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The Mark of Cain (2007) Writer Tony Marchant. C/More4

After the capture of Iraqi suspects in Basra, life for a platoon of British soldiers will never be the same.

Despite every attempt by the Government to kill this play (“It will endanger our troops”, “Clips will appear on YouTube” and bafflingly, “It will inflame the Iranians who are holding our Sailors”) it was broadcast last week and caused a whole heap of trouble…..

Tony Marchant’s made for TV play used actual transcripts of events and places them in a “fictional” context as British troops are accused and convicted of brutality against Iraqi prisoners.

I hated every minute of this film.

I hated the fear in the eyes of adolescent boys placed in mortal danger. I hated the casual bullying. I hated the racism. I hated the Officers who wound the troops up and hung them out till dry when expediency demanded it. I hated the violence. I hated the sexual deviancy and total disregard for their prisoners as people. I hated the self loathing and remorse of the troops. I hated anguish of the parents. I hated the ostricisation of the boy with the courage to take responsibility. I hated it because it had to be made at all.

I hated it because Tony Blair has made me morally ambivalent and compromised. All the good he has done is washed away in blood, no matter how positive his intentions.

Most of all I hated it because no matter how hard we try, we cannot deny it is all true.

1 million Iraqis are dead reports The Lancet, whose figures are “close to best practice and robust”, according to Sir Roy Anderson, the Chief Scientific Advisor to the MOD.

That is the responsibility of Tony Blair and those who voted for the War and continue to support it.


About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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