The news of the death of two British hostages in Iraq is terribly sad, but views expressed today about the "lack of effort" from the British government seem wide of the mark in my view.
I have read and heard that the Foreign Office are expending more energy on this hostages situation than they ever have on any previous hostage situation. But if the government are being criticised for refusing to pay a ransom of do the "continental" thing and simply give in to terrorist demands, then I, for one, stand right with the British government.
The British line on this issue has been clear for years. We do not pay terrorists. We do not throw our principles in the bin because of hostage situations and we do not help fund terrorists groups by handing over ransoms.
The fact is, however sad, those people taken hostage in Iraq were there on very highly paid contracts because they were in a war zone. They knew the risks before going and took a calculated risk in going there. Unfortunately the game of Russian Roulette they played was one they did not win.
I hope that the government are successful in their attempts to free the remaining three and my heart goes out to the families. But if we want to encourage more hostage taking then giving in to terrorist demands is is the sure fire way to do it.