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28 June 2005 at 16:47

a day for heroes

Following the unanimous reader response to the Where's Willy? puzzle I blogged a while ago, I decided to set another one anyway. So here's a music trivia question, and there's a big clue further down on this page. The question is: which 70s song, a favourite of Tony Blair, does this come from?
Rebel souls, deserters we are called,
chose a gun and threw away the sword.
It's been a day for heroes. Mostly heroines actually. And as you'll see, all of them were eff'ed over by superiors in return for their heroism.

To start with, this morning I caught an interview on the World Service with Tim Collins, who was the Gulf War commander of The Royal Irish Regiment in Iraq. His speech to his troops in Kuwait, analysed here, was breathtaking.

Anyway, in the radio interview and a similar one in print, he recounted the surprising turns in his life since that day, including shoddy behaviour by his own top brass that saw him accused of war crimes. He came across as tough, communicative and ferociously honourable, just the sort of person you'd want commanding you in battle.

Then on TV tonight there were 2 Aussie heroines.

Toni Hoffman is the inspiring Queensland nurse who blew the whistle on the lethal activities of a surgeon known in the newspapers as Dr Death, a man now accused of murder, who has since fled to the USA. For 20 years he had been struck off medical registers the world over, but then in 2001 the bureaucrats at Queensland Health Department decided to roll out the red carpet for him. When Toni Hoffman saw him killing patients almost daily and raised her concerns, the medical fraternity closed ranks and ostracised her (though privately they agreed that he was a walking disaster). Even her union warned her off, but she persisted. Now of course, thanks to a journalist who ran with the story, everyone suddenly agrees with her that his incompetence and fraud has been (allegedly) killing patients right left and centre for years. But she's still being treated like a leper, and still has a lengthy cross-examination to come, if/when he is extradited to Australia and brought to trial.

My second heroine, Di Fingleton, Queensland's Chief Magistrate, spent 6 months in jail on a charge trumped up by colleagues. The full story is a bit obscure, but she has now been vindicated. Yet neither her colleagues nor the Queensland Premier wants her back in the job.

What is it about Queensland and bastardry? Luckily, the life president of the UnHeard & McDonald Islands went to the same school as me, so I don't think I need fear repercussions if I'm ever called upon to display heroism.

If things had been different, I could have been a hero myself long ago. Perhaps

Blogger hotboy said...

Most enjoyable blog, Adolf! Tim Collins I saw on the telly. Stitched up. Don't attract attention to yourself, son. In the show was the reporter who took the speech down. Otherwise no one would have known it. Even the guy didn't really know what he was saying. Brilliant. From the heart stuff. Get rid of him!!

Bad influence in your photies looks like me. What the fung happened? Why couldn't I stay like that? Hotboy  


Blogger robmcj said...

Remember that people who have hardly seen you in 30 years will still see you like that, maybe the nearest thing you'll get to immortality.  


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