A press release from my union, the RBA:

“Joe Gordon, the bookseller dismissed by his employer for airing his thoughts in a web log (“Blog”), has successfully appealed against his dismissal and has been offered reinstatement. He had, however, been headhunted by The Forbidden Planet chain of specialist bookshops, and an amicable settlement was achieved in place of reinstatement.

Paul Lee, RBA National Officer, said “It is good to see that common sense prevailed and pleasing to report that our representations in the internal appeal were well heard and acted upon. I was surprised by the original, local decision to dismiss as Waterstone’s has a good reputation in such matters, and the company is generally very open-minded. Things may have been different, however, if commentary such as this had been truly in the public domain rather than in a hard to find blogsite””

And yes, folks, that is it all over finally and I can tell you about it. Actually the appeal was upheld several weeks ago and I was offered re-instatement, but by this time I had been offered a new post with Forbidden Planet International and I really couldn’t tell you all about it until something was worked out. To be fair Waterstone’s got together freely with Paul, my stalwart union rep, to work out an equitable and amicable deal in place of re-instatement and so, after a long haul these events have now come to quite a civilised end, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the union (thanks, guys – having you in my corner helped to lift the weight and once again I commend them to anyone not in a union).

It has often been stressful and my friends and family have been quite wonderful in ensuring that I didn’t succumb to the hovering vultures of depression or anxiety during it all. And finding a whole world (literally – folk from all over our little world; amazing) of new friends who I didn’t even know was remarkable; the help and support I’ve enjoyed from the SF and the online and blogging community has been astonishing and I was taken aback at the media interest world-wide.

Back in the prehistoric days of the net, before GUIs and the web, we talked about a global electronic village and virtual communities. Having dinner with a friend recently she remarked that she thought this talk of virtual communities was nonsense (she didn’t put it quite so delicately). Well, I’ve had a first-hand demonstration that there most certainly is a virtual community and that community cares and will help people they don’t even know – recent use of the web and blogs for charity and to aid communications during the Asian Tsunami re-inforce this message, as does the growth in people supporting movements such as the Comittee to Protect Bloggers.

Folks, this whole period would have been far heavier to bear without all of that support, so well-intentioned and freely given and once again I thank you all for it very humbly; it really lifted me when I needed it and kept me going. Guess you could say I got by with a lot of help from my friends. The fact so many of you have been coming back to the Woolamaloo to visit is also very gratifying and I enjoy reading and interacting with your comments (isn’t that one of the reasons why so many millions of us blog? Its not a solitary pursuit, it allows us to interact with so many different types of people) and I hope you’ll still swing by. Now, if you’ll excuse me I intend to go and have some very large drinks.