HRH Prince Harry Afghanistan

“If there’s people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we’ll take them out of the game. It’s a joy for me because I’m one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I’m probably quite useful.”

 

When my phone rang early on Tuesday morning I mistook it for my alarm and swiped it, hanging up by accident on the caller… none the less I was awake so I stuck the news on only to see the face (not the arse) of Harry… the boy from London, who is aka Captain Wales, Harry Windsor and probably the Duke of something too. Anyway, there he was with an Apache helicopter and a lot of sand for a back drop telling us all about his job.

Now it’s not easy for this socialist republican to listen to such interviews … particularly when the only time I’m likely to hear working class folk chatting on TV is via that nasty worm Jeremy Kyle who gets rich by making poor folk fight after he’s torn the piss out of their sad and poverty stricken existence, I digress but that’s what happens when I see Harry and co telling us how difficult it all is whilst pointing out they’re ‘just ordinary folk’.

In Harry’s case it goes even further. Remember he’s the one who thought it was hilarious to dress as a Nazi a few years back – what with that and his recent much less worrying bare erse in Las Vegas this royal is portrayed as being “just like a lad his age” or “a bit of a loose cannon” or “he’s been away fighting for his country, he’s “letting off steam” and lets not forget “this boy lost his mother at an early age” . Well none of this washes with me because for me Harry’s most recent appearance made me even sicker to my stomach than pretty much any of his previous stunts. So, I sat watching him and listened to him and I shook my head and I tutted at him, then the phone rang again and the voice said “Would you come on to Call Kaye today to talk about Prince Harry? ” I said “yes” and welcomed the chance to vent my bitter republican spleen.

Well the next 45 mins or so were a bit of a radio riot, a sensible Irish man called in to say he found His Harrynesses remarks disturbing – I don’t have his exact words but he too felt very uncomfortable with Harry telling us how they “kill insurgents” and that you “take a life to save a life” out there in Afghanistan but the sensible Irish man went away and was pretty much replaced by several royalists and a couple of guys who had been in the army and had various levels of sympathy for the bold boy from bukky house and in that 45mins or so I had to conclude that for all kinds of people and for all kinds of reasons Hapless Harry’s interview had the desired effect of stirring up pro war, pro royal and pro killing the foreigners fervour. One man said that Harry had been wrong to give the interview and talk about killing insurgents because that had put Harry’s life at risk, he went on to claim that there are “Muslims in this country” who could go after the Captain Wales.

For me this was what the whole thing was about, it was about spreading hate and suspicion. It’s about justifying invading and killing folk with sophisticated weapons from a distance. You can call folk legitimate targets, call them insurgents, rebels, you can call folk what you like to make them less human but they are still folk and you are still killing them and the more sophisticated your weapons the less likely you are to know who, or indeed why, you are killing. Now I know many soldiers who have been out in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’ve usually met them selling the Big Issue because they are homeless, or engaging with mental health services due to the trauma they experienced and sadly I’ve been to a young mans funeral…. a young man who died in Basra. A boy who couldn’t find a job, couldn’t afford a flat, a boy who went to the Job Centre and met the army in a fancy jeep and the promise of a driving license and four square meals a day, some training and freedom from the pressure of unemployment.

He got most of that for a wee while then he got killed age 19. Does Harry make the army perhaps look attractive for a ‘lad’ who likes a wild time at home? Does the army look like an attractive option for young people who want to look handsome and cool in their uniforms? And with the ongoing sabre rattling by allied forces governments delivered via sections of the media create so much hate and suspicion of foreigners that our young people seek to follow Harry and “take a life to save a life”?

This orchestrated PR exercise, which was probably filling the space set aside by the royal PR media machine to announce the pregnancy of Kate Windsor had it not leaked out early, has served to fuel hatred for people of Afghanistan and anyone who looks like they may be from Afghanistan. The biggest criticism across the media has been that he should have been perhaps careful about discussing shooting people as it’s a taboo thing to announce (but not a taboo thing to do). Harry’s interview was peppered with that good old cheeky chappie dude who loves his computer games, hates making his bed, has a wee laugh with his chum and a wee gripe about other soldiers seeing him as “Prince Harry” when he’s just plain old Captain Wales.

I’m a feminist, a republican socialist, I’m opposed to invasion and war and the testosterone macho culture which creates hate and destruction. I found this carefully sculpted appearance an exercise which was only there to provoke sympathy and adoration for everything I can’t stand. So, just like Harry I thought I’d say something.

Finally posh mooth man and tabloid media loving man (the other contributors on Call Kaye) and I were asked “what should Harry do when he leaves the forces?” Kaye Adams reminded me that we have a Royal family, so I may as well have an opinion. Thing is I don’t have a royal family – they have me, and as for “What should he do next?” I suggested he try to get a REAL job, but I also suspect he might be required to shoot folk in West Africa given the latest hate filled tripe spewing from Cameron and co.