Friday, July 08, 2005

Right now I really love my hometown...
Only 24 hours after a major terrorist attack, London is up and running again. The tube is open, the buses are running (although they're diverting traffic around Russell Square), and people are going back to work. Not that I expected anything less, but still, it's good to see.
I hope that Blair and his cronies don't try to use this as an excuse to press ahead with their erosion of civil liberties plan. The ID card scheme was a terrible idea 48 hours ago, and it's still a terrible idea now. Biometric passports are still a stupid idea, and one which would drain public money that would be better spent elsewhere. Detention without trial is still fundamentally unnacceptable. I hope that, in the rush to figure out what happened and try to prevent future attacks, no-one forgets that.
On another note, once they start sifting through the evidence, shouldn't they be able to get some useful information from the web of CCTV cameras that are all over the city? Personally I've always hated the idea of CCTV - it seems inherantly fascist to be constantly spying on people as they go about their daily business. There's something creepily 1984-like about it. However, if there was ever a case in which they might be useful this is it. The question is, could you really pick anyone carrying a suspicious package out of the crowds at Kings Cross or Liverpool Street? Especially given that the devices seem to have been on timers, so they wouldn't ever know what day they should be looking for. If they can't find any useful evidence in this case I'd say that seriously undercuts the justification for having the damn things in the first place.

Here's a perfectly British response to this whole thing, taken from the Guardian. The speaker is an average guy, a cleaner called Albert they found making his way into work on Friday morning.
"I know I'm sat at the back of the bus and yesterday this would have been ripped off. You can't imagine what happened to the people onboard, but we have to get on with things. People are all going in to work today - life has to go, doesn't it?"

He sounds just like my grandmother when she talks about WW2. Here's hoping that the Alberts are still in the majority and that sanity will therefore prevail.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi! Sorry to do this as a comment on this post but couldn't find an email addy.

Spicy here - you left me a message on Pandagon - I clicked over to your blog and read your profile.

I've never come across the term Third Culture before but that's me! So doing as requested and making contact... Grew up in the military (Europe) moved to the UK at 14 and moved twice before 18 and going to Uni. Left the UK for two years again after (sub-Saharan Africa) and although I've now adopted London as my 'home' I'm only here ten months of the year but it's the longest I've ever been in one geographical space. Having said that, I don't plan on being here forever - I've got plans to move to Portugal and then to Brazil. One of my colleagues is another Third Culture girl (Diplomat's daughter) but you're right - there's not many of us about.

Cassandra Says said...

Hi Spicy
Supposedly there are about 2 million Third Culture people, spread out across all the world's major metropolitan areas. Not so many in San Francisco, sadly. I know 3, one of whom (Indian diplomatic kid) introduced me to the term. I fit the profile so well it's eerie.
I can't figure out a way to e-mail you, but if you want to send me your e-mail address I'll reply to you that way.

Anonymous said...

I think Washington, D.C. has got to be the U.S. capital for TCKs. My undergrad school was in D.C., and my school had a third culture kids' association in the early nineties. I knew a few folks whose parents followed energy-industry careers to the Middle East and were then educated at boarding schools.

Thomas

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