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Anorak | Forgetting And Remembering Alan Johnston

Forgetting And Remembering Alan Johnston

by | 5th, July 2007

johnston-tea.jpg DO we forget because we spend so long remembering?

Good news indeed that Alan Johnson has been freed. “After 114 terrifying days in captivity, Alan Johnston’s ordeal in his own words,” says the Mail’s front page.

The words, as you’d expect from a trained BBC journalist, are based on fact with little fanfare. The personable Johnson shows and does not tell. He does not speculate on the deal that won his freedom and how the terrorist organisation Hamas will seek legitimacy from it.

What does he want to do know he is free? “Just the simplest things,” says Johnson. “Walking through any door, going down the street, seeing friends and family, people you love, you want to do it all at one go. You want to read books again, you want to sit in the sun and eat and speak.”

You want to do the things we take as normal. You want to do the things the nihilists who seek to bomb us want to kill. “TEA AT LAST,” says the Sun and Mirror’s front pages, words that sum up the story of Johnson’s Britishness.

We are remembering Johnson. Chances are the BBC will remember him in hour-long special. Had he perished in jail and his prison, the remembering could have gone on into a silence that lasted minutes.

But he is alive. And free. And in the Mail the BBC’s John Humphreys remembers him: “In an age obsessed with celebrity, my friend Alan is a true hero of our time.”

Humphreys’ words are equipped with a picture of the BBC radio and TV host. Humphreys is friends with Johnson; Johnston the hero. Humphreys know him. And here is Humphreys to tell us all about the real Johnson

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Posted: 5th, July 2007 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink