Back to top

London in a time of outrage

I had intended to write this post about the pros and cons of London hosting the 2012 Olympics. That, however, has to go on hold for now.

The atrocities that took place at four locations in London on Thursday morning are very distressing. No ideological argument can justify mass murder, which is what this appears to be.

It was awful, to use an understatement, for this to happen in London the very day after the city celebrated the award of the 30th Olympic Games, and five days after the joy of the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park. London has seen through the trauma in recent history of the terrorism of the Irish Republican Army, and before that, of the German blitzkrieg of the Second World War. I trust that its return to normality will be swift and orderly.

The multiple bombings on the London transport system, as in Madrid last year, are a sobering reminder to us all of the impact of terrorism worldwide. Innocent people are dying all the time from bombings in places as diverse as Colombia, Israel and Algeria, and in the major cities of Iraq it's happening almost daily, or sometimes even more frequently than that.

Without wishing to diminish the tragedy of July 7's bombings in London, I do wish that our leaders and our media would pay more attention to similar atrocities as they arise around the world, both Anglophile and non-Anglophile.

I won't labour too long over links to coverage of the London attacks - lots of people covering that only too well - but The Guardian is an excellent starting point.

Two particular items of reaction I will point out: one is Mayor Ken Livingstone's inspiring statement to reporters in Singapore yesterday (and hopefully I'll find the complete audio later on).

On the other side of the ledger, Media Matters for America has noted a particularly galling exchange between two Fox "News" Channel talking heads yesterday.