A tale of two Londons

Well, after the elation of London winning the 2012 Olympic bid (yay!), there’s a very different mood in the UK today.

6 bombs in tube stations and one on a double decker bus can have that effect. As I write, there is still no figure for deaths or even injuries, but it looks pretty grim. A group apparently related to Al Quaeda is claiming responsibility. My prayers are obviously with the victims, and their worried families.

I’m already worried, though – and not for my safety. Something like this was bound to happen eventually. It’ll happen again. You can never keep everybody happy, no matter how hard you try, and certain unhappy people have a screw loose. It’s an ever-present risk.

No, I’m worried that we’ll get even more dangerous legislation passed in the House of Commons, and even less opposition to it. We’ve already had such delights as the Home Secretary being granted the power to imprison without trial, and this government giving itself the power to suspend any law in the country in “emergency situations”. The thought of a government so untrustworthy as this one with that kind of power literally terrifies me.

So where will we go next? The ID Card bill will likely pass through parliament easily now, with everyone conveniently failing to notice that ID Cards would have made no difference whatsoever to today’s proceedings. But what weird and wacky new policies will Tony Blair and his not-so-merry men draw from today’s events? I dread to think.

4 Responses to “A tale of two Londons”

  • As Newtylicious said in #adium, “They must be French! They’re just pissed because they didn’t get the Olympics in France!”

    Just trying to cheer you up…

    And this is tragic, but why do people, including me, only care if it is near themselves? I mean, none of us pray for those Iraqians in Iraq who get injured in car bombings, do we?

  • Heh, that was my comment in the car this morning actually. Those crazy Frogs!

    They do say that one dead westerner is worth about 1,000 dead foreigners in news coverage terms. I suppose it brings home the fact that we aren’t immune from things like this, no matter how much we think we are…

    It’s also very much more personal – instead of some people we’ve never heard of before hating some other people we’ve never heard of before, it turns out that someone hates us, and hates us enough to kill us. And it’s our security services who let it happen – though let’s not pretend that they could really have done anything to stop it.

    On the whole, though, I think I’m considerably less shocked than one might expect. All those IRA bombs rather desensitised me to events like this. Yes, it’s terrible, and yes, it has ruined life for many people. But sadly, it’s hardly unusual. There are just too many nutcases in the world.

  • You are exactly right about the loss of freedom, and the perverse response to it (namely a warm embrace from most people). the answer lies in this poem. The last line is our strictest caution.

    The People

    The people is a beast of muddy brain
    That knows not its own force, and therefore stands
    Loaded with wood and stone; the powerless hands
    Of a mere child guide it with bit and rein;

    One kick would be enough to break the chain;
    But the beast fears, and what the child demands,
    It does; nor its own terror understands,
    Confused and stupified by bugbears vain.

    Most wonderful! with its own hands it ties
    And gags itself-gives itself death and war
    For pence doled out by kings from its own store.

    Its own are all things between earth and heaven;
    But this it knows not; and if one arise
    To tell this truth, it kills him unforgiven.

    by Tomasso Campanella, as translated from the Italian poem, “The People,” by John Addington Symonds

  • “The thought of a government so untrustworthy as this one”
    mate you’re crazy if you thinkyou are hard done by with T Blair etc.
    There are plenty of maniacs waiting for govt takeovers and his aint one to worry about- if you’re on the right i can imagine why you’d think that way… but history is full of past and recent govts way off base -look at Mugabe and think a crazy right wing wouldnt do it to you in Uk or France/ Holland etc?
    Enjoy the freedom you have and others beg for

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