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Train Of Thought

by | 26th, July 2005

‘BRITONS are by nature not the most monocular, reactionary bunch and a poll commissioned by the Times says that 74 per cent of the public think terrorist bombs and scares are likely to be part of London life in the future.

No-one gets past

We also learn that 70 per cent of those who responded to the poll are in favour of giving the police more powers to hold terror suspects for up to 90 days without charge.

What the other thirty per cent believe is not reported, and could be made up deporting suspects, locking them up forever, making them live in a disused Underground tunnel or giving them their own chatshow on Channel Five.

Of course, as the police demonstrated last week with the shooting dead of an (innocent) man on the Tube, when push comes to shove there is little room for debate.

But while we should take care not to exaggerate the risk and make the terrorists seem bigger and more powerful than they actually are, the Times’s lead photo of a suspect strap hanging on the Tube at Oval station is chilling.

It’s the same shot on the cover of the Telegraph (“Tube bomber prepares to strike”). This is the “most mundane of scenes” as passengers sit staring at their feet in silence and gazing into the middle distance – only this time an unidentified man wearing a rucksack and standing near a set of double doors plans to kill them all.

The other front page news – “11 British tourists feared dead in Egypt bombings” – hardly helps us carry on regardless.

But how concerned are we that the four suspects have yet to be caught? The most wanted men in Britain, their faces, body shapes and, in two instances, names recognisable to the security services, will find it hard to carry out their odious mission.

But still the Times says the powers that be have issued a “desperate plea” to the public to help in catching the would-be mass murderers.

Though there have been “no sighting” of the four would-be suicide bombers since they fled five days ago, it’s just as likely that they are dead, killed by their own, as it is that they are plotting more carnage.

So we’ll carry on taking the Tube – providing, of course, the Tube is prepared to take us.

As the Telegraph says, rail union leaders have called upon London’s mayor Ken Livingstone to give them assurances that health and safety on the Underground is of paramount importance.

The RMT union met with Livingstone yesterday to talk things over, but left describing the summit as “very disappointing”.

A comment which – besides serving as a succinct and informed comment on Livingstone’s performances of late – suggests Tube workers are unhappy. A situation that, given the history of such things, could lead to industrial action.

You can’t bomb the Tube if the Tube isn’t running. A strike on the Underground of an altogether more typical kind may well be on the cards…’



Posted: 26th, July 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink