We are sure that the question that forms the title we have given to this article will horrify and even disgust many people. They will regard it as heartless and cruel. We thought long and hard before publishing. Are we encouraging the Chandlers’ kidnappers to murder their victims ? No of course not! In the unlikely event of the kidnapers surfing onto the British Gazette’s website, we would urge them to release the Chandlers unharmed, immediately and unconditionally. In this the British Gazette stands four-square behind David Miliband.
The above embedded video is from the Sky News website.
The facts of the matter are these:
For some time now Somali Pirates have been a menace in that stretch of the Indian Ocean from the Gulf of Aden and out to the Seychelles. Their success has fuelled an expansion of the menace. Why ? Quite simply because the commercial ship-owners whose vessels and crews had been kidnapped paid the ransom demands. This is because businessmen will always be guided by their Gods: Profit & Loss. To them there is no higher principal. True: many companies will appear to be very much “on side” with the political establishment, with a lot of politically correct phrases and so forth in their marketing literature. This however is an essentially commercial move – it is currying favour with “the powers that be” – showing the powerful whose side they are on [theirs]. Courtiers and sycophants have been doing this for centuries. For the ship-owner the easiest and cheapest solution is to negotiate using intermediaries and to reclaim it off the insurance company. They care little for time honoured principals when these will incur a considerable cost. The result of this appeasement is the terrifying situation the Chandlers’ find themselves in.
There is of course the question of the “Wave Knight” to consider. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary oiler, “Wave Knight” was in fact close by but her crew felt unable to assist and rescue the Chandlers as they were being transferred from the yacht to the pirates’ motor launch. The British Gazette would wish to point out that the officers and men of the “Wave Knight” were in no way to blame and accusations of cowardice are outrageous. The fact is that the “Wave Knight” is not a warship but a support vessel. She does have light arms but what was needed at that point and time in the Indian Ocean were some trained snipers and “Wave Knight” did not have any on board at the time. Civilians (because the Royal Fleet Auxilliary crews are civilian) with hand guns are no substitute for the real thing: Royal Marine Commandos.
It is a well known fact that if you pay a ransom you encourage ransom demands. Indeed, this wisdom is embedded in English history. Does everyone remember their schooldays when we were taught, “….That if once you have paid him the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane….” It was true in the 9th and 10th centuries and it is still true today.
The British Gazette therefore would urge the British government to continue its present stance in relation to the Chandlers with the caveat that if intelligence sources manage to locate where the Chandlers are being held and the General Staff advise that a rescue by either the Royal Marines Special Boat Squadron or the Special Air Service is feasible – then that rescue should be attempted. But ONLY if professional military men suggest that it is feasible. A rescue mission MUST NOT be attempted on the basis of garnering political kudos.