Thursday, July 07, 2005

Evil comes to town

Terrorism and death have visited London before and will probably do so again. We must avoid over-reaction, either by knee-jerk legislation or by vigilante attacks on Muslim targets. Those of us in Birmingham know too well what happens when a particular group has the sins of a tiny minority visited upon them - we can remember how the Irish community was treated following the pub bombings in the 70s. Very good to hear DAC Paddick at the press conference putting distance between this attack and Islam.

We've always been a target and we always will be - Iraq probably hasn't heightened our risk all that much, so George Galloway can shut up (quoted on the Guardian newsblog):
'We argued, as did the security services in this country, that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain. Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of the Government ignoring such warnings.'

Now isn't the time, George. Don't make yourself look like more of self-aggrandising, self-righteous pillock than you already do. Some of your constituents may have died today at the hands of dark-hearted individuals who traduce the true nature of Islam for their own purposes.

You can keep up to date with the news through the BBC or the Guardian or on Europhobia, which is providing an interesting live blog. Although I'm (at best) an agnostic, my Catholic upbringing made me offer up a quick prayer to whoever may be listening for the dead, injured and their families. I know we'll focus on the numbers of dead in this incident, but take a moment to think of the injured - blast injuries mean shredded limbs, horrific burns and cuts from flying glass and metal.

As usual, the emergency services seem to have performed their horrific task with courage and professionalism. Remember them - they're the people who run towards the blast and the screams while we run for safety.

Useful Numbers:

British Transport Police (020) 8358 0101

Met Police Casualty Bureau 0870 156 6364

Transport for London

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