Monday, July 17, 2006

House of Lord's speech links

Last week there was a meeting about the lack of a 7/7 public inquiry. The speech given at the CAMPACC meeting at the House of Lords can be found here, Nafeez's speech here, Milan Rai's thoughts here and a report on the meeting here.

The speakers were all excellent and I was honoured to be invited. Thanks to all those who organised the event, especially Lord Rea who was the Chair. There were some interesting questions, it was a shame that we were pushed for time. What was meant to be 8 minutes each shrank to 5, then 3, then 2...

Unfortunately quite a lot of conspiracy theorists turned up and said the usual - that the bombers ( ''the lads, the gentlemen'') were innocent, it was all about 9/11 and yak yak yak as they have done before. One of them who should know better, heckled one speaker, author Milan Rai shouting that he was ''unintelligent'' and'' ignorant.''

It would almost be comical if it wasn't so incredibly frustrating, and so damaging to the sane, clear-eyed campaign, supported by many survivors and bereaved families, to be in any way associated with the tiny but determined ''lunatic fringe''. It is worrying too, because such protestations of conspiracies and cover ups do help to provide the swamp in which paranoia and extremism can flourish. It is deeply off-putting, I think, to ordinary members of the public, even more so for survivors and bereaved families, to turn up to show support and then to be confronted with this highly vocal, tiny minority, who are not young, and who should know better, all banging on away about plots and ''synthetic terror'' and all the rest of it. They are fundementalists. And arguing with them is as futile as arguing with any fundementalist.

And yes, I have checked out all the 9/11 and 7/7 theories and all the websites, and I have found that there is very little merit in them. (There's also a lot of pretty dodgey stuff in many of the sites as well.)

What little truth and information there is gets swamped by speculation and horrible, evidence-free exoneration of mass murderers. That the government or some shadowy network is really behind it seems an article of faith. There are many things wrong with the official responses, and there are many questions to be asked, and yes, the time of the train was given wrongly, in the Narrative, and the ISC report and the narrative contradict each other in parts, and yes, I have said they are not good enough for months, and months, and that is one of the reasons I have been asking for an inquiry since last autumn. But do me a favour... I just don't want to hear that ''the bombers were innocent'', because they weren't. The evidence that they suicide-bombed the trains is too overwhelming. To claim they were innocent, when I have seen the damage they caused to innocent people's lives and limbs angers and offends me more than I can say.

And yes, Khan and Tanweer should have been picked up before, and yes, there is much more to say about who were they in contact with? And about how many more plot murder and mayhem?And to say truthfully what is known about Islamic radicals in the UK?

And yes, there should have been better intra-agency communication, and at the centre of it all is the bloody, wounded, dangerous elephant in the room - the role of foreign policy ( a foreign policy ostensibly to defend us against terror, remember) - and its role in inflaming and recruiting terrorists ... which this wretched Government won't even talk about...


But, and this is an important but. It is not at all helpful to have people who claim to be ''after the truth '' and desirous of a public inquiry in such complete, horrifying, distressing denial about the fact that a) suicide bombers exist and b) young British men were suicide bombers a year ago.

No damn good at all. Of course there are many legitimate questions, but what is not helpful is appraoching them form the entrenched starting point that you already know the answer. Fundementalism of any kind if the enemy of grace and truth.

Cue venomous comments from conspiraloons, I expect. Well, too bad. I won't be publishing them. You have right of reply all over the internet, you've had my engagement and my time for months, but I am not going into the Rachel North vs. The Conspiracy Theorists showdown yet again. I have done my absolute damndest to make it clear that these people are nothing to do with the survivor/bereaved/Muslim campaign for an independent inquiry, to protect people from getting the kind of abuse I have taken ( and I've started kicking back hard these days, which helps) and I am not going through the whole business of putting myself in the front line to be harrangued and proselytised at again in my comments by people who in my opinion should get a less offensive hobby than playing spot- the -conspiracy in a murder investigation. Sorry, but there it is. Extremist conspiracy theorists can continue to slate me all over their websites or do whatever they wish. We're not on the same side, and I'm not indulging you. My blog, my personal opinions, my rules. Tough.

8 Comments:

Blogger Numeral said...

Hi Rachel

About the two little spats at the CAMPACC meeting. I missed it at the time but both were triggered by Milan Rai. First, when Ian Henshall was speaking, he interrupted to say that there was no such thing as false flag terrorism, a Chomskyist position. David Shayler then leapt up to say he could bear witness to it. Second, when David Shayler was speaking (about evidence for 911 as an inside job), Milan started shaking his head vigorously, provoking a reaction from David. Milan should, I think, have been aware of the fact that he was in the House of Lords, where civil manners prevail, rather than the House of Commons.

Overall the dividing line was as clear as ever. The possibility that 7th July events were not suicide bombings is somehow outside acceptable discourse.

July 17, 2006 11:25 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Numeral.

Nafeez had to tell David Shayler off for being rude. What was the point of standing up ( not even having been called by the Chair, Lord Rea, so speaking out of turn ) and then ranting - yes, ranting - about 9/11 being an 'inside job'? What good did that do? It was rude and it was counter-productive, both for your movement and the campaign as a whole. Did you not see everyone looking embarrassed and tutting? People came up to me afterwards and apologised for it, though they had not even joined in, said ' so sorry, we're not all like that..'

And yes, I do think when you have a man in the room who was severely injured by Khan's detonating his rucksack a few feet away, to claim that there were no suicide bombers is not acceptable. How do you explain Khan's explosion into several pieces whilst on th train with a rucksack containing a bomb, then, and Professor Tulloch's dreadful injuries? Or Danny Biddle's injuries - Danny WATCHED Khan let off the bomb.

Please try and have some compassion and common sense.

July 18, 2006 12:01 am  
Blogger Numeral said...

Newspaper reports of Danny Biddle's story have been confusing. Milan Rai was misled into thinking Danny Biddle was involved in the Aldagte incident. There is a recent clearer and more detailed account from the FT

Danny clearly remembers the details of that morning - he woke up with a migraine and decided to give himself a lie-in. Working on a hospital building in Wembley at the time, he would usually have been at work by around 7.30am. He almost phoned in sick, but didn’t want to miss an important meeting. For three weeks he had been taking the same route to work - changing at Baker Street to take the Jubilee line north to Wembley Park. But on July 7 he missed his stop. Instead, he planned to get off at Paddington and change for the Bakerloo line to Wembley Central. He was leaning against the perspex screen by the double doors - standing, as always, and people-watching. “I looked around. This Asian guy got on and walked down the carriage. He sat down just past me on the other side of the screen.” He was “sitting with a rucksack over his shoulders and a main bag in his lap over his chest”. Danny watched him look at his wrists several times - as if checking the time. “When he first put his hand in the bag my first thought was medication, or he’s getting something to eat, or he’s a diabetic, whatever. As the train pulled out of Edgware Road station, he put his hand back in the bag, lifted his head and looked up and then there was light like a thousand camera flashes going off. And, when I think about it, where he sat down was where there was the biggest congregation of people.”

This "main bag" is something new.

July 18, 2006 6:03 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Newspapers are alwys misquoting things, the FT is the most accurate so far. Danny saw a suicide bomber letting off a bomb and was lucky to survive. I have very little patience with those who weren't there who say there were no suicide bombers: funny how everyone who WAS there has no problem accepting this part of the narrative, because IT IS TRUE. And can you see how irritating it is when people claim that there was no suicide bomber in your carriage when there was? And how distressing it is to claim that the '4 lads' were 'innocent'? They were not. And carrying on as if they were when there are survivors and families about who KNOW they were not is not clever. Or acceptable

July 18, 2006 7:52 am  
Blogger Dave said...

Jesus, you lot are dicks. There are things going on that do involve shady meetings, underhand deals. It's things like PFI, things like defence contracts and the like.

But instead you lot choose to fcous on this ridiculous idee fixe (look it up). If I were a government minister looking to avoid being held accountable, you're a godsend. So completely battily fruitloopyily obsessed with own your Mulder and Scullyness, you're a walking talking reason as to why the punters are idiots, why the public aren't able to be engaged with and why public enquiries will fuel the fire of your madness.

Why do have this burning desire to want to believe the James Bond version? What's missing in your lives? Sadly, you can't be engaged with rationally, as your outlook is more to do with the psychology of the adherent, not the realities.

July 18, 2006 9:54 am  
Blogger Mike said...

If there's a choice between conspiracy and cock up then it's always cock up. Trust me. Less glamorous admittedly, but the truth.

In my quite extensive experience of real life Government Agencies - however shady - are not sophisticated enough to do anything as clever as they're being accused of.

Honestly - I'd suggest conspiracists go 'undercover' and work in government for a week. Illusions will be quickly shattered.

That said, I shall not mock - hey do what you have to do - just remember that your attempts to defend the free world don't give you a licence to behave badly or have rights above and beyond the rest of us more accepting souls.

When it gets frustrating I suggest you remember you are going to have to win hearts and minds if and when the revolution comes. Why put people's backs up now?

July 18, 2006 2:15 pm  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Wow,

First time visitor here and it is quite a discussion. How anyone can pretend there was no suicide bomber in this icident is beyond me.

Having said that, let us all keep in mind that the events on 7/7 pale in comparison to any week (and sometimes day) in Iraq.

Maybe we should all calm down a bit and realize how good we have it.

You are all Brittish. I trust you know of the "we are not afraid" campaign. That is where it is at. You can find it on Gooogle.

"The only thing worth fearing is fear itself."

Nice blog Rachel. I like it.

July 18, 2006 11:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a very nice blog Rachel, conspiracy loons are so silly, we don't believe any conspiracies here, not one because we actively discourage them and muster up enough people and support to batter all conspiracy ideas immediately. All possibility is not welcome here it is just so unhelpful to the limited human mind, far too much to take on in such a short lifetime and it twists some of our fearful minds in knots to even think that such organised tactics for all of our control could exist. Stay away conspiraloons! You hurt!

July 21, 2006 7:12 pm  

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