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Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Alan Johnston is Released in Gaza
The BBC is reporting that journalist Alan Johnston has been released after four months in captivity in Gaza. I've never met Mr Johnston but my heart leapt at the news. Sometimes things turn out right in the end.
He is anti-Israel and always reported from the terrorists' point of view. I am glad for his family, who love him, of course.
But now he knows that terrorists have no loyalty to infidels. My heart stayed pretty much in place.
Verity - you are such a sad person. Alan is a journalist for the BBC and by definition is impartial. Surely you know that?
Thank God, and all those who tried hard for his release.
Congratulations to his family, friends and Colleagues.
And may God curse those who kidnapped him.
Diablo - Oh, what a fool I have been! I forgot that the BBC is impartial on everything, but especially Israel! And terrorist groups!
So, maybe a little thankyou to Hama is due?
But of course it won't be forthcoming because we all know they are clever deceivers who secured his release purely for the propaganda value don't we? - and we will NOT be deceived. We're far to smart (blind? prejudiced?) not to see the wood for the trees on this issue eh?
I noticed that al-beeb initially commenced pleas for his release by saying what a good friend he had been to terrorists, oops, Palestinians.
Strangely, they ceased that when they decided to seek a wider appeal.
Never mind. Now al-beeb can get back to blaming Israel for every atrocity committed by their terrorist friends in Hamas.
The BBC is by its own admission a biased and partisan organ for the leftist/socialist point of view! The BBC are anti semitic to a degree that is shocking to all right thinking people. You only have to listen to its blind obedience to the global warming scamsters and its refusal to air any critism of the lies that are peddled by the "eco lobby" to know that the BBC is not fit to be called a news organisation. You are the sad person and you need to open your eyes to the truth!
As for those calling him anti Israel - have a day off.
How dare you start having a pop at the guy minutes after he's been released from an ordeal most of us can't even begin to contemplate.
You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Dear UK events,
Yes we can! its called free speech and yes we do dare! its called common sense! Alan Johnston has been a mouthpiece for the terrorists/islamists for years and his blatent anti seimitic stance is shameful! I hope he now realises just how stupid he has been! but I wont hold my breath!
You need to open your eyes and your closed mind.
Verity: Just pretend he's pro-Israeli and supports the people with the F16s. There, knew you'd feel better.
Iain, what are you doing awake at 2:21 a.m. at your age?
Dear annon 8.11,
We have been pretending for years that the Islamists are not a threat and mean us no harm and look where its got us! Have the Islamist "doctors" been spreading MRSA and other superbugs around NHS hospitals? They have the means and now its been proved they have the will to murder civilians! So have the government been hiding the fact that these Islamist killers have been in a perfect position to carry out their evil plans on the British people? You will say that it is unthinkable that a doctor would murder helpless patients by spreading superbugs around hospital wards? BUt these killers were ready to murder hundreds in cold blood. I think we deserve to know the truth.
Good news. Vulva is happy for the guy.
I'm not a candle-lighting, vigil-attending, tear-jerking, heart-in-mouth, moist-eyed metrosexual though. I'm just quietly happy for his family, the way we Brits used to be (when did we lose this dignity?)
Funny though, isn't it, the way he *talks* like a BBC reporter the whole time, even on his release?
Y'know, that formal slow mannered unemotional BBC tone of reading out a news bulletin, even though he's referring to 4 months of his OWN captivity, including times of abuse and threats?
I was impressed with the way he conducted himself on those videos released by his captors.He showed more gumption than those sailors taken by the Iranians even though he was alone and in greater peril.I am delighted that he is free.
As an antidote to the mean-spirited bile of 'english democrat', 'verity' and others, here's what today's Telegraph has to say about Alan Johnson:
"Ask any broadcast journalist in the Middle East and they will tell you the 44-year-old reporter is one of the most reliable, honest and impartial operators around."
Happy for his family but now I suppose he'll do the usual, write a book, do the chat show rounds, make a fortune and continue to tell the world what terrible people the Israelis are and how he loves the Palestinians. Stereotypical BBC. Where's my sick bag?
I suppose that this might be spun as an early success for Blair in his new role as 'Peace Envoy'! Somebody once said that satire died the day Kissinger got his Nobel Peace Prize, The Blair appointment almost eclipses that.
Congratulations Alan and Family
I've asked before iain but any chance you could comment on this, and in particular the Lady's anti-gay stance: good appointment?
Sky News are a joke, Tim "I'm a Muslim, Peace be Upon him" Marshall should be had for treason he is constantly downgrading the terrorist attack and now this morning praising Hamas is embarrassing we expect this crap from the BBC. Emma Jones has just interviewed someone from Hamas at 9.50 she couldn't have asked him more cuddly questions if she was still at the BBC. Rumour has it she is still being paid by them.
And what about Milliband talking to Hamas, didn't take long for his Commie tendencies to show through, they've only been in a week and they have already nearly sold us all down the river, gutless the lot of you.
I am flying to Israel to greet him!
After listening to him banging on for twenty minutes this morning on radio 4, its no wonder they released him. My heart goes out to the terrists that had to suffer this monotonous bore for four whole months.
Well, it’s something to be thankful about. And naturally one is very pleased for him and his family.
However I really do have major reservations about the huge hype emanating from the BBC. I’m sorry, but I do not think that the BBC itself has come out of this with much dignity.
As an employer it has used every means at its disposal to ensure its employee’s safe return, and that is exactly as it should be, but I do not regard this happy event as a cause for national rejoicing.
The fact that the BBC has chosen to make this its lead story, despite there being many other far more important stories, is bad (if unsurprising) judgement. These events have been a clear demonstration of the BBC’s priorities. The question is, are they the same as those of everyone else? Does the BBC provide a reflection of national opinion or does it seek to shape national opinion?
Compare the BBC's actions over this with its reporting of other kidnappings (for example in Iraq), some of which continue.
Are we going to find out who exacty kidnapped him - everyone is rather vague - and why. They didn't seem to want anything for his relase. And they must have known that there was no need to kidnap anybody to get the BBC report in a somwhat biased fashion. Perhaps they hadn't heard of the Beeb's own admissions.
Verity - that is an appaling post. You really do scrape the bottom of the barrell at times.
I have no truck with any of the anti-Israel guff that he and Orla Gerrin trot out, and I am sure that he has had time to reflect given his expereinces - and hopefully will now exercise a little more objectivity in his reporting.
But none the less, surely there is some sense of association with the relief he must be feeling at not having made his last appearence on camera with his had being hacked off by a blunt knife - a la Nick Berg style!
I am glad he is free and wish him a safe journey home.
Perhaps with Hamas having worked behind the scenes (for whatever motivation) it might be the start of some good news out of that God forsaken region for once!
Would it be too much to expect equal continuing coverage and campaigning over missing Israeli servicemen too? Just a thought.
10:23 Adrian, you describe your blog as "politics for those who don't do politics", yet clearly it is for people who do "do" politics and you "do" much of it yourself:
"He believes in success through merit and hard work,, and describes himself as a socially liberal, Eurosceptic, economic Thatcherite with a strong 'One Nation' tendency! "
Er.. hard to think of a more political statement than that.
AND your blog is.. er.. full of political statements. E.g. your views on Grammar Schools.
Why is it that the MOST political people always try and claim they are the most normal and the most uninterested in politics for the sake of credibility??
Trust me, people who don't "do" politics will not be reading your blog.
"Verity - you are such a sad person. Alan is a journalist for the BBC and by definition is impartial. Surely you know that?"
You are having a laugh aren't you, Diablo?
The only reason he is alive is because he was a mouthpiece for Hamas.
But.I am very glad he is free. Any dad or mum would be weeping tears of joy to see their son alive and apparently well. I really thought he was going to get the economy haircut.
Good news this, and it imposes the hardest question of all: HAMAS was democratically elected and 'we' did not acept that, HAMAS in response took over by force and we did not accept that, HAMAS now 'delivers' and thereby shows it is in command... so we now we either deal with what we portray as the terrorists or we reverse all previous policy and actually determine to deal with the root causes of the Middle East injustices.
Arguably, in Ulster the UK decided to deal with the terrorists, so it has been done before (and done in many British colonial scenarios.
And verity, to you ditto what diablo said. You are a very, very sad person that expoilts this rare good-news story to make a mean and tawdry wee point reflecting your own prejudices.
The fact that the BBC has chosen to make this its lead story, despite there being many other far more important stories, is bad (if unsurprising) judgement.....
Compare the BBC's actions over this with its reporting of other kidnappings (for example in Iraq), some of which continue.
The kidnapping of five Brits was mentioned on several outlets this morning. Norman Kember's release was a lead story for ages after it happened.
Alan's kidnap was the longest of any westerner in Gaza.
I don't come on here looking for sympathy towards the BBC, or any sense from Verity, ever, but some of the misguided guff on the comments really is breathtaking.
Thanks for putting this up, Iain. I'm bloody glad my colleague is free and unharmed.
Desperate Dan - appropriate name! What has this got to do with Alan Johnston?
I notice you don't have a blog at all, yet you feel suitably qualified to criticise mine!
Can you actually read (or do you just not bother?).I don't feel I need to explain myself, but as an act of charity....
Of course the blog is political - hence the title (I think you'll find this fact is implicit in the use of the two words 'politics for...'. Therefore, as it is clearly a 'political blog', some 'political context' is appropriate - hence the derscription - to match the 'political content'.
However, most people have a passing interest in politics, and don't live, eat and sleep it - or get off on debating the ins and out's of a ducks arse! I think these people understand the meaning of words like "Eurosceptic" and Thatcherite", where as they might not understand 'advocate of free market and laissez-faire economics and oppossed to European integration and a federal European state'. That is why I used the words which people understand. Capiche?
Finally, I am not appearing to be normal and disinterested in politics - I am normal, but very interested in politics.
The blog is nothing more than a personal forum for someone wishing to express their views on subjects which are/might be of interest to those who have a small appetite for politics, hence the references to cricket, travel and numerous other non-political issues.
But as I said, if you had read the blog before you starting tapping away, you'd know that!
Iain, if you are *that* humourless to delete posts that take the mickey out of some of the most unpleasant people that visit your blog, you are no better than they are.
Why the touchy-touchy sensitivity?
Don't be such a spoilsport.
"I notice you don't have a blog at all, yet you feel suitably qualified to criticise mine!"
Yup. I also don't write a newspaper and I criticise them. I'm not a politician and I criticise them. I'm not a Priest and I criticise them. I'm not a Scientology nut and I criticise them.
Forgive me if I'm being unreasonable. I forgot as a member of the general public I'm supposed to keep my mouth shut about bullsh*t written in the public forum.
"The kidnapping of five Brits was mentioned on several outlets this morning"
Including the BBC? Really? I didn't seem to hear it or see it in the news reports. Perhaps I was taking my medication at the time.
"Alan's kidnap was the longest of any westerner in Gaza
So, there have been other kidnappings of westerners in Gaza before, then? What was the longest period before this? Did the BBC regularly report it? And, of course, this is just Gaza. Now, what about other parts of the world - any kidnappings going on there?
"I'm bloody glad my colleague is free and unharmed"
Yes indeed, and (as apparently you seem to be a fellow journalist) would you now like to comment about the ongoing death and carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention Darfur etc etc?
I'm merely advocating a certain sense of proportion on the part of our national broadcasting organisation. It has lost sight of who is actually paying for it and who is paying the salaries.
"but some of the misguided guff on the comments really is breathtaking"
As a skilled journalist you'll recognise that this is not particularly elegant writing. However, if you're seeking wise and measured counsel then blog comments are not always the best places to look.
So Desperate - on what experience, knowledge and understanding is critique based exactly?
To answer three points:
1) Frank Gardner mentioned the five Brits in Baghdad on Radio 4 at 0810.
2) Kate Burton, whose story was covered extensively by Alan Johnston, as Gaza correspondent
3) Have you never seen any coverage of Iraq, Afghanistan or Darfur on the BBC then?
I imagine it was the lead story because it was the most interesting new development that our team had learned about. Sorry if you disagreed. I'd be interested to know which specific story you would have led with.
Screw that terrorist-lover Johnson!
"1) Frank Gardner mentioned the five Brits in Baghdad on Radio 4 at 0810."
Now would you care to count up the numbers of times Johnston was 'mentioned' both on Radio 4 3 2 & 1, BBC1, News 24 etc etc? Compare those two figures.
The Kate Burton story is over eighteen months old, but you may care to examine the levels of coverage at that time, bearing in mind the relatively short period of her abduction.
Sure, I've seen coverage of Afghanistan etc, but this is a news item about a single individual (who just happens to be a BBC Reporter). I'm suggesting that the BBC might spend less time on its own affairs and more on other matters. I note that Johnston's father praised the BBC, mentioning that the BBC visited them every day, is this what happens in all other cases? There's quite a lot else going on out there, you know. Yes, we can all be grateful for his safe return, but in the meantime there's a steady flow of coffins into Lyneham being received by grieving families, a steady flow of injured and permanently damaged military personnel and so on.
It's not a question of what I might have led on, and believe me, I'm absolutely certain that this story was "the most interesting new development that our team had learned about". That's the burden of my complaint.
>Yes we can!
Can. Who said you can't? I merely suggest that you should have more respect. If not for him, for yourself.
>its called free speech and yes we do dare! its called common sense!
In your view. Many people in the UK and around the world don't share your views. Whilst that doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't discuss them you should also consider timing and context. Its simple humanity.
>Alan Johnston has been a mouthpiece for the terrorists/islamists for years and his blatent anti seimitic stance is shameful!
I have no idea of his personal views and can barely recall any of his reports. Assuming you are making a valid point about his slant on events, surely that is acceptable given the huge numbers of reporters, politicians and others who unquestionably support Israel? Don't you think the BBC should provide balance? Are the people of Palestine not entitled to have their views heard?
>I hope he now realises just how stupid he has been! but I wont hold my breath!
He has had time to reflect on his opinions, thats for sure. Just because he doesn't share your view of the world doesn't make him wrong.
>You need to open your eyes and your closed mind.
My mind is open. I accept views from all walks of life, some that others find offensive. I simply think that those who've pounced on his release as an opportunity to slag him off are out of order.
"I simply think that those who've pounced on his release as an opportunity to slag him off are out of order."
You should be grateful the truth was muted until after his release.
Its really happy news,its made huge relief in people who prayed for him and love him after four long months.
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