Since we’ve already had a couple of people phone or e-mail, having seen the news of the bombings in London, I thought I should just post a note and say that we are both fine. We don’t often have need to go into central London anyway, (although I’m due to go there next week for a course) so we weren’t directly affected. However I know that as we are relatively close by friends and family may be worried.
In terms of other friends, so far none of the people we know who commute into London seem to have been hurt, although one of my fellow basses in the choir was still on a bus in Docklands rather than at choir practice tonight.
Strangely I’ve found that I’m almost nonchalant about the whole thing. I’m not sure whether it is down to having grown up whilst the IRA were regularly bombing Central London, or the fact that I’m determined that I’m not going to change what I do as a result of the threat. Whilst I’m sad for the people who have been hurt and have died, and some of the pictures, particularly the phone-cam shots taken by people leaving the bomb sites, and of the remains of the bus are harrowing, at the same time all three Underground bombs were on parts of the system I have used, and I’m sure will use again.
The claim of responsibility contains the usual selection of tedious extremist claptrap, and apparently “Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters.” – sorry to disappoint you, but not from what I can see. Battered and bruised maybe, but nobody I know is burning with fear, terror and panic.
Finally two quotes which sum up my feelings on the whole thing. First Ken Livingstone, London Mayor:
This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful.
It was not aimed at presidents or prime ministers. It was aimed at ordinary working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old.
Indiscriminate slaughter irrespective of any consideration for age, class, religion, whatever.
That isn’t an ideology. It isn’t even a perverted faith. It is just an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder.
And secondly, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sachs:
These terrible events have brought home to us the full evil that terror represents.
It is not the weapon of the weak against the strong but the rage of the angry against the defenceless and innocent. It is an evil means to an evil end.
For ongoing news, see the BBC News site. There is also a Flickr group going that contains a real mix of pictures of the results of the attack through to mundane shots of life going on despite the attack, and is the source of a number of the shots being used by the big news organisations. Wikipedia already has a full summary of what has happened.