Gordon Brown booed by D-Day veterans! That was one of the stories of the week. Apparently he’s so unpopular that even eighty-year-old soldiers who have gone to Normandy to honour their dead comrades are prepared to shout at him because of some mix-up to do with the Queen not being invited.
Watching the coverage on the BBC News, some questions occurred to me. I don’t want to accuse anyone of dishonesty but there are certain... perplexities to this story.
Perplexity one: The BBC footage doesn’t show any veterans. Indeed, none of the footage of any of the outlets shows any veterans either booing or being present at the place where the booing occured. The Sky News report even pans the camera across to the source of the booing – to find a quiet old codger with his medals on display lost amongst a large crowd of, er, TV journalists and football hooligans on a booze cruise. Boos cruise, geddit? Oh never mind.
Perplexity two: The boos – of which there are maybe half a dozen – don’t sound like the boos of men in their seventies or eighties. They sound like the hearty boos of men in their thirties and forties.
Perplexity three: Would World War Two veterans, men who have fought for our country, really behave in such a yobbish and disrespectful manner? I don’t think so. I think to suggest so is actually rather insulting towards them.
Perplexity four: There are no interviews with or quotes from any of the veterans who were present explaining why they booed Gordon Brown in any of the news reports. This is a curious omission.
You could almost be forgiven for suspecting that a load of TV journalists, sent to cover a story about Gordon Brown being unpopular, had been the ones doing the booing!