Wednesday, 7 July 2010
FIVE YEARS ON
Do you remember where you were on 7/72005?
I was on a freelance contract at Moorgate and thanks to the incompetence of the Tube I was both put at risk and saved from risk at the same time.
The Northern Line was down due to a broken train - which was why that bomb went off on the bus - so I jumped on the District Line thinking I'd change at Aldgate East.
My train was being cancelled at Tower so I jumped off at Mansion House and walked up to Moorgate - I would have been at Aldgate East at the time the bomb went off.
Got into work to find hardly anyone in, everyone caught up in what we thought was the usual chaos from London Transport.
As the clock ticked round and reports began streaming in on the wires about explosions, a colleague turned round and said: "That is no accident."
When I had got in, I'd heard of the "exchange" explosion, so phoned my wife to say I was OK - which was lucky as the mobile network was shut down shortly afterwards so she could tell anyone who phoned that I was OK.
It was extremely surreal in the office, no work was done as people just stared at the images on the TV.
More surreal was a line manager who wanted a meeting at 4pm. I pointed out that maybe we should have the meeting the next day as people would have to get home - to which she replied: "So? I have to get home as well."
Sanity prevailed and the office was shut at 4.
The walk over to Waterloo was amusing in its way. People who have never seen Cheapside, Blackfriars or Fleet Street from street level, or only from through a cab, looked lost, wandering around trying to pick up the last available A-Z from the few shops still open.
After the bombing, our fine tradition of liberty and freedom (what you think the Americans invented it? They were British y'know) took a pasting with more and more obscene "anti-terrorist" laws being enacted.
On today, five years since the bombings, I would hope this government will finally live up to the true traditions of both Tories and Liberals, and remove these pernacious laws permanantly from the statute books.
People died and were maimed in the attack because of our liberal traditions, not so the British people could be considered potential criminals by their own State.