‘Evil dictators’ ain’t what they used to be

What on earth has happened to the noble art of hostage taking in the Middle East?

In Guru’s day, becoming a political prisoner meant four years in solitary confinement chained to a radiator, surviving on scraps, taking daily beatings, and listening to the inane religious ramblings of fundamentalists in nearby cells.

Now, it seems, being taken hostage entitles you to a fortnight off eating Persian food and playing a few games of chess before being bought a smart new suit and taken to meet the president. It is political correctness gone mad.

The 15 Royal Navy employees must have thought they were in for hell when they were jumped by Iranian forces, hauled off to a secret location, and told they were being held at the pleasure of the crackpot leader of the most volatile country in the Middle East.

Not a bit of it. Compared to working the treacherous Iraqi seas as part of a dangerously stretched Navy fighting an unjust war, kicking back and eating a few shish kebabs with the Iranians must have been a whale of a time.

Just to add to their woes, they were given all the fags they could smoke and even a goody bag when they were released… Yes that’s right, released – not rescued in a heroic manner by the SAS; not escaping through the sewers of downtown Tehran with the help of a one-eyed mystery accomplice; not displaying a stiff upper lip and offering up only their name, rank and their serial number.

These so-called evil dictators ain’t what they used to be. It’s about time they started taking their jobs a bit more seriously.

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