Waking to good news is a rare feeling. I don’t think I could feel happier about Alan Johnson’s release if he was a member of my own family. I sit over my morning cup of tea listening to the BBC team welcoming him back, ‘ a very happy fourth of July’ he calls it.
When he starts talking about his concern for his parents I feel like crying. I can imagine, at least a little bit, how they must feel. I won’t have been the only emotional person sitting round the radio this morning. On and off all day I have been thinking how remarkable it is that we can feel so moved by the events in a stranger’s life (even a familiar stranger like a BBC reporter).
But that is what it means to be human. How much more strange and chilling it is that there are others who feel so disconnected from humanity they can plot to kill people they have never met.