Jon Snow on the children of Gaza.
Show Hide image

Jon Snow on the children of Gaza: “We share some responsibility for those deaths”

The Channel 4 presenter has recorded an emotional speech to camera following his reporting trip to Gaza, which has been under heavy bombardment from Israel. 

Channel 4 News’s Jon Snow has recorded an emotional speech to camera following his reporting trip to Gaza, which has been under heavy bombardment from Israel. 

In it, he tells of his surprise at seeing the youth of the area’s population, where 250,000 are under ten years old. “If you know any ten-year-olds . . . the idea that in the looseness of a war zone, that you can control your children, that they won’t be somewhere where they can be hit  . . . it is beyond any kind of imagination.”

He also tells of visiting the third floor of Gaza’s Shifa hospital, where children are treated, and seeing a girl with “panda eyes” – huge bruises caused by a fractured skull and broken nose. “I can’t get those images out of my mind.”

He acknowledges that Hamas has been firing rockets at Israel – “designed, ideally, as they would put it, to kill Israelis” – but adds that these have not connected thanks to the country’s “Iron Dome” defence system. 

According to a Norwegian doctor Snow spoke to at the Shifa hospital, the current death toll among Gaza's children is 166 - and there are more than 1,000 who have been wounded. “That is what makes this something that every one of us has to confront,” he concludes. “In some way, we share some responsibility for those deaths. Because for us, it is no priority whatsoever to stop it. Our United Nations, our goverment, our world is not that interested.”

I'm a mole, innit.

Show Hide image

An alternative Trainspotting script for John Humphrys’ Radio 4 “Choose Life” tribute

Born chippy.

Your mole often has Radio 4’s Today programme babbling away comfortingly in the background while emerging blinking from the burrow. So imagine its horror this morning, when the BBC decided to sully this listening experience with John Humphrys doing the “Choose Life” monologue from Trainspotting.

“I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got Radio 4?” he concluded, as a nation cringed.

Introduced as someone who has “taken issue with modernity”, Humphrys launched into the film character Renton’s iconic rant against the banality of modern life.

But Humphrys’ role as in-studio curmudgeon is neither endearing nor amusing to this mole. Often tasked with stories about modern technology and digital culture by supposedly mischievous editors, Humphrys sounds increasingly cranky and ill-informed. It doesn’t exactly make for enlightening interviews. So your mole has tampered with the script. Here’s what he should have said:

“Choose life. Choose a job and then never retire, ever. Choose a career defined by growling and scoffing. Choose crashing the pips three mornings out of five. Choose a fucking long contract. Choose interrupting your co-hosts, politicians, religious leaders and children. Choose sitting across the desk from Justin Webb at 7.20 wondering what you’re doing with your life. Choose confusion about why Thought for the Day is still a thing. Choose hogging political interviews. Choose anxiety about whether Jim Naughtie’s departure means there’s dwindling demand for grouchy old men on flagship political radio shows. Choose a staunch commitment to misunderstanding stories about video games and emoji. Choose doing those stories anyway. Choose turning on the radio and wondering why the fuck you aren’t on on a Sunday morning as well. Choose sitting on that black leather chair hosting mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows (Mastermind). Choose going over time at the end of it all, pishing your last few seconds on needlessly combative questions, nothing more than an obstacle to that day’s editors being credited. Choose your future. Choose life . . .”

I'm a mole, innit.