It is probably true to say that a great many of those detached to 55FST knew where they were going but had little knowledge of why they were going there. The general public in the UK were even more in the dark and it was unlikely that they were going to be illuminated. Unless of course…….
Fred Halliday was an academic and journalist. Born in Ireland, schooled at Ampleforth he read PPE at Oxford and had an especial interest in the Middle East. His particular interest was in how the British were managing their disentanglement from colonial remains and from Empire. He was literally on the other side of the wire with his foot in the PFLOAG camp supporting the overthrow of Qaboos. He had spent time on the jebel with the DLF but also preached his anti-British gospel in the UK. Officialdom did keep an eye on him and it was independently reported that he was lecturing to the GUAS.