Have you read Brian Keenan’s book, “An Evil Cradling”? The most amazing book I have ever read. And I’ve read it more than once. I used to carry it with me on my travels. I used it like a bible. It humoured me, comforted me, shocked me, inspired me. Brian spent four and a half years in captivity, kidnapped by fundamentalist Shi’ite militiamen in Beirut in 1985. John McCarthy was to join him. They were to spend a long time together. I recommend the read. Amazon sell it for £1.77, and that includes postage. If courage had a price on it-we wouldn’t be able to afford to buy it!
I could get kidnapped. I could see it happening. In fact I’ve thought quite a lot about the subject over the years. Put yourself in a certain position and you could be used as a bargaining tool. One life-one demand. But demands are not always met, and lives are not always saved. Brian and John survived. Brian went to teach English in Beirut. Hostage taking was quite widespread then, and there. Put yourself in that sort of position and you can’t really question ‘why me’? But Brian did. I thought it was quite obvious ‘why’. People wanted a bargaining tool. You were right there. All they had to do was find you between work and home, and hey, you’re a hostage.
Brian and John’s survival was awesome. Their lives were horrendous. I wonder if they have healed yet. I wonder if they have found their peace.
And back to some of our present day headlines. Calais, Migrants, Lorries, Fights…and desperation. ‘Make sure you don’t get kidnapped’ said a friend on one of my visits to the Migrant camps there. I chuckled, but then checked myself. She was right. The potential is there. People desperate for survival. People with demands. People with little clout to fight with…so grab someone, hold a knife to their throat, parade them in front of the police…and whisk you off to the ‘jungle’, their hideouts in the wastelands surrounding the port and town of Calais in Northern France.
It’s getting to breaking point again in Calais. The Migrant population are even fighting amongst themselves now. Fighting over land, spaces where they stand to try and jump on the UK bound lorries. It’s very very desperate. What a world we live in.
I was down on the beach at Kimmeridge Bay, (Dorset) today. Across the water I could see Portland, with the Verne prison having been recently set up as a new Immigration Detention Centre. The Verne will hold up to nearly 700 detainees. They are already half way there. The majority of the people held will be foreign nationals who have finished a custodial sentence here in the UK and are waiting to either be deported to their country of origin or be granted permission to stay in the UK. They ought not to be held in prison though. They have finished their custodial sentences. Such is the immigration law though that some people are forced to stay locked up for an extra three years. These people do not know how long they will be held, and many are released back into the community, some unable to be deported. The UK is the only European country that holds people indefinitely. All others have a time limit, but over here there are thousand of people living a hell not knowing when they are going to be released. They haven’t been kidnapped…but they may as well have been. Please give them a time limit UK government.
There’s a whole tonne of rope on the beach here, but sift through it, dig a bit here, unravel a bit there, have a rest, take a photo, look over at the Verne, think of Calais, Gaza, Israel, Syria, many parts of Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan…and boy how lucky I am to be just unraveling knots.
And I say it again, if only I could come up with the money, I could employ hundreds, thousands of people to clean up all the litter on the beaches of our European coastline. The organization of such a task would be huge…but it’s not a bad idea is it? Work for the Masses, masses of work, reduced tensions on borders, reduced tensions on people’s lives.
I keep mentioning it. I keep thinking about it. Maybe it will happen.
I did a bit of writing. I did a bit of thinking. I took a few photos. I did a bit of videoing.
I employed one chap in Calais. Do I go back? I could take the mental strain of being kidnapped…because I believe so much in a God, and that God would never leave my side. But being kidnapped is only one way of waking up the world. What’s the reverse of being kidnapped? Being totally free? And how do you express that to the best of your ability?
Cleaning up beaches?