I wasn't sure whether the ten-year anniversary of the 7th July London bombings is the appropriate time to be posting this kind of thing but, since it was apparently a good enough excuse for Tony Blair to once more ride his personal hobby-horses back into battle, I think it's probably enough for me.
Back then, I remember there being a lot of chat about the bravery of
ordinary Londoners in just going about their business under the threat
of attack, and it's certainly true that horrific bomb blasts targeting
commuters is extremely intimidating stuff.
Nonetheless, I'm reminded that the decision to
just get on with it in the face of threats isn't exactly an agonising
personal choice. Your boss isn't going to pay you to take a month off to get over your understandable anxiety, because the only two available options are - work, or starve.
I don't recall hearing that point made once at the time, although it could be that I've just forgotten.
Who knows, maybe the sight of officials proclaiming variations upon "we all stand together" following these types of terrorist outrages gladdens the hearts of the public. Perhaps it fosters unity and steels people's resolve that We will not be defeated by Them.
For me though, watching Tony yet again declaring that he knows better than the bombers why they did the terrible things that they did, and calling for us to gird our loins and blow more shit up, reminds me now of what I thought then - that none of us had any choice other than to get on with it in the face of the bombers' murderous cruelty, and the then-Prime Minister's worrying lunacy.
Assuming that I'm right about that, then it didn't feel much like Us vs Them, so much as it was Us vs Them, And Them As Well. Certainly, you get the feeling that both believed in their own crazy way
that they were doing God's work, and both seem to have been entirely impervious to reason or humility*.
*Addendum - In writing this, I went back to the Quail-In-Terror-Mortals video made by one of the bombers, in which he announces that the attacks were some kind of dip-shitted revenge for the occupation of Iraq. Ignoring for now the utter idiocy of this idea - murdering these innocent civilians, to make up for the killing of those = profit - what strikes me now is how utterly childish the standard Jihadi clamour for public notoriety is.
Khan's finger-waggy lecture was meant to intimidate, and no doubt succeeded to a certain extent, but it's notable that it resembles nothing more than it does an audition video for Britain's Got Talent - like a teenager singing a Katy Perry song into a hairbrush, or something.
Here, we have a man yapping into a camera in the firm belief that he is striking a blow against the enemies of God, entirely oblivious to his own chihuahuan ridiculousness. He says he wants justice, when it looks to me like what he wants is to get his stupid face on the front page of the Sun. And he certainly got that.
Truly, a viciously stupid, boring little twat of the first water.