THERE’S nothing like a good tear-jerking tragedy to keep the British people entertained.
And few have done the job as memorably as the iconic story of the sinking of The Titanic.
Great film, great theme song by Celine Dion – I guess half the nation has cried its eyes out over the entertainment industry’s reconstruction of this appalling event.
The mainstream version is bad enough. RMS Titanic, a passenger liner, crashed into an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City on April 10 1912 and was hopelessly ill-equipped to avoid the carnage that resulted in more than 1,500 of the estimated 2,224 passengers losing their lives.
The story has become a dark part of British folklore. We love to throw around the line of ‘rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic’ when a real-life disaster is occurring such as England’s Test cricket team changes its collapse-prone batting order.
But what I’m about to report here is no joke. If this is the real story of what happened on that historic day, we have all been taken for fools – yet again!
For according to Peter Paget, who has been associated with British intelligence for much of his life, the actual events aren’t so much a cause for tears but outrage that would never fit the bill of a highly lucrative film.
In a nutshell just about the only thing that is true is that a ship hit an iceberg and large numbers of passengers died.
Writing in his highly informative autobiography The Secret Life of a Spook, Paget claims that even the name Titanic was wrong as the boat that actually sunk was called the RMS Olympic.
So much for the extra sympathy and drama of the ship going down on its maiden voyage.
Rather than further elaborating on Paget’s story, here are his exact printed words.
‘Many things that are put about are far from the actual truth. They are carefully stage-managed by the tame media and incessant mind-boggling truth-bending advertising.
‘Everything from photoshopping the leg length of models to telling outright lies. It has been going on for years.
‘For example, the ill-fated ‘Titanic’ was actually the RMS Olympic. She had been in collision with a British warship the year before and was never going to pass another full safety inspection.
‘She had to be sunk run deliberately along a suitable big iceberg and sent to the bottom of the sea. The sad thing is the cargo ship that White Star line had sent ahead to anchor and wait for the ‘disaster’ got its position wrong. It was just too far over the horizon to see the distress rockets from the ‘Titanic’ and the result, in a calm but freezing sea, was that many people died of hypothermia.
‘When they sent down the remote control submarines to view the wreck, the riveted letters Titanic, which had been overlaid on the prow of the ship in Belfast were rusting off. Clearly visible was marked ‘Olympic’.
‘White Star got the insurance money in five days. Mission complete! Did lives matter? Not when serious money is involved. Nothing changes.’