Tuesday, May 01, 2007

24 hours of media...

The last 24 hours have been a mad frenzy of media interviews, but I and the other families and survivors are really pleased that we got our point across.

I started with News 24, at 3pm yesterday when I got back from Norwich, then did BBC and ITN, Channel 4 news live (with the fab Jon Snow who gave me a big kiss), various pre-records which I have lost track of because my phone was going bonkers at the time, local news programmes, various radio things and the long day finished with me being invited to do a live panel on Newsnight at 10.30pm, with Jeremy Paxman, ( who liked my shoes and nudged me under the table when he wanted me to challenge one of the panelists). I'd already pre-recorded a long report with Richard Watson a few weeks ago, but it was great to be part of the programme and see Paxo in action. Did lots of newspapers, followed by 5 Live at 11.35pm ( who I did again this morning). Went home, did emails, bed at 1.45am, up again at 5am to do Breakfast. Adrenalin can get you quite far.

Newsnight can be seen here. Channel 4 here. Yesterday's C4 news here. Other survivors and bereaved family members covered Sky, C5, the BBC, CNN, and many, many more international, national and local media interviews - I am still gathering what we have covered and have missed a lot but am pushed for time and still have 57 emails to reply to before I shut down the PC...

Yesterday we were on every single news channel, all day long, (which was amazing as well as bloody scary), and today we reiterated our point by handing in a letter to the Home Secretary's Office, formally asking him to respond in writing to our lawyers to our calls for an inquiry. I kicked this off by doing a live interview on BBC Breakfast at 7.10am and breaking the story officially, though we'd leaked it earlier. Then I did a zillion radio things, checked how everyone else was doing with their stuff, took over 50 calls/texts, wrote a press statement with James Oury our lawyer and then went to the Home Office to face a barrage of cameras and do about ten more interviews, and hand the letter in.

(Pressure grows for a 7/7 inquiry ( BBC)

You can read the text of our letter here in the Guardian and on Sky News here. Other names of survivors and bereaved have now been added to the letter (including Danny Biddle whom I caught up with on BBC Breakfast this morning when we both went on the programme to talk about the need for an inquiry.)

John Reid has released a statement saying he will give our letter 'very careful consideration' and get back to us.

Here is some more of today's coverage: it is the main story in most of the newspapers. Yesterday it was the main TV news story for 18 hours.

Mirror front page: '7/7 meets Bluewater'

Voice of the Mirror 'Five ruthless men found guilty after Operation Crevice in the country's longest terrorism trial are behind bars.
But their convictions have raised questions about the London bombings that can only be answered by an independent inquiry.''

Calls grow for an independent inquiry ( Telegraph)
''If MI5 was diverted from pursuing Khan and Tanweer, but remained suspicious of them, then the logical step would have been to alert Special Branch to keep them under watch. It is not fanciful to suggest that had this simple measure been taken, the victims of 7/7 might still be alive'' ( Today's Telegraph leader)

Mail 'Victims in new call for a 7/7 inquiry'', MPs to review evidence
Evening Standard 'MPs who cleared M15 to review evidence'
Daily Express 'M15 let terrorists slip through net'
Guardian '7/7 victims deliver inquiry demand'

Guardian Comment: 'Less spin, more truth'
''...only if we understand past mistakes can we hope to strengthen their capabilities further. Perfection is impossible in counter-terrorism. Learning from past mistakes is not.
That is why the case for a full, independent inquiry is now irrefutable. A review of the evidence by the Intelligence and Security Committee - a review which the chair of the committee has already declared is unlikely to come up with anything new - is simply not good enough''

Independent: How London bombers slipped through M15's grasp
Sky -'Bomb Survivors push for M15 probe
Times - 'Calls grow for 7/7 inquiry'
Comment :'Tell us the truth about the 7/7 blunders' - David Davis, Shadow Home Secretary writing in today's Times

''John Reid has refused to allow a “public inquiry”. We do not want a public inquiry, we want an independent inquiry, which, far from being a distraction, will be an essential tool in improving our security services. At a time when the head of MI5 has publicly cautioned that we face an unprecedented threat from 30 terrorist plots, 200 terrorist groups and 1,600 suspects, the British public – especially the bereaved and the survivors of 7/7 – deserve no less''

Preventable errors,
Victims join calls for a public inquiry

There is a lot more coverage, but I have to pack for my honeymoon. I am flying off tomorrow and our friend Russell is moving in to look after the cat and the fishes.

I would like to massively thank all of you who have signed the petition so far. Everyone in the survivor/bereaved group is really chuffed by all the support. We are tired but hopeful.

Here are the linking bloggers, a big thank you to you all.

Chicken Yoghurt
Comment is Free Best of the Web
Paul Linford
Radio 5 Pods and Blogs
Daniel Finkelstein in Times Comment Central
Mike Power
Stumbling and Mumbling
Pickled Politics

We are looking forward to hearing back from John Reid via our lawyers.

Right. Now I am officially stopping work and on honeymoon, and as I'm off early tomorrow morning with J for somewhere hot and gorgeous, I will be offline from tomorrow, (swimming with wild sea turtles!) so I won't be able to put through comments or reply to emails .

See you all in a few weeks.

And thanks once again.

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Blogger TN said...

Wow! Just watched you on Newsnight, superb performance.
Oh and congrats on becoming Mrs J. x

May 01, 2007 7:13 pm  
Blogger Jane Henry said...

Have a fantastic honeymoon Rachel. You deserve it!

And well done on that brilliant coverage. I caught you on Newsnight/Five Live last night and radio today. And you were great.

Love Jane

May 01, 2007 7:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel you have spoken for all of us - thank you and have a swim for me.

May 01, 2007 8:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IainC has left a new comment on your post "24 hours of media...":

Wow - fitting all that in *one day* between wedding and honeymoon. How much would you have been able to do if it had been an ordinary working week ?

Have a wonderful blog- post7/7- and internet- free time, and congrats to you and J again.


May 01, 2007 8:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sterling work by *all* concerned.

Surely there must be an independent inquiry before too much longer? We can only hope...

Have a fantastic honeymoon and remember to forget to take the cellphone ^_^

May 01, 2007 8:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm sure you'll have a great honeymoon. Best wishes.


May 01, 2007 9:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done! Seen you on tv a few times today and you came across really well. Keep kicking them where it hurts!

May 01, 2007 9:48 pm  
Blogger Laban said...

Enjoy the honeymoon. You spoke very well on the three appearances I caught. While I disagree that a public inquiry will do anything other than tie up valuable time and give ill-intentioned people more clues on how to avoid being caught next time, I admired the way you resisted all media temptation to 'blame' the security services, putting the blame where it should be.

Don't forget to have a whole dynasty of children.

May 01, 2007 10:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

saw you on tv
you did really well
hopefully they will have to relent and give in and hold a public enquiry so we can find out who did the bombings

May 02, 2007 3:41 am  
Blogger jason palmer said...

Any chance of an inquiry into why we invaded iraq ?

Considering the death toll on both sides, one would think that would be an obvious thing to look into.

May 02, 2007 10:45 am  
Blogger rich said...

Well done Rachel.

The security services apparently didn't follow up the links because they had "far more serious cases" to deal with and that the data connected on the eventual bombers was only "a tiny percentage" of the information that they had collected.

From this we can conlcude that

1) there are an enormous number of people circulating with even more worrying behaviour

2) the security services do not pass on the details about serious fraud to the police

I really hope the politicians suffer.

May 02, 2007 11:50 am  
Blogger Gordon Brown said...

Hi Rachel,

Well done! I echo all the comments above. It was great to see you on so many TV channels. As you pointed out, the Americans had an inquiry after 9/11 so why can't we?

I bet you if a Cabinet Member's son or daughter had been injured or killed, there would be an inquiry immediately......

T.B.F. Katic

May 02, 2007 1:13 pm  
Blogger Tina - omme i London said...

Rachel - I saw you on the news last night and you looked so composed and confident and spoke with clarity. I would be well proud of myself, if I were you. Well done you!

Oh and PS, I liked your shoes too - the outfit was great!

May 02, 2007 4:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel, well done you are an inspiration to us all. There must to be a public enquiry. How can there not be when there is now a clear and obvious suspicion that the Government and/or Security Service could have prevented the 7/7 bombings, but did not. If this is the case then its unbelievable to think that they were complicit in this? Unless the arbitary slaughter of a few commuters was for the greater good of all us in some way?
S. Kettering

May 02, 2007 9:21 pm  
Blogger Clare said...

Have a fantastic honeymoon Rachel and please take some pictures of the turtles to share with us.

May 02, 2007 10:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel,

First of all, huge congratulations on your wedding.

Secondly, the inquiry. I can't believe that this even has to be asked for, irrespective of the new evidence. My colleague and friend was on the bus on the 7th July and sadly lost his life so I have trouble being objective about it all, as I usually like to be. But how can there have been inquiries into Harold Shipman, into Diana's death, amongst many others but not this. It seems like such an insult to the memories of those who died and the memories of the lives those who survived had before. I dealt with the loss of life before with the false knowledge that those people who carried out the attacks could not have been stopped. That the security forces did all they could, given limited resources, but just didn't know. Now it seems that they knew so much more than we were led to believe. We don't know how much they did know and we don't know if the Police knew more than MI5 and perhaps they didn't communicate as well as they could have. I think that one fact should be enough for a public inquiry. I didn't see the point of an inquiry to make people feel better. But it now seems like solid lessons could be learned so that argument goes out of the window. I know it won't bring anyone back and it won't take away the pain and shock of the summer before last but if things can be learnt that will prevent it from happening again then I don't see how the Government has a choice. An inquiry doesn't have to be carried out by the security services so it shouldn't take people away from their work to the point that it affects security now. I'm sorry for going on so much I just don't understand their logic. I strongly support your fight and am so pleased that people who can get the media's attention are involved. I wish you the very best of luck with your campaign and sincerely hope I'll be adding a "way to go" comment here in the not to distant future. Don't give up and congratulations again on your marriage.

Best wishes,

May 02, 2007 11:38 pm  
Blogger Rigmor said...

I just wanted to tell you how great I think it is with all this hard work you have been doing. I can't express clearly enough how much I support this issue!

May 05, 2007 2:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In every single major incident, from Peral Harbour to the assination of one of the Tsars of Russia, there was advance information that in retrospect could be taken as warning.

The question to be asked, with fairness and honesty, is this. Given the state of world at the time, what they knew *at the time* were the correct decisions taken? The answer may be that the correct decision was taken on the evidence - a hard thought, I know. But everything is a risk. Unless we want mass detention without trial.

To answer this requires a proper public enquiry.

May 07, 2007 9:18 pm  

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