Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Bomb attacks in London - 2


...The Spanish press are commenting on how calm Londoners were after the bombs, and that maybe this refusal to succumb to passion is why the country never went down a totalitarian road.

...US service personnel in East Anglia were instructed not to venture into the area bounded by the M25 (yes, really) but the order was rescinded on 12/7, probably because of public derision.

...My journey home is now awful, partly because the Piccadilly is struggling in the aftermath, no trains going beyond Hyde Park eastbound and as a result a very restricted service between Acton Town and Rayners Lane, and partly because my station (Ruislip Manor) is being rebuilt and after six months of a longer morning journey I now have to go on to Ruislip in the evening. Never mind, just getting into London and back is a victory over the bombers. This morning I drove to South Ruislip and used the Central Line. Not bad, but much longer walk from Shepherd's Bush to my office than I have normally so not really a long term prospect especially in the current heatwave. Lets hope the Piccadilly can improve the service a little.

...The police reported today that the bombers are thought to have died in the explosions. Until today it was said that they had planted the bombs and got away. Some raids and arrests in Leeds and Luton. Explosives discovered. The bombers were seen on CCTV at Kings Cross wearing identical rucksacks before parting company.

...Police (or "community" policemen) are visible at most stations and bus stations. They are supposed to make us feel more secure. I would be happier to see them backing up stop-and-searches or just fighting crime generally. I really don't see how standing around at a station entrance makes it safer to travel unless you search everyone going in. And that wouldn't work unless you did it at every station, otherwise the bombers would simply choose an unmanned station.

...A website called "We are not afraid" posts pictures from people around the world, generally showing themselves with the phrase We are not afraid added. Quite moving.

...We received many messages at work from our professional colleagues around the world, all expressing hope for our safety and solidarity. Very nice to see.

..."I hope I don't panic because then I might have to talk out loud on a tube train" - comment from the weblog of a survivor.

...Some stupid gits have attacked mosques.

...Tony Blair has resisted the Tory kneejerk reaction call for an inquiry. Good for him. Let the police and security services get on with it for the moment without being caught up in futile meetings and paperwork so that some MPs can make it look they are doing something useful.

...No obvious nervousness of my fellow passengers. People still sit quietly. I might have expected much more use of mobiles as people sought reassurance during their journey.

...The bombers are identified as British born of Pakistani origin. No surprises there. Their neighbours express shock that the ordinary quiet lads next door is a mass killer. No surprises there. People always say how shocked they are that a crime should be traced to their community.

...Over 50 died in the bombings but fewer than a dozen have been positively identified nearly a week afterwards, despite the huge efforts of next of kin and friends to trace people who are missing and who are known to have been travelling into London that morning. Very strange and all down to the rules about coroners courts and inquests, apparently.

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