Thursday, May 18, 2006

What, still no narrative blogging?

You may be wondering why I still haven't written about the narrative and the ISC report into the London bombings yet. Last week was taken up with juggling work and being asked to do a lot of media stuff about the reports' publication. I did BBC radio and C4 news, and passed on dozens of media requests to the group and answered hundreds of emails. I was going to write more last weekend, but I was shattered after a devastating world premiere of the magnificent Francis Pott's new work, The Cloud of Unknowing, which absolutely blew me sideways. Francis, who sometimes reads this blog, very kindly invited me and Gill, another survivor, and our partners along to hear the work, performed by the Vasari singers. Sacred choral music about the evils of war and terrorism. The first live music I have listened to since the bomb. Harrowing, exhilerating, bleak and horrifying, it was simulataneously one of the hardest things and one of the most beautiful things I have ever listened to. Like being crucified by angels. It was performed in St. Pancras church, which became a centre for grief and relection after July 7th and where Kings Cross United placed their flowers on the 6 month anniversary. The following day, I was ill, and what with food poisoning and being in pieces emotionally, I couldn't get out of bed, let alone write. Back to work on Monday, still shakey, and then on Tuesday almost a hundred survivors from Kings Cross including myself spent over two hours grilling Tessa Jowell and the police and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund about the aftermath of July 7th and the investigation. We covered a lot of ground, but there is still more to say, more to ask. And there was much anger, at the lack of support, and the lack of a public enquiry. But the meeting was calm, people asked their questions with great dignity, though they would have been justified in shouting in frustration. Afterwards we all went to the pub and got drunk. I have met so many lovely people from my train, I feel proud to know them. I will write about that meeting with Tessa Jowell at the Department of Culture later too, when I can.

Meanwhile I have reinstated my Charles Clarke meeting with the new Home Secretary and will be going to that on Monday with other survivors, to ask some of our many questions. Including why they will not have a public enquiry, or an independent enquiry, why they seem to not want to answer the questions we have, questions that have not gone away since the publication of the narrative and the Intelligence services committee report.

I arranged that particular meeting with the Home Secretary off my own bat, but now Tessa Jowell is going to organise further meetings with us survivors and herself, and with us survivors, the Home Secretary and herself. I am not going to shut up about this need for transparency and public answers; it is not about blame, it is about learning lessons and saving lives and telling the truth. Not just to survivors, but to the public in general, since it is the public who are the targets of the next indiscriminate terrorist attack.

And I will write about the narrative and the ISC report and the Government's current position on July 7th when I have time, but it will have to be at the weekend, because I am frantically busy at work, and in the evenings, and it is a huge struggle to find the time to do it justice. I am still feeling angry about the Government's response to July 7th, but I am trying to use the anger productively. And I cannot always be campaigning and thinking about about July 7th, I need some balance in my life as well, to do other things that cheer and comfort me. Like silly Eurovision parties with my sister.


Blogger Clare said...

Glad you are better now Rachel and have fun at the Eurovision Party. That sounds like heaps of fun :).

May 18, 2006 12:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Rachael-
just came across your blog by flluke and simply amazed by your writings and love your style and your sincerety in this all.
U seem to be a beautiful person and hope you acheieve what you aim for.
I wa struck by the incident of you being attacke din your own home in woodgreen-that sounds scary and I cant believ people do stuff like that.I am so naive and i use dti live in woodgreen. Would you be kind enough to tell me what exactlt happened-if u don't mind of course!

May 18, 2006 10:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Have you met with representatives of the opposition parties, or do you think that is a bad idea?

The Anon

May 20, 2006 10:56 pm  

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