By Joe Glenton
WHEN my belief in the capacity of powerful institutions to exercise basic good sense simply overflows, I read Ministry of Defence press releases to keep myself in check. Indeed, few things can trim my faith in the human intellect like the supercilious ramblings of some nameless, faceless “MoD spokesperson.”
While the full facts of the case are cloudy, this was certainly true of the Royal Navy’s bitter sounding suggestion that Able Seaman William McNeilly was only a “very junior sailor” expressing, “subjective and unsubstantiated personal views” when he brought to the public’s attention his professional concerns over what he felt were severe security and safety risks on British nuclear subs.
While his claims are yet to receive the full and public inquiry they deserve, we do know that ad hominem has become the automatic response by the state to those who expose the truth these days.
If it isn’t pulling rank as in the case of McNeilly, the questions will be about the individual’s mental state or whether or not they hold some deranged or simmering grievance.
Picture courtesy of easylocum