Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Remembering back to 7/7

Britain today is being all about remembering possibly the worst terrorist atrocity visited on us

On July 7th 2005, a group of terrorist loons blew themselves up on 3 London Underground trams and 1 London bus. 52 died and over 700 were injured.

I quite rarely talk about current events on here, although you should know I keep a very close eye on them. When I'm not watching anything else, the telly is usually on Sky News (I know - it's Murdoch-twisted but all our news is twisted in its own way), although it's on mute to protect my ears from the lunacy of some of the presenters.

Yep - I saw that hate campaign against one of the presenters - I won't defend her (see lunacy comment) but imagine how she felt about it ? Be nice. It's easy to join in with the howling mob but be sure you have all the context.

Nah - I don't talk about the current events much because there are so many other places you can get that from that are far better informed than me. After all, I'm getting my info from the same places that you are. Just remember ... Take what you read, see or hear with a pinch of salt. Can you trust what they're saying ? (See lunatic comment above) Are they telling you what you want to hear instead of what the truth actually is ? Are they trying to bend your opinion their way, away from what is beneficial to you ?

Besides - this page should be all about me and what I observe around me, there's better places to go for stuff about the world although I might pitch in an opinion sometime if I have something valid, interesting, funny? to say.

Yep. Ask those questions, determine for yourself what you want to trust. The most valuable lessons I learned at school were in history, where our teacher (the incredible Mini Hitler*) gave us the factual knowledge we needed to pass the exams but also impressed upon us the need to question, decipher, unravel, interpret the evidence before us.

*Mini Hitler was a maybe 4 foot 6 inches tall scary lady history teacher. But she was possibly the most respected teacher in my all boy secondary school. She was a legend. And we called her Mini Hitler because you most certainly did not want to incur her wrath. She never did anything while I was there but there were rumours ... many rumours ... She didn't need to raise her voice at all with us and this was a mob of hormones that made an English teacher straight out of training burst into tears.

But I'm rambling when I should be remembering.

We do remember what happened today 10 years ago. Here's BBC's story today.

I also remember what happened 2 weeks later, where 5 bombers attempted to repeat the atrocity but failed due to incompetence. The bombs had degraded to duds and only one minor injury resulted from the detonators going pop. Here's the wiki info. We got away with that one.

I can remember hearing huge amounts in the past about Al-Qaeda. They're barely mentioned today (IS have the attention and the crazy people now).

There was a story locally about a bomb factory just down the road from where I work. It was in Westbury-On-Trym. A loon wanted to blow up the Bristol city centre shopping area and got turned in to the coppers by the local Muslim community. Here's the Wiki info. (The alternative was a Daily Mail link and I'm not going to inflict you with that). That situation was dealt with fairly quietly and no one was hurt. Although from what I heard from the various sources, the bomber would have probably blown himself up due to ineptitude.

You hear other bits and pieces around the news about other potential terrorist incidents around the country. I saw on the news the incident where a bunch of supposedly rational people drove an SUV laden with fuel and (I think?) explosive into Glasgow airport. If they'd got in through the door, then they may have burned down the building. But these supposedly rational people failed to account for the bollards in front of the door that stopped the SUV. The scary part there is that I used to fairly regularly use the airport terminal that they tried to burn down.

I guess the important thing I'm trying to say is :

It hasn't happened again. Not in the scale of July 7 or, going further back, the IRA campaigns of the 20th Century.

Our security forces do a good job of stopping the threats before they develop. Say what you will about invasions of privacy but they have been keeping us safe all these years. I'll leave that there before the conspiracy theorists jump on it.

What was I doing 10 years ago ?

I don't really remember the same way as I can place where I was on September 11 2001. Back then, I was attending a design review for one of the systems I was keeping an eye on integrating and was listening in disbelief to the news about the Two Towers while driving home. They were still standing when I got in the car and had fallen by the time I got home.

2005 was different, I'd just got back from the USA Orlando holiday which was the last time together with my reasonable time partner. She walked out as soon as she got back (You can guess how that made me feel). I was emotionally numb from that for many months after. Years maybe ? I can't rightly remember*. I was also reaching out to quite a few people at this time and getting very confused and distressed when they turned away, put up the walls and stopped talking to me.

*(this was also perhaps 2 years after Nose Job 1 which caused long term neurological memory damage and I think my memory is still affected by it)

So I'm somewhat sad to say that I can't remember what I was doing 10 years ago. I think I was at work, listening in disbelief with the rest of us but also within my own little emotional cocoon from the personal stuff.

Selfish ? Perhaps. But that's the honest truth of it. I remember the events that took so many lives but my head was dominated by the emotional turmoil much closer to home.

A much more sombre post today - but I hope you understand why. No piccys either, it wouldn't be appropriate. And about that word "worst" at the top. All terrorist atrocities are awful. The scale should not be used as a comparison between horrible events. Numbers are a side issue when it comes to misery. And that's not to belittle anyone's loss - I feel all the loss equally, whether it be 1 or 1000s.

Last thought - Would you believe I've perhaps been 200 yards away from a bomb that went boom ? It was in N.Ireland and it blew the front off a store. I dunno actually, that could be a different memory that's become real, I was about 8 at the time ! Fact is though, bomb threats were a fact of life when I lived in N.Ireland but for our last graduate, who hailed from Belfast, that country was far safer and bombs were a thing of the past.

Progress is a good thing.

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