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Insufficient leadership

Posted by Richard Thursday, October 29, 2009

Predictably, the media are giving heavy coverage to the "Nimrod Review" into the wider issues surrounding the loss of Nimrod XV230 in Afghanistan on 2 September 2006, commissioned by former defence secretary Des Browne on 13 December 2007, and delivered yesterday by Charles Haddon-Cave QC.

The piece by Michael Evans, in The Times is, for instance, headed: "Nimrod report is most devastating in living memory". It reports that the accident occurred because of years of complacency, safety reviews that were riddled with errors and a general lack of care towards the personnel who had to fly the aircraft in a dangerous environment.

What Evans does not say – and neither, it seems do many other journalists – is that the report is 587 pages long, packed with detail by a man who is an aviation specialist, a fact that is very apparent in the depth and breadth of the findings.

Given the necessary speed with which the media must work, and the fact that Haddon-Cave did not release his report until after the press conference, this means that none of the journalists who filed their stories for the main news organisations – all of which were up in the early afternoon and evening – can have read the report.

If you rely on the media accounts, therefore, you will - at best - be misled. You will certainly be ill-informed. Read more on Defence of the Realm.