Anorak News | Losing The Plot

Losing The Plot

by | 23rd, January 2006

‘WHAT would happen if you were kidnapped in Iraq? Sure you’d begin to worry, and wonder why you’d never changed your name from Moshe Finklestein. But what do you think would be going on back home?

Prisoner claims to be Phil Sands

Your local MP would be asking questions in the House? Of course he would. The news bulletins would feature a recent photograph of you looking trustworthy, perhaps standing on a beach with some blonde? For sure. Liverpool would be gloomy? Could it be anything but?

But you might not be all that missed. On Monday we heard that British reporter Phil Sands had been rescued by US soldiers on a routine raid in Baghdad.

Sands had not been reported missing. His family had not appeared in the media begging the hostages to release their son. A candlelit vigil had not been organised.

It’s all very well kidnapping someone to make a political point, to exact revenge, to extort money, or just for the kick of it, if the world at large knows about it. But we didn’t know. No-one realised Sands was missing.

And no-one was that bothered that he was free. No protracted, well documented period of incarceration meant that by Tuesday Sands was old news.

While Sands cursed his lack (no book deal or appearance on Richard & Judy for the forgotten man), on Tuesday, we got to learn about Ziggy the parrot.

Ziggy had grassed on his owner’s cheating lover. He’d heard it all. And when the time was ripe Ziggy told Chris how Suzie had been billing and cooing with a pretty boy by the name of Gary.

Phil Sands could do with an agent like Ziggy. Sands could also do with trying to remember to be dressed up as, say, Batman or Captain America next time he’s kidnapped. The papers love a man in uniform – especially one that doubles as children’s pyjamas.

And there are plenty of such outfits going spare. You see, Fathers 4 Justice has disbanded. The group that campaigns for equal rights for dads is no more.

Things turned nasty for the group on Wednesday. “PLOT TO KIDNAP LEO BLAIR,” announced the Sun on its cover page. The paper said that sympathisers of the F4J group planned to snatch five-year-old Leo, the Prime Minister’s youngest child, and hold him as their hostage. They would keep him for a short time and release him unharmed.

“Fortunately we think we have nipped this in the bud at an early stage,” a security source told the paper. And it was indeed fortunate – for the would-be kidnappers.

“SAS hero” Andy McNab, a man every bit as shadowy as the Fathers 4 Justice Penguins, Riddlers and Jokers, said any attempt to snatch Leo would have been met by instant death.

“If they’d gone ahead, they’d be lying dead on the ground with bullets in their heads.” He went on: “I can guarantee these men’s plan would have failed.” The police shooting innocent people dead? Who’d ever believe that?

But on Thursday, Graham Manson, a member of the Fathers 4 Justice splinter group The Real Fathers For Justice, confirmed the McNab line.

Speaking of the four would-be kidnappers, Manson told the Sun: “They were told by SO12 officers that they knew what they were up to – and that they would be shot if they tried to carry out their plan.”

And what a plan it was. As the days passed we leaned more of the dastardly plot. Dressed as Father Christmases, four men met in a pub and discussed ways in which they might achieve their aim of justice for dads. And kidnapping Leo Blair was mentioned.

The men would wait until Christmas Eve 2006 and then, in the dead of night, sneak in to No 11 Downing Street via a chimney and, having eaten the complimentary mince pie strategically left as a marker outside Leo’s door, spirited the little lad away. Ho! Ho! Ho!

That, and just about any other plan you can think up, might have been true. You see, we never got to learn the details of the dastardly plot.

Indeed, so cunning and threatening was it that the police arrested not a single plotter. Not one of them. And you know how much the police love nicking people.

But not to worry, because on Friday we heard of another plot. This one was big. It was from Osama bin Laden.

But why was Bin Laden speaking after so long a hiatus? Why did the man who hadn’t issued any of his trademark threats to the world for the whole of 2005 think last week was the right time to release an audio tape?

Was the media savvy Bin Laden taking advantage of a slow news day? With George Best buried, Elton John married and F4J disbanded, was Bin Laden seizing his chance to hog the limelight?’

Posted: 23rd, January 2006 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink