I noticed that after this blog mentioned that the Ministry of Defence was firing anti-tank rounds tipped with radioactive depleted uranium into the Solway Firth that the practice is to be ended. Is there a connection? I doubt it. But I wish I did have that kind of influence. Then I’d insist that the Government hold a public inquiry that would reveal the truth behind the Batang Kali Massacre in 1948. The execution of 24 ethnic Chinese on a Malayan rubber plantation by soldiers from the Scots Guards was almost certainly not the work of a rogue patrol. The squaddies were pretty obviously obeying orders. The question is, whose orders. How high did the scandal go? The British Army and Government has a habit of throwing squaddies to the wolves when things go pear-shaped. But no-one has ever been held to account for the massacre. So who is being protected? A person doesn’t have to look too hard at events in 1948 to conclude that the British administration in Malaya had more than its fair share of seedy second and third raters. That’s why the Communists succeeded in making so much trouble in the first place. I know that 1948 is a long time ago and some might say it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie. But the only way to learn from the mistakes of the past is to admit there have been mistakes in the past and examine what went wrong. The Scots Guards at the time pointed to the fact that following the killings there was no further trouble in the Batang Kali area. Is that the lesson? The Batang Kali Massacre is a putrid sore when it comes to Britain’s reputation in the Far East and the continued secrecy is seen as typical British arrogance and colonialist indifference.