much as I agree with you, fearfulsymmetry, there was a real chance that he could have caught a bullet there. Helmand, even in the 'safer' areas, isn't my idea of a holiday destination.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:56 AM on March 3, 2008


Of course it was a PR stunt!
posted by Duug at 1:57 AM on March 3, 2008


Po0py, don't forget the photos. They all got LOTS of good photos.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:58 AM on March 3, 2008


He was obviously (probably unwittingly) used as PR fodder, imho. He was given just enough time over there to make it convincing without getting hurt, 11 weeks, then the mucky mucks deliberately leaked the info. Huge PR coup for the Brits, huge popularity boost for the Royals. To think that they would honestly have put him on the front and in real danger when he's so closely in line for the throne is naive. Preposterous.

OK, Prince Andrew served in the Falklands conflict, but that wasn't exactly gonna get him deader n' fuckin hell considering the musclepower advantage the Brits had over the Argies (he was more likely to die from blood loss trimming the immense beard he wore for the duration, if my memory serves).

I find it very difficult to believe they would put Harry out there in a very real dangerous place without either a very controlled deployment and the equivalent of an elite guard to protect him, or a plan to dangle him for a bit before pulling him out with a believable excuse. And they get to blame the American press for leaking it, into the bargain.

Gin & tonics all round, grand success.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 2:01 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


What a load of shite.

I'm pretty sure that the Taliban don't get their military intelligence from watching the BBC. As it is, he was running around with a camera crew in tow. D'you think someone might have noticed?

And the obsequiousness of the UK press coverage makes me want to puke every time I see it.
posted by Jakey at 2:01 AM on March 3, 2008


Well, it was his grandmother's army. I don't really see the big deal.

not really snark
posted by panamax at 2:13 AM on March 3, 2008


HOLD THE FRONT PAGE!

In other news (and NOT to be outdone) Wills will go on big boat, quite near a "trouble spot" for almost a month. Can you believe it?!

Thank God for the royal familly - worth every penny.
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 2:13 AM on March 3, 2008


You know, I met Prince Harry once. Did you know that he's killed more than 30 people? Great guy. Great guy.
posted by Drexen at 2:21 AM on March 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


The agreement brokered between the MOD and the media was a very hard to one to come to. An agreement was reached about six months ago to do this, but then nothing happened. The general consensus is that this was the MOD having a trial run to see if the media would be as good as their word (not exactly a great track record in this), and so when they were another deal was arranged in November, which is when I was made aware of this.

While the carrot of being granted access to the Prince or photos was a good one for all involved, no one wanted to be the one who broke the story (though one group of papers tried, on an almost weekly basis, to persuade the MOD that the story was now in the public domain and they should be allowed to run it), the real stick that stopped anyone leaking it wasn't the withdrawl of access, it was knowing that if fighting increased due to this, and any other soldiers died, it would be pretty easy to hold your paper responsible, and no one, not even the most reptillian members of the press, wanted that.

Personally I don't see what the big deal with everyone is. He's a trained soldier, he wanted to go and do his job, but they only way he could do that without making life more uncomfortable for those around him was with a degree of complicity from the press. It happens all the time, the police regularly ask the press not to run stories or give away details as it will hamper their investigation, and if they make a good case, the press agree.

And if any of you have ever had to deal with any of the Royal households you will know just how hard it is to get them to do anything. They live in an anachronistic nineteenth century world, and the idea that you could persuade them to play along with some sort of PR stunt to help out a Labour government is just laugable.
posted by ciderwoman at 2:27 AM on March 3, 2008 [19 favorites]


> worth every penny

Well, as the queen herself chose to pay income tax (conservatively estimated, this gave her a personal tax burden of some $20m), that all of the Princes pay income tax, that the cost of the Civil List is more than covered by the surrendering of Hereditary Income, I think you'll find that even ignoring the tourism and goodwill benefits bestowed upon the UK by The Royal Family, they're comfortably in the black when it comes to their cost to you...
posted by benzo8 at 2:34 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Gack - messed up linkage, but both work fine. Sorry.
posted by benzo8 at 2:35 AM on March 3, 2008


Max Clifford: just a PR stunt.
posted by cillit bang at 2:36 AM on March 3, 2008


"Harry - You're not normal you're a prince" - Marina Hyde's comparison to the Truman show seemed particularly apt to me after seeing some of the PR footage of Harry firing a gun at a "real enemy".
posted by rongorongo at 2:38 AM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


YOU PEOPLE ARE SICKENING, JUST LEAVE HARRY ALONE
posted by mattoxic at 2:48 AM on March 3, 2008


You're right, rongorongo, her piece wins (so far):

"So at least we have an exit strategy for Prince Harry, if not for the actual war."
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:53 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Still for all the snark the british royal family is kicking the american aristocracy's ass.

I am puzzled by the idea that Harry somehow increases the bullet magnetism of the coalition forces in theatre. Are the Taliban and other resistance groups normally not trying? In fact wouldn't the prince as a target possibly draw them into a open conflict where they will surely loose rather than the current state of guerrilla operations where they have an edge?

I think the real fear is that the Taliban might capture him and do some DNA analysis.

I think you'll find that even ignoring the tourism and goodwill benefits bestowed upon the UK by The Royal Family, they're comfortably in the black when it comes to their cost to you...

Not if you are in the colonies though. We foot the security bill, flower planting and generally obsequiousness with a rather stunning lack of benefit to anyone other than the purple haired ladies and good old old chaps who get a whiff of the good old British class system to buoy their spirits. The bills from the neverending royal visits are huge and they seem to be always dropping by for a cuppa.
posted by srboisvert at 2:58 AM on March 3, 2008


If word leaks out that my neighbor's son is actually deployed in Afghanistan, can we bring him back immediately, too?
posted by rokusan at 3:02 AM on March 3, 2008 [10 favorites]


Undeniably true, srboisvert - though it's equally true of any part of your tax burden which is spent in the British Isles. And a hospital in Mid-Glamorgan probably doesn't have the intangible knock-on effects for you out in the colonies which the Royal Family may still offer...
posted by benzo8 at 3:15 AM on March 3, 2008



Not if you are in the colonies though. We foot the security bill, flower planting and generally obsequiousness with a rather stunning lack of benefit to anyone other than the purple haired ladies and good old old chaps who get a whiff of the good old British class system to buoy their spirits. The bills from the neverending royal visits are huge and they seem to be always dropping by for a cuppa.


It's worth every penny to have a powerless head of state. This gives our leaders the ability to get blowjobs without official scrutiny, *suppresses* the power to torture people without official scrutiny and means that people can call the leader an asshat without their patriotism being questioned.

I'm Canadian. Could you *imagine* a fucking President Harper? Think about it.

Conversely, think what Bush would be like if he was King George II, whose job was to rubber stamp legislation without any signing statements or executive orders to choose from. He'd be a goddamn hilarious windbag. Best monarch in the world.
posted by mobunited at 3:21 AM on March 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


Say what you like about the royal family, at least we didn't elect them. Twice.
posted by Hogshead at 3:22 AM on March 3, 2008 [14 favorites]


Conversely, think what Bush would be like if he was King George II

I can think what he'd be like if he was like King George III, because he *is* like King George III.

Complete with therapeutic leeches.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:48 AM on March 3, 2008


"They live in an anachronistic nineteenth century world, and the idea that you could persuade them to play along with some sort of PR stunt to help out a Labour government is just laugable[sic]"

Thinking that the Royal Family have not indulged themselves in fishing for popularity with stunts of various kinds in modern times is utterly retarded. And who said anything about the Labour government?
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 3:52 AM on March 3, 2008


I can think what he'd be like if he was like King George III, because he *is* like King George III.

King George III's malady was only temporary.
posted by mattoxic at 3:54 AM on March 3, 2008


Ross Kemp probably saw more combat.
posted by fire&wings at 3:58 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


benzo8: I think you misunderstand the term "in the black" with regard to the Royal Family's tax burden: whatever income tax sops (remember, only since 1992) the Queen throws us, she pays less tax than her equivalent subjects (no Inheritance tax, etc) so she's very much in the red in my book.
posted by axon at 3:59 AM on March 3, 2008


PR bullshit...

When they send Paris Hilton, THEN I'll be interested....

and, what rokusan said... puts it all in perspective...
posted by HuronBob at 4:15 AM on March 3, 2008


> I think you misunderstand the term "in the black" with regard to the Royal Family's tax burden

As I didn't use the term "in the black" with regard to the Royal Family's tax burden, but in terms of "their cost to you..." - as I'd hope was adequately displayed by my using those exact words - I feel that is mostly likely, out of the pair of us, to be yourself suffering under a misunderstanding...
posted by benzo8 at 4:44 AM on March 3, 2008


I really can't believe it didn't make the blue before this.

because nobody gave a shit?
posted by matteo at 4:45 AM on March 3, 2008


"I don't want to sit around Windsor, because I generally don't like England that much and it's nice to be away from all the press and the papers." An encouraging sentiment from the person who is three heartbeats away from the throne.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:47 AM on March 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


As a "non dom" who faces the prospect of leaving England I'm curious about the beneficial taxation enjoyed by The Royals.

For example, the articles linked to by benzo8 mentions when discussing The Queen's fortune "...Since no one has asked her to pay capital-gains tax,...".

Why would this be? Even though I've lived in London for about eleven years, I don't quite get it. Since the state of public finances are a disaster in England (the non-dom tax row seems to be nothing more than a thinly veiled money grab into the bank accounts of folks that can't vote), deficits are sharply increasing at the same time revenues are tanking, why doesn't The Treasury avail itself of every opportunity to raise sorely needed funds?
posted by Mutant at 4:47 AM on March 3, 2008


Thinking that the Royal Family have not indulged themselves in fishing for popularity with stunts of various kinds in modern times is utterly retarded. And who said anything about the Labour government?

Way to formulate an argument, call your opponent retarded then fail to provide any evidence.

Believe me, I've had plenty of dealing with the House of Windsor, and it's like drawing blood from a stone just to get them to agree to having their photo taken on a skiing holiday, yet people seem happy to attribute all sorts of machiavellian planning to them at the drop of a hat.

Yes, this makes the Royal Family look better, not hard, but is it so hard to believe that the initial reason for going was simply to do his job, the same way his uncle did? It's not like he's got a great career to look forward to.

As for how dangerous it was, well, they'd be pretty stupid to put him anywhere near the front line, but by the looks of things nowhere is safe anymore.

But yes, of course, this is the British royal family and teh is the dEviL. Teh kilt diana, teh are capable of putting aside all their own personal agendas and coming together to provide a PR stunt.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:07 AM on March 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


I think ciderwoman has already won this thread. Twice... and the mods aren't even awake yet.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:23 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


They live in an anachronistic nineteenth century world,

European princes fighting far flung wars with dubious value? I have never heard of such a thing.
posted by geoff. at 5:26 AM on March 3, 2008


It's worth every penny to have a powerless head of state. This gives our leaders the ability to get blowjobs without official scrutiny, *suppresses* the power to torture people without official scrutiny and means that people can call the leader an asshat without their patriotism being questioned.

You clearly don't follow british news very much. Their leaders get plenty of blowjobs with plenty of scrutiny and their military has engaged in torture. Patriotism doesn't seem to be an issue here though but that might be because they are embarrassed by their imperial history both in terms of what they did and what they have lost.

A powerless monarchy is not a cure to any problems other than "Whatever shall I do with all this unneeded money?"

Believe me, I've had plenty of dealing with the House of Windsor, and it's like drawing blood from a stone just to get them to agree to having their photo taken on a skiing holiday, yet people seem happy to attribute all sorts of machiavellian planning to them at the drop of a hat.


So the royal family are not machievellian because they seek to control the terms of their press coverage? I am sorry ciderwoman but you prove the opposite of your point.
posted by srboisvert at 5:29 AM on March 3, 2008


Is that a veiled reference to this fellow?
posted by Grangousier at 5:35 AM on March 3, 2008


(in answer to Geoff. Oops.)
posted by Grangousier at 5:35 AM on March 3, 2008


If it was a PR stunt, I don't understand why they chose New Idea to break the story to 500,000 bored Australian housewives. I wouldn't have thought this to be the primary audience they would be trying to impress or fool.

I think Harry was probably there doing a legitimate job.

I think the tabloid press were just doing the thing they've been doing for 50 years.

And I think the Royal Family are a bunch of effete arseholes, but I still prefer them to what Americans have to put up with in their heads of state.
posted by Jimbob at 5:35 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have no difficulty in accepting the lad believes in what he was doing. In a sense, it's the tragedy of Britain that as well as having one of the most advanced working class movements in the world, we had a partially sincere ruling elite. Many of them did die next to the oi polloi in the mud of Flanders and (Rothermere-style fascists aside) the battlefields of WWII. As is the case with Harry, visible sections of the old ruling class do take the myth of nation and supposed common national interests seriously. This makes the diversion of energies into false nationalism far more credible. However wrong the war, it is admirable to put your arse on the line. Particularly when contrasted with the families of the metropolitan bien pensant classes who actually run the show these days. Their kids are blogging from their gap year in Thailand.
I have far more contempt for these poisonous petty bourgeois who have captured the labour movement and are using it to advance the same neo-liberal agenda as Thatcher. As well as being the ones who actually get us into these wars, we see the like of the recent scandalous attacks on the poor and disabled thanks to the "blue sky" thinking of cunts like David Freud. He's lied about disability benefit and wants to out-source its provision to his private sector chums. I'd far rather see the likes of him catch a bullet than the ginger prince.
posted by Abiezer at 5:38 AM on March 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


So the royal family are not machievellian because they seek to control the terms of their press coverage? I am sorry ciderwoman but you prove the opposite of your point.


Oh no, you miss my point. I'm sure they would love to be a machiavellian powerhouse, but they're so inept, so drowning in red tape and tradition it's amazing they manage to leave the house. The seperate palaces spend most of their time at war with each other, constantly briefing against what each other are doing.

I don't believe they could ever put aside their own disagreements long enough to come up with anything as remotely interesting as using Harry as a PR stunt, let alone have the wherewithall to actually get it done.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:42 AM on March 3, 2008


Their leaders get plenty of blowjobs with plenty of scrutiny

From Ian Harvey to Ron Davies, our politicians have had a taste for al-fresco gay sex. It's hard to avoid scrutiny when you like to do it in Hyde Park, on Hampstead Heath and on Clapham Common.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:01 AM on March 3, 2008


Yeah, that line jumped out at me as well, Dave Faris.
posted by Doohickie at 6:03 AM on March 3, 2008


"I don't believe they could ever put aside their own disagreements long enough to come up with anything as remotely interesting as using Harry as a PR stunt, let alone have the wherewithall to actually get it done."

Ciderwoman,
As chuckdarwin said, you've been spot on - until this. And the problem is only that you're putting the emphasis slightly wrong.

The biggest problem of the Royal PR machine is that it will always be outfoxed (pun intended) by the competitive cunning of the press.

There is no shit-proof golden PR opportunity for a royal.

There probably never was, of course - but the peasants now have a loud, distorted tabloid voice.

Individually, there are some very clever royal PRs. And I'd wager the "value" of Harry's military service was indeed weighed and charted against the possible downside.

But the royals tend to lose the battles (even as they win the bigger war - ironically!).
posted by Jody Tresidder at 6:06 AM on March 3, 2008


Is this something I'd need a monarchy to appreciate?
posted by sidereal at 6:07 AM on March 3, 2008


PeterMcDermott,

How many heartbeats from the throne is George Michael?
posted by lukemeister at 6:10 AM on March 3, 2008


Good for him. I'm sorry he didn't get the chance to serve his full time there, and I wish him well with his next step.

I was immensely pleased when I heard he'd been out there secretly: I was most disappointed when his Iraq deployment was cancelled. Royal princes should be out there fighting in Her Majesty's armed forces and serving their country.
Mutant: "There is a vociferous minority down here who put up some very offensive, very divisive posters and this just gives them for more material for their propaganda."
I understand your concern, but Prince Harry is fighting in a British war, started by our legally-constituted, democratically-elected government. He's not making rude jokes about Muslims, or hating on immigrants, or calling for young Muslim men to be interned, he is engaged in right and proper behaviour. We should never be afraid of applauding right and proper behaviour, even if people who are clearly enemies of our country use it for their propaganda purposes. If the "vociferous minority" used pictures of Gay Pride to stir up traditionalist sentiment about the evils of the decadent West, should we ban Gay Pride?

At least their posters make it easier for Special Branch to spot them...

Help! I'm turning into a conservative. Off to the Daily Telegraph talk pages to swing me back leftwards.
posted by alasdair at 6:35 AM on March 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Doohickie, it's no surprise that he doesn't like spending time in England! He's hounded everywhere he goes, he's never alone, he has weird motherfuckers with cameras outside of every house, car, hotel, bar, restaurant... they hunt him like a pack of wolves. All because he came out of the right (wrong?) vagina.

I feel kind of sorry for the lad. He didn't CHOOSE this life. I wouldn't want to be in his shoes for love or money. Seems like a life sentence.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:40 AM on March 3, 2008


Hey alasdair, this little piece should bring you back around. Odone - the toffee-nosed old windbag - had me bouncing off the walls last week.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:43 AM on March 3, 2008


Help! I'm turning into a conservative. Off to the Daily Telegraph talk pages to swing me back leftwards.

alasdair
If that doesn't work - a big gulp of the Daily Mail will soon have you growing a beard and sandals. (I'm becoming an old fart - but the Mail makes me suspect the Archbishop of Canterbury is probably quite reasonable underneath!)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:09 AM on March 3, 2008


alasdair -- "If the "vociferous minority" used pictures of Gay Pride to stir up traditionalist sentiment about the evils of the decadent West, should we ban Gay Pride?"

Well, without taking a view on the correctness of his activity I was pointing out it's damn unpleasant living down here in Londistan sometimes. I really don't believe Special K or whatever that org is named gives a toss either, as this postering has been going on since 2000 or so, pretty much unabated in terms of vitriolic rhetoric.

I especially find interesting posters referring to all non Muslims as "kufffirs", which usually go on to explain that "they don't exist" and are "to be ignored like shadows".

A group of whackos just trying to stir shit up, a group that doesn't need any more material.

Where I grew up in rural New York the KKK were active, I still remember their recruiting pitches and see remarkable similarities, although to be fair I haven't yet observed a cross being burned down here.

Another BIG difference is back in the US some law enforcement group would be all over the KKK were they to preach a similar message. Here the UK equivalent just seems content to let these idiots post whatever the hell they want, and no matter how offensive the message is to a segment of the community.
posted by Mutant at 7:16 AM on March 3, 2008


Mutant - on the plus side, my experience involved in activities against a homegrown type of ultra-right politics did teach me just how few activists it takes to give the impression of a widespread campaign just by poster and sticker campaigns. Some towns apparently hotbeds of neo-Nazism turned out to have three mates with a big paste bucket and not much else in their lives.
Special Branch have long been of the give-'em-enough-rope and infiltration school when it comes to dealing with domestic extremism as I understand it, so I wouldn't take the continued presence of such material as evidence that it is being ignored.
posted by Abiezer at 7:26 AM on March 3, 2008


It's pretty frightening that Prince Harry ties his self-esteem to being in a war zone where he can kill people. I suppose the tabloids will next report on how depressed he is to be back home. But the fucker should have studied harder in school so he could have joined the air force. *Much* better chances for deployment to a nice, safe, Royal-friendly airbase.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:39 AM on March 3, 2008


I just think it's fucking cool that his helmet tape says "WALES", like in a Shakespeare history.
posted by nicwolff at 7:43 AM on March 3, 2008


Well, Mutant, that really sucks. Now I'm glad that I can't afford to live in London. Maybe you should move up here to the White Hills with me and all the rest of the hippies.
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:47 AM on March 3, 2008


KokuRyu, Harry isn't especially scholarly, by all accounts.
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:48 AM on March 3, 2008


Was it all just a PR stunt?

Well, yes, quite frankly. You'd be retarded to think otherwise.
posted by Artw at 7:59 AM on March 3, 2008


chuckdarwin: [they hunt him like a pack of wolves.] All because he came out of the right (wrong?) regina.

There. Fixed it for you.
posted by schwa at 8:14 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


alaisdar : We should never be afraid of applauding right and proper behaviour

Our dashing and red-cheeked warrior prince was helping to exacerbate an unwinnable and meaningless guerilla war that will only create battle-hardened fanatics and inflame them, justifiably or not, to attack us and purge our influence from the region. Meanwhile we grind out a steady stream of dead civilians and destroyed infrastructure, not to mention the casualties and costs on our own side. It's not what I'd call "right and proper behaviour" and applauding it with shiny-eyed nationalistic pride isn't really what I find myself wanting to do.

The verbal fellatio lavished on the lad since he got back puts Chelsy to shame, I'm sure - but while it swells the spirit if you're that way inclined, in my view it just sets the tone for the next ill-advised flag-waving excursion into wherever it'll be politically convenient to attack next.
posted by Drexen at 8:19 AM on March 3, 2008


He's hounded everywhere he goes, he's never alone, he has weird motherfuckers with cameras outside of every house, car, hotel, bar, restaurant... they hunt him like a pack of wolves.

Which makes the last 10 weeks all the more amazing, doesn't it? I would think a human shield of paparazzi would have been enough to protect the man on the front lines.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:39 AM on March 3, 2008


Abiezer -- point taken, and as the majority of the folks down here are indifferent, a few are downright curious about an American and pleasant to chat with, and a final few the vocal minority I mentioned, I fully agree it could, and probably is, just a handful of idiots posting that shit. Guess it's easier to keep an eye them this way and now that I'm thinking about it, perhaps this is pragmatic. An outlet, for their frustrations, if you will.

chuckdarwin -- "Well, Mutant, that really sucks. Now I'm glad that I can't afford to live in London. Maybe you should move up here to the White Hills with me and all the rest of the hippies."

I'd love to! London's been getting on my nerves for a variety of reasons anyhow. You know when I first moved to The East End in 2001 it was only 'cause it's cheap. Actually it was a bona-fide deprived area at the time. Now we've got a Starbucks and all sorts of trendy and pricey places are opening. If I'm still around in a year or two it will be interesting to see how gentrification plays out in E1. I lived in The Lower East Side in New York, and rent stablisation (and to a lesser extent, control) made for some interesting clashes. Of course I guess here there are Council Tenants, which are protected as well, but with the religious angle it could get dicey.
posted by Mutant at 8:49 AM on March 3, 2008


I'm pretty sure that the Taliban don't get their military intelligence from watching the BBC.

The Prince and The Taliban -- "Afghan militants claim they knew English royalty was in their midst."
posted by ericb at 8:53 AM on March 3, 2008


I'm Canadian. Could you *imagine* a fucking President Harper? Think about it.

Not that he isn't trying fucking hard to make it so, what with the censorship bill and evangelicals crowing about "families" and the reprehensible attempt to bribe a dying man and all...
posted by jokeefe at 8:55 AM on March 3, 2008


Say what you like about the royal family, at least we didn't elect them. Twice.

Oh, snap.
posted by jokeefe at 8:56 AM on March 3, 2008


Jimbob: "If it was a PR stunt, I don't understand why they chose New Idea to break the story to 500,000 bored Australian housewives."

Have you had a look at Harry? He's dead sexy, that one. The other one's gone all horsefaced. 500,000 bored Australian housewives need wanking material too, you know.
posted by macadamiaranch at 8:59 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


When you are a soldier, you get sent to where the war is. This was a young man doing his duty--a young man who had every opportunity to avoid doing his duty and demanded to go anyway.

I'm amused that in the world of many MeFites, a person risking his life in Afghanistan (of all places) can only have been a PR stunt. Have a bit of decency.
posted by Nahum Tate at 9:01 AM on March 3, 2008


"My lord came home from the wars today and pleasured me with his boots on." Sarah Churchill as a role model for new Australian womanhood!
posted by Abiezer at 9:06 AM on March 3, 2008


Didn't they do this exact same thing with what's-his-prince back in the Falklands?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:13 AM on March 3, 2008


Sys Rq : Didn't they do this exact same thing with what's-his-prince back in the Falklands?

Prince Andrew flew helicopters there.
posted by Drexen at 9:19 AM on March 3, 2008


What a load of bollocks. I heard about this last week and tried to ignore it but now I'm back home in London and I made the mistake of putting on the news last night and it was everywhere. Now it's on the blue. I know I should have just ignored this post, but I didn't. Woe is me.
posted by ob at 9:20 AM on March 3, 2008


Related Harry FPP.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:31 AM on March 3, 2008


11 weeks, then the mucky mucks deliberately leaked the info. Huge PR coup for the Brits, huge popularity boost for the Royals. To think that they would honestly have put him on the front and in real danger when he's so closely in line for the throne is naive. Preposterous.

This is such nonsense, as ciderwoman is trying to point out. He absolutely was at the front, and in real danger, and there's no way it was a deliberate leak. To Drudge? The PA were with him during his deployment, so it wasn't as if it couldn't have been sprung earlier.

"PR stunt" is such a nebulous concept that I don't know what all these people decrying this as one mean. Do they mean that someone plotted to send him out for a while, then have it leak early for maximum exposure? That's completely insane. Do they mean that the PR of the move was considered as part of the planning? It would be negligent for them not to have done that. I'm not sure I see what the problem there is, however.
posted by bonaldi at 9:45 AM on March 3, 2008


I know you all, and will awhile uphold
The unyoked humour of your idleness:
Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
That, when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at,
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:47 AM on March 3, 2008


Its a shame that so many mefites are so damn busy getting their class-war, Bush hating, republican schtick on that they can't see this story for what it is - essentially bloody sad. Here's a 23 year old lad who's been pursued by the press his entire life, who appears to be trying bloody hard to have a useful career despite being pretty enourmously personally wealthy, and who just really wants the sort of anonymity we all take for granted.

He's had a great time, doing real, dangerous work, which he has been trained for, with his team, and now, because some arse with a website can't respect that, he's being dragged home against his will. Just imagine how he feels - how he must feel he's let his troops down - how he must wonder if there's anything he can do on his own.

Its pretty irritating that what must be a personal tragedy for a young man is seen by some as yet another opportunity to make the same old points...
posted by prentiz at 9:48 AM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Blah blah blah. You're all overlooking the important thing: Prince Harry is freakin hot. A serious RILF. It's a good thing he doesn't look like his mother's husband.
posted by Nelson at 9:49 AM on March 3, 2008


"Beyond the fact of the deployment itself, what has consequently been revealed is the fact that the media -- in collusion with the U.K. government and military -- was busy stockpiling a treasure trove of photos and videos to glorify Harry's exploits in anticipation of a media big bang. To the extent the English establishment is in a snit, it's over the inability now to formally leverage Harry's pseudo-governmental and mega-celebrity status (not to mention, his sex appeal) to more singularly distract from the failing effort to stabilize Afghanistan and root out the Taliban and al Qaeda." (link)
posted by jonp72 at 9:49 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


why doesn't The Treasury avail itself of every opportunity to raise sorely needed funds?

because, historically, Her Majesty's Government has been exactly that.
posted by panamax at 9:59 AM on March 3, 2008


You're all overlooking the important thing: Prince Harry is freakin hot.

It's a wonder he was willing to leave his comrades behind.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:03 AM on March 3, 2008


Thanks chuckdarwin and Jody Tresidder, that's helped! Right, must not sound like Melanie Philips...
posted by alasdair at 10:16 AM on March 3, 2008


who just really wants the sort of anonymity we all take for granted.

Well, that and to reign over us someday.

Its pretty irritating

Really? On the scale of stuff that irritates me, this is somewhat low down the scale. Less irritating than Philip's pontifications about Fuzzy Wuzzy's, but more irritating than The Dutchess of Pork.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:26 AM on March 3, 2008


Here's a 23 year old lad who's been pursued by the press his entire life, who appears to be trying bloody hard to have a useful career despite being pretty enourmously personally wealthy

We'll he can't have it, any more than I could become a victorian chimney sweep. All he can have is a pretend version that takes up a lot of other peoples time and money. Boo hoo.
posted by Artw at 10:54 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


panamax --"because, historically, Her Majesty's Government has been exactly that."

Ha, blindingly obvious in retrospect, especially so since my Indefinite Leave to Remain paperwork contains the qualification at her Majesty's pleasure in it somewhere.

Yah, guess those folks really run the show here.
posted by Mutant at 11:01 AM on March 3, 2008


Hmm. "Running the show" kind of implies a certain level of direct involvement that isn't really the case. But they do manage to get their names on everything quite effectively, and remind us that they are Quite Important and Relevant with the odd stunt like this every so often.
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on March 3, 2008


I concur with Ciderwoman’s analysis. This is cockup – not conspiracy. DA Notices gagging the press are common enough and the use here appears to be entirely legitimate. Drudge initially cited New Idea as his source (while claiming a 'world exculsive'). New Idea had itself speculated that Harry might be in combat noting that he hadn't been seen on the party scene in ages. This weekend Bild disavowed itself of commenting on the issue. Drudge guessed – and guessed right.

The issue here isn’t the right and wrong of whether the ginger Prince should have been sent to war or not. Rather this story is a swansong for state sovereignty over reporting; killed by an internet that knows no border. What use now, a gentleman’s agreement among the great and the good of Fleet Street? Even without the guesswork this would have seeped into the public domain.

Shall we give the final word and decision on whether this was façade to that most cynical bunch of misanthropes, a crew whose snark ration makes mere Mefites looks like amateurs: the British Army. Their considered view seems to be that the boy done good. I’m inclined to agree.

There is a vociferous minority down here who put up some very offensive, very divisive posters and this just gives them for more material for their propaganda.


I’ve just finished The Islamist, by Ed Hussain which is largely set in your manor. It’s a fascinating read from an articulate man who fell into Islamic extremism, saw through it and came out the other side. It should be proscribed reading for anyone who thinks that the West’s current conflict is with Islam as a whole and not a minority bunch of nut fudge fundamentalists with a shaky grasp on their own religion. You should read it – I think you’d find it interesting.

when I first moved to The East End in 2001 it was only 'cause it's cheap. Actually it was a bona-fide deprived area at the time. Now we've got a Starbucks and all sorts of trendy and pricey places are opening. If I'm still around in a year or two it will be interesting to see how gentrification plays out in E1.

If you yearn to keep it real in the hood, you’ve still got options – Peckham, Deptford or New Cross would work. E1 is still in the most deprived borough in the country and the arrival of City types doesn’t seem to be having the ‘rising tide lifts all the boats’ effect that might have been hoped for.
posted by dmt at 12:14 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


So are we quibbling over this was the specific leak they intended now?
posted by Artw at 1:34 PM on March 3, 2008


Just a quick point, dmt, as far as I'm aware this wasn't a D notice thing. An agreement was reached between the UK media and the MOD that was simply a gentlemans agreement with no mention of a D notice, precisely, I guess, to avoid the claims of press gagging.

As for Drudge, the rumour I hear is that he didn't guess, somebody told him, though I've no idea who. Probaby Al Fayed :)
posted by ciderwoman at 2:51 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Way to formulate an argument, call your opponent retarded then fail to provide any evidence."

While your arguments seem to boil down to claims without any evidence plus strawmen fallacies.

"Believe me, I've had plenty of dealing with the House of Windsor, and it's like drawing blood from a stone just to get them to agree to having their photo taken on a skiing holiday, yet people seem happy to attribute all sorts of machiavellian planning to them at the drop of a hat."

Why *should* I believe you, exactly? You're just making claims. I'm trying to analyze the situation.

Point 1: no one is saying this is Machiavellian except you. This hardly looks Machiavellian. It looks rather simplistic actually. Point 2: no one is saying the Royal family themselves are the ones who are behind the PR stunt. In particular, I'm saying that Harry is an unwitting tool in the affair. The Royals have publicity people, just like any other celebrities. They are surrounded by a *huge* number of staff and aides whose entire existence is devoted to servicing them. That this might extend to publicity manipulation is not a huge leap, and is backed up by the fact that the Royal family *employ* publicity agents.

That the Royals don't work well with the press on a personal level is totally irrelevant, and it looks to me like this is the foundation for your bias; that because they won't work well with the press (when the press wants it), you believe they don't ever use the press to their advantage. This is a naive belief and not logical.


"Yes, this makes the Royal Family look better, not hard, but is it so hard to believe that the initial reason for going was simply to do his job, the same way his uncle did? It's not like he's got a great career to look forward to."


*His* motivations are not really at question. He may believe in what he's doing, in fact it appears he does. But he is clearly capable of being manipulated. He's a young man, living a sheltered life, I think probably not overly wise in the manipulative ways of the machine around him. Do you really think that it is impossible for him to be steered into a course of action that is exceedingly good public relations fodder? As for careers, well, Edward is doing OK, isn't he?

"As for how dangerous it was, well, they'd be pretty stupid to put him anywhere near the front line, but by the looks of things nowhere is safe anymore."

Tacit admission of the reality: there is no way that the military would put a person third in line to the throne in a real dangerous situation. That 'nowhere is safe anymore' is rather a meaningless comment. So, yes, you admit that in fact his deployment could not possibly be a really dangerous situation and the military brass would never seriously put him in such a position.

"But yes, of course, this is the British royal family and teh is the dEviL. Teh kilt diana, teh are capable of putting aside all their own personal agendas and coming together to provide a PR stunt."

BZZZT. Strawman argument. I don't recall ever claiming that the Royal Family is 'evil'. But a cursory glance at their history over the last 40 years, nay, 100, shows that they are quite capable of using the public relations machine to their advantage, or at least *trying to*. I am not particularly claiming they are always successful.

I mean, for god's sake, the Royal family *invented* the idea of 'for king and country'. They are the central players in the propaganda machine of British nationalism. For you, apparently, they are blithe and sheltered creatures who really bumble along without any desire to be liked or turn around public criticism at all. Can't you see how naive this is?
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 3:26 PM on March 3, 2008


this wasn't a D notice thing

Agreed - but it had the same effect; de facto if not de jure. No need for the stick anyway when you have the gigantic carrot of access to the Prince.

So are we quibbling over this was the specific leak they intended now?

You miss the point. It strains credulity that this was an intentional leak by St James' Palace to have Harry removed from harm's way. Ciderwoman's Al-Fayed crack obliquely makes this point: were it to be a preordained 'PR stunt' it would require complicity on the part of Clarence House and the upper echelons of the Army. This is verging towards "MI6 killed Diana" territory.

In the case of the latter, it has too much to lose (vide 'Harry being treated differently to other squaddies' sentiment) and would be unlikely to agree to such a ruse. In the case of the former, it presupposes a level of PR sophistication which the House of Windsor has conspicuously failed to demonstrate in recent times. The most recent attempt made to professionalise the Crown's PR ended ignominiously.

While I'm sure that the Buck House courtiers are just desperate to burnish the Crown's image, are you seriously suggesting that they'd have been prepared to go so far as to potentially sacrifice Harry on that alter? I too think that the Monarchy is a self-serving institution, hell I've signed Charter 88, but I don't buy the notion that they're Shakespearean monsters. Sometimes a cock-up is just that.
posted by dmt at 3:31 PM on March 3, 2008


He was never in any real danger.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 3:38 PM on March 3, 2008


He was never in any real danger.

With the very greatest of respect, what qualifies you to make that assessment? If you've served in that theatre, then I'll defer to your opinion. If you've not, perhaps you might consider deferring to someone who (reading between the lines) claims to have served in the same time in the same place.
posted by dmt at 4:01 PM on March 3, 2008



He was never in any real danger.


Okay, White man. You fly over to Afghanistan and live there for six or seven weeks then.

If only Jenna Bush would indulge in a similar PR stunt. Though I recognize having Ivy League drop-out frat boys sniff coke off your cleavage can be fairly dangerous.
posted by tkchrist at 5:02 PM on March 3, 2008


While there is all the pontificating in the press, ala Hyde and others, that the Prince was just treating this as a game, it was a waste, he wasn't realy in the thick of, what strikes me is that no-one he was serving with 'ratted him out' - one of his squaddies (or fellow officers for that matter) could have made a huge amount of money by tipping off the press. But they didn't. Perhaps those he was serving with actually respect him, think he was just trying to do his job?

And for all those who are complaining that their son/nephew/neighbour/friend of a friend doesn't get to come home if you tell the press they are there - like Harry, they signed up, they knew what they were in for. I doubt they would be very happy if it happened to them. You join the Army, you do the job. I can tell you that in the armed forces of the Commonwealth there are more people complaining because they haven't been deployed yet than those who are complaining that they have to go away.
posted by Megami at 5:15 PM on March 3, 2008


You miss the point.

Not really. I just don't think it the news being leaked by intenet, without intent, or released as a press release really have any bearing on the whole excercise being a PR stunt. Nor does whether he was a pretend soldier, only slightly a pretend soldier, or mostly not a pretend soldier. The whole thing is still a PR stunt regardless of the sepcifics of the execution.

I mean, good on him for getting a bit muddy and all that, but lets not start pretending he was there for any reason than to make the royals and/or the war in Afghanistan look good, and as a sort of working holiday.
posted by Artw at 5:15 PM on March 3, 2008


hey Henry, why should I believe you when you say he was never in danger? You're just making claims.

ArtW: who orchestrated this stunt then? Just because it is good PR doesn't mean the PR was the cause of all this. Would Harry have gone if he didn't want to? No. Could the Brwn govt or MoD have sent him? No. Could he have gone there in the glare of the press? No.

It boils down to this: the only person that could have caused all this is Harry. If it's a stunt, then his motivation was to improve his image. I find that umcharitable and hard to believe. There are many safer ways for him to do that.
posted by bonaldi at 5:54 PM on March 3, 2008


None that would have worked so well. And theres perfectly good reasons for all groups involved to be complicit.

I find that umcharitable and hard to believe.

Possibly you're just a little bit over-credulous?
posted by Artw at 6:15 PM on March 3, 2008


possibly, but I'm cynical as all hell -- I check puppies for ulterior motives -- and have no deep love for the Windsors, so I don't think I am being. I'm also very alert to manipulation at work ( I felt it from the McCanns very early on), and i just don't get that from this.

I'm not saying it wasn't good PR, it was. But I also think there were very genuine motives behind it. What is making you so judgmental on this one?
posted by bonaldi at 6:50 PM on March 3, 2008


"what qualifies you to make that assessment?"

You said yourself that you find it unlikely that the Royal family would 'sacrifice' Harry in this manner. If it is unlikely they would sacrifice him for propaganda, why do you think it likely they would sacrifice him merely because he wants to be a soldier? Do you not see the contradiction?

You, ciderwoman and I all agree that it is highly unlikely that a Royal personage so close in line to the throne would be put in significant danger - except for the sake of this argument, you appear to be prepared to accept that they *would* put him in real danger if it was *not* for PR purposes, but because he just wanted to be there. O_o

The only difference between your stance and mine is that I don't believe they would willingly put him in a position where he could really get shot at all. I find that impossible to believe.

I agree that the Royal family (in this case read: Prince Charles & The Queen) would never willingly potentially sacrifice Harry for the sake of a very good publicity move *or* because Harry himself thinks that he can be just one of the lads. Whatever Harry thinks about the matter, you can be certain that the family have very different ideas. Harry is destined for very great things and they do not include being shot by some ragged Afghani in the middle of a frigid desert. Take that to the bank. It has already been made clear that Charles and Elizabeth knew the nature of Harry's deployment all along.

Add to that that the British Military command would not likely have him in a serious danger zone - can you imagine what that would do for the careers of the people in charge if Harry caught a bullet or died? They are gonna put him in a place where it looks good but he's surrounded by lots of strong armour and elite equipped units.

No one is going to throw their careers away by getting one of the most popular young Royals killed or even wounded. That's the very reason the usually malignant British Press kept it quiet for so long - as was pointed out upthread. The same psychology will extend into the top echelons of the military and the Palace courtier culture. Can you imagine the witch-hunt and hounding that would happen?

That's why I say that he was in no danger. I have no personal experience of Afghanistan to back this up, but I do have experience with human nature, and I'm so confident of this I will make these predictions: It will emerge later that Harry was given extra protection in deployment, probably without his knowledge, and that his location was leaked deliberately.

I think it likely that Harry himself thought he really was there to do the right thing and was unwittingly used for the best press that the Royal family has had since Charles & Diana's wedding, and in general pretty bloody good press for Britain in general. It's not Machiavellian, it's just business.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 7:13 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


OK, Henry, you "find it impossible to believe" that Harry could ever be allowed to place himself in any danger, because you have a cynical view of the Royal family and the British establishment. I find it perfectly likely, but I have a less cynical view of the Royal family and the British establishment.

You've been good enough to make two predictions: first, that Harry was given extra protection, and second, that his location was leaked deliberately. OK, here are mine: the extra value of Prince Harry as a target was of course taken into account, so things would be done a bit differently, but he would and did place himself in danger during his posting, like his fellow soldiers. The leak was not deliberate. Let's see how it works out.

Of course, either one of us might be so blinkered that any evidence either way will be a conspiracy/untrue/not prove anything: I note that Harry really was in Afghanistan, for example, in the dangerous Helmand province, but that cuts no ice with you. But let's see what comes out.
posted by alasdair at 6:43 AM on March 4, 2008


It will emerge later that Harry was given extra protection in deployment, probably without his knowledge, and that his location was leaked deliberately.
Well, one of them is already wrong: his location wasn't a leak, it was known. This wasn't information being leaked, it was under embargo -- a totally different matter. If his location wasn't known, how could we all have had reporters, photographers and TV cameras with him?

As for the second: even if it were true, which I doubt, it's a big reversal from "was never in any danger".

As for "he's set for big things" ... um, no, he's not. He's the spare. He's set for nothing at all, and knows it.
posted by bonaldi at 7:45 AM on March 4, 2008


"half-tour Harry"
posted by Dave Faris at 8:12 AM on March 4, 2008


n general pretty bloody good press for Britain in general

Well, if you want the britain to be seen as a bunch forelock tugging peasants or persist some kind of fairytale version of the world where we're still a world powe in charge of where our military o rather than just lackeys of the yanks.
posted by Artw at 9:32 AM on March 4, 2008


*His* motivations are not really at question. He may believe in what he's doing, in fact it appears he does. But he is clearly capable of being manipulated. He's a young man, living a sheltered life, I think probably not overly wise in the manipulative ways of the machine around him. Do you really think that it is impossible for him to be steered into a course of action that is exceedingly good public relations fodder? As for careers, well, Edward is doing OK, isn't he?


OK Henry, then you tell me who is manipulating all of this.

And as for Edward, fuck no, he's doing terribly. His wife was forced to resign her PR job and his company has been touting for work with no real success for years.
posted by ciderwoman at 10:14 AM on March 4, 2008


I have no personal experience of Afghanistan to back this up, but I do have experience with human nature


So does everybody on this planet. My expereince with human nature tells me you are incorrect.

Your proof is non-existent and absent proof you have only have a grudge of an argument ("he was in no danger") based on guesses... which is specious at best.

The fact is he WAS in danger. He was in a very dangerous war zone where heavily armed well trained men, protected by the most sophisticated weapons and technology on the planet, get killed all the time.

He was in much more danger than he would be in, say, the South of France drinking expensive Champagne and fucking teen aged heiresses. Which is what he could have been doing.
posted by tkchrist at 4:35 PM on March 4, 2008


So he'd be some kind of hero if he went on safari? After all, the tigers are real.
posted by Artw at 5:23 PM on March 4, 2008


So he'd be some kind of hero if he went on safari? After all, the tigers are real.

Who the fuck cares. I never used the word "hero." You bounce that around on your own if you want.

But he certainly was in danger living as a white guy and a soldier with real live guns with real live bullets in a war zone for weeks on end.

Contrary for Henry's ridiculous assertion.
posted by tkchrist at 5:32 PM on March 4, 2008


As much danger as a real soldier?
posted by Artw at 5:33 PM on March 4, 2008


As much danger as a real soldier?

What does that even mean? What difference does that make? You know what a REMF is? They are "real" soldiers, too. Are they in as much danger as a front line grunt? No. But they are in more danger than you.

So.What's your point? Is he a hero? Who cares. Is he a real soldier? He is "more" of a soldier than you out there at Microsoft or me here on Capitol Hill. Is that what you want me to say? Is this semantical argument over what a soldier is or isn't? Suffice it to say he was actually there where people shoot or blow up guys nearly every day. And Prince Henry has much more appealing things to do with his time than most REMFs, or you, or me. Such as fucking the plentiful and attractive aforementioned teenage heiresses on their yachts. he has things to REALLY live for.

I don't know if it was a stunt. I don't care. Honestly this kid couldn't win no matter what he did. You guys, sitting in the comfort of your cubicles, are simply looking for excuses to cut him down no matter what. Frankly, it's kinda lame.

Look. I think it took "some" balls to go to an active war zone and strap. Bigger balls than many of the sons and daughters of our US leaders appear to have. Bigger say than all five of rabid War Cheerleader Chicken Hawk Mit Romney's sons. None of which have even engaged in the pretense of farcical military service.

So I'm willing to cut the kid some slack.
posted by tkchrist at 6:10 PM on March 4, 2008


As much danger as a real soldier?
ArtW, you're beginning to look like a real grudge-holder here. Fair enough, the Royals have been mouldering at the top of our nasty class structure for too long, but possibly dislike of them is clouding your judgement here?

Everybody concerned with this -- from grunts up -- has asserted that he was in the most dangerous areas, right on the edge. Even if it were a PR stunt, the negative press of extra effort being expended to keep him safe would more than outweigh the benefits. Regardless of motives, he had to be treated like a "real" soldier.
posted by bonaldi at 6:49 PM on March 4, 2008


A "real" soldier with a film crew out on a PR stunt.
posted by Artw at 6:56 PM on March 4, 2008


now you're just descending into self-parody. Btw, he's not the only soldier with a film crew, and you're just begging the question on the "stunt" part.
posted by bonaldi at 9:13 PM on March 4, 2008


now you're just descending into self-parody. Btw, he's not the only soldier with a film crew, and you're just begging the question on the "stunt" part.

Here is how it would go. Let's say Harry got killed.

Response:
"So the Royals little PR stunt backfired. Fuck him."

Or fellow soldiers step forward and say he was a stand up soldier.

Response:
"Obviously these guys are kissing ass or are afraid of retribution. Of course they are gonna talk him up. Fuck him."

OR— Prince Harry decides to not to go. "Fuck that noise... I'm a bloody Prince! I'm going to Cannes and get laid!"

Response:
"What a coward. While his country men are fighting and dying! Fuck him!."

Seriously. There is nothing this kid could do to prove himself one way or another to these people.
posted by tkchrist at 12:00 PM on March 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


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