How bad was it? Check out this review by an anti-war TV critic at Metro:

Let’s nail some colours to the mast. I marched against the war in Iraq and I’m no supporter of British military action in Afghanistan. But even so, it was hard not to feel a knot of revulsion growing in the stomach at the twisted portrayal of the Army that was shoved down our throats in Accused (BBC1).
This was drama, posing as reality, that got the blood boiling but not in the way I’d anticipated. If you were looking for a target market for a story about bullying and brutality in the military, an exposé of a world where pocket dictators get their rocks off victimising vulnerable squaddies, then I’d be it. But writer Jimmy McGovern’s story was so ludicrously one-sided you couldn’t believe a word of it.

Below the fold, reaction from the Army Rumour Service forum. Language warning. [Read More…]

So far…..I’ve seen more sympathetic portrayals of the SS.
It’s toss in every single way.

A load of crap,,,side issue where do they get them fu*kin berets”

£145 A YEAR extorted by the threat of prison or fines to fund the BBC which can produce such slanted and biased programmes and passes them off as for entertainment. On Sunday morning they did such a tremendous job then kick every serviceman in the teeth with what can only be described as s**t

Can I have the last hour of my fcuking life back? Christ that was shat for a drama. Fcuking quality for an RSM hernia session. Love the heli landing pads on everyone’s napper. Where can i get one? Stroll on what a pile of gash. McGovern…..what a useless fecker. WHich spastic directed it? Can no one direct a drama about squaddies & get it right? Its not like the reference material is unavailable.

I switched over after three minutes, just as I saw the first set of dessies and the fuckin’ beret. Second half of Sunderland v Everton wasn’t half bad.

Forget the whole everyone in the army is a cnut etc. What was most terrible about it was the level of writing. A primary school kid could do better. “This is a monkey he puts good soldiers in jail”. Cringeworthy even if i had no knowledge of the armed forces, even if i did think they were all baby eaters i would still be watching that thinking what fucking spastic wrote this

No point in getting outraged,what else did you expect from the B.B.C.?Did you expect fairness?Honesty?We’re all old enough to know better,if the B.B.C.can stiff anyone or thing even perceived as being British,patriotic,or faintly right wing they’ll do it.As far as the B.B.C.are concerned,the world is pink to red.

thought the whole thing was a bag of tosh except the high quality beret shaping.

“the monkey was rat arsed sarge. cpl buckley had to restrain him. thats how he came across his injuries sarge…” with dialogue like that the beeb must have knew they were on a winner. cant think of a worse actor to play a soldier than mckenzie crook. he’s looks like a litgtle weasel at the best of times but its even worse when hes in a uniform

i think even soldier soldier was better than this crap

Just watched the programme and TBH JM who is capable of a lot better has let himself and everyone else down was dreadful

I want to join that army so I can ponce about tents all day with a dodgy goatee beard.

What a load of old tosh. I don’t know what was harder to believe the RMP travelling without a wpn, helmet or Body Armour or the fact he got filled in by Gareth from the office.
Further incredulation when the father decided to pull the body out of the coffin and go all CSI on the sitting room table.

Thought it was ok until about 3 minutes in when they were given the option of ‘go to prison or join the army’
Because we all know thats why everyone joins…

Whoever within Auntie approved this series should be ashamed and embarrassed to have this sub-standard material aired at all!

There’s a bunch of people for whom it’s an article of faith that the Army is somewhere between the films ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ and ‘The Hill’. Those in their 50s also watched ‘Apocalypse Now’ and have managed to work that into their stereotype. They believe we are all violent, racist, bullying half-wits who had to join the Army rather than go to prison, and that our officers are universally chinless public-school types who only work the odd hour in between hunting, fishing and shooting expeditions. These stereotypes have developed through conversations at middle class dinner parties over decades, and they’re not about to change in a hurry. So it doesn’t matter how much we complain about wholescale inaccuracy or hold up ‘Values and Standards’, because they know they’re right, and the exceptions only prove the rule.

There’s no point in trying to change their minds, because it isn’t going to happen. So perhaps we should just let them continue living in their Alice in Wonderland world, and get on with what we do. They don’t really affect us apart from writing/broadcasting rather silly and mildly offensive TV programmes every now and again, so we could just ignore them without it leading to the end of the world.

I saw 10 minutes of this programme and turned over because it was crap. I think the only people who will have watched it and believed it aren’t going to change their views, but don’t actually matter, anyway. Wheeling out the outrage bus only encourages them to imagine there must be smoke behind fire. To coin a phrase ‘leave them, mate – they’re not worth it’.

There is a complaints section on the BBC website.
Go for it!

Do any of you think that the BBC will give a flying fuck about your opinion?

That last observation is spot on judging by Jana Bennett’s response on Today this morning.

UPDATE 13.30. Here’s the Telegraph’s David Hughes on Bennett’s “embarrassing” effort on the Today programme. (£517,000!)


I think it is all too evident that the BBC has an anti-military pro pacifist agenda which informs much of its output. Now read on…

The head of the British army has complained to the BBC about a drama showing bullying among troops in Afghanistan, calling it “deeply offensive to all those serving”. Sir Peter Wall has written to BBC director general Mark Thompson about the programme, Accused, said the MoD. The episode features a corporal who bullies two friends who join the Army, one of whom goes on to commit suicide. The BBC said it was in no way an attempt to denigrate the Army.

Through the BBC prism, our Armed Forces are a great evil and so it is not in the least surprising that bias flows through such output as that highlighted by Sir Peter.


I found it telling that the Taliban chose the BBC as its propaganda conduit to declare it sees no reason to talk to NATO. John Simpson, that doyen of fairness and impartiality, was the point man in this exercise, and as he gushes the Taliban believe they are winning the war so why bother talking? What annoys me most about this is not the way in which Simpson and the rest of the BBC rush to broadcast Taliban propaganda (That’s par for the course) but rather the impact this sort of story has on the families of those brave men and women serving their country in Afghanistan. It’s the drip drip drip of BBC manufactured defeatism that so enrages me. Fighting the savages in the Taliban is one thing but countering the PR the BBC afford them is quite another. From where I sit, the BBC are the enemy within and every time our military goes into action the BBC will not be far behind them, undermining their every action.


Mark Mardell is, predictably, reverting to type – what a surprise. He is now focussing his laser like mind on Afghanistan and – yes, you guessed it – Viet Nam keeps popping up.

“That’s what Obama will be worried about,” says Gary, adding that if a bad economy destroys presidencies, an unpopular war does the job even more effectively. “Vietnam” is simply shorthand for “quagmire”.

Gary is ABC’s chief pollster, Gary Langer (ABC of course – how did I know that Mardell would not be chatting to anyone from Fox News…)

He naturally delves deeper into the 1960s

This interesting article argues the world would be different if LBJ had listened to writers, not generals, and that Obama should be listening to free thinkers.

By writers he means Norman Mailer and the implication that military men are so blinkered in their thinking that they can only come up with the idea of more troops whereas if LBJ had only listened to Mailer rather than his generals then the US would have got out of Viet Nam in 1965 and everyone would have been much better off.

Mardell’s line is beginning to conform to the general BBC playbook on Afghanistan – it’s a quagmire, like Viet Nam, it can’t be won so let’s get out now and leave the place to the Taliban. As long as the Talib concentrate on executing dissidents and flogging women and closing schools for girls the Beeb will just look the other way – unless they start blowing up Buddhas – then that will be a real tragedy.

This theme was hammered home in a Newsnight piece several days ago when a book called “Lessons in Disaster” by Gordon M Goldstein was described as the current must read in the White House. It is said to describe the LBJ administration in 1965 being marched into an escalating war by a military viewing the conflict too narrowly to see the perils ahead. In other words it conforms to the accepted mythology that the whole venture was doomed from the start and the generals were wrong and Jane Fonda was right – and that, of course, fits fair and square into the BBC student union mindset.

But what Mardell and the BBC don’t mention (I wonder why?) is that, according to the WSJ, another book on Viet Nam is circulating widely in Washington – “A Better War” by Lewis Sorley. Originally published in 1999 it points out that the replacement of Gen. Westmoreland by Gen, Adams in 1968 was a big key turning point in the war.

Gen. Abrams abandoned the “search and destroy” tactics of his predecessor for a policy of protecting villages, and began to push for Vietnamese institutions to take over tasks once run by Americans — just the policies Gen. McChrystal has advocated in Afghanistan.

Sorley’s book on Abrams influenced the thinking of Gen Petraeus, the architect of the Iraq surge. It also argues that the final conquest of South Viet Nam by the communist North was definitely not a foregone conclusion.

By the time of the enemy’s 1972 Easter Offensive virtually all U.S. ground troops had been withdrawn. Supported by American airpower and naval gunfire, South Vietnam’s armed forces gallantly turned back an invasion from the North amounting to the equivalent of some 20 divisions, or about 200,000 troops.
Critics were quick to attribute the successful defense to American airpower. Abrams would have none of it. “The Vietnamese had to stand and fight,” he said. If they hadn’t done that, “ten times the [air] power we’ve got wouldn’t have stopped them.”

However in 1974 the new Democrat controlled Congress refused President Ford’s plea for extra support for South Viet Nam, instead voting for deep cuts in military aid. The North Vietnamese, always concerned about a resumption of US bombing, took this as a green light and launched a massive invasion in 1975. Even in the face of this onslaught some ARVN units stood firm but with the USA’s cut and run the end was inevitable. Sorley’s premise is that with longer term US support South Vietnam might well have been able to resist the Communists and developed into a viable state.

Unfortunately, just as the US military had worked out how to counter the communist insurgency, the politicians in Washington ignored the evidence and gave up the fight.
It’s clear that the BBC had made up its mind about Afghanistan, just as it did about Iraq and the Falklands. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they are as wrong about the first as they were about the other two.


It must be awful to be a UK military family listening to the BBC for news of the campaign in Afghanistan. Radio Taliban would be less depressing than the State Broadcaster. The meme concerning Afghanistan has now morphed into the same one that prevailed when we were in Iraq. The cause is hopeless, we cannot win, UK lives are being sacrificed for no reason, we must get out. It’s defeatism, of course, and it is something the BBC excels at promoting. This morning Today was cultivating the idea that there is electoral corruption in parts of Afghanistan. Surely not! Listen, there is PLENTY of electoral corruption in the UK and we have a government that bribes, lies and cheats to try and buy votes here so the BBC need not travel half ways around the world if it wants to locate such behaviour! Heaven forbid that we have not created a functioning Jeffersonian democracy in Afghanistan. (Who cares? We should be there to kill Islamic terrorists and prevent AQ reorganising – end of story.)

But, of course, the BBC is doing this to ensure that the results of the Afghanistan election are seen to be compromised. In this way, those British soldiers who lose their lives trying to bring freedom and democracy to this distant land can be seen to have died in vain. However I was thinking that given how many millions gave their lives to defeat the Nazis in WW2, and when we now look at the corruption of the EU, the same argument that BBC seek to employ in Afghanistan could be equally applied here. Human beings will often behave corruptly, that does not mean it is wrong to try and do what is right.

Iraq was the bad war. We were berated by the likes of the BBC for years that we had to get out of Iraq. And now we are out, the spotlight of defeatism switches to Afghanistan. The BBC seems to take an editorial line derived from John Lennon’s “Imagine” – nice tune, nothing to do with reality. Was there ever a war of which the BBC approved? Maybe that waged by the IRA against the UK? Thoughts?