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November 21, 2009

Nelson wept

The Royal Navy has apologized for sending up the Spanish; the culprit, a gunnery target flag in Spanish livery. This is bad enough on its face - seriously, sod the Spanish - it is none of their concern what happens in British territorial waters.

What is worse is the spectacle of the Royal Navy apologizing for nothing. After all, they choose to pretend the send up was unintentional and therefore have nothing to apologize for.*

Which is a lie. Obviously.

An MoD spokesman yesterday insisted the Spanish had been mistaken, but pledged to take action so a row did not flare in future.

He said: 'HMS Scimitar was using Flag No1 during gunnery practise – not the Spanish national flag. Flag No1 is traditionally used on gunnery targets due to its high visibility however we recognise its similarity to the Spanish national flag and will use an alternative marker during gunnery practise in this area in the future.'

The men who chose those colours were men and, had the Spanish complained at the time, would have thought it a very great joke and loaded the guns for another volley. Once upon a time, I expect the Spanish would have been men enough to appreciate the humour. These days we may expect an "human rights" complaint against the Royal Navy.

* "For which to apologize." Filthy prepositions.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at November 21, 2009 08:47 AM