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Feb. 26 2010 - 7:56 am | 183 views | 1 recommendation | 0 comments

The first duty of a government is to protect its people

I have taken an image of the MV Faina with the...

…Whatever the cost.

Your correspondent, who in general keeps things light on his page, is a migrant to the shores of the UK. Certain old fashioned notions of hospitality rally against complaining about one’s hosts. But the case of the British couple captured over 100 days ago by Somali pirates, and still in captivity, mitigates against such niceties.

Which is to say, what the ****ing hell is going on in this country, when its government, seem to be doing sweet **** all to rescue Paul and Rachel Chandler? These are the admittedly rather foolish, retirement age couple, who have been in the hands of Somali pirates since sailing from the Seychelles to Tanzania, a stretch of water notoriously ‘infested’ with Pirates. (Speaking in fluent Journalese there.)

Her Majesty’s Government can, apparently, afford billions of pounds sponsoring adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the case of the Chandlers however, the best the Foreign Office can do is to say it is ‘monitoring the situation’ and to issue statements ‘calling for the release’ of the Chandlers. Oh yes, and of course the usual tripe about not negotiating with terrorists. Right, like in future they should just deal with nice people.

Somehow a crew from French news agency AFP was able to track down and interview the traumatized and emaciated couple, but MI5, MI6, the SAS and whoever else, can’t put a stop to the Chandler’s nightmare. Their plight doesn’t even seem to be making the headlines anymore. The last time the Graunian had anything to say about them was January 31st, the Torygraph on February 5th. It’s hard for me to believe the British people have lost either their common sense, or decency, but perhaps their government and the fourth estate have. Something, quite clearly, ought to be done.


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    I have never worked as a secret agent, but I did play one on TV: KGB spy Sergei Kukushkin in mini series The Company. More recently I played a debauched aristocrat in a tasty short film called Last Night in Buenos Aires. I was also the voice of the monster Buffalord in the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, believe it or not. In 'real life' I am a Travel Writer, Scriptwriter, After-Dinner Speaker, Entrepreneur and man-about-many-towns who has written and produced television for Fox Networks UK, the UK Sci-Fi Channel and New Zealand animation facility The Funny Farm. I have also edited or contributed to numerous guidebooks, to cities like Buenos Aires, Florence and London - as well as dear old Budapest of course. Between December and February I was Guest Editor at Time Out Beirut. I have also been fortunate enough to write about travel (and whatever else moves me) for True/Slant as 'The Jet-Set Hobo.' Well, it seemed a fun way to sum up what might laughingly be referred to as my lifestyle, and the label has stuck. There are worse appellations, don't you think?

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