19 October 2006

On British diplomatic ingenuity

Stuff of legends, that British ability to resolve anything using nothing but diplomatic wit and savvy. The Sun, under a rather shrilly headline Brave heroes hounded out, displays a shining example of that famous British tradition. Tragicomedy in 3 acts:

Act 1: the roots of the problem

Four young Household Cavalry officers (same unit where Prince Harry serves, incidentally) return home after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. They decide to rent a house together, to have some R&R after months risking their lives on the frontline.

Their choice falls upon £3,000-a-month detached home in picturesque Datchet, Berks, less than a mile from Windsor Castle. They visit the home, everything is to their liking and the deal is struck.

Act 2: The incident

Some neighbors do not like the fact that the British army officers are going to inhabit the house, and two days after the officers' visit the house had bricks thrown through windows and was daubed with messages of hate. The perpetrators happen to be, according to The Sun, "Muslim yobs".

Sources inside Windsor's Combermere Barracks - where the officers are based - confirmed Muslims had made calls threatening the men.

To those who lost the plot because of the length of this post, a reminder: this happened in United Kingdom, very close to the Queen's Windsor Castle.

There is some outrage by the vandalism, for example:

Last night furious Shadow immigration minister Damian Green said: "This is a shocking development."

Colleagues of the officers branded the vandalism a "disgrace". A source at the regiment said: "These guys have done nothing but bravely serve their country -— yet they can'’t even live where they want in their own country."

A Household Cavalry insider said of the Muslims' insult to Britain's heroes: "Everyone in the regiment is really upset. It's one thing coming under attack in Helmand in Afghanistan but quite another getting this abuse in England."

Act 3: The solution
They [the four young officers] were yesterday forced to look elsewhere to live - after top brass warned them against inflaming racial violence near the Queen'’s Windsor Castle home.
There is some other word that describes that fit of diplomatic ingenuity, but I have forgotten it at the moment. I am sure it will come to me later, though, so please stay in touch...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Via J of Justify This.