Friday, July 08, 2005

In Memoriam

I will post about the Race for Life, I promise. I had fun, and I want to thank people who sponsored me - I have a half-written entry on it already. Finishing it was one of my tasks for the day.

But then four bombs went off in London, and nothing is the same. 38 people are dead. Hundreds are injured.

It has not been a good week in Edinburgh. The march against poverty on Saturday went off fine - 25,000 marchers, just one arrest - and so did yesterday's Live 8 concert. But on Monday anarchists rioted in the streets, tearing up paving stones (20 people were injured) and on Tuesday and Wednesday large parts of the city were inaccessible for hours on end. I didn't personally see any violence, and not many anarchists (the worst that happened to me was having to walk a mile or so in the rain because of a cancelled bus!) but the place has felt... uneasy. There's something very unsettling about hearing sirens every few minutes, and seeing police everywhere you go. People have been grumpy and inclined to engage in more political arguments than usual.

Then we heard what had happened in London, and our troubles seemed so minute in comparison.

We've become complacent here in Britain. It's been a while since New York, Bali, Madrid. We haven't forgotten, but nobody was expecting this (and large chunks of the Metropolitan police are here in Edinburgh or up near Gleneagles). It's so calculating: London was probably at its weakest. Tony Blair has left the G8 and come back to London, and (never mind what I think about him and the other world leaders) I can't help feeling that the cause of the world's poorest can only be hurt by what has happened.

And I really don't want a society where we all have to be ID'd and monitored all the time to make sure things like this don't happen (and I doubt if it's likely to be effective) but those in favour of ID cards are going to have a stronger case after today, and I'm finding it harder to disagree. Not impossible, but harder.

My family and friends in London are all OK. We had a bomb scare on a bus in Edinburgh a little later, and a controlled explosion, but the consensus seems to be that it was just some forgotten shopping. It could have been worse. For people in New York and Bali and Madrid, it has been a lot worse. But right now, I'm sad. Sad for the families of the people that died, and the people that are injured, and for all of the rest of us too.

I'll be back, probably tomorrow, but now I'm going to get some sleep. God bless and safe journeys.


Zara said...

Oh, I can't believe all of this. I'm sad, too. I'm glad your family and friends are okay and I feel so bad for the victims and their loved ones. Take care and be safe.

rachel said...

Hi. Yes I am really only 12. I write differently than I act though, you can ask my friends. Writing is a whole other world for me. And, I'm glad you read my blog. Those lyrics to the sunscreen song you commented on, those are pretty much my favorite lyrics ever. And I have been watching the news lately (more than normal) and I've been watching on the bombing and I think its terrifying. But I'm glad ur safe. and im praying for everyone, I wish things like this didnt have to happen. but the world's an imperfect place and...oh i dont know what to say right now im a little tired. Anyways...keep writing. Peace.