London Under The Gun

Had cause to go into town (central London) on Tuesday. As I went past the ticket barriers at my local tube station I noticed there seemed to be an unusual number of burly men dressed plainly, hanging ’round the ticket barriers. Also more police than usual.

In a bare concrete side-room, people were being interviewed, behind a screen.
My surmise it was a ‘snatch’ operation for potential bombers, or those travelling without tickets, or just a general trawl for ne’er-do-wells.

London seems undiminished by recent events. As a resident of more than 15 years, if it’s not one excitement, it’s another. I would be unhappy travelling on the tube on peak hours, but the chance of being blown up is less than that of being knocked down crossing the road; East London is home to angry young men taking it out on the gearbox of their poor-man’s rally car.

The amount of sentimental rubbish written post events like these is nauseating. England had anarchist bombers a century ago. What’s changed is the existence of virulent mass-media, a population devoid of community, burdened by taxation, maddened by consumerism, and largely friendless; perfect for stirring up by non-events.

Unfortunate events become something to emote over from your couch. Pasty fat girls lay wreaths at the doorsteps of strangers, for entertainment.

We are supposed the be ‘passionate’ about things. We ‘feel’, instead of reason. If we’re not excited, our lives are lacking.

As Yeats said "the best lack all conviction, the worst are full of passionate intensity".

A perfect mulch from which another Hitler could sprout.

History is re-packaged as entertainment, and no lessons are learnt from it. Hence the Iraq war. If Messrs. Blair and Bush had studied the history of the British and Roman Empires, they wouldn’t have invaded Iraq, and wouldn’t have subsequently tried to democratise it at the point of a gun.

Unless there’s some clever, cynical reason for doing it, like grabbing the oil. That might make some sense. I undertand that the US will have oversight of Iraq for over twenty years(?); nice if you want to secure that resource while you scramble to be less dependent on it.