Saturday, 9 July 2005
Drawback is that the roads that we are all used to as quiet and friendly suddenly fill with rally back-up such as mechanics, stewards, doctors etc. and people coming for a open-air sing song and individual BBQ. The actual rally cars are no problem other than adding to the traffic. The non-rally guys tend to think they have a long way to drive and not much time.
One also gets the burke with a three-year old Corsa who has put a drainpipe over the last few inches of his exhaust and thus thinks he is the dog's dangly bits. One has to be aware that said idiot is likely to find himself running out of his side of the road on many of the quite sharp little bends one associates with a agricultural area. I tend to stay off the road this week-end. I was interested in rallying when I drove but watching a section of maybe 100 yards whilst being regularly peppered with gravel does not cook my bacon.
Even that sort of simple check for suspicion has been made inefficient in current times. Were I to suggest to an officer of the law that stripey-jumper nicked my Palm pilot, doubtless I would be admonished on the grounds of inciting hatred of blokes in striped tops. A very senior police officer said in a Press briefing that we should not associate Islam and terrorism. Well, right now – who else do we associate with terrorism of this style and extent? Not the IRA surely. They were always most fastidious about giving warnings – even though they were at times late or inaccurate. Their agenda was to spread terror of attacks. This last lot gave no warning and clearly intended to kill as many as they could possibly involve. When we hunted for IRA, we looked in specific places. If we are not to associate Islam with terrorists – where do we look? Whilst there are Muslims who deprecate what is done in their name it has to be admitted that the agenda in their Holy Book includes a lot about infidels and striking them very hard. The Bible has some pretty warlike bits (Judges and James I think?) but death to non-Christians is not part of Archbishop of Canterbury’s everyday preaching. If anything is to be achieved, there has to be very serious inquiry amongst Muslims in this country. Right now though, the police are indoctrinated that they must not hold any such opinion or suspicion.
The plight of those unable to trace family and loved ones at this stretch of time is quite harrowing. Those who have any experience of these sorts of incident can very well guess why they are kept in ignorance – not all bodies are just as if the deceased had died in bed. I was particularly taken by the story of Yvonne – the blond girl. She is so very patient and has obviously done all she can to publicise the absence of her partner. He phoned to say he was on a bus. His mobile phone was found on the bus that was blown up. One feels the need to take her on one side, wrap her up in a big bear hug and tell her the facts of life rather than prolong her agony.
As for intelligence gathering and civil liberty conflicts, I am convinced that the protection of life and limb over-rides all concerns about liberty. We should make it clear that if we feel the need to investigate you and your lifestyle, we may do anything that it takes. If this proves the case, it may all be used without debate provided it comes within the definition of evidence (everything other than mere argument that goes to prove or disprove). If we get it wrong, sue us. We’ll assist and make it easy for you – ONCE WE KNOW YOU ARE INNOCENT. Suggestions that this will make us a police-state as depicted in 1984 are simplistic. The basic personality of our race will keep things clean. We are not Nazi, Franco-supporters or Stalinists.
Friday, 8 July 2005
The events of yesterday are still unfolding as the forensic work develops. When one remembers the conditions underground at the time of the Kings Cross fire, one can begin to appreciate the dedication of those working on this. Damaged bodies decompose much quicker in the heat underground.
I lived through the London blitz at an impressionable age and can remember the spirit of the people who were under attack then. It was very much a cheery-, cheeky-Cockney sort of thing. There was also the Dunkirk spirit where set-backs did not dishearten us. With the dilution of the British stock arising from immigration and the softer life style of today, I had thought that both the Cockney and Dunkirk spirit were no more - or at least, much reduced.
It seems that I was mistaken to some degree. The reports in the media seem to show that there is still the attitude that we will not let the bastards grind us down. There are already jokes about what happened. Some of the more jingoistic columnists seem to be writing for Captain Mainwaring and Dads' Army but that is a good thing if it increases our endurance and fortitude by harking back to our past.
I was especially pleased that HM the Queen had visited hospitals today. Her parents were particularly keen on this and it was then, as now, a great morale booster.
It is important that those who carried out these killings see that they do not have the effect they might have in, say, some middle-eastern country with all the wailing and knashing of teeth that ensues. Ken Livingstone has also grown in my estimation although I am to some extent happier now he has seen at first hand what comes from the sort of violence he has sometimes appeared to espouse and support.
Thursday, 7 July 2005
Nice timings guys! Either AQ or PIRA lost no time in following upon the 2012 Olympics award to demonstrate that the transport infrastructure we boasted about in our presentation was vulnerable. I can imagine the fuss at NSY. Doubtless, a few of the Anti-Terror guys will have deployed to G8. Six crime scenes is a lot to handle forensically so helicopter activity at the G8 site will have increased as they try to get bomb squad blokes back to the Met. If this gets publicised, it will add another dimension to the concern that the bombers sought. Hopefully, the one on the bus - which seems out of the pattern - was an own goal but the benefit of this must be limited if is Muslim extremists who happily suicide bomb anyway. Any structural engineers out there who can comment on explosion in a tube train tunnel - how long is that likely to put them out of service?
Wednesday, 6 July 2005
Well, I am reliably informed, today is the 48th anniversary of my (one and only) wedding. Never mind it is an old joke but I really would have been out of prison by now if I'd committed a serious crime instead.
I don't think I've any regrets - none that have surfaced anyway. Just to show how stupid I am, I would do it all over again in pretty much the same format. So, thanks Norma for coming on the roller-coaster with me.
Tuesday, 5 July 2005
G8 GOING COMPLETELY ACCORDING TO PLAN
Just to prove I’m not privy to any special
intelligence sources, my predictions that G8 would entail sitting on carriers dressed in code 1 and playing cards have been shown to be err… slightly wide of the mark. I’m reluctant to tell you all the latest canteen gossip from the boys who are in Scotland, for fear of being accused of undermining the war effort.All I should really say is that the senior Scottish officers who are reassuring you on Sky News are probably sweating off-camera. Things are not quite going as planned and there is much sniggering from police lines. I’m concerned that when the officers get back on shift, we’ll never hear the end of all the war stories.
This was not really so long ago. The good old dear used to struggle up the steepest hills - even on hands and knees sometimes. Now, she is knackered after one flight of stairs. Never mind - she still tries and we cannot ask more than that.
Monday, 4 July 2005
Just because I have gone soft over 4th July should not be taken to mean that the cheese-eating surrender-monkies will get even treatment when 14th July arrives. Given that they will most likely win the Olympic vote on Wednesday, they will be dancing around in their smelly clothes without needing any endorsement from me.
Congratulations and respect.
Sunday, 3 July 2005
Geldof is to fast politics what McDonald’s is to fast food. He is simply good at it. How can you do nothing, he screams, “watching people live on TV, dying on our screens!”.
The G8 is not a decision-making body but a “conversation” between rich nations. It has no constitution and no executive. The United Nations, not the G8, is the proper forum for collective action onworld poverty.
Geldof is quoted in the International Herald Tribune as claiming that something must be done “even if it doesn’t work”. For him, doing something useless even if harmful is a moral advance on doing nothing
I think that Sandy and Julian from Around the Horne show did much to open up the gay world. Their very much over the top performances showed people another side of that inclination that confused many men. Certainly, it was a way of dealing with homesexuality that avoided the risk of a right smack in the mourf and brought them into the general community. I have no concerns about outright gay - and lesbian - people. It is the ones who remain closeted that I distrust. Though maybe Peter Tatchell goes a bit too far with his style of outing, I can see where he comes from. I once had to question a guy who had gay issues. This was in Egypt where we wore shorts - see picture at left. Whilst I was writing his statement, he was stroking my knee. Shame really, I think it was my including this in my evidence that led to him getting a relatively heavy sentence.
Oh yes - back to the new wristband. It works perfectly. Science or subtle suggestion? Don't know and don't care. I had a 'dead' tip on my little finger which is now back to normal. No - it did not (so far) make my willie go funny either.