So here we are, as the famous social commentator Liam Gallagher might say - 'avin it'. There's been a bit of disruption on the tubes and buses this morning. Thirty seven dead and rising. It would be facile and evil not to feel sympathy and shock at these events, but surprise? - do me a favour. We bought and paid for this a long time ago. Although despising the actions of Al Quaeda - or the French, as many hope we can prove beyong reasonable doubt, the tactics and timing can't be faulted. Obviously, something like this requires a fair amount of planning, and must have been in the pipeline for quite awhile. The question is, how the hell didn't we see it coming on today of all days? Did M15 forget? Too wrapped up in Edinburgh, The Wombles, Ya Basta, and some militsnt geograpty teachers from the midlands, to remember that Al Quaeda play it like chess grandmasters. Edgware Road -where I lived for years, also houses Paddington Green Nick. First stop of all rightly and wrongly lifted turban wearers. Obviously, not evertything can be covered, but perhaps security might have been stepped up south of the border as well. Forget the Highland Fling.
As a ten year Edgware Rd dweller ( lapsed), it's a pity that they hit the wrong station. It should have been the Bakerloo line one, with the lifts that never work. That hole needs a refit. The Circle line station was nice - winning London Transport 'Garden on a station' of the year award - year in year out, and there was a station cat - hopefully there still is.
I apologize for the seeming glibness of this blog - I am not so cynical that humanity has been cast aside for witty ( in my humble...) observations. It's anger, resignation, helplessness...with just a dollop of vinegar. I don't know who's dead or hurt, it's not immediate family and friends - we checked in, but it could be friends, acquaintences - and whoever it is has my pity, sadness and respect. I 'hardly' knew a man who died in the King's Cross Fire, and I still feel terrible sadness whenever I ascend the escalator at that particular pit of despair. However, it's difficult for non-Diana worshipping touchy feely morons to see all this as anything but an inpersonal, Orwellian vindication...war with Europa, Zooropa or George and Mildred Roper. The body count is a score, and London loses. New York did better, Madrid did better...Baghdad does better about three times a day. We could almost sneer at Bin Laden, and flick a V. "The IRA did better than you you twat...that's a sugar and weedkiller score" - again, I apologize for the perceived brutality of that remark.
I was at work this morning, and knew of the 'Power Surge' immediately. Knowing that London Transport is actually run by two ancient Ever Ready Nine Volt batteriees, I knew it was something more serious. Those at Rough Trade, kept calling those yet to arrive - several colleagues or families thereof, scheduled to pass or have passed through the targets. It was genuinely uncomfortable, becoming def con three worrying when they could't be reached and more explosions were reported. Eventually everyone was accounted for, and our needle in a haystack worries stood down.
I kept a nicotine vigil outside, the woman nextdoor at the halal grocerie had far more to worry about. Being an Hijab wearing muslim, she, apart from sharing every sympathy, knew what will come next. We discussed her taking off the headscarf...a light conversation, but with definite dark undertones. I hope she's OK.
Listening to the radio this afternoon, I have been entertained by peoples' poems being read out on air. 'London Pride' - not the noel Coward song, but by a man called Chris from Edgware. While making some well meant observations about the blitz spirit of Larnernners, it was about the most Xenophobic incitement to ethnic cleansing since the Cure's 'Killing of an Arab'. A man phoned in to ask for it to be read again. " I can't remeber a word of it, but it made me feel prard 2B a Lundunna' - and they did.
Today's terrorism effected me thus: I took the afternoon off work to rescue a friend who had been stranded without food or entertainment. I picked Tom ( How To Be Idle ) Hodgkinson up from Shepherds Bush, and drove him to a pub.
So Osama Bloody Bin Man Laden, you and your poxy plans to inflict terror into the heart of every Londoner have badly misfired. You inflicted two pints of gorgeous cool Guinness onto my liver, gave me an afternoon off work and have shown yourself to be as old, befuddled and incompetent as Bob Geldof. You should have done it yesterday to save us the bloody Olympics. In fact, perhaps today IS a greater triumph for destruction. Now that we've got the Olympics, the entire East End will be torn down, ethnically cleansed, and turned into a giant Starbucks. The IOC have managed in one fell swoop, to do what Hitler and you couldn't. Bollocks to the lot of yer.
As the man on the radio said "Today will go down in history as the seventh of the seventh, Oh five" Who could say more?