“It sucked. Can I have my £1m now?”

A couple of months ago, 15 UK troops were taken hostage in Iraq. They were eventually freed. Then I started seeing news stories about how everyone was furious because the troops were selling their personal stories to the highest bidder.

Maybe I’ve been in the US too long, but I didn’t understand what people were upset about. I still don’t.

Those troops went through a hideous ordeal. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to get money in return for telling people what it was like? If everyone can agree to give JK Rowling ten million quid for writing a bunch of guff about kids learning to be wizards, what’s the moral argument for not allowing troops to sell true stories for a sackful of cash? (I note that they even had explicit permission from the MOD to do so!)

Or maybe it was all faux outrage manufactured by the newspapers who lost out in the bidding war?