Friday, November 11, 2005

Booze, news, views

I went to the pub last night , to spend an evening on the lash with Kings Cross United, some of the people who were on my train when it blew up. This isn't about the politics of fear. It's about hope. And beer. And wine. And chips. And some excellent dark humour. And differing political views. We don't sit about crying and shaking, we buy each other drinks and talk and laugh and laugh and it is a really good, fun night out.

My views are not representative of KCU, or all victims, and it would be absolutely ridiculous to claim that, and I have always made it very clear that I speak for myself and for myself only.

They are my personal views.This is my ( very) personal web diary.

( Kings Cross United has its own private website and if you want to get in touch with us you can email us at and we'll get back to you. Kings Cross United is not a political group. Though it does have some thoughts to share about improving tube safety).

Some in KCU share my political views, and some do not. And that's the whole point: we're ordinary people, we don't all share the same brain because we were on the same train.

And how I wish The Sun, and Tony Blair and Charles Clarke had remembered that, before they start screetching 'It's for the Victims!' when trying to drive through panicky Terror legislation.

I can't speak for all the victims, Tony, and nor can you. (Hopefully he has worked this out now.)

Anyway, it's not For the Victims, all this fear-mongering.
It never was.

If you still buy that line, please, *wake up*.You don't cobble together any legislation on the back of feeling sorry for people who were hurt or killed by criminals in one particular incident.

That's not democracy, that's a PR and media strategy.

That's a kind of giant press release to get out the key message of the day. That's sentimental emotive claptrap at best and a sinister and cynical abuse of the Parliamentary process at worst.

If Leo Blair was bitten by an Alsatian in the park, and Tony Blair rushed through a proposal to ban Alsations, and parks, and all dogs over 40cm high, then we'd all think he was taking ridiculous liberties and was unfit for office and had gone quite, quite mad. If a weeping Cherie was wheeled out and pictured on the front of the Sun demanding all dog owners should be criminalised unless they passed a responsible dog owner test and were licensed, we might feel sorry for her but you can't have traumautised victims and frightened or grieving people influencing what laws are passed, can you? If the papers reported wild packs of rabid hounds swarming through the Channel Tunnel, rampaging through parks and streets and gardens and devouring innocent toddlers, it would still be an over-reactive law passed for completely the wrong reasons.

I am sure there will be further terrorist attacks. In fact, I thought there would be one today, 11/11. I went through the same thing on 8/8, 9/9, 10/10, 9/11... I will always be waiting for the bang and the screams. But I accept that as the price of walking freely after the bomb. And because I am fearful of terrorists, and still traumatised, that is exactly why you shouldn't listen to any sudden demands I might make to bin habeas corpus and change all the laws of the U.K and shoot all the baddies and put up a huge fence so I start to feel a bit better.

You can't legislate against hate and frightening and threatening people into behaving as you want them to do never works in the long term . But you can radicalise people and you can marginalise and anger them and then they will hate you more.

Banning people from saying things or believing things doesn't work; for an example of this, have a think about the spread of early Christianity, a banned, underground, persecuted movement for hundreds of years. You'd think torturing people, throwing them to lions, roasting them alive, breaking them on wheels, would put people off joining the early Church, wouldn't you? Oddly, it didn't. The people killed by the authorities were called 'martyrs', and later,
' saints.' They were celebrated in art and in music and architecture and worshipped for thousands of years. The more gory their end, the more popular they became.

You'd have thought Blair, a Christian, would have had a think about this stuff, wouldn't you? If you want to radicalise people and make them feel like martyrs then drive them underground.
I wonder if he ever thinks of Herod? Or Nero, Domitian, Trajan?...

No, probably not.

It's better to listen, talk, see the revulsion of most Muslims to the criminal acts of mass murder on July 7th and listen to what they have to say about stuff.

By the way. I am not saying that the extremist young followers of the First Century, so desirous to martyr themselves for Christ were terrorists, nor that terrorists are saints, twenty centuries later. I am making another point entirely. Just in case the Daily Mail finds this and swings into a full-on froth about Victim Says Bombers Are Martyrs and Saints or something equally dim. And I get banged up for a month for Glorifying Terrorism

Hey ho. More thoughts on internment without trial .28 days is still a scary length of time. (Look at how much the police managed to find out between July 7th and July 21st, by the way. Throw resource at a thing and you can be quite amazing).

13 days is terrible enough. 'We were not physically abused but it was mental torture'

Welcome home to the British hostages, Rupert and Linda Wise, captured and imprisoned and detained without trial.

As they say, a terrifying experience. And they are lucky - they had 'intense pressure from the British Foreign Office to plead their case and eventually get them released.

Who pleads for the men of Guantanamo bay to have the trials they still wait for?

If they take me, who will plead for me?

First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak outbecause I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me, and there was no one leftto speak out for me.
Pastor Martin Niemöller


Blogger Dr. Deb said...

POserful post, Rachel.


November 11, 2005 3:59 pm  
Blogger Dr. Deb said...

Make that POWERFUL.

November 11, 2005 4:00 pm  
Blogger Graeme said...

Great post. You are a victim of terror and choose to respond without violence or terror. Very refreshing.

November 12, 2005 8:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, I don't think Tony Blair will ever learn and I think its absolutely appalling of him to use a situation like this to try and improve the public's perception of him and muster support.

I have to say, I LOATHE politicians.

Except Clinton. I liked him. :o)

November 12, 2005 5:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost at once. Nemo me impune lacesset. Good luck and God bless you for standing up! Fishwagon

November 14, 2005 8:25 pm  
Blogger Brodie said...

thanks for being brave and outspoken.

November 15, 2005 2:01 pm  
Blogger Ifan ap Mair said...

thanks to the guardian newsblog we
found your blog. and glad we were
too! it is always wonderful to
discover a voice that stands up
for freedom and justice. so here's
strength to your beer arm and
long live kings cross united!

November 16, 2005 10:29 pm  

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