Time for a moan, and a big moan at that. I write without any objectivity, and with the clear unreconstructed bias of a fan. The BBC let Paddy and Billy Moss down in 1944 when they captured Kreipe; the BBC did not send out the agreed message about having already taken the General off the island thus intensifying the search. In my view the reporting of his death is another let down for Paddy.
I listened to as much news as I could on Friday, and I only recall hearing one mention on the BBC Radio Four news programmes: Adam Porter’s account 25 minutes into the Six O’clock news. Not even a mention on the flagship daily arts programme, Front Row, and as far as I could tell nothing on the television news either.
Even the short obituary on the BBC news website contains a glaring error saying that Paddy lived his last years in Crete; no, it was in the Mani near Kardamyli!! Sloppy journalism and showing a distinct disdain for the man. (edit: I see they have now changed this to ‘Greece’ – well that hits the spot!)
Colin Thubon gave an excellent tribute on the Broadcasting House programme this morning, Sunday 12 June.
The death of Paddy at the age of 96 years is clearly distressing to his family, friends, and even those of us who are quite simply admirers. However, it is much more than this; it is an event of national and international significance.
We have lost a great man, one of the last of a breed of British men who gave their all to secure victory against Fascism, and then went on to live even more remarkable lives afterwards. Paddy’s achievements were unique and worth celebrating in themselves. However, as one of the last of a kind the case for a full and proper tribute is even more compelling.
I only hope that at this very moment BBC editorial staff are working on a proper programme to commemorate his life, and that even at this late hour the BBC may rescue itself from the condemnation it appears to want to bring upon itself.