apolla: (Prettiest Guitar)
2006-10-01 02:44 am

Still Really Fucking Angry

I just emailed my MP about this whole thing. Coming on top of the habeas corpus destruction of this week, I'm really not America-friendly right now. While I'm mostly talking about the government, I shall quote V: "...the truth is, there's something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? ... If you're looking for the guilty, you need only to look into a mirror. I know why you did it. You were afraid. Who wouldn't be?" 

Anyway, I am this close to starting the Revolution early... so to put it off at least until morning, here's the letter I wrote:


And just in case I might one day mysteriously disappear: I'm a pacifist, really. Getting one's desires through violence is like building on sand- it is unstable and never lasts. Gandhi had it right, OK? I'll not use violence against any state. Why bother when a few  words can do the damage of fifty guns?
apolla: (Prettiest Guitar)
2006-10-01 02:44 am

Still Really Fucking Angry

I just emailed my MP about this whole thing. Coming on top of the habeas corpus destruction of this week, I'm really not America-friendly right now. While I'm mostly talking about the government, I shall quote V: "...the truth is, there's something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? ... If you're looking for the guilty, you need only to look into a mirror. I know why you did it. You were afraid. Who wouldn't be?" 

Anyway, I am this close to starting the Revolution early... so to put it off at least until morning, here's the letter I wrote:


And just in case I might one day mysteriously disappear: I'm a pacifist, really. Getting one's desires through violence is like building on sand- it is unstable and never lasts. Gandhi had it right, OK? I'll not use violence against any state. Why bother when a few  words can do the damage of fifty guns?
apolla: (Rock Chick)
2006-10-01 01:45 am

Oh, for fuck's sake.

US-Europe Flights: Passenger Information Row. UK Exempt From Row.

So let me get this right. If I or anyone else in Europe want to grace the United States of America with our presence and the US gets its way, I'll have all my details, including the one credit card I own and the fact I hate cheese given over to the US authorities for, if they get their way, fifty years? What will that achieve? The new J. Edgar Hoovers will be able to see what shit vintage clothes I've bought on eBay lately? The Count Duckula DVDs I still haven't watched?

Now answer me these, legal people: HOW IS THAT NOT AGAINST EVERYTHING AMERICA IS MEANT TO STAND FOR! Or is it just for people who agree with the people in charge?

I can't do anything from here. I'm in England and that means I don't count because as we know, the American government operates in its own little vacuum where the rest of the fucking planet doesn't count. This is why it generates 25% of the world's pollution with a significantly smaller percentage of world population. But may I PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT I HAVE EVER HELD DEAR, INCLUDING THIN LIZZY, BEG YOU, beg you to contact your elected representatives and beg them to stop this nonsense.

If you think you're OK there, protected by your special bits of paper: Bush and his cronies are too busy pissing on the Constitution to protect it or you, OK? They're not interested in helping you, they're interesting in helping themselves and their mates.

Contact your elected representatives and ask for the cunt in the White House to be impeached and then summarily removed from office. Hell, don't bother impeaching him first- he doesn't care about due process or the judicial cornerstones of Western democracy, why should you?

Seriously, is there anything that can be done to shake America (and indeed Britain) out of its soma-coma? PLEASE, YOU LACKLUSTRE FOOLS, DO SOMETHING!

I am this close to finally joining the Labour Party. Not to praise Blair, but to bury him. New Labour needs to be destroyed and so does whatever Bush calls his idea of politics. I know there's some decent Republicans out there... this is no longer about a simple case of two tribes, this is about the common belief that all people are created equal, that we all have certain rights as those equal people and the fact that there are some Very Powerful People out there trying their best to put a stop to all that.

Fascism doesn't always come neatly wrapped up in a Charlie Chaplin moustache and shiny jackboots, all right? DO SOMETHING!
apolla: (Rock Chick)
2006-10-01 01:45 am

Oh, for fuck's sake.

US-Europe Flights: Passenger Information Row. UK Exempt From Row.

So let me get this right. If I or anyone else in Europe want to grace the United States of America with our presence and the US gets its way, I'll have all my details, including the one credit card I own and the fact I hate cheese given over to the US authorities for, if they get their way, fifty years? What will that achieve? The new J. Edgar Hoovers will be able to see what shit vintage clothes I've bought on eBay lately? The Count Duckula DVDs I still haven't watched?

Now answer me these, legal people: HOW IS THAT NOT AGAINST EVERYTHING AMERICA IS MEANT TO STAND FOR! Or is it just for people who agree with the people in charge?

I can't do anything from here. I'm in England and that means I don't count because as we know, the American government operates in its own little vacuum where the rest of the fucking planet doesn't count. This is why it generates 25% of the world's pollution with a significantly smaller percentage of world population. But may I PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT I HAVE EVER HELD DEAR, INCLUDING THIN LIZZY, BEG YOU, beg you to contact your elected representatives and beg them to stop this nonsense.

If you think you're OK there, protected by your special bits of paper: Bush and his cronies are too busy pissing on the Constitution to protect it or you, OK? They're not interested in helping you, they're interesting in helping themselves and their mates.

Contact your elected representatives and ask for the cunt in the White House to be impeached and then summarily removed from office. Hell, don't bother impeaching him first- he doesn't care about due process or the judicial cornerstones of Western democracy, why should you?

Seriously, is there anything that can be done to shake America (and indeed Britain) out of its soma-coma? PLEASE, YOU LACKLUSTRE FOOLS, DO SOMETHING!

I am this close to finally joining the Labour Party. Not to praise Blair, but to bury him. New Labour needs to be destroyed and so does whatever Bush calls his idea of politics. I know there's some decent Republicans out there... this is no longer about a simple case of two tribes, this is about the common belief that all people are created equal, that we all have certain rights as those equal people and the fact that there are some Very Powerful People out there trying their best to put a stop to all that.

Fascism doesn't always come neatly wrapped up in a Charlie Chaplin moustache and shiny jackboots, all right? DO SOMETHING!
apolla: (California Boy)
2006-08-10 10:59 am

Fuckwit Moron Update

Hi guys. I'm currently corresponding from an internet cafe type thing 10p a minute at Heathrow.

Yes, your friendly neighbourhood Cockney Sparrow got through check in (did it yesterday online) and bag drop (fast drop) with a breathtaking ease not normally seen on a normal day.

I even got through security pretty quickly cos I was singled out to do some new Body Scan thing. It may have scrambled my insides but I jumped the queue! I had to take my shoes off, which woulda been ok but I'm wearing converse baseball shoes and it took some doing.

Nice and humiliating to show everyone my sanitary towels but fuck you I don't care. They let me take my Midol through and so that may be ok.

Surviving without iPod by humming Not Guilty by George Harrison to meself loudly. Don't give a shit what people think.

Had chicken & bacon salad at Wetherspoons on airside with a nice cold Jamesons although the bloke looked at me weirdly. So what if it's not midday yet? Like I fucking care. Can't buy duty free whiskey cos I can't TAKE IT ON THE FUCKING PLANE!

What else? Don't know. Don't care. Want to get to Detroit now. Movies on board better be good.

I'm really fucking lucky when you think about it. Somebody Up There Likes Me. Just wish I knew why.

apolla: (California Boy)
2006-08-10 10:59 am

Fuckwit Moron Update

Hi guys. I'm currently corresponding from an internet cafe type thing 10p a minute at Heathrow.

Yes, your friendly neighbourhood Cockney Sparrow got through check in (did it yesterday online) and bag drop (fast drop) with a breathtaking ease not normally seen on a normal day.

I even got through security pretty quickly cos I was singled out to do some new Body Scan thing. It may have scrambled my insides but I jumped the queue! I had to take my shoes off, which woulda been ok but I'm wearing converse baseball shoes and it took some doing.

Nice and humiliating to show everyone my sanitary towels but fuck you I don't care. They let me take my Midol through and so that may be ok.

Surviving without iPod by humming Not Guilty by George Harrison to meself loudly. Don't give a shit what people think.

Had chicken & bacon salad at Wetherspoons on airside with a nice cold Jamesons although the bloke looked at me weirdly. So what if it's not midday yet? Like I fucking care. Can't buy duty free whiskey cos I can't TAKE IT ON THE FUCKING PLANE!

What else? Don't know. Don't care. Want to get to Detroit now. Movies on board better be good.

I'm really fucking lucky when you think about it. Somebody Up There Likes Me. Just wish I knew why.

apolla: (OTP)
2006-08-06 03:34 pm

Governments should be afraid of their people.

If you have not seen V for Vendetta yet, you really should.

It was written during the Thatcherism years, but if you think it doesn't count now, you're living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

It is a dystopian future, but if you think it couldn't happen, think again. All the ingredients for that reality to begin are here now.

If you live in America, get rid of George Bush. He and his friends have no interest in helping anyone but rich powerful white men become richer and more powerful.

If you live in Britain, get rid of Tony Blair. He has no interest in anything but his own power, his own self-important place in history and his cronies.

They have no interest in doing anything in Lebanon or Palestine or Israel or Iraq that won't do anything for them. They have no interest in learning their history or the history of others. They have no interest in discovering the worlds of other people or the lives of other people or the thoughts, hopes and dreams of other people.

Many of you will already agree with me. I don't believe there's any politicians in the UK or the USA that actually gives a shit about we, the little people... but I don't believe the ones we have at the moment will improve. I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I don't care.

If you think that it cannot happen, I will point you to a time not so very long ago when the starving people of Germany voted in the National Socialist Party, or the time Senator McCarthy was allowed to ruin the lives of hundreds of people and caused many thousands of others to live in fear, or the time the starving Russians allowed the Communist party to rule them for decades. And that is only the last century.

Hey, talking about that, remember the time we let the Prime Minister implement control orders without evidence? Or the time we let the Americans stop off en route to taking weapons to Israel that ended up killing innocent people including some UN people? Or the time we allowed the genocide in Rwanda to continue? The ethnic cleansing in Bosnia? The time they went on at us about Avian Flu, which seems to have disappeared

I love to be trivial. I love to talk at length about rock music or movies, or whatever you like. But I know as well as I'm sitting here typing that, if the worst should happen to freedom, my rock music, my movies, my thoughts would be some of the first on the block. If you think you would be safe, think again. There's nobody in the world, nobody that is safe from the thought police of censorship. We are all gloriously, wonderfully different and therein lies humanity's great triumph. To make an attempt at suppressing that is to spit in the eye of God Himself, who created us this way- everyone the same and everyone the different.

Remember also this, seemingly unrelated: Michael Collins was called a terrorist once, but he had his own Hollywood movie made. Violence is never right so we must all, all of us, be aware and be strong and make sure as one great, teeming mass of humanity, that we need never call on the services of a Michael Collins or a V again. To make sure that we never get to the point where blowing shit up is the only way. 

Should these things come to pass, I stand by what I've just written. Don't bother looking for me at home, I'd hope that I'd already be working against you when you come for me with bats and guns.

We are all born free. What we do after that is up to us.
apolla: (OTP)
2006-08-06 03:34 pm

Governments should be afraid of their people.

If you have not seen V for Vendetta yet, you really should.

It was written during the Thatcherism years, but if you think it doesn't count now, you're living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

It is a dystopian future, but if you think it couldn't happen, think again. All the ingredients for that reality to begin are here now.

If you live in America, get rid of George Bush. He and his friends have no interest in helping anyone but rich powerful white men become richer and more powerful.

If you live in Britain, get rid of Tony Blair. He has no interest in anything but his own power, his own self-important place in history and his cronies.

They have no interest in doing anything in Lebanon or Palestine or Israel or Iraq that won't do anything for them. They have no interest in learning their history or the history of others. They have no interest in discovering the worlds of other people or the lives of other people or the thoughts, hopes and dreams of other people.

Many of you will already agree with me. I don't believe there's any politicians in the UK or the USA that actually gives a shit about we, the little people... but I don't believe the ones we have at the moment will improve. I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I don't care.

If you think that it cannot happen, I will point you to a time not so very long ago when the starving people of Germany voted in the National Socialist Party, or the time Senator McCarthy was allowed to ruin the lives of hundreds of people and caused many thousands of others to live in fear, or the time the starving Russians allowed the Communist party to rule them for decades. And that is only the last century.

Hey, talking about that, remember the time we let the Prime Minister implement control orders without evidence? Or the time we let the Americans stop off en route to taking weapons to Israel that ended up killing innocent people including some UN people? Or the time we allowed the genocide in Rwanda to continue? The ethnic cleansing in Bosnia? The time they went on at us about Avian Flu, which seems to have disappeared

I love to be trivial. I love to talk at length about rock music or movies, or whatever you like. But I know as well as I'm sitting here typing that, if the worst should happen to freedom, my rock music, my movies, my thoughts would be some of the first on the block. If you think you would be safe, think again. There's nobody in the world, nobody that is safe from the thought police of censorship. We are all gloriously, wonderfully different and therein lies humanity's great triumph. To make an attempt at suppressing that is to spit in the eye of God Himself, who created us this way- everyone the same and everyone the different.

Remember also this, seemingly unrelated: Michael Collins was called a terrorist once, but he had his own Hollywood movie made. Violence is never right so we must all, all of us, be aware and be strong and make sure as one great, teeming mass of humanity, that we need never call on the services of a Michael Collins or a V again. To make sure that we never get to the point where blowing shit up is the only way. 

Should these things come to pass, I stand by what I've just written. Don't bother looking for me at home, I'd hope that I'd already be working against you when you come for me with bats and guns.

We are all born free. What we do after that is up to us.
apolla: (Queen Maeve)
2005-07-08 12:46 pm

Good morning World

Hello.

This is Clare (to prove it: I love Errol Flynn. And Philip Lynott, and that Morrison bloke. And the dude with the tight jeans and big blond hair.)

I am OK. I am now home. Am off to Lancaster tomorrow (not today as Mikey thought) so I wanted to post now. I want also to say that I'm genuinely moved and all that by the emails and stuff I've received. I'm sorry I couldn't respond, but I haven't been anywhere near the internet since I left home on Thursday, which now seems quite a few weeks ago.

I was in Central London yesterday. Had I tried to get into London from home on the morning of my interview, there is a genuine chance that I'd have been on a train involved at King's Cross or at the very least, had everything turned upside down. Fortunately, I have a Grandad who lives right on the outskirts of the City of London (the Square Mile) and who insists on me being up early and getting places ridiculously early so I missed whatever happened at Moorgate. As it happens, I had a minor hitch because I was on a tube when it all happened, but not one of the tubes. I got to my test/interview thing with time to spare. Time in which I got to watch a TV and discover that my hitch on the tube wasn't a cock-up of any kind. This is how it happened for me:

I was on a tube train travelling on the District Line when stuff started to happen. We thought there had been a power cut at the stations, because the lights were all out on the platforms at Mansion House and the next few stops, but the train could still go. At Embankment, we were told that the train wouldn't be stopping until Victoria, so I got off and walked from there all the way to my test at Westminster. By the time I got there, the TV in the common room we were told to wait in was reporting 'power surges'.

I was personally immediately suspicious. I will make jokes about the incompetence of the London Underground, but there's no way power surges happen at four different places on the same day. As we were about to go in for the aptitude tests, we heard about the bus on Sky News.

I failed my tests and therefore do not go through to the next stage. I can try again in six months without having to apply again. I don't know if I failed because I'm no good with numbers (or, it transpires apparently, shapes), but I do know I was sat there worrying about my Grandad. He lives two minutes away from Old Street, two minutes away from Moorgate and about five/ten minutes away from Liverpool Street. So when I was told I'd failed my tests but I was welcome to stay in the lobby because the advice was to stay put, I put on my iPod and started walking.

I walked down past the Houses of Parliament and then walked the length of Victoria Embankment along the Thames until I reached Blackfriars Bridge, then up past St Pauls towards Moorgate. Avoided actual Moorgate because it was mostly unnecessary. Basically, I walked 3.5miles in the rain. In new boots. When I reached my grandad's, I couldn't have been wetter if I'd jumped in the bloody river. I have a massive blister on the side of my right foot and I've had a genuinely horrific headache since getting back to Grandad's. I ended up having to take some of his paracetamols. I've missed work today because I only just now got home (train pulled into my town just after midday) and I'm in the clothes I put on on Wednesday afternoon- the trousers of my suit and a Guinness rugby style shirt I wore to preserve my white shirt for the tests.

Incidentally, despite having been told to stay indoors, there were an awful lot of people around as I walked down the embankment. Even during a massive terrorist action, a lot of London kept on going for a few hours, until it came time to try and go home. It was only as I got closer to Moorgate that things quietened down. There were hardly any cars anywhere, and certainly no buses, as I walked, but there were a fair number of people. Perhaps they were like me and refused to stay put if there was somewhere better for them to be. I don't know, but even during, the great spirit of London (of which more in a minute) was not entirely crushed.

I had no real hope of getting home yesterday, and I didn't need to, because like I said, my grandad lives right near the Barbican. My afternoon yesterday, once I was dry and fed, was spent watching very old RKO Astaire/Rogers movies.

You have no fucking idea how lucky I feel. You have no idea what it was like to arrive back in my own suburban little town today to find everything exactly as normal after leaving a place trying very hard to feel like it was normal. You probably don't have any idea what it was like waiting for a return text from Richard, the oldest of my friends after I realised that he works somewhere in central London but not knowing where. The feeling of getting that return text was a little better.

Suffice to say it was very strange getting on the train this morning. I've taken the train out of Moorgate hundreds of times at all times of the day, and it's never been like this. I've been there when it's quiet, but it was never this eerie before. There was never the tense feeling of 'er, hope it's all OK down here' because at Moorgate, even the mainline, regular trains start out underground until it emerges into daylight at Drayton Park.

You have no idea how it felt this morning to be told by my mum on the phone (rentals are on holiday) that I always seem to be around these things (I was in LA when 9/11 happened and in California for the months of aftermath). She meant it as a joke, but I find it so hard to find amusing. Maybe it's my fatalistic attitude.

But don't get me wrong: if you think for one tiny second that this is really going to change my beloved London, you're under some deep misapprehensions about that place. The people of London have been facing, fending off and living with attacks against them since the beginning of it all. I bet that when the survivor guy from Troy arrived with his rock thing (weird old legend thing), there were attacks then.

In terms of living with fear, well, our town lived through both World Wars. I walked past Paternoster Square on my way back yesterday. This chunk of London, right near St Pauls, was the centre of publishing before the Second World War and was flattened by a bomb. So Paternoster Row became Paternoster Square. The museum mile down near Hyde Park bears the scars of bombings. So do the nasty estates that sprang up after the war to replace thousands of homes.

But more than that, we find it a perverse blessing that we lived with twenty five years of the IRA. It's true that our emergency services are incredibly good at this sort of thing because they've dealt with it on different scales before. Our bomb experts are some of the best in the world because we've done it before. We put the Lockerbie plane back together so succesfully that the tape deck was tracked down and the bombers discovered.

But that's not really the nasty blessing I'm talking about. Anyone who's lived or worked in London for more than ten years will certainly remember bombings. The blockades and checkpoints in many streets into the City of London (I remember asking my dad about that stuff when I was very small). The continuing absence of rubbish bins in almost any train station in the country because that's where some bombs got put. I've myself been caught up in a bomb scare at Kings Cross- we had to find a different way home.

Yes, this is different. There seems, to me at least, to be an added level of barbarity about this- the IRA used to send warnings, albeit coded, before bombings or threatened bombings. It was less about killing than disruption. And you know what? I didn't accept it then. If I won't accept this from the Irish, I certainly won't accept it from anyone else. Nor will anyone else in this town.

You see, we've done this before. Do you know how many Romans it took to subdue England? And I don't want to keep invoking the war, but I will say this: if Adolf Hitler's constant bombing of London didn't take us down, do you think this nasty, underhanded 'war' will?

I don't think so. I suggest to all would-be bombers that you just don't try. You took out our tube for a day and caused a bit of chaos. It's running again today. Wasted your time, didn't you?

Terrorism, as Sam Seaborn said in the special post-9/11 West Wing, has a 100% failure rate. If you try it with London, you'll find that number actually goes up.

Adolf didn't manage it.

The Irish Republican Nutters didn't manage it.

These people won't either.

Take heart my dears, for London is greater than anything. Like Ancient Rome once was, London is a state of mind. It is a greater thing than bricks, mortar, tarmac, congestion charges, great cathedrals or palaces. It is a greater thing than a few people. It is the sum of its parts plus thousands of years of history and a hundred other things.

We won't fight you on the beaches this time, we will fight you in our own hearts, minds and streets. And you know what? We'll win.

So, who's up for some Olympics now? I am.

apolla: (Queen Maeve)
2005-07-08 12:46 pm

Good morning World

Hello.

This is Clare (to prove it: I love Errol Flynn. And Philip Lynott, and that Morrison bloke. And the dude with the tight jeans and big blond hair.)

I am OK. I am now home. Am off to Lancaster tomorrow (not today as Mikey thought) so I wanted to post now. I want also to say that I'm genuinely moved and all that by the emails and stuff I've received. I'm sorry I couldn't respond, but I haven't been anywhere near the internet since I left home on Thursday, which now seems quite a few weeks ago.

I was in Central London yesterday. Had I tried to get into London from home on the morning of my interview, there is a genuine chance that I'd have been on a train involved at King's Cross or at the very least, had everything turned upside down. Fortunately, I have a Grandad who lives right on the outskirts of the City of London (the Square Mile) and who insists on me being up early and getting places ridiculously early so I missed whatever happened at Moorgate. As it happens, I had a minor hitch because I was on a tube when it all happened, but not one of the tubes. I got to my test/interview thing with time to spare. Time in which I got to watch a TV and discover that my hitch on the tube wasn't a cock-up of any kind. This is how it happened for me:

I was on a tube train travelling on the District Line when stuff started to happen. We thought there had been a power cut at the stations, because the lights were all out on the platforms at Mansion House and the next few stops, but the train could still go. At Embankment, we were told that the train wouldn't be stopping until Victoria, so I got off and walked from there all the way to my test at Westminster. By the time I got there, the TV in the common room we were told to wait in was reporting 'power surges'.

I was personally immediately suspicious. I will make jokes about the incompetence of the London Underground, but there's no way power surges happen at four different places on the same day. As we were about to go in for the aptitude tests, we heard about the bus on Sky News.

I failed my tests and therefore do not go through to the next stage. I can try again in six months without having to apply again. I don't know if I failed because I'm no good with numbers (or, it transpires apparently, shapes), but I do know I was sat there worrying about my Grandad. He lives two minutes away from Old Street, two minutes away from Moorgate and about five/ten minutes away from Liverpool Street. So when I was told I'd failed my tests but I was welcome to stay in the lobby because the advice was to stay put, I put on my iPod and started walking.

I walked down past the Houses of Parliament and then walked the length of Victoria Embankment along the Thames until I reached Blackfriars Bridge, then up past St Pauls towards Moorgate. Avoided actual Moorgate because it was mostly unnecessary. Basically, I walked 3.5miles in the rain. In new boots. When I reached my grandad's, I couldn't have been wetter if I'd jumped in the bloody river. I have a massive blister on the side of my right foot and I've had a genuinely horrific headache since getting back to Grandad's. I ended up having to take some of his paracetamols. I've missed work today because I only just now got home (train pulled into my town just after midday) and I'm in the clothes I put on on Wednesday afternoon- the trousers of my suit and a Guinness rugby style shirt I wore to preserve my white shirt for the tests.

Incidentally, despite having been told to stay indoors, there were an awful lot of people around as I walked down the embankment. Even during a massive terrorist action, a lot of London kept on going for a few hours, until it came time to try and go home. It was only as I got closer to Moorgate that things quietened down. There were hardly any cars anywhere, and certainly no buses, as I walked, but there were a fair number of people. Perhaps they were like me and refused to stay put if there was somewhere better for them to be. I don't know, but even during, the great spirit of London (of which more in a minute) was not entirely crushed.

I had no real hope of getting home yesterday, and I didn't need to, because like I said, my grandad lives right near the Barbican. My afternoon yesterday, once I was dry and fed, was spent watching very old RKO Astaire/Rogers movies.

You have no fucking idea how lucky I feel. You have no idea what it was like to arrive back in my own suburban little town today to find everything exactly as normal after leaving a place trying very hard to feel like it was normal. You probably don't have any idea what it was like waiting for a return text from Richard, the oldest of my friends after I realised that he works somewhere in central London but not knowing where. The feeling of getting that return text was a little better.

Suffice to say it was very strange getting on the train this morning. I've taken the train out of Moorgate hundreds of times at all times of the day, and it's never been like this. I've been there when it's quiet, but it was never this eerie before. There was never the tense feeling of 'er, hope it's all OK down here' because at Moorgate, even the mainline, regular trains start out underground until it emerges into daylight at Drayton Park.

You have no idea how it felt this morning to be told by my mum on the phone (rentals are on holiday) that I always seem to be around these things (I was in LA when 9/11 happened and in California for the months of aftermath). She meant it as a joke, but I find it so hard to find amusing. Maybe it's my fatalistic attitude.

But don't get me wrong: if you think for one tiny second that this is really going to change my beloved London, you're under some deep misapprehensions about that place. The people of London have been facing, fending off and living with attacks against them since the beginning of it all. I bet that when the survivor guy from Troy arrived with his rock thing (weird old legend thing), there were attacks then.

In terms of living with fear, well, our town lived through both World Wars. I walked past Paternoster Square on my way back yesterday. This chunk of London, right near St Pauls, was the centre of publishing before the Second World War and was flattened by a bomb. So Paternoster Row became Paternoster Square. The museum mile down near Hyde Park bears the scars of bombings. So do the nasty estates that sprang up after the war to replace thousands of homes.

But more than that, we find it a perverse blessing that we lived with twenty five years of the IRA. It's true that our emergency services are incredibly good at this sort of thing because they've dealt with it on different scales before. Our bomb experts are some of the best in the world because we've done it before. We put the Lockerbie plane back together so succesfully that the tape deck was tracked down and the bombers discovered.

But that's not really the nasty blessing I'm talking about. Anyone who's lived or worked in London for more than ten years will certainly remember bombings. The blockades and checkpoints in many streets into the City of London (I remember asking my dad about that stuff when I was very small). The continuing absence of rubbish bins in almost any train station in the country because that's where some bombs got put. I've myself been caught up in a bomb scare at Kings Cross- we had to find a different way home.

Yes, this is different. There seems, to me at least, to be an added level of barbarity about this- the IRA used to send warnings, albeit coded, before bombings or threatened bombings. It was less about killing than disruption. And you know what? I didn't accept it then. If I won't accept this from the Irish, I certainly won't accept it from anyone else. Nor will anyone else in this town.

You see, we've done this before. Do you know how many Romans it took to subdue England? And I don't want to keep invoking the war, but I will say this: if Adolf Hitler's constant bombing of London didn't take us down, do you think this nasty, underhanded 'war' will?

I don't think so. I suggest to all would-be bombers that you just don't try. You took out our tube for a day and caused a bit of chaos. It's running again today. Wasted your time, didn't you?

Terrorism, as Sam Seaborn said in the special post-9/11 West Wing, has a 100% failure rate. If you try it with London, you'll find that number actually goes up.

Adolf didn't manage it.

The Irish Republican Nutters didn't manage it.

These people won't either.

Take heart my dears, for London is greater than anything. Like Ancient Rome once was, London is a state of mind. It is a greater thing than bricks, mortar, tarmac, congestion charges, great cathedrals or palaces. It is a greater thing than a few people. It is the sum of its parts plus thousands of years of history and a hundred other things.

We won't fight you on the beaches this time, we will fight you in our own hearts, minds and streets. And you know what? We'll win.

So, who's up for some Olympics now? I am.

apolla: (Default)
2005-07-08 11:20 am

London Terrorist Attack

I am posting on my sister clare's behath that she is ok and that she was not effected by yesterdays events although she was close to the area. She is in London staying at her grandads and will be continuing her trip up to lancaster university today.

Michael x X x

apolla: (Default)
2005-07-08 11:20 am

London Terrorist Attack

I am posting on my sister clare's behath that she is ok and that she was not effected by yesterdays events although she was close to the area. She is in London staying at her grandads and will be continuing her trip up to lancaster university today.

Michael x X x