Saturday, April 14, 2007
Here comes iPod diplomacy
'I've somehow got more faith in the essential decency of the British people that they want to talk about big and important issues in a way that does justice to them' - prime minister designate Gordon Brown plugs his new book in today's Guardian
'The Iranians pinched my iPod - The gifts the Iranians gave the crew were a load of junk - and nothing in comparison to what they stole, including Arthur Batchelor's iPod, he said yesterday. Before their release the Brits were given shabby grey three-piece suits made by a local designer and a fake Hugo Boss shirt. They also got a "granny bag" (sic) full of tat including toffees with a label saying "containing pistachio", a CD and DVD that don't (sic) work and 11 books. These were in English and mostly aimed at trying to convert the reader to Islam with titles like Youth and Morals by Sayid Lari.
Arthur said of the gifts: "They're a bit pathetic. I don't know what they're trying to prove by giving us books on morality and their religion. My morals are fine, thank you very much. And those suits were an insult. Not only did mine not fit, but it was cheap and tacky and the Hugo Boss shirt was a fake. I could pick up a better outfit at a jumble sale."
When they were first captured by the Revolutionary Guards the crew were searched and all their belongings were seized. Among the kit stolen was Arthur's iPod, a going away gift from girlfriend Steph Nethercott. Arthur said: "The iPod was really special to me as it was a gift. It had our song on, Hold Me Tonight by Angel One, which was one of the tunes playing when we first met. It was in a pocket in my overalls. The guards took everything off us - including cigarettes and watches. All we were left with were the clothes on our back. We were told we'd get them back - but I'm still waiting." '
British gunboat crew member Arthur Batchelor talks above to the Daily Mirror about big and important issues following his release by the Iranians last week. The Mirror's sub-editor clearly had more big and important things to do than sub that piece. Which does rather confirm both the point I made earlier this week about the quality of contemporary journalism, and Polly Toynbee's view that the British press is "the worst in the west." And the Iranians haven't much to fear, the Ministry of Defence gives Arthur Batchelor's rank as 'Operator Mechanic', but he hasn't passed his driving test.
Now read Peter Maxwell Davies raging at another British politician's musical garbage
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