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Friday, July 08, 2005
Between Wednesday and Thursday, I've never been so proud to have been born in London. Getting the Olympic Games has been done already, but while some tinpot group of cowards was claiming "Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern and western quarters" - honestly, people born with small willies really do talk some crap - the reality in London, because Britain ain't London, and London ain't Britain - was wildly different.
Because people just got on with life, and either did what they had to do, went home, or went to the pub. On Wednesday, I went to the World War II commemoration in St James's Park, and I'll post the pictures up at another time. What struck me there was the stoicism and determination of those who lived through the war, right up to the chap who picked up an old rifle and immediately started telling his companion - and the young soldier on duty at the exhibit - just how his shooter should be handled.
A little bit of that was on show on Thursday. It reminded me of the IRA phoney campaign in the lead-up to the 1997 election, when central London would be sealed off because of simultaneous warnings at all mainline stations. Just this time, they weren't joking. There were no warnings either. Some 700 were injured. A friend of mine got out of Edgware Road with cuts and a lot of shock. As I type, there's 37 confirmed dead. More, sadly, to come, no doubt.
We can't allow others to claim these deaths as martyrs to their own cause - whether it be Condoleezza Rice's crass "They will not have died in vain" - for what, exactly?
Others will take advantage too. The terrorists struck because they're scared of us in London. Scared of a city where we all mingle together, an old trading town where a good deal beats the colour of someone's skin or the identity of someone's God. The unthinking unity in our city - one we don't boast about, because it's part of all of our lives, is something that terrifies those who'd seek to rule us by racial or religious dogma.
The small-minded and the stupid will see this as some kind of Islamic attack on us - those who choose to believe this are as despicable and are as scared of the diversity of London as the cunts who bombed us are. I still can't help worrying some stupid act of revenge will take place soon - I've read some right old crap on messageboards from people whose sympathies are, deep down, probably closer to the terrorists' than they'd dare to admit. The racists, the religious bigots, the fanatics, the warmongers, and the apologists should not be allowed to speak for any of us, or divide us.
Oh, and the last person to set off a bomb and kill people in London was Nazi David Copeland - someone who'd no doubt have common cause with the shitbags behind Thursday's bombs, and those who think taking out anger on Muslims is somehow acceptable. I'm sure there'll be a chance for us all to show our anger at what's happened, and to mourn those lost on Thursday. Let's make sure it's not hi-jacked by those who are scared of us, whichever cracked ideology they spout. American tourists will squeal and go home for the next five years, all the mobile networks will be counting that juicy cash from those 20 extra text messages you sent today. But London goes on - and, together, we'll never be defeated.
- posted by Inspector Sands @ 3:30 AM