I am in London … sirens are wailing.
I was planning to get back to Brum this morning but ended up watching Collateral on DVD instead thinking that I’ll set off after I finish watching it.
Jaimie Foxx was about to save Jada Pinkett from the evil intentions of Tom Cruise when my girlfriend phoned up and asked me if I was okay. Huh! I thought, it’s not that she doesn’t do that anyway but it seemed a bit odd. She asked me if I’d heard about what was going on — no, I told her — she informed me that an explosion had occured on the Underground, that a bus had blown up and that there was some talk of a power surge being the cause.
The thought that this was a terrorist incident raced through my mind and was instantly surpressed by the more acceptable one that it could well have been an accident. After confirming my whereabouts to my concerened better half I reassured her that I would check the news to see what, if any, difference that would make to my travel plans and let her know. I added, trying to lighten the mood, that it was probably the French after the dissapointment about their unsuccessful Olympic bid.
So, I turned the TV on and watched the tragic news roll on before my eyes with growing numbness. I was now feeling pretty stupid for my earlier flippancy. As it became clear that this wasn’t a movie but a terrorist act, I contacted the girlfriend and let her know that I was staying put. Then I began contacting those people I know who work in or around Central London — as millions of others were probably doing too.
Everyone accounted for … a sort of relief … at least for me. But tragically, not for the 33 dead, 45 critically injured and over 300 other casualties so far, their families and their friends.
Dep Asst Comm. Brian Paddick of the (London) Metropolitan Police was asked at a press conference whether this was the act of an Islamic terrorist group. He first corrected the questioner by saying that in his opinion the word Islamic and terrorist were totally separate which demonstrated a sensitivity to the situation that does him great credit. He went on to say that they were keeping an open mind as to who was responsible for it. But semantics apart, the link is there to be made, in most people’s minds.
He might have an open mind but in the face of this mindless, heartless, inhuman and wholly ungodly act, how many others will?