Odd how quiet it seems at The Sun this week. Think about it. Surely in the middle of this furore about Piers Morgan’s dodgy atrocitigraphs, and with the Express positively frothing at the mouth, you’d think Sun-readers would be being keenly browbeaten to do something or think something. But no. A gentle hush has descended.
So why should they be keeping their powder dry? My suspicions are that the Sun’s intrepid investigative squad are frantically reeling in a few favours from their paper’s long and intimate relationship with the British Army. I reckon they’re hot on the trail of the…well, either the fakers or the fuckers, I’m afraid, and they may well be going to land them. With the announcement that the MOD is going to make a statement, you can bet they haven’t been dragging their feet either. I’m also afraid there may well have been the odd Anglepoise-in-the-face-you’re-not-going-anywhere-sonny scenario unravelling recently in a few lonely barrack rooms, both in the UK and in Cyprus. Simply to, er, ‘accelerate the sharing of information’, you understand. Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day, I reckon a major new twist is going to hit the front of the senior red-top.
What hit Sly Bailey must have been the realisation that, with Piers Morgan parading his rhinoceros-hide trenchcoat on the catwalk of his peers’ opinions, she’s directly in the line of fire down at the Trinity Mirror Group. That’s why she came out and assured us that although she’s the senior executive, it’s darling Piers whose decision it was to run the pictures and, well, she naturally ‘sanctioned’ him to make the right decision.
Fascinatingly, the fake photos may end up not being the biggest story, just a catalyst. The letter from ex-cavalry officer Michael Yardley in the London Evening Standard tonight, claiming he actually left the Army because of what he called a “culture of brutality” and citing numerous degradations inflicted on recruits during and after training, could well be the start of a torrent of such admissions, from all ranks across all the services. Such a veil-lifting would stab at the heart of military authority in the United Kingdom. It would queer the pitch of the General Staff, and lower morale across all ranks to zero.
The prospects don’t look pretty in the UK for the army’s reputation. And I imagine they don’t look much better if you’re in Basra this evening wearing a British uniform, either.