Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Article excerpt

From: The Unit

To: GB

Subject: Media blackout

* Another good week. The government and you personally are barely figuring in press and TV news right now. It's difficult to judge whether this is having a positive effect but it certainly feels better than the continual pasting we get whenever you say or do anything of note!

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* Obviously, Harry the Hero has been playing massively. As you know, we were not always in favour of supporting his deployment. We feared that, had he been killed or injured, everyone would have started thinking about the other young men who have got killed or injured. Suddenly young men being killed or injured might have blown up into a massive issue.

* Also, re: the blackout. The fact that if the Taliban had been aware of Harry's presence they might have tried to kill him was always mitigated, for us, by the fact that, even without being aware of his presence, they were trying to kill him. They're trying to kill all our soldiers, all the time, somewhat--so would it really matter if for a while they tried to kill one of our soldiers a lot?

* Anyway, the whole thing has, in the end, played brilliantly for a number of our allies, including the monarchy, the military Establishment, the right-wing press. Everyone, indeed, except Terry Taliban!

* The blackout tactic has got us thinking, however. As you know, we already have a news blackout re: your travel plans. …

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