The release of the BBC’s Alan Johnston has of course been a headline on both the news programmes as well as the Today programme, but it seems to me that we are going to hear and see a lot more of this particular name in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. We hear of his captors’ fear as they realise that the Hamas terror organisation has taken over in Gaza, and the simultaneous knowledge that the kidnappers will now be dealing with a shadowy organisation just as ruthless as they are.
As to the rights and wrongs of this broadcast journalist’s detention, I have my own opinion, and that is he should never have been based in that place in the first instance. A confirmed Palestinian sympathiser, his slanted and biassed broadcasts were well known for their praise of all things ‘Pally’, as well as his detestation of Israel’s policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians, especially when he was commenting on his extremely good friend Yasser (It’ll only hurt for a while, and it is only your bum, and no, of course I haven’t got AID’s) Arafat. One comment from the interminable discussion between James Naughtie and Johnson stands out; he said, “As I crossed over to freedom in Israel..” says it all for this Palestinian sympathiser and apologist, as he at least can recognise who, in that very strange land, actually stands for Freedom!
We can now look forward (or not, as the case may be) to reading and hearing:
The trend towards a better type of decoration in confined spaces, by Alan Johnston
Recipes from a Gaza cell, by Alan Johnston
How to field strip a Kalashnikov while blindfolded, by Alan Johnston
How to bore everyone rigid within a thirty yard radius of my voice, by Alan Johnston
It really wasn’t their fault, they were driven to kidnap me by the Israeli occupation/America and Britain’s invasion of Iraq/ N.A.T.O.’s invasion and occupation of a peaceful and democratic Afghanistan/McDonalds’ policies on low rates of pay for it’s employees/ the terrible colour of the alleged Double Gloucester cheese on sale in Waitrose, by Allan Johnston
Musings, while seated and straining on a tin bucket, by Allan Johnston
Acceptance by Terry Waite that his long-lasting title as the owner of the World’s most boring voice is now over, as Allan Johnston was elected by unanimous acclaim to that revered position!
Cross-posted from A Tangled Web